If you have been planning a trip to Grand Teton or Yellowstone but not sure what to budget, you’ve come to the right place. I’m outlining EXACTLY how much a week in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park will cost.
Travel is amazing. Fun. Adventurous. Glamorous. But travel can also be expensive…. Right?! I love seeing how much trips ACTUALLY cost so I know how much to budget! I enjoy trips much more if I’m prepared to pay for it. After my last “How Much Did It Cost Post,” y’all asked for another post. And here we are!
I’m back with the second installment in this series. I’m letting you know how much a week in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park costs. You’re spending all your time outdoors and so far, fresh air is still free so how much could a Yellowstone National Park trip cost?!? Spoiler alert: a lot.
As always, I’m sharing the absolute nitty gritty true details and numbers with ya. Because what else is blogging for if not plastering my personal life all over the internet?! I kid, I kid. Kinda.
Let’s jump in!
Table of Contents
ABOUT OUR TRIP
In September 2020, we traveled to both Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park for 7 days. We flew there, used a rental car to get around, and stayed in traditional hotels and Airbnbs.
If you’re not familiar with what and where Yellowstone and Grand Teton are, I encourage you to check out these posts I wrote after our trip:
There are a couple notes I want to make before I dive into the nitty gritty numbers, though.
- We went on this trip during the height of COVID-19. This affected prices greatly–in a positive and negative way.
- I booked this trip pretty last minute. Like, maybe 4-6 weeks before. So our lodging was probably much more expensive because we basically just had to book whatever had availability.
- We selected a mix of budget and luxury. The total trip cost could be changed in either direction if we had done all budget or all luxury.
- This total cost is for 2 people.
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Airfare is a tough one to display because it varies SO much. Time of year, starting location, and politics can make flight prices drastically different. As I mentioned above, we chose to go on this trip in the middle of a global pandemic so I think our flights were much cheaper than they would be on a “normal” day.
We flew American Airlines from Raleigh/Durham International to Salt Lake City. I can’t find the actual cost anywhere in my records so this is a number straight from memory–but I think we spent about $900 on round trip flights. We also paid to check a bag (never again) so our total cost was about $1,004.27.
Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park are both located in approximately the middle of nowhere. You either have to be with a tour group or you NEED a rental car if you’re flying in. I’m honestly not sure how the pandemic affected rental car prices but y’all…. Renting a car ain’t for the faint of heart!
For one week (Sunday to Saturday), our rental car cost $692. We got super lucky and they were out of basic sedans so we got upgraded to a super fun Rav4. In hindsight, an SUV was perfect for the dirt roads and parking lots, and throwing our hiking boots in at the end of a long day. So if we had to actually PAY for an SUV, this cost could easily creep up to close to $1,000.
The Toyota Rav4 was amazing on gas. We spent way less than I expected! And we drove A TON. It’s several hundred miles from Salt Lake City to Grand Teton/Yellowstone, and we drove probably almost 100 miles a day in the parks themselves because everything is so spread out.
Even given all that driving, our gas bill was about $192. During this time, that’s probably 6 full tanks. So all in all, gas is a pretty low expense in the grand scheme of the Grand Teton/Yellowstone National Park cost.
Lodging around Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks can be a bit tricky. Both parks are SO large, you really could stay in 3 different places to cut down on driving each day. It’s also (obviously) a very remote area, so lodging options are limited. If you’re curious about options, be sure to check out the full posts I wrote on a trip to Yellowstone and to Grand Teton.
We were only on our trip for a week, but we stayed in FOUR different places. We stayed in hotels in Salt Lake on our first and last nights of the trip, totally about $240 total. In Jackson Hole, we splurged a bit and stayed at a really nice mountain lodge! One night was about $250… a bit more than we would normally pay. But it was SO close to the park and really lovely. In Yellowstone, we stayed in an Airbnb for the remaining 4 nights and this ran us almost $600!
Again, we booked this trip last minute so I think our accommodations could have been cheaper if I had more time to plan several months in advance. For one week, our lodging and accommodations total cost came to $1,198.59.
I think for a week of travel, we ended up doing okay in the food department! As always, we tried to limit food costs by stopping at the grocery store in Salt Lake City. We stocked up on bread, peanut butter, snack bars, apples, and pasta for easy dinners. Honestly, after long days of hiking and exploring we had 0 desire to go out to a restaurant, anyway. We ate out a few times when we had shorter days or were in Salt Lake City. Otherwise, we kept it pretty simple.
We even brought a giant bowl of pasta and sauce to sit in the back of our SUV and look for wildlife, haha!
For 7 days, our grand total on food was $435.93.
I always say to make sure to add souvenirs to your budget because you don’t want to leave anyone out! This includes things for yourself and friends/family if you decide to bless them with a gift 😉
This category surprised me… I didn’t think we spent this much on souvenirs! National Parks do tend to inflate their prices a bit for the convenience of buying it there and for conservation efforts as well.
We bought gifts from a mix of local stores in the towns near the parks and at the park gift shops.
Our grand total for souvenirs was $300.27.
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The miscellaneous category includes anything we bought that I couldn’t figure out how to stick into one of the other categories. Most likely… I saw it on our credit card statement and had no idea what it was for! This includes park fees and random gas station stops.
You do have to pay an entry fee to get into both Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. The entrance fee for each is $35.00. If you are planning to go to more than two parks in a year though, I recommend the America the Beautiful pass for $80. It will allow you to get into any national park or monument without paying the individual entry fee.
The total cost for miscellaneous purchase was $133.51.
The cost of a yellowstone and grand teton road trip
For one week driving through Grand Teton and Yellowstone, we spent $3,926.81!
Wowza. That’s a large number. A good portion of this is airfare and transportation. A rental car is a bit non-negotiable, but if you have special status with any car services and/or can catch a great deal on airfare, the trip itself really isn’t that expensive.
Because of the remote location of both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, you end up paying for convenience. Overall, the price is SO worth it and there are a myriad of ways to make your trip more affordable. These are just our personal numbers. I’m always happy to chat if you have any questions about budgeting or planning for your trip!
Is this more or less than you thought it would cost to visit Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton?