Millions of people visit our National Parks and Forests, State Parks and Public Lands annually. While people like the idea of the beauty of the Great Outdoors, some have a difficult time grasping the reality of what this really means. Some people refuse to fully embrace the outdoors and would rather ride a gondola to the bottom of Grand Canyon or experience what Mother Nature has to offer as long as there is no dirt on the trails or campgrounds. To the credit of our JRI clients, it is rare we get any crazy comments or questions, but it happens:)

The below comments and questions have been floating around the internet for some time now but they are still good fun. They are actual comments left on U. S. Forest Service registration sheets and comment cards by backpackers completing wilderness camping trips:

  • “A small deer came into my camp and stole my bag of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call.”
  • “Escalators would help on steep uphill sections.”
  • “Instead of a permit system or regulations, the Forest Service needs to reduce worldwide population growth to limit the number of visitors to wilderness.”
  • “Trails need to be wider so people can walk while holding hands.”
  • “Ban walking sticks in wilderness. Hikers that use walking sticks are more likely to chase animals.”
  • “All the mile markers are missing this year.”
  • “Found a smoldering cigarette left by a horse.”
  • “Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.”
  • “Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the area of these pests.”
  • “Please pave the trails so they can be plowed of snow in the winter.”
  • “Chair lifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them.”
  • “The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.”
  • “Reflectors need to be placed on trees every 50 feet so people can hike at night with flashlights.”
  • “Need more signs to keep area pristine.”
  • “A McDonald’s would be nice at the trail head.”
  • “The places where trails do not exist are not well marked.”
  • “Too many rocks in the mountains.”

Source –

These comments are specific to the National Parks are taken from the May 1995 issue of Outside Magazine. For more, click here.

Grand Canyon National Park

Yosemite National Park

  • Where are the cages for the animals?
  • What time of year do you turn on Yosemite Falls?
  • What happened to the other half of Half Dome?
  • Can I get my picture taken with the carving of President Clinton?

Comments/questions from our own guests or hikers we have overheard talking to rangers.

From a Yosemite backpacking trip – “Why didn’t you tell me that I would not hear the birds? You should let people know that there is a lack of wildlife activity where you are taking people on your trips.”

From the bottom of Grand Canyon after hiking to the bottom –
Client – “Can I call my brother to come pick me up?”
Guide – “Huh? I don’t understand what you are asking?”
Client – “Isn’t there a road that gets people here?”
Guide – “No.”
Client – “How did everyone else get here?”
Guide – “They hiked down, just like you did.”

While staying in hotel in Scottsdale, AZ – “Is the water safe to drink here?”

Campers at Indian Garden to a Grand Canyon Park Ranger – “Why didn’t the Park Service tell us how hard Bright Angel Trail is and why is there so much dirt at the campgrounds? What are you people doing with our tax dollars?”

Yosemite National Park Visitor – “Can I drive to the top of Half Dome”
Yosemite National Park Ranger – “No”
Visitor – “But I have a Subaru!”
Ranger – {silence due to shock and awe}

Want more? Visit our blog! We also offer guided backpacking trips all over the west so if you want to experience some silliness first hand, come along with us!