A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Aspen vs. Columbia River Gorge

Should you visit Aspen or Columbia River Gorge?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Aspen and Columbia River Gorge can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Aspen

Aspen is a famous, and notably expensive travel destination. The town is one of the country's most famous and recognizable ski destinations, and prices can climb high during the ski season. Although still expensive, you can often find better deals during the summer months or shoulder seasons. For visitors who want to enjoy the area's hiking, natural beauty, and charm, these are the times to visit.

Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge is a popular destination in the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. The region's close proximity to Portland, which is just 30 minutes away, makes it a popular weekend destination.

The gorge is formed by the Columbia River, with an 80 mile stretch designated as a National Scenic Area. The area has many beautiful cliffs with a number of tall waterfalls and its protected status means that most new development must occur within one of the already established towns.

Which city is cheaper, Columbia River Gorge or Aspen?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Aspen is $235, while the average daily cost in Columbia River Gorge is $143. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Aspen and Columbia River Gorge in more detail.




Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Aspen is $272. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

A hotel room in Columbia River Gorge is about $142 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Aspen $136
    Columbia River Gorge $71
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Aspen $272
    Columbia River Gorge $142


Food

The price of a meal in Aspen can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $68 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $27 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

The average traveler spends about $37 per day in Columbia River Gorge for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Aspen $68
    Columbia River Gorge $37


Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $45 per day to get around in Aspen.

The cost of a taxi ride in Columbia River Gorge is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $62 per person, per day, on local transportation in Columbia River Gorge.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Aspen $45
    Columbia River Gorge $62

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Aspen

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Aspen:

  • Private Departure Transfer to Aspen Airport (ASE): $36
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Aspen Airport (ASE): $36
  • Private Eagle County Regional Airport Transfer to Aspen: $400
  • Aspen hotel or address to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $796
  • Private Transfer: Aspen to Denver International Airport (DEN): $1,321


Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $36 per person, per day in Aspen. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Entertainment and activities in Columbia River Gorge typically cost an average of $16 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Aspen $36
    Columbia River Gorge $16

Tours and Activities in Aspen

Here are a few actual costs in Aspen for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Aspen's DarkSide Ghost Tour: $40
  • Aspen's Past to Present Historic Tour: $40
  • Glimpse of Aspen Tour: $40


Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Aspen may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $16 per day on alcoholic beverages.

The average person spends about $9.49 on alcoholic beverages in Columbia River Gorge per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Aspen $16
    Columbia River Gorge $9.49



When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Aspen and Columbia River Gorge, we can see that Aspen is more expensive. And not only is Columbia River Gorge much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Columbia River Gorge would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Columbia River Gorge and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Aspen would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Aspen than you might in Columbia River Gorge.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Aspen vs. Columbia River Gorge Travel Comparison

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