A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Grand Canyon National Park vs. Aspen for Food, Couples, Backpackers, and Resorts

Should you visit Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen?

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 Grand Canyon National Park and Aspen. 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.

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park is a breathtaking, stunning, and world-renowned national park. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. Other popular activities here include hiking.

Aspen

Aspen is a vibrant, artsy, and outdoorsy ski town. It offers plenty of small town charm along with sights and activities, too. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. Other reasons to visit include food, hiking, and shopping.

Grand Canyon National Park and Aspen: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the sunset views
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Known for Christmas markets
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Aspen than Grand Canyon National Park, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Aspen is better known for its skiing, food, nightlife, music, resorts, shopping, christmas markets, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere, while Grand Canyon National Park is more popular for its impressive beauty. Grand Canyon National Park is more touristy than Aspen and is popular for its iconic beauty, layers of color, breathtaking sunsets, and world-renowned geological history. Aspen is well known for its world-class skiing, many food, film, and music festivals, and its stunning mountain hikes. Also, Aspen is famous for The Maroon Bells.

How is Grand Canyon National Park different from Aspen?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Aspen and Grand Canyon National Park. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen Better for Skiing?

Grand Canyon National Park
Aspen

Aspen is renowned for skiing and snowboarding. However, Grand Canyon National Park is not a skiing destination.

Aspen is a top destination for snow skiing, and it attracts visitors from around the world. Near the town, there are 4 separate ski resorts. In town you'll find Aspen Mountain, which is known for it's black-diamond runs. Aspen Highlands, a couple miles away, has a mix of slopes and is less crowded. Buttermilk attracts many freestyle skiers and Aspen Snowmass is considered one of the best family-friendly ski areas.

Grand Canyon National Park is not a skiing destination.


Is the Food Better in Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Grand Canyon National Park
Aspen

Aspen is renowned for its restaurants. However, Grand Canyon National Park is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

Eat your way through Aspen, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. The town hosts many food festivals and there is a growing selection of diverse restaurants. In town you'll find cafes and restaurants that cater to both the local crowd and the travelers who flock to the area during peak seasons.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Grand Canyon National Park. There are several markets, restaurants, and cafes in the park but, in general, the options are expensive and not the best. If possible, bring your own food and plan for a picnic with a view.

Is Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen Better for Nightlife?

Grand Canyon National Park
Aspen

Aspen is a very popular place for nightlife. However, Grand Canyon National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Aspen has a large number of nightlife venues. The people in Aspen know how to have a good time. The nightlife scene includes craft beer, live music, and dancing. There's a local vibe, particularly during the off-season times when the tourist crowds are less.

Grand Canyon National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen Better for Music?

Grand Canyon National Park
Aspen

Aspen is a very popular place for live music. However, Grand Canyon National Park is not a live music destination.

It's worth checking out the music scene in Aspen while you're in town. Popular music venues in town include Silver City Mountain Saloon and Belly Up Aspen.

Grand Canyon National Park is not a live music destination.


Is Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen Better for Resorts?

Grand Canyon National Park
Aspen

Aspen is a very popular place for its luxury resorts. Also, Grand Canyon National Park is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its resorts.

There are plenty of resorts in Aspen to choose from. Popular resorts in the area include The Little Nell, Hotel Jerome, and St. Regis Aspen.

With a selection of resorts, Grand Canyon National Park makes a nice vacation spot. There are several options within and near the park that range from luxury to affordable. Reservations should be made well in advance for most hotels within the park. Bright Angel Lodge, El Tovar Hotel, Grand Canyon Lodge (North Rim) and Phantom Ranch are all unique places to stay.

Is Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen Better for Hiking?

Grand Canyon National Park
Aspen

Hiking trails can be found around both Grand Canyon National Park and Aspen, and they are very good.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Grand Canyon National Park. Hiking options at the Grand Canyon include an easy walk along the rim or a hike into the canyon. If you're planning to enjoy a view from the rim and then stroll along the rim walk, a day or two is plenty. Hiking into the canyon is a thrilling experience, but it does require more preparation and planning. You should also check out the weather before you depart as temperatures within the canyon can become dangerously hot.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Aspen. During the summer and fall seasons, hiking is a great way to explore Aspen's nearby beauty. Popular trails include the Ute Trail, the Lost Man Trail, and the famous Maroon Bells Scenic Trail.

Is the Shopping Better in Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen?

Grand Canyon National Park
Aspen

Aspen is a very popular place for shopping. However, Grand Canyon National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Aspen. There are many great local shops and art galleries where you can pick interesting items or fine art.

Grand Canyon National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen Better for Christmas?

Grand Canyon National Park
Aspen

Aspen is renowned for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Grand Canyon National Park does not offer Christmas activities.

Aspen offers plenty of sights and activities around Christmas. There are a number of beautiful activities that will bring the holiday season to life in the town.

Grand Canyon National Park does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen Better for Christmas Markets?

Grand Canyon National Park
Aspen

Aspen is a very popular place for visiting Christmas markets. However, Grand Canyon National Park does not offer Christmas markets.

Aspen has a lively atmosphere around its Christmas markets. The town has a charming Christmas market that is fun to explore and has around 40 vendors.

Grand Canyon National Park does not offer Christmas markets.

Is Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen Better for Families?

Grand Canyon National Park
Aspen

Both Grand Canyon National Park and Aspen are notable family-friendly destinations.

Grand Canyon National Park is a family-friendly national park. This park is a spectacular landmark with a number of nature programs that kids can enjoy. There's also a simple rim walk along the edge of the canyon that is perfect for little legs.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Aspen. Families that enjoy skiing together, hiking, rock climbing, and having adventures will enjoy a visit to this town. Aspen Mountain is not a great option for beginning skiers, but further away, Aspen Snowmass offers good beginner slopes.


Is Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen Better for Couples?

Grand Canyon National Park
Aspen

Grand Canyon National Park is renowned for couples. Also, Aspen is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

Grand Canyon National Park is a great national park for couples, as it has plenty to offer. Couples who enjoy beauty, nature, and adventure will appreciate a visit to this park. There are amazing hikes and breathtaking views that make this a truly romantic destination. There are also several hotels and lodges that make for a truly romantic getaway (book well in advance!).

Aspen is a great national park if you're traveling as a couple. Aspen is both a popular ski destination as well as an established town. There are many great restaurants and activities that couples can enjoy and the setting is cute and very scenic, making it a beautiful and romantic destination.

Is Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Grand Canyon National Park
Aspen

Grand Canyon National Park is renowned for backpackers. However, Aspen is a ski town with minimal options for backpackers and budget travelers.

Grand Canyon National Park is a very popular national park to visit for backpackers. Backpackers and budget travelers can take in one of America's most notable landmarks while camping at the large and affordable national park campground.

Aspen is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. Because it is both a town and a ski resort, there are a couple of more affordable accommodation options. Even so, this is an expensive destination that isn't always ideal for budget travelers.

Is Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Grand Canyon National Park
Aspen

Aspen is a good destination for times when you don't have a car. However, Grand Canyon National Park is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Aspen has some public transit options. There are several shuttle buses around the town.

Public transit is generally limited in Grand Canyon National Park. There are free shuttle buses that run along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.


Is Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen a more walkable city?

Grand Canyon National Park
Aspen

Aspen is a very popular place for its walkability. Also, Grand Canyon National Park is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its high level of walkability.

Aspen is very walkable. The town is compact enough that it can be explored on foot. If you're planning to head into the mountains to hike, you'll likely need a car.

Grand Canyon National Park is a somewhat walkable place. There's a nice rim walk that is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll, but to reach many parts of the park you'll want to have a car or plan to take some form of transit.

For even more information, also check out Is Grand Canyon National Park Worth Visiting? and Is Aspen Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Aspen or Grand Canyon National Park?

How long in Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen?

In either Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Aspen than Grand Canyon National Park because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 1-4 days is a good amount of time for Grand Canyon National Park, and 3-5 days is enough time in Aspen.

Families should spend more time in Aspen than Grand Canyon National Park. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Aspen, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Aspen than Grand Canyon National Park. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Aspen that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Aspen than Grand Canyon National Park if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Aspen.


  • How many days in Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen? Ideal Length of Stay
    Grand Canyon National Park 1-4 
    Aspen 3-5

One day in Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen?

In Grand Canyon National Park, many people enjoy the that this gorgeous destination offers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. This national park offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.

Aspen might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Grand Canyon National Park. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Even though Aspen is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. It's also a relaxing resort destination. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.


Five days in Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen?

Grand Canyon National Park is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the when visiting the destination of Grand Canyon National Park. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

Aspen is a small town where visitors enjoy the shopping and skiing. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. This is a popular place to visit for five days.Five days is often enough time to do most activities. This ski town offers something for everyone.

A week in Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen?

You'll find around the striking destination of Grand Canyon National Park. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Aspen is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


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


Which place is cheaper, Aspen or Grand Canyon National Park?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Grand Canyon National Park is $168, while the average daily cost in Aspen is $293. 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 Grand Canyon National Park and Aspen in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Grand Canyon National Park $89
    Aspen $170
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Grand Canyon National Park $178
    Aspen $340
Compare Hotels in Grand Canyon National Park and Aspen

Looking for a hotel in Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen? 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 Grand Canyon National Park


Hotels in Aspen


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: Grand Canyon National Park Hotel Prices and Aspen Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Grand Canyon National Park $43
    Aspen $56

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Aspen

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Aspen:

  • Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) - Private Transfer Arrival or Departure: $269
  • Aspen hotel or address to Denver Airport (DEN) - Departure Private Transfer: $222

Is it cheaper to fly into Grand Canyon National Park or Aspen?

Prices for flights to both Aspen and Grand Canyon National Park 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
    Grand Canyon National Park $49
    Aspen $85

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Grand Canyon National Park $35
    Aspen $45

Tours and Activities in Grand Canyon National Park

For Grand Canyon National Park, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Grand Canyon South & East Rim Self-Driving, Walking & Shuttling Tour: $17
  • Grand Canyon and Sedona Self-Guided Driving Tour Bundle: $25
  • Ultimate Arizona Self-Guided Driving and Walking Tour Bundle: $30
  • Take a Scottsdale/Valley Tour in a Retro Party Bus - Old Town/Scottsdale: $69
  • Ultimate American Southwest Self-Guided Driving Tours Bundle: $85
  • Grand Canyon Signature Hummer Tour with Optional Sunset Views: $121
  • Grand Entrance Grand Canyon Tour - Pink Jeep: $122
  • 3 Hour Off-Road Sunset Safari to Grand Canyon with Entrance Gate Detour : $123
  • Desert View Grand Canyon Tour - Pink Jeep: $143
  • 4-Hour Biblical Creation + Sunset Tour • Grand Canyon National Park South Rim: $149
  • 4 Hour Grand Canyon Biblical Creation Morning Rim Tour: $149
  • Hermits Rest Hiking Tour from Tusayan: $165

Tours and Activities in Aspen

Here are a few actual costs in Aspen for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Aspen Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Aspen's DarkSide Ghost Tour: $40
  • Aspen's Off the Beaten Path Scenic Walking Tour: $40
  • Aspen's Off the Beaten Path Tour: $40
  • Aspen's Past to Present Historic Tour: $40
  • City Highlights Walking Tour: $40
  • Dark History Ghost-Themed Guided Walking Tour: $40
  • From Past to Present History Walking Tour: $40
  • Highlights of Aspen Tour: $40

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Grand Canyon National Park $11
    Aspen $20


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Grand Canyon National Park and Aspen, we can see that Aspen is more expensive. And not only is Grand Canyon National Park much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Grand Canyon National Park would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Grand Canyon National Park 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 Aspen would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Aspen than you might in Grand Canyon National Park.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Grand Canyon National Park Expensive? and Is Aspen Expensive?.