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Cheap Flights We’ve Found to the National Parks This Summer

To live in the United States is to live among some of the greatest natural wonders on earth. And thanks to the efforts of presidents Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt in the late 1800s and early 1900s, we've protected many of these gems under the banner of the National Park Service. 

In 2023, there were more than 325 million visits to the over 400 U.S. national parks and recreation areas. Visitation at the national parks has gone up every year since the pandemic, and we suspect this trend will continue in 2024. (Don't worry: There are some tried and true ways to avoid crowds at even the busiest parks.)

If you're considering planning a trip around visiting one of the 63 U.S. national parks, 2024 might be the best year to do so, especially if you want to travel during the summer months. Why? Because cheap flights to the national parks are as prevalent as we can remember.

Summer flight prices all over the U.S. are still cheap and that means a quick flight into Bozeman (BZN) to see Yellowstone National Park or Portland (PWM) to see Acadia are at some of the lowest rates you'll see all year. 

Of course, you don't have to fly to visit the national parks. There are some epic national parks road trips that we've taken through Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier and through Utah's Big Three National Parks that we've enjoyed, too.

But for many travelers pressed for cash or time, a cross-country road trip to start and end a trip is too much. That's where cheap flights to our favorite national parks come in. 

This is your year to get awe-inspired by the national parks and all their glory. Here's your first step. 

Read our full guide to planning a national parks trip in 2024! 

 

Rocky Mountain National Park

Just 90 minutes from Denver International Airport (DEN) is the scenic high alpine of Rocky Mountain National Park

As the national parks go, Rocky Mountain is one of the easiest to get to and is one of the closest parks to a major city. 

 

Denver flight deal

 

That means a cheap flight into DEN to kickstart your Rocky Mountain adventure won't be hard to find. 

 

Denver flight deal

 

Look at all these nonstop fares to Denver (DEN) we found for our Thrifty Traveler Premium members just a few weeks ago. There's more than enough to get you on your way into the town of Estes Park and up into the high alpine this year!

Thrifty Tip: Rocky Mountain National Park now requires timed entry reservations for some parts of the park this summer, so keep that in mind when planning your trip. 

 

Grand Canyon National Park

A two-to-four-hour drive from the Strip, Las Vegas (LAS) is your destination airport for all things Grand Canyon National Park

The length of your drive from Las Vegas will depend on what parts of the vast park you want to see. 

And while there are tiny, expensive airports closer to the Canyon itself, your best bet for a cheap flight (and rental car, for that matter) will always be LAS. 

 

Las Vegas flight deal

 

Luckily, we find cheap fares to Las Vegas (LAS) all the time, including this roundup of the best rates that included summer in the Grand Canyon area. 

 

Las Vegas flight deal

 

If you're so inclined, a night on the Strip at the beginning or end of your Canyoneering getaway might also make for a fun experience. 

 

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park – about three hours from Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) – is one of the national parks gushed over by the people lucky enough to have seen it.

It's a bucket list spot for anyone who loves the mountains. Due to its remote nature in the central California Sierras, it's not particularly easy to get to, but it's only a short road trip from RNO. 

 

Yosemite flight deal

 

Luckily, thanks to some bargain Southwest fares, cheap flights to Reno (RNO) on many airlines aren't hard to find for this summer. This selection of flights we sent a few weeks ago included tons of August availability from most cities. 

 

Yosemite flight deal

 

If you don't see Yosemite, your friends who have been will continue to bug you about it! 

Thrifty Tip: Yosemite National Park requires entry reservations on some dates in summer 2024, so be sure to plan ahead! 

 

Kenai Fjords, Denali, Katmai & More!

Alaska is home to 15 different national parks, and some are simply too remote to visit without taking a private plane or charter. But some of the best ones are still relatively accessible if you can snag a cheap flight to Anchorage (ANC) or Fairbanks (FAI) first. 

Near Anchorage (ANC), nearest the town of Seward, is Kenai Fjords National Park. It's easiest to see by boat, of which there are many that leave the Seward port for day tours every day. Denali National Park, closer to Fairbanks, is another monstrous (in a good way) park that has been alluring travelers and adventure-seekers for decades. Then there's Katmai National Park, which you probably know from Fat Bear Week or watching the bears eating salmon from the famous Brooks Falls on their live camera. 

Katmai requires a short flight from Anchorage (ANC) on Alaska Airlines (which you can snag for just 5,000 Alaska points each way), but the other two major parks are just a drive away from the airport. 

 

Alaska flight deal

 

Lately, cheap flights to Alaska have been back in a major way after years of high prices. Look at all of these summer nonstop flights that travelers in the continental U.S. can take advantage of! 

 

Alaska flight deal

 

Yellowstone & Glacier

Montana and Wyoming are home to two of the most stunning National Parks in the entire system (in our opinion), but the parks couldn't be more different. 

Yellowstone National Park is known for its intense and dramatic thermal activity, sulphuric falls, and acres and acres of roaming bison. Luckily, the park is less than two hours away from Bozeman Airport (BZN) and just a few seconds away from West Yellowstone (WYS), too. 

 

Yellowstone flight deal

 

But Bozeman and Yellowstone aren't Montana's only attractions. Further north, Glacier National Park is the crown of the continent. And you can fly to Great Falls (GTF) or Kalispell (FCA) to make that trip happen, too! 

 

Yellowstone flight deal

 

Great Falls (GTF) positions you about two hours from the east entrance of the enormous park and its famed Going-to-the-Sun Road. Kalispell (FCA) is closer to the west side of the park, which is home to more hotels and tourist infrastructure. Even Missoula (MSO) is just a short road trip away from the west side of the park if that's a cheaper option for you, too. 

If you have a trip to Glacier on the calendar, consider staying at Under Canvas-Glacier for an outstanding glamping experience. It's incredibly comfortable and safe, but still feels like you're at it alone in the Montana wilderness. 

Thrifty Tip: While you don't need reservations to enter Yellowstone National Park, you'll need reservations to enter certain parts of Glacier National Park, including timed reservations to drive the infamous Going-to-the-Sun Road. 

 

Olympic, Mt. Rainier, & North Cascades

Seattle – where the mountains meet the sea – is perfectly situated between three outstanding national parks: Olympic, Mt. Rainier, and North Cascades

Heads up! Parts of Mt. Rainier will require vehicle reservations for summer 2024. 

 

Seattle flight deal

 

All three of those parks are within two hours of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), as well, giving you quick, cheap flights on Alaska Airlines or Delta Air Lines from all of these cities the last time we checked a few days ago. 

 

Seattle flight deal

 

 

If you're looking to check more than one park off your list, Seattle (SEA) is probably your most convenient one-stop-shop. 

Thrifty Tip: Heads up! Parts of Mt. Rainier will require timed vehicle reservations to enter certain parts of the park in 2024.

 

Acadia National Park

On the Maine Coast is the rugged Acadia National Park. The park blends the big dramatic views you'll find in many national parks with the New England lighthouses and seaboard charm many associate with the East Coast. 

Acadia is less than three hours from Portland (PWM), which gives you a lovely drive up Highway 1 on the Maine coast to kickstart your journey (hope you like lobster!)

 

 

Acadia fligth deal

 

Portland, Maine (PWM) has also become a sneaky place to find quick, cheap flights, too. 

 

Portland maine flight deal

 

Don't skip a day or an afternoon in the adorable town of Bar Harbor, either. Eat lobster on a patio or try to walk across the Bar Island Land Bridge, but watch for those tides so you can return! The bridge dips under the sea every day. 

 

Saguaro National Park

The home of the perfect cactus, Saguaro National Park is a rocky desert oasis in the American Southwest. 

Saguaro is just minutes from Tucson (TUS), giving travelers a quick gateway airport to see what's called the “Icon of the Southwest.” 

 

Tucson Arizona

 

The nation's largest cacti can be found just outside of Tucson, meaning travelers can use some of these fares to plan their trip. 

 

Tucson Arizona flight deal

 

Summer probably isn't the best time to visit Tuscon as it can get stiflingly hot that time of year. Aim for October, or November instead if you want to see Saguaro National Park. 

 

Everglades

The subtropical wilderness of the Florida Everglades is less than an hour from Miami, and while you might not think of Florida as a national parks paradise, the Everglades might change your mind. 

Not to mention the nearby Biscayne National Park, too. 

 

 

Miami flight deal

 

Given South Florida's two major international airports (MIA and FLL) are nearby, grabbing a cheap, quick flight to these national parks couldn't be easier. 

 

Miami flight deal

 

Crater Lake National Park

Teddy Roosevelt saw Crater Lake and made it the first-ever U.S. National Park in 1904. Don't you want to see why? 

The dormant volcano is now popular for visitors looking for the incredibly blue waters of the alpine lake, and all you need is a flight to Oregon to get started. 

 

Oregon flight deal

 

Crater Lake is about four hours from Portland, but it's worth every second of the drive through the Willamette National Forest. 

 

Oregon flight deal info

 

Plus, Portland (PDX) is a convenient and cheap flight from many places, including cheap nonstop fares from all these U.S. cities. 

 

Voyageurs & Isle Royale

More than 325 million visits were counted at U.S. national parks and recreation areas last year, but the two parks closest to Minnesota were among the least visited in the system. And let me tell you, it's not because they're not spectacular. 

Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota is a watery wonderland for canoe enthusiasts. The popular overnight canoe camping wilderness is known for being extremely remote. (For travelers who want a little more comfort, houseboat rentals are also extremely popular!)

Isle Royale National Park, located on an island in the middle of Lake Superior, clocked just 28,965 visitors in 2023. It requires a ferry ride from the Minnesota town of Grand Portage, or Houghton, Michigan on the Upper Penninsula. The impossibly secluded backpackers paradise is one of the coolest places I've ever been. It's a 100% unplugged (zero cell service on the island) natural retreat away from modern life. It's the best national park experience in the entire system, in my opinion. 

Both parks can be accessed from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). MSP is about 4.5 hours from Voyageurs and five hours to get up to Grand Portage on the North Shore to take the ferry. 

 

Minneapolis flight deal info

 

As one of Delta's largest hub airports, MSP is a haven for cheap flights that can kickstart your adventure in the Northwoods. 

 

Minnesota flight deal info

 

Hawaii Volcanoes & Haleakala

You had me at Hawaii…

If you want a dreamy beach getaway, Hawaii's got you covered. But Hawaii is also home to two incredible national parks unlike any others in the NPS: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Haleakala National Park

Located on the Big Island, Hawaii Volcanoes is a few hours' drive from Kona (KOA) airport. It's closer to Hilo (ITO), but it's harder to find flights there from the mainland. It's worth every second of the drive to see lava flowing into the ocean and to experience driving through a hardened lava field or seeing an active eruption in person. 

Haleakala – in Maui – is known for its epic sunrise in the Summit District, which requires reservations and sees hundreds of people line up to watch what is supposed to be the best sunrise in the country. 

Heads up! Haleakala requires reservations for the sunrise. 

 

Hawaii flight deal info

 

Luckily, almost every airline flies to Hawaii, creating tons of competition and keeping airfare really cheap. 

 

Hawaii flight deal info

 

Fly to Hawaii and make it a 2-in-1 beach-and-national-park vacation of a lifetime! 

Thrifty Tip: You need reservations if you want to drive up to the summit of Haleakala for sunrise, but no reservations are required to drive up for the equally spectacular sunset (although you'll still have to pay the entrance fee either way). 

 

Bottom Line

Flights to our country's stunning national parks are as cheap as we've ever seen them for summer 2024, making this the perfect year to plan a trip. 

 

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