US dollar ($)
Budget: Less than $100
- Tent or RV camping: $15–40
- Self-catering, cafe meals: $15–25
- Gas and entrance fees: $15–25
- Economy car rental: $30
- Mom-and-pop hotels, budget chains: $50–150
- Diners, local restaurants: $25–50
- Gas, entrance fees: $15–30
- Half-day hard-tail mountain bike rental: $25
- Standard car rental: $45
Top End: More than $250
- Upscale hotels, B&Bs: from $150
- Upscale restaurants: $50–75
- Gas, entrance fees: $15–30
- Full-day full-suspension mountain bike rental: $75
- Guided horseback trail ride: $65–90
- SUV rental: $60
Gentle haggling is generally reserved for flea markets; otherwise, expect to pay the stated price.
There are ATMs in Springdale and Zion Lodge (Zion); Panguitch; Bryce Canyon City (Bryce Canyon); Torrey (Capitol Reef); and Moab (Arches). It's always good to have some cash on hand for state park and camping fees.
ATMs are available 24 hours, seven days at many banks, shopping malls, gas stations and grocery and convenience stores. You may also find them at park bookstores, concessionaire shops and lodges. Expect a surcharge of at least $2 per transaction, on top of any fees applied by your home banking institution. Most ATMs are connected to international networks and offer fairly good exchange rates. Avoid ATMs inside Las Vegas casinos, which tack on exorbitant surcharges and fees of $5 or more per transaction.
Credit cards are almost universally accepted. In fact, you’ll find it next to impossible to rent a car, book a hotel room or order tickets over the phone without one. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are most common.
Most ATMs will dispense cash if you use your credit card, but that can be expensive because, in addition to steep service fees, you’ll be charged interest immediately. Ask your credit-card company for details and a four-digit PIN number.
If you’re arriving from abroad, exchange money at the airport or in the nearest city; for example, at a major bank or currency-exchange office such as American Express. In smaller park gateway towns, exchanging money may be impossible. There are currently no currency-exchange services inside the parks, so make sure you have plenty of US cash and a credit card.
Tipping is not optional. Only withhold tips in cases of outrageously bad service.
Airport & hotel porters Per bag $2, minimum per cart $5.
Bartenders Per round 10% to 15%.
Guides Not required, but recommended. A good start is $20 per day.
Hotel maids Per night $2 to $5.
Restaurant servers Tip 15% to 20%, unless a gratuity is already charged.
Taxi drivers Tip 10% to 15%.
Traveler’s checks have pretty much fallen out of use. National park concessionaire businesses (eg lodges, restaurants, shops) will often accept traveler’s checks (in US dollars only), but smaller businesses, markets and fast-food chains outside the parks may refuse them.
For current exchange rates see www.xe.com.