Should you visit Durango or Columbia River Gorge?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Durango and Columbia River Gorge. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.
Located in the State of Colorado, in the Rocky Mountains, Durango is on the tourist maps because of its historic narrow gauge railroad that connects the city to the town of Silverton. Durango has a population of just over 16,000 and it is only a short distance from the "four corners" area where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado all meet. The landscape surrounding Durango is quite impressive and includes the Animas River Valley, the San Juan Mountains, and some beautiful red sandstone bluffs.
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 Durango?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Durango is $123, 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 Durango and Columbia River Gorge in more detail.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Durango, $126 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Durango, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $63, such as in a hostel.
A hotel room in Columbia River Gorge is about $142 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
Hotel or hostel for one person
Columbia River Gorge $71
Typical double-occupancy room
Columbia River Gorge
The average traveler spends about $40 per day in Durango 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 $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.
Meals for one day
Columbia River Gorge $37
To get around in Durango, the average visitor spends $22 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
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.
Is it cheaper to fly into Durango or Columbia River Gorge?
Prices for flights to both Columbia River Gorge and Durango 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.
In Durango, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $37 per person, per day.
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.
Typical Entertainment prices in Durango
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Durango's activities, tours, and tickets:
Hot Springs (for 2)
Tubing (for 2)
Tours and Activities in Durango
For Durango, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Private Guided Tour by tuk tuk of Durango and Atxondo:
Private Tour in Durango and Mendiola by Tuk Tuk:
Fun Tour by Tuk Tuk around Durango Old Town, Garai and Goiuria:
Private Guided Tour by Tuk Tuk of Durango and Elorrio:
12-Zipline Adventure in the San Juan Mountains near Durango:
Province of Vizcaya Half-Day Private Guided Tuk Tuk Tour:
Private Full-Day Fishing Experience in San Juan River:
Typically, people visiting Durango spend on average $24 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
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.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Durango and Columbia River Gorge, we can see that Columbia River Gorge is more expensive. And not only is Durango much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Durango would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Durango 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 Columbia River Gorge would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Columbia River Gorge than you might in Durango.
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