A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Columbia River Gorge vs. Salt Lake City for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Columbia River Gorge or Salt Lake City?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Columbia River Gorge or Salt Lake City, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

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.

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is the capital city of Utah and one of the largest cities in the southwest region of the US. Salt Lake sits on the border between the Rocky Mountains and Great Basin regions, making it the perfect place for outdoor activities. The city's natural beauty and resources even became the focal point for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Salt Lake experiences all four seasons, with the most popular times to visit being summer and winter. Summer, June-August, sees little rain and temperatures in the high 80's Fahrenheit. Winter, December-March, has temperatures in the 30's Fahrenheit and gets the perfect amount of snow for winter sports.

Which city is cheaper, Salt Lake City or Columbia River Gorge?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Columbia River Gorge is $143, while the average daily cost in Salt Lake City is $197. 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 Columbia River Gorge and Salt Lake City in more detail.



Accommodation

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

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $190 in Salt Lake City For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Columbia River Gorge $71
    Salt Lake City $95
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Columbia River Gorge $142
    Salt Lake City $190

Food

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.

The average traveler spends about $40 per day in Salt Lake City 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
    Columbia River Gorge $37
    Salt Lake City $40

Local Transportation

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.

Salt Lake City's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $36 per person, per day on transportation in Salt Lake City.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Columbia River Gorge $62
    Salt Lake City $36

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salt Lake City

Also for Salt Lake City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Salt Lake City Airport SLC: $36
  • Private Departure Transfer to Salt Lake City Airport SLC: $36
  • Salt Lake City International Airport One Way Transfer: $48
  • Transfer from Salt Lake City Airport to Salt Lake City: $62
  • Departure Private Transfer City to Salt Lake City Airport SLC by Sedan or SUV: $68
  • Arrival Private Transfer Salt Lake City Airport SLC to City by Sedan or SUV: $76
  • Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Salt Lake City - Arrival Private Transfer: $77
  • Salt Lake City to Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) - Departure Private Transfer: $77
  • Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Salt Lake City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $154
  • Private Transfer: Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) to Park City: $199

Is it cheaper to fly into Columbia River Gorge or Salt Lake City?

Prices for flights to both Salt Lake City and Columbia River Gorge change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

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.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Salt Lake City can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $22 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Columbia River Gorge $16
    Salt Lake City $22

Tours and Activities in Salt Lake City

For Salt Lake City, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Sale Lake City Haunted Old Town Tour: $20
  • Salty Queen Adventures: Spanish Fork Festival of Lights in Utah: $25
  • Guided Tour of Great Salt Lake from Salt Lake City: $39
  • Salt Lake City Guided Bus Tour: $49
  • Salt Lake City Big City Loop Bike Tour: $120
  • Best of Salt Lake City Sightseeing Tour: $125
  • Salt Lake City Bike and Brew Tour: $138
  • Salt Lake City Sunset Bike and Brothel Tour: $139
  • Best of Salt Lake City Including Great Salt Lake Sightseeing Tour: $192
  • Cottonwood Canyons Backcountry Ski Tour: $200
  • Private Sightseeing Tour of Salt Lake City: $260
  • Wasatch Backcountry Skiing with Lift Ticket: $275

Alcohol

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.

Typically, people visiting Salt Lake City spend on average $14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Columbia River Gorge $9.49
    Salt Lake City $14

Sample the Local Flavors in Salt Lake City

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Salt Lake City:

  • Salt Lake City Bar Hunt: Salt Lake City Bar Crawl: $12


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Columbia River Gorge and Salt Lake City, we can see that Salt Lake City 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 Salt Lake City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Salt Lake City than you might in Columbia River Gorge.

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Columbia River Gorge vs. Salt Lake City Travel Comparison

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