Unexpected Adventure

Top 5 National Park Pranks

April fool! One of our favorite spring traditions is on the way, which means you can expect the National Park Service to show its sillier side once again this year. In honor of the National Park Service's 100th April Fools' Day, let's take a look back at some of our favorite national park pranks from last year!

1. Wizard Island Restaurant

Fake, photoshopped photo of restaurant built on top of Crater lake.
Photo credit:

David Davis, Statesman Journal

Crater Lake is one of the most staggeringly beautiful and unspoiled natural wonders in the United States, so the announcement that the National Park Service was planning to build a rotating restaurant inspired by the Space Needle on top of Wizard Island last year was met with (understandable) confusion and outrage. So strong was the reaction that the National Park Service announced it was withdrawing the plans as of 11:59 PM on April 1, assuring us all that the plans were a big joke. Needless to say, Wizard Island remains unscathed.

2. Dinosaur Sighting

A photoshopped dinosaur at Dinosaur National Monument
Photo credit:

Dinosaur National Monument Facebook page

Dinosaur National Monument is one of the best places in the world to view the remains of the mighty creatures that ruled the earth 65 million years ago. But this shot of a live dinosaur posted on the park's Facebook page last June certainly raised some eyebrows. Alas, you probably won't run into any living dinosaurs at the park, but go ahead and have your camera ready just in case. If you strike out, you can always stop by the Quarry Exhibit Hall, where more than 1,500 dinosaur bones are currently on display.

3. The Zion Subway

A fake subway in Zion National Park
Photo credit:

Zion National Park Twitter

The folks at Zion National Park have some respectable photo editing skills, but contrary to this April Fools' Day tweet from last year, a subway line did not, in fact, run through the park. However, the Zion Shuttle is one of the best ways to explore some of the most famous landmarks of this beautiful park. The shuttle makes nine stops along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive from March 12 through the end of October, and on weekends in November.

4. Bigfoot Selfie

A funny image of bigfoot with a phone
Photo credit:

Yellowstone National Park Facebook page

In the Internet age, Old Faithful has become a popular selfie location, and apparently our old friend Bigfoot decided to hop on the trend last year! OK, so this Bigfoot selfie posted by the folks at Yellowstone National Park probably didn't fool anybody when it hit the web last April Fools' Day, but it was a lighthearted reminder that our national parks are great places to cultivate a healthy sense of wonder. So, feel free to continue taking selfies at Yellowstone — just keep an eye out for Sasquatches armed with the latest technology!

5. Dewey Defeats Truman

Truman holding a newspaper that says Dewey defeated him
Photo credit:

Harry S Truman National Historic Site Facebook page

As the Harry S. Truman National Historic Site Facebook page reminded us last year, quite a few people got fooled when Truman was elected president in 1948. The famous photo of a newly-elected President Truman holding up a newspaper with the headline "Dewey Defeats Truman" was the result of a major mix-up at the Chicago Daily Tribune on the night of the election. At the time the newspaper went to press, the votes hadn't been entirely counted, but New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey was the clear frontrunner — to such an extent that the paper felt confident declaring the election in his favor. About 150,000 copies of the paper were printed and distributed before the error was realized. Whoops!

For April Fools' Day this year, don't be surprised if national parks across the system pull one over on us. Have your own favorite national park prank? Be sure to share it at FindYourPark.com or use #FindYourPark and #EncuentraTuParque on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

Woman holding a camera walking in a field
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