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

Should you visit Eugene or Columbia River Gorge?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Eugene 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, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Eugene or Columbia River Gorge?

Eugene

At the southern end of the Willamette Valley, Eugene is most recognized as the home of the University of Oregon. It's a smaller city with a liberal population that is generally concerned about environmental issues. A popular experience in Eugene is to go to the Saturday Market, which has been around since 1970 and is the oldest open air market in the United States.

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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Photography Tours in United States of America, The Best Camping Tours in United States of America, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in United States of America, and The Best Walking Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Columbia River Gorge or Eugene?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Eugene is $160, while the average daily cost in Columbia River Gorge is $179. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Eugene and Columbia River Gorge in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Eugene $97
    Columbia River Gorge $89
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Eugene $194
    Columbia River Gorge $178
Compare Hotels in Eugene and Columbia River Gorge

Looking for a hotel in Eugene or Columbia River Gorge? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Eugene


Hotels in Columbia River Gorge


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Eugene Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Eugene $37
    Columbia River Gorge $78

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

Prices for flights to both Columbia River Gorge and Eugene 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Eugene $41
    Columbia River Gorge $46
Typical Food Prices in Eugene

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Eugene:


  • Sam Bonds Food and Music (for 2)
    $16
  • Morning Glory Cafe Breakfast (for 2)
    $12

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Eugene -
    Columbia River Gorge $20

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Eugene -
    Columbia River Gorge $12


When comparing the travel costs between Eugene and Columbia River Gorge, we can see that Columbia River Gorge is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Eugene Expensive? and Is Columbia River Gorge Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Eugene or Columbia River Gorge?

Eugene has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Columbia River Gorge. When comparing the sizes of Eugene and Columbia River Gorge, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Eugene or Columbia River Gorge?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Eugene or Columbia River Gorge in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Eugene and Columbia River Gorge. Also, most visitors come to Columbia River Gorge for the hiking and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In July, Eugene is generally around the same temperature as Columbia River Gorge. Daily temperatures in Eugene average around 68°F (20°C), and Columbia River Gorge fluctuates around 68°F (20°C).

In July, Eugene usually receives less rain than Columbia River Gorge. Eugene gets 0.3 inches (8 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Eugene 68°F (20°C) 
    Columbia River Gorge 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Eugene or Columbia River Gorge in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Eugene as well as Columbia River Gorge. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Columbia River Gorge because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

Eugene is around the same temperature as Columbia River Gorge in the autumn. The daily temperature in Eugene averages around 55°F (13°C) in October, and Columbia River Gorge fluctuates around 55°F (13°C).

Eugene receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Eugene usually gets more rain in October than Columbia River Gorge. Eugene gets 4.3 inches (109 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Eugene 55°F (13°C) 
    Columbia River Gorge 55°F (13°C)

Should I visit Eugene or Columbia River Gorge in the Winter?

Both Columbia River Gorge and Eugene are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Columbia River Gorge this time of year.

It's quite cold in Columbia River Gorge in the winter. In the winter, Eugene is a little warmer than Columbia River Gorge. Typically, the winter temperatures in Eugene in January average around 41°F (5°C), and Columbia River Gorge averages at about 40°F (4°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Columbia River Gorge. It's quite rainy in Eugene. In January, Eugene usually receives more rain than Columbia River Gorge. Eugene gets 7.1 inches (181 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 5.2 inches (132 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Eugene 41°F (5°C) 
    Columbia River Gorge 40°F (4°C)

Should I visit Eugene or Columbia River Gorge in the Spring?

Both Columbia River Gorge and Eugene during the spring are popular places to visit. Furthermore, many travelers come to Columbia River Gorge for the natural beauty.

In April, Eugene is generally around the same temperature as Columbia River Gorge. Daily temperatures in Eugene average around 51°F (11°C), and Columbia River Gorge fluctuates around 51°F (11°C).

Eugene usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Columbia River Gorge. Eugene gets 2.2 inches (57 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 2.4 inches (61 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Eugene 51°F (11°C) 
    Columbia River Gorge 51°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Columbia River Gorge and Eugene

Eugene Columbia River Gorge
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 41°F (5°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm) 40°F (4°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Feb 45°F (7°C) 5.2 inches (133 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Mar 48°F (9°C) 4.6 inches (118 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Apr 51°F (11°C) 2.2 inches (57 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
May 56°F (13°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2 inches (51 mm)
Jun 63°F (17°C) 1.3 inches (34 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Jul 68°F (20°C) 0.3 inches (8 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Aug 68°F (20°C) 0.4 inches (11 mm) 69°F (20°C) 1 inches (25 mm)
Sep 63°F (17°C) 1.1 inches (28 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm)
Oct 55°F (13°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm) 55°F (13°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Nov 47°F (8°C) 5.9 inches (149 mm) 46°F (8°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm)
Dec 42°F (5°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm) 40°F (5°C) 6.1 inches (156 mm)