The Great Outdoors Await: Flight Prices to National Parks are Dropping

The Great Outdoors Await: Flight Prices to National Parks are Dropping

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While the spread of coronavirus has flipped international travel upside down, we’ve turned to the spectacular destinations right in our backyard. Okay, further than our backyard – but the appeal of our country’s national parks, lands, and waters is stronger than ever.

You’re in luck: You can get there for cheaper than ever. As airlines try to drum up ticket sales for flights across the U.S., we’ve found flights to take you to some of the most stunning (and remote) U.S. National Parks at unbelievably cheap rates under $200 round-trip – and sometimes under $100!

While traveling isn’t top of mind for many, there’s never been a more flexible time to plan a future trip. Almost all major airlines are offering free changes and cancellations for any flight booked this month. And because we find flight deals up to 11 months out, that means you can book a great deal now for a trip this summer, winter, or even next summer, then change or cancel (for a voucher) as the situation unfolds.

Take a look at some of the craziest domestic flight deals we found in just the last month. Many of these deals have already disappeared, but don’t miss out on the next cheap fare we find. Try Thrifty Traveler Premium free for 14 days (and then just $45 per year) to get in on this flight deal madness.


Watch our tips on how to be smart and safe when booking future travel amid this uncertainty.


1. Cross Utah’s Majestic Parks Off Your Bucket List for Cheap

Don’t let your dreams stay dreams! If you’ve got Zion, Arches, and Utah’s other National Parks on your wishlist, now’s the time to plan a future trip.

The Utah Mighty Five is one of our favorite road trips in the country, bringing you through some of the best national parks in the country. These awesome national parks are close together in parts of Utah, Arizona, and Nevada and can be easily accessed from a few different airports. We’ve been finding cheap flights to multiple starting points available through summer 2021 and alerting our Thrifty Traveler Premium members to these rock-bottom fares.

If Zion National Park is at the top of your list (and it should be), you can snag a cheap flight to St. George, Utah. St. George Regional Airport (SGU) is the closest airport to the famed park, just a 45-minute drive away to the entrance of Zion National Park. This past month, we found fares under $200 roundtrip from over 40 U.S. cities to this Zion gateway:


You can also start your trip through Utah’s parks in Las Vegas. Fly into Las Vegas (LAS), rent a cheap car, spend a night or two in Vegas, then head out on a road trip to multiple national parks. Here’s how to do it.

Want to visit several national parks for free? If you’ve got a fourth grader in the family, you can get a free National Parks pass! 

Earlier this month, we found jaw-dropping low fares to Vegas from over 50 U.S. cities, with flights available from many cities under $100 nonstop and roundtrip. These were just a few of the cheap nonstop options to Las Vegas we sent to Premium members:

  • Chicago (ORD) – $103
  • Dallas (DFW) – $50
  • Long Beach (LGB) – $89
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – $50
  • Miami (MIA) – $96
  • Minneapolis (MSP) – $76
  • Newark (EWR) – $96
  • Philadelphia (PHL) – $85
  • Phoenix (PHX) – $76
  • Salt Lake City (SLC) –  $76
  • San Francisco (SFO) – $76


2. Head for the Grand Canyon

Never seen the Grand Canyon in person? It’s time to change that.

You can make it part of your National Parks road trip, or just head straight to Grand Canyon Village. The Flagstaff (FLG) airport in Grand Canyon Village is just an eight-minute drive to the Grand Canyon entrance!

We found fares from over 20 cities to the Grand Canyon Village under $200 roundtrip. The best part? This deal was available for dates through June 2021!

grand canyon

3. Visit Magical Crater Lake from $98 Roundtrip

You need to see Crater Lake National Park to believe it. And now’s the time to check this stunning place out!

Nestled in southern Oregon near Klamath Falls, this national park is an absolute must-see.

Cheap flights to the nearest airport, Medford Airport (MFR) in Oregon, don’t come around often. But this month, we found flights as low as $98 roundtrip through June 2021!


As you begin planning your national park adventures, make sure you know which national parks are opening, and any coronavirus-related restrictions they have in place. Check the park’s site for everything you need to know.


3. Head to the Great Smoky Mountains for $50 … We’re Not Kidding

Daydreaming of the mountains? It may be easier – and cheaper – than you think to visit the Great Smoky Mountains.

We recently discovered cheap flights to Knoxville, Tennessee (TYS). It’s less than an hour’s drive from Knoxville to Great Smoky Mountain National Park!


This deal to Knoxville, the Great Smoky Mountain gateway, was sent to Premium members recently. And it was a nationwide deal available from over 100 U.S. departure airports, including smaller regional airports! Here are just a few of the fares that were available:

  • Akron (CAK) – $156
  • Bangor (BGR) – $173
  • Bemidji (BJI) – $181
  • Billings (BIL) – $181
  • Bismarck (BIS) – $181
  • Cedar Rapids (CID) – $174
  • Columbia (CAE) – $154
  • Des Moines (DSM) – $174
  • Dubuque (DBQ) – $197
  • Fargo (FAR) – $181
  • Grand Rapids (GRR) – $154
  • Green Bay (GRB) – $177
  • Hartford (BDL) – $177
  • Omaha (OMA) – $177
  • Peoria (PIA) – $154
  • Rapid City (RAP) – $178
  • Rochester (RST) – $177
  • Santa Fe (SAF) – $176
  • Sioux Falls (FSD) – $181
  • South Bend (SBN) – $154
  • St. Louis (STL) – $154
  • Wichita (ICT) – $177
  • Wilmington (ILM) – $154

If you don’t think we find flight deals from your hometown, check this list and see if we do! If you don’t see your airport on the list, comment below and we’ll add it.

4. Get to Yellowstone & Grand Teton for Under $200

The hardest part of your visit to national parks like Yellowstone and Grand Teton should be the hikes, not cheap flights. That’s where we come in.

When it comes to visiting the beautiful lands of Wyoming and Montana, you’ve got a few options. Book a cheap flight into Jackson Hole, Wyoming (JAC) in Teton County and drive just eight minutes to Grant Teton National Park. Cross Yellowstone off your bucket list while you’re there – it’s just an hour-long drive away.

We found flights from 35+ U.S. airports to this awesome national park gateway for under $186 roundtrip. Fares this low to Wyoming are rare, and are typically more than $400!

jackson hole 

Or fly into Bozeman, Montana (BZN) and be next to Big Sky – just a 90-minute drive to Yellowstone. Both airports are great options for adventurers looking to explore the West!

Flights to Bozeman can regularly cost $500 or more. We were so excited about cheap fares to Bozeman this past month, with several nonstop routes available for half the price through May 2021:


Maybe you’ve got another Montana national park on your mind: Glacier National Park. While much of this majestic park remains closed, you can visit today – or plan a trip for the future. You’ll want to fly into Kalispell Airport (FCA), which is just a 30-minute drive to Glacier! We recently alerted Premium members to half-price fares to this stunning park.


5. … And Other Getaways!

Though we’ve been exceptionally excited about these domestic getaways to national park hubs, we’ve been finding half-off fares to other domestic and international destinations through summer 2021 already! Here’s a look at just a few of our favorite Premium deals over the past month:
  • 70+ cities to Savannah, Georgia: ALL under $198 (Was: $550)
  • 60+ cities to Napa Valley, California under $200 (Was: $450)
  • Minneapolis to Honolulu, Hawaii for $267 (Was: $800)
  • 80+ cities to Coeur d’Alene under $197 (Was: $450)
  • Delta SkyMiles Sale to Zagreb, Croatia for 50k R/T (Was: 70k+ SkyMiles)
  • 70+ cities to Hilton Head Island, SC: Under $200 (Was: $450)
  • 25+ cities to Canada from $162 (Xmas/NYE – Was: $450)
  • 50+ cities to San Diego, California: ALL under $200 (Was: $450)
  • Nationwide to Anchorage, Alaska: ALL under $298 (Was: $475)
  • 5 cities to Bangkok, Thailand from $626 (#1 airline – Was: $1200)
  • Nationwide to the Bahamas: ALL under $373 (Was: $750)


Bottom Line

Need some cheap flights to fuel your travel daydreaming for as far out as summer 2021? Don’t miss out on the deals we’re finding right now from your home airport. Remember: Every deal we send to Premium members can be changed or canceled (for a voucher) for free. You’ll find all the information you need to safely plan a trip linked in every Premium flight deal.

If you’re not ready to give up on travel later in 2020 or even 2021 … and you want to do it for cheap, sign up for Thrifty Traveler Premium and get instantly alerted to the cheapest domestic and international fares you can find.


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