If you’ve been following along with my latest posts, I’m sure you’re daydreaming about your own Utah road trip. But how much will it set you back, you wonder? Let me break it down for you.
Before we begin, here’s a look at our itinerary again in case you missed it:
Friday, June 23 – Drive from Los Angeles to Park City
Saturday, June 24 – Park City, including Juniper Peak/Guardsman Pass Hike
Sunday, June 25 – Salt Lake City stop & Bonanza Campout
Sunday, July 2 – Drive back to LA
We fit a lot into our 10-day trip, covering the majority of Central and Southwestern Utah. With six people splitting everything, we kept costs relatively low, but even with less people, this is still a very affordable vacation. Here’s a look at how much we spent on our unforgettable 10-day road trip.
Gas ~ $366.79 total // $61 per person
For the amount of time we spent in the car, this seems like an extremely low cost per person. The trusty 2000 Ford only gobbled up $261 worth of gas for the entire 10-day trip. Factor in Parker and Libby’s car and our grand total came out under $400. You can use a tool like GasBuddy to get an idea of how much your own road trip would cost based on your vehicle information and itinerary.
Other Transportation ~ $60.27 total // $10 per person
Our weekend in Park City included a Lyft to Parker and Libby’s art show, as well as transportation to and from Bonanza. Luckily one of their local friends is in charge of driving Park City Hostel‘s 20-person van, so we got to arrive in style for much less than a surged rideshare would have been!
Entrance Fees & Entertainment
Bonanza Tickets & Spending ~ $108 per person
A Sunday pass to Bonanza was $77.77 per person, and I threw in an extra $30 for miscellaneous food and alcohol spending for each of us. Compared to other festivals, Bonanza was extremely fairly priced, and it was easy to avoid going on a drunken shopping spree with very limited stalls and vendors to tempt you. Roman did manage to walk away with a dope 18L Cotopaxi bag though.
Park Passes ~ $173 total // $29 per person
If you plan on hitting more than one park, the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is the way to go. For $80 per vehicle, you get access to all of the national parks and federal recreation sites. We got one for both of our cars, and spent an extra $13 on our entrance to Goblin Valley.
Snacks & Meals on the Road ~ $162
We did a pretty great job of cooking our meals back at the campsite most nights, but splurged on a few meals out and plenty of snacks in between.
Camp Groceries ~ $318.53 total // $53 per person
Costco really saved the day and made our food shopping incredibly cheap. For $53 per person, we had five days worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. We even wound up with extra food in the end (probably from opting to eat out). Not too shabby at all!
Camp Fees ~ $50 // $8 per person
We skipped a lot of camp fees by seeking out BLM land. The Bureau of Land Management has over 400 campgrounds for free dispersed camping, most of which are RV friendly. This is a great way to cut down on accommodation costs, and you get the added bonus of being more secluded.
Camping in Bryce National Park set us back $20 per night, while camping at Hunters Canyon was only $30 for two nights. Most camp fees don’t exceed $50 per night, even with a full RV hook-up. No hook-ups keep costs even lower.
Camp Supplies ~ $100 // $17 per person
Firewood and ice were items the main items we refreshed daily, and we probably could’ve come out cheaper in this category if we didn’t also include beer as one of our essential camp supplies.
We were extremely lucky that our friends are so outdoorsy and had most of the gear we needed to make the trip fun and comfortable, including an extra tent and sleeping pads for Roman and me to use.
Hiking Gear and Gu ~ $100.31
Rome and I initially planned to share his CamelBak, but we quickly realized that I needed to get my own. Cutting Death Valley out of our itinerary afforded us an extra day in Park City to stock up on gear, helping me feel so much more prepared. I picked up this awesome Dakine pack that made the trip so much more enjoyable: for both of us. Even though it’s typically used for mountain biking, I love how small and lightweight it is ~ perfect for hikes and other adventurous activities. And of course we had to stock up on gu to get us through the tougher treks.
The Cost of Being Forgetful ~ $73
I misplaced my camera battery charger before we left and forgot to stock up on high-quality socks, so I had a little shopping spree in Salt Lake City to get everything I needed. A friendly reminder to double-check your gear before you go!
A Sweet Little Splurge ~ $59.21
I couldn’t help myself when I saw the most gorgeous Selenite lamp at Zion Rock & Gem. This seemed like a small price to pay for something I’d love in my home forever. It’s said to increase mental clarity and inspire personal transformation.
Shared Costs ~ $1,492.20 total // $248.70 per person
Most of the items outlined here were split between six people, making this trip incredibly cost effective. After adding in all of my own costs, my grand total came out to be:
$680.52 total for the entire 10-day Utah road trip
Not too bad at all! Especially considering the souvenirs and memories I brought home. This was my first time really tracking my spending on a trip like this (awful, I know; PS, thank you Marjan!) and it was so helpful to see where I can improve in the future. Note to self: you don’t need to eat sour candies every single time you get in the car.
I hope you found this helpful! Let me know if you’d like to see more cost breakdowns in the future.
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