The average family of four will spend between $4,100 and $5,100 on a vacation. But if you plan to visit theme parks, want to stay in an all-inclusive resort, or visit an expensive tourist destination, it’s easy for costs to balloon to several times that amount.
Planning a visit to a national park, state park, or other outdoor destination can be a great way to save money on your next vacation. National parks like Capitol Reef are full of free and low-cost activities for families to enjoy, from scenic drives to hiking trails to free events and activities available at the visitor center.
You can even save money during your visit by packing lunches to enjoy as a picnic in the park or by cooking affordable Capitol Reef National Park hotels like The Chuckwagon Lodge.
If your family is planning a visit to Capitol Reef National Park in 2023, saving money on things like park entrance fees and lodging may allow you to extend your stay or enjoy a fun activity like a guided tour. Keep reading to learn three ways you can save during your stay at Capitol Reef National Park hotels.
Save With Free Entrance Days
Of the more than 400 national park sites in the U.S., around a quarter charge an entrance fee. This fee helps to offset the cost of maintenance and upkeep at popular national parks across the country and helps support programs put on by the National Park Service. All five of the Utah Mighty 5 charge an entrance fee, including Capitol Reef National Park.
The regular cost to enter Capitol Reef is $20 for a private vehicle, including occupants, or $10 for an individual entering on a bicycle or on foot. This fee is good for seven consecutive days.
But if you want to save a little money, you can plan your visit around one of the five annual Free Entrance Days. On these days, the National Park Service waives entrance fees for all national parks. The first Free Entrance Day of 2023 already passed on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 16. But you can still visit on the following four days free of charge:
- April 22: First day of National Park Week
- August 4: Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
- September 23: National Public Lands Day
- November 11: Veterans Day
Keep in mind that while a regular entrance fee will allow access for seven consecutive days, you only get in for free on the days above. So if you plan to visit the park for more than one day of your trip, you’ll still have to pay that entrance fee—unless you use our next money-saving tip.
Save With a National Park Annual Pass
Another way to save on your stay at Capitol Reef National Park hotels is with an annual pass from the National Park Service. Called the America the Beautiful Pass, this pass provides access to all national park sites for one year for one set price.
For most visitors, the America the Beautiful Pass is $85 for one year. Each pass allows for two cardholders. You can use the pass to get entry into national parks for the cardholder and any occupants in their vehicle. So for just $85, your entire family could visit dozens of national parks and national park sites throughout the year without having to pay an entrance fee.
Certain individuals, like active duty U.S. military members or those with a permanent disability, may be able to get an annual pass for free or at a discount.
Save on Your Stay at Capitol Reef National Park Hotels
The above tips can help you save when entering the park. But this next tip can help you save directly on your stay in Capitol Reef National Park hotels.
Right now, when you book a stay at The Chuckwagon Lodge for three or more nights, you’ll save 25 percent on your booking. That means more money to spend on extending your trip, enjoying a few tasty meals at The Chuckwagon Deli, or for treating your family to an incredible Jeep tour of Cathedral Valley.
Planning Your 2023 Visit to Capitol Reef
From visiting on a Free Entrance Day to taking advantage of discounted rates for Capitol Reef National Park hotels, these are just a few of the ways that your family can save money on your Southern Utah vacation.
Besides offering an affordable stay for families, couples, and solo travelers, there are plenty of other reasons to choose The Chuckwagon Lodge. Our spacious, comfortable rooms are perfect for helping your family get the rest you need before a day of exploring. We offer several room types to fit your family’s unique needs. Located in the heart of Torrey, you’ll enjoy easy access to Capital Reef, as well as a variety of restaurants, shops, and more.
If your family is planning a visit to Capitol Reef in 2023, book your stay at The Chuckwagon today!