Should you visit Durango or Rapid City?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Durango and Rapid City. 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.
Rapid City is a large city in western South Dakota that is considered the gateway to the Black Hills National Forest. Rapid City is often used as a base for all types of outdoor activities, including tours to the infamous Mount Rushmore and surrounding parks. The city has a budding art scene and offers the perfect combination of a metropolitan city surrounded by stunning natural scenery. Rapid City experiences the best weather from June-September with temperatures in the 70's and 80's Fahrenheit. Temperatures drop to the low 20's F in the winter and the area receives the most rain pour in April and May.
Which city is cheaper, Rapid City 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 Rapid City is $93. 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 Rapid City 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.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $96 in Rapid City For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
In Rapid City travelers spend around $19 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
Meals for one day
Rapid City $19
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.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Rapid City than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $42 on transportation in Rapid City on average per day.
Is it cheaper to fly into Durango or Rapid City?
Prices for flights to both Rapid City 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.
Sightseeing expenses in Rapid City, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $21 per day, per person.
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:
12-Zipline Adventure in the San Juan Mountains near Durango:
Fun Tour by Tuk Tuk around Durango Old Town, Garai and Goiuria:
Private Full-Day Fishing Experience in San Juan River:
Private Guided Tour by Tuk Tuk of Durango and Elorrio:
Private Guided Tour by tuk tuk of Durango and Atxondo:
Private Tour in Durango and Mendiola by Tuk Tuk:
Province of Vizcaya Half-Day Private Guided Tuk Tuk Tour:
Tours and Activities in Rapid City
For Rapid City, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Badlands National Park Private Tour:
Bike Adventure on the Mickelson Trail - Private:
Black Hills: Private Tour of Mt. Rushmore & Flume Trail Hike:
Bus Tour of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills:
Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Bus Tour with Live Commentary:
Private Badlands National Park Day Tour:
Private Jeep Safari and Hiking Tour/ Two Person Minimum:
Private Mickelson Trail Bicycling Tour/ Two Person Minimum:
Private Mt Rushmore & Southern Black Hills Tour:
Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Full-Day Tour:
Private Black Hills Monuments Full-Day Tour:
Southern Black Hills Bicycle Tour - Private:
Typically, people visiting Durango spend on average $24 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typically, people visiting Rapid City spend on average $5.54 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Durango and Rapid City, we can see that Durango is more expensive. And not only is Rapid City much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Rapid City would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Rapid City 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 Durango would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Durango than you might in Rapid City.
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