Regardless of the time of day you decide to fly, the ticket price will remain around the same. Book flights from Utah to Merced as you normally would.
For a flight from Utah to Merced, you will be flying into Merced Municipal. Merced Municipal (MCE) is just 2.1 mi from the center of the city.
On average you can expect to pay $316 for a flight from Utah to Merced. The cheapest flight overall is $316 while the most popular route, (Moab Canyonlands Field - Merced Municipal) is currently priced at $600.