Stupid Questions Asked at Our National Parks

These are questions that people actually asked of Park Rangers around the country, proving once again that there is no known limit to the depths
of human stupidity. Excerpted from Outside Magazine, May 1995, pp. 120-121.

Grand Canyon National Park
  • Was this man-made?
  • Do you light it up at night?
  • I bought tickets for the elevator to the bottom — where is it?
  • Is the mule train air conditioned?
  • So where are the faces of the presidents?
Everglades National Park
  • Are the alligators real?
  • Are the baby alligators for sale?
  • Where are all the rides?
  • What time does the two o’clock bus leave?
Denali National Park (Alaska)
  • What time do you feed the bears?
  • Can you show me where the yeti lives?
  • How often do you mow the tundra?
  • How much does Mount McKinley weigh?
Mesa Verde National Park
  • Did people build this, or did Indians?
  • Why did they build the ruins so close to the road?
  • What did they worship in the kivas — their own made-up religion?
  • Do you know of any undiscovered ruins?
  • Why did the Indians decide to live in Colorado?
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • How much of the cave is underground?
  • So what’s in the unexplored part of the cave?
  • Does it ever rain in here?
  • How many Ping-Pong balls would it take to fill this up?
  • So what is this — just a hole in the ground?
Yosemite National Park
  • Where are the cages for the animals?
  • What time do you turn on Yosemite Falls?
  • Can I get my picture taken with the carving of President Clinton?
Yellowstone National Park
  • Does Old Faithful erupt at night?
  • How do you turn it on?
  • When does the guy who turns it on get to sleep?
  • We had no trouble finding the park entrances, but where are the exits?

Signs You’re at a Bad National Park

  • The only pictures Ansel Adams took of it were from inside the women’s shower.
  • Joe Camel subbing for vacationing Smokey the Bear.
  • Extremely troubled Head Ranger who blames anything that goes wrong on Scott Baio.
  • A $20 cover and you still gotta pay extra for the lap dances.
  • Malnourished bears holding signs that read, “Will caper amusingly for food.”
  • According to posted signs, not only may you feed the animals, but afterward, you have a right to expect them to put out.
  • Pauly Shore’s face is carved into the side of “Mount Paymore.”
  • Bears not only take your picnic basket at gunpoint, but also make off with your Ford Explorer.
  • Your view of the scenery is blocked by reactor units #2 and #3.
  • “Here we see the oldest mobile home formations in the entire White Trash National Park.”
  • Waterfalls seem to lose some of their majestic power whenever someone flushes a toilet.
  • Proudly proclaims, “100 percent Spotted Owl Free!”
  • When a squirrel runs by, park ranger bolts, screaming, “Run!! Run for your lives!!”
  • Every couple hundred feet along the hiking trails — another Starbucks.
  • “Old Faithful” turns out to be a vacationing Frank Gifford.
  • On the tour, you see more of the Grand Crack in the ranger’s ass than you do of the canyon.