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

Should you visit Denver or Columbia River Gorge?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Denver or Columbia River Gorge, 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.

Denver

The capital of Colorado, Denver is commonly referred to as "The Mile-High City" because it is at an elevation of 5,280 feet (1,600 meters) above sea level. It also sits where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, giving a beautiful backdrop for this metropolitan city. The city is the largest in the Rocky Mountains with a population of more than 600,000 and nearly 3 million in the metropolitan area. Denver is a cosmopolitan city with cowboy roots. It's cultural scene is thriving, and the outdoor recreation in the area is superb. Denver is a rapidly growing city but with change comes challenges. Urban sprawl is a problem and the city's infrastructure has reached its limits. Still, efforts are in place to maintain the character and personality that Denver is known for.

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 Denver?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Denver is $174, 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 Denver and Columbia River Gorge in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Denver is about $138 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

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


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Denver $69
    Columbia River Gorge $71
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Denver $138
    Columbia River Gorge $142

Food

The price of a meal in Denver can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $34 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $14 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
    Denver $34
    Columbia River Gorge $37
Typical Food prices in Denver

Some typical examples of dining costs in Denver are as follows:


  • Sushi Dinner (for 2)
    $61

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Denver

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Denver.

  • Small-Group Food Tour in Denver: $69
  • Haunted Denver Walking Food Tour: $73
  • The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show - Denver: $77
  • Walking Food Tour - Best of Union Station & LoDo: $79
  • Denver Cooking Classes-Local, seasonal, and hands on menus: $97

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Denver is $81 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Denver $81
    Columbia River Gorge $62

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Denver

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Denver:

  • Private Departure Transfer to Denver Airport (DEN): $46
  • Private Arrival Transfer - from Denver Airport (DEN): $46
  • Private Departure Transfer from Denver City to DEN Denver Airport: $54
  • Private Arrival Transfer from DEN Denver Airport to Denver City: $58
  • Denver Airport (DEN) to Denver hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $68
  • Denver hotel or address to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $68
  • Transfer in Private Car from Denver International Airport (DEN) to Downtown: $72
  • Transfer in Private Car from Denver Downtown to International Airport (DEN): $72
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Denver to Denver International Airport (DEN): $81
  • Private Airport Transfer: Denver International Airport (DEN) to Denver: $81
  • Transfer in private minivan from Denver Downtown to International Airport (DEN): $86
  • Transfer in private minivan from Denver International Airport(DEN) to Downtown: $86

Is it cheaper to fly into Denver or Columbia River Gorge?

Prices for flights to both Columbia River Gorge and Denver 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

Denver's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $42 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

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.
    Denver $42
    Columbia River Gorge $16

Tours and Activities in Denver

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Denver are as follows:

  • Spokes and Scoops: Explore Denver's top ice cream spots on an audio bicycle tour: $5.20
  • Denver Ghost Hunt: Mile High Ghost Tour: $12
  • Virtual Reality Experiences for Everyone: $21
  • Denver Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Haunted Walking Ghost Tour: $21
  • Twilight Ghost Tour: $22
  • Best of Denver Tour: $22
  • Capitol Hill History & Ghost Tour: $22
  • Denver Ghost Tour: $23
  • 1.5 Hour LoDo Walking Tour in Denver: $25
  • Customized Guided Tour: $30
  • Moscow Mule Experience: $32

Alcohol

The average person spends about $4.25 on alcoholic beverages in Denver per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

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
    Denver $4.25
    Columbia River Gorge $9.49

Sample the Local Flavors in Denver

Also in Denver, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Haunted Denver Ghost and Pub Walking Tour in Lower Downtown: $26
  • Haunted Denver Ghost and Pub Walking Tour - South Broadway (SoBo): $27
  • 3-Hour Brewery Walking Tour: $49
  • Craft Distillery Bus Tour: $71


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

Budget Your Trip

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Denver vs. Columbia River Gorge Travel Comparison

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