As dots on a map, campgrounds are created equal.
But, as this collection shows, for every 100 awesome sites there are a couple you should think twice about before visiting.
And who would have thought one of those would be in Yosemite?
We combed through all the reviews on The Dyrt and narrowed down the negative reviews to this list of 3. Our criterion for selection: a 1-star review on The Dyrt. That’s the one rule. We weeded out the people who were just salty about having drunk neighbors to give you this list of 3.
Disclaimer: At The Dyrt, we aren’t about campground bashing for its own sake. We’re about useful information. While we’re making light of these reviews, the reality is these reviewers, campers like you and me, set out to have a great time outdoors, and ended up having a bad time. We want to help you avoid that.
Without further ado… Here is the best of our worst.
Over 2 Hours Just to Check Availability @ Norris Campground in Yellowstone National Park
The Dyrt user: Melanie S
“Poor Organization & Communication from Campground Hosts
“We tried to stay here in June. They do not take reservations, so it’s first come first serve. We arrived just before 9am hoping to get a site. There was a huge crowd of people trying to drive in, it was chaos. Then we finally just parked & walked to up to where you pay & reserve. There was a line of 40 people, waiting until 11am, the check out time, to see how many people were going to leave & if they would be lucky enough to get a site. We didn’t want to wait that long so we left. It would be a much better experience if people had to reserve the # of nights they wanted to stay so the hosts always knew how many spots would be open the next day. It’s unfortunate they expect people to just wait around all morning to see if they get a spot when they could be enjoying the beautiful park instead!”
Granted, Yellowstone is incredible. Some of you may even feel personally affronted that we included this when, at other times of the year, Norris is without a line and a gem of a campground. But if you make the trip all the way to Yellowstone, you’d definitely want to know about the possibility that you could wait in a line for hours just to see if you can get a campsite.
Check out other (generally positive) Norris Campground reviews.
Near-Certain Mosquito Ambush at Clinton State Park
The Dyrt user: Chloe M.
“Probably would not go back
“My husband and I got eaten alive by mosquitoes within a minute of getting it of our car. Needed to use the restroom and there was no toilet seat, the place looked and smelled disgusting, and it was simply unusable. I will not be back.”
Bugs are everywhere. But when they greet you at the door and things go downhill from there, you’re going to have a bad time.
See the original Clinton State Park reviews.
Scorching Pavement @ Sunset Campground in Death Valley National Park
The Dyrt user: Kayko S
“If you have an RV and don’t plan on looking out the windows
“This is a paved parking lot in the middle of death valley. There are no trees, views or firepits. This is exclusively for RV’ers that want to drive up on flat pavement and want to stay inside the vehicle.”
A paved parking lot in the middle of Death Valley sounds good for no camping, including RV camping, regardless of whether there is a view or not. Maybe it’s called “Sunset” Campground because you should only go there after dark. Sounds more like a way-station for the weary traveler than an idyllic spot to catch the sunset.
See the original Sunset Campground review (plus Kayko’s low-res image of the site).
What’s your worst camping experience? Was it because of the campground or annoying neighbors?