Should you visit Flagstaff or Columbia River Gorge?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Flagstaff and Columbia River Gorge can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
Located in northern Arizona near the San Francisco Peaks mountain range, Flagstaff is a small city surrounded by natural beauty. The city's proximity to a number of popular tourist sights, including Grand Canyon National Park, Oak Creek Canyon, the Arizona Snowbowl, Meteor Crater, and Historic Route 66, make it a common destination for tourists. It lies at an elevation of almost 7,000 feet with nearby areas climbing higher. In large part because of its altitude, the city has a cooler climate than the southern part of Arizona, which is famous for its low lying desert.
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 Flagstaff?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Flagstaff is $60, 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 Flagstaff and Columbia River Gorge in more detail.
The average price for accommodation for two people in Flagstaff is $66. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
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
Flagstaff food costs typically run travelers around $20 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.
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
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.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $29 per person, per day in Flagstaff. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
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.
Tours and Activities in Flagstaff
Here are a few actual costs in Flagstaff for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Self-Guided Downtown Flagstaff Walking Tour:
Self-Guided Flagstaff Driving Tour - History, Geology, Fun!:
Small-Group Haunted City Tour:
Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course-Kids Course:
Haunted Downtown Flagstaff Tour by Segway Bike or Walking:
Fun Flagstaff History Segway, Bike or Walking Tour:
Dark Skies Astrophotography Tour:
Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course-Adult Course:
Flagstaff Adventure Zipline Course:
Flagstaff Segway Tour:
Grand Canyon Classic Sightseeing Tour Departing Flagstaff:
Grand Falls Hidden Experience Tour:
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Flagstaff may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $40 per day on alcoholic beverages.
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 Flagstaff and Columbia River Gorge, we can see that Columbia River Gorge is more expensive. And not only is Flagstaff much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Flagstaff would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Flagstaff 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 Flagstaff.
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