‘No Arby’s, not even a McDonald’s’: 10 bad reviews of iconic Southern Utah outdoor destinations

A stock image shows the top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah | Photo by evenfh/iStock/Getty Images Plus

ST. GEORGE — Southern Utah is famous for its bright red cliffs, winding slot canyons and spectacular landmarks many of which adorn the backs of postcards in gift shops. But among the millions of tourists who visit Utah each year to check some national parks off their bucket lists or take pictures for Instagram, there are a few people who didn’t have anything nice to say about some of Southern Utah’s most iconic outdoor destinations.

While the majority of the state parks, national parks and landmarks in Southern Utah are flooded with hundreds of raving 5-star and 4-star reviews remarking how breathtaking these places are, here are 10 reviews from Google and TripAdvisor users who found something to criticize.

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Ed. note: This story was originally published in St. George News’ June 23, 2018, edition.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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  • Carpe Diem June 23, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Just got back from a loop hike at Bryce… The Sunset Point parking lot was packed, also over ten tour buses… Asians… Ladies wearing bright scarfs and cute crimpy hats… The men backing up for photos running into people or whatever obstacle was behind them… 1 star for traveling halfway around the world and not leaving the tour bus tethers.

  • Carpe Diem June 23, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Wonder how many stars those reviewers give to the Search and Rescue teams that extract them from their hole?

    • mesaman June 23, 2018 at 9:20 pm

      What should we expect from the inner city dwellers. They get out of the city limits and suddenly begin to realize they have found something new to whine and bellyache about. Maybe the presence of pollution has begun to destroy their frontal lobes. Ha! A new illness; Pollution Caused Prefrontal Dementia, PCPD. Now all we need is prescription only drugs to treat it.

  • Real Life June 23, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Just wait until they start getting DUI’s for half a beer.

  • Kilroywashere June 23, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Good one Real Life. ?. Cool article. My friend works at Zion, and no doubt Carp.D. nails it on the head. The folks from the Peoples Republic of China love this place.

  • dogmatic June 23, 2018 at 11:20 am

    These beautiful destinations have been ruined by the hordes of tourists many who are lost and thought they where going to a theme park.
    The tour guides should warn clients that fast food like Starbucks and McDonald’s are not available in are near the parks and you may have to go days without your favorite latte and who uses America Express anymore. Stupid.
    The Gila Monsters and tortoise are not easy to find that’s what makes them unique and protected .
    None of this should have to be explained.
    Why are these bad reviews even news?

    • Mike June 23, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      “Why are these bad reviews even news?” It’s not news, but they are hilarious to those of us who know how special this place is…(or was, before the latte and McDonalds demanding hordes).

      • jaltair June 23, 2018 at 8:49 pm

        This (SW UT) is my heaven! Maybe others prefer concrete jungles where they can find fast treats. Anyway, I had some good laughs!

  • Jena June 23, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    I think the author is showcasing the trolls. Some of these sound legit (i.e. American Express not being ACCEPTED), but the rest sound like a good laugh. Not positive, but I think this article is for funsies.

  • Foxyheart June 23, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Every one of these are legitimate gripes. I also gripe about no fast food places in Springdale (nearest one is in Hurricane). I do not want to spend hours sitting to have lunch or so (and spend a lot of money) when I could just grab a CHEAP burger and go. Springdale is a typical tourist trap where you have to spend hundreds of dollars on meals for a weekend, when McDonalds would only be about $50. Sick.

    • Rafiki June 24, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      You spend $50 at McDonalds….??? You must have about 6 children. Less kids could have equaled better food and more patience. Just saying 😉

      • comments June 25, 2018 at 5:44 pm

        my guess is more like 13

  • dhamilton2002 June 23, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    All I can say it that let’s all be happy these, and others like them, never set foot in our spectacular area again. Let them go to Disneyland.

  • DRT June 23, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Easy answer to this, PACK YOUR OWN LUNCH! smh

  • uprightandmovingforward June 23, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    Yes. The reviews are lame. But I’d have to agree with the Red Cliffs Reserve review. Been here 15 years, I’ve never seen a desert tortoise or gila monster up there. Looks like we are just protecting red dirt up there. When I talk to the old timers around here, they say there were never tortoises up there until the kids started bringing them home from Mesquite as pets and eventually were dumped up there after the kids tired of taking care of them.

    Based on this example, the Florida everglades will eventually be protected reserve for the Burmese Python.

  • Utahguns June 23, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    There’s always the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, East Los Angeles or the projects in Chicago if Utah doesn’t suit your fancy….

  • Lori June 24, 2018 at 2:40 am

    Cannot believe these reviews. Who are these people? Utah is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen. If you don’t like seeing mountains and wilderness then go somewhere else.

  • Douglas June 24, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Some of ’em have good points…

    I see where they are ( finally ) treat Sand Hollow for ‘Swimmers Itch’ ( cercarial dermatitis )…

    It’s about Damned time ! It’s a STATE PARK for cryin’ out loud !!!

    As far as Bryce Canyon… I seriously believe that this is a prime example of journalistic plagiarism…

    I know ‘Stormy’ said that about Donald’s hair !!! ( sorry, that’s how my mind works… )

  • Mike P June 24, 2018 at 9:31 am

    I thought this was funny and I believe it was meant to be. I could pretty much guarantee these reviews were all made by millennials.

  • utahdiablo June 24, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Well Thanks to the State’s endless campaign of the “Mighty 5”, as a local here in southern Utah, I can no longer enjoy Zion or Arches as to the endless crush of crowds there, even in the so called “off season” during December to early March as that has now also been getting more advertizing by the hotels there in Springdale. And as much as the developers are build homes, hotels, gas staions and food places here on any empty lots, this place will become a “concrete jungle” very soon…but I’m glad to see the bad reviews as maybe it will keep other tourists from coming

  • jj9384 June 24, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Why would St George News even publish this, the people that live here appreciate what we have. Just like being politically correct no matter what somebody is going to be offended or unhappy, get over it you can’t please everyone.

  • Carpe Diem June 24, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    It dawned on me that these were written mostly by “iPhone addicted Millennials”. These parks can be your cure, or if you do not appreciate their charm and follow their natural rules, your curse.

    As far as Tortoise and Gila Monsters, I have seen exactly one of each in the last 24 years, and made many hikes looking specifically for them. I’ve seen about 5 rattlesnakes, and several bald and golden eagles around town and the county.

    As far as the Desert Tortoise not being native to the area, I’ve heard that, but the fact is, the species is listed as Threatened, and the RCDR provides additional suitable habitat and will not be taken away or lost out of hand. The reserve does look to be chipped away at, for instance with the proposed Northern Corridor. You think it’s crowded now? Think 2050

  • Carpe Diem June 24, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    BTW I know a RCDR canyon that is full of Tortoise burrows, skeletons and droppings, and in 5+ hikes in that area have not seen one alive. The only one I have seen here was just past the end of the Temple Trail, in the steep slope with lava boulders. Go figure.

    • comments June 25, 2018 at 5:47 pm

      Probably not many of them to see. That’s the whole point of being an endangered species I suppose.

  • jaybird June 24, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    What happened to just the beauty of nature? McDonalds? You can get McDonalds anywhere. Jesus.

  • Martin June 24, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    Is there really any desert tortoises there? One comments said they didn’t see any.

    Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
    When the desert tortoise was listed as Threatened in an emergency action by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in the early 1990’s, The Nature Conservancy joined with Washington County and many other partners to create a plan (called a Habitat Conservation Plan) that would protect the heart of the Washington County desert tortoise population.

Comments are closed.