A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Phoenix vs. Columbia River Gorge for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Phoenix or Columbia River Gorge?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Phoenix and Columbia River Gorge can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Phoenix or Columbia River Gorge?

Phoenix

The most populous city in the American Southwest, Phoenix is the capital city of Arizona and busiest hub of activity in the general area. Geographically it is located in the Sonoran Desert, making for long hot summers and mild winters. This climate has ensured a thriving tourism industry with plenty of attractions both in and around Phoenix.

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 Phoenix?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Phoenix is $187, 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Phoenix and Columbia River Gorge in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Phoenix $113
    Columbia River Gorge $71
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Phoenix $226
    Columbia River Gorge $142
Compare Hotels in Phoenix and Columbia River Gorge

Looking for a hotel in Phoenix 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 Phoenix


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: Phoenix Hotel Prices and Columbia River Gorge Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Phoenix $28
    Columbia River Gorge $62

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Phoenix

Also for Phoenix, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Phoenix Airport (PHX): $26
  • Private Departure Transfer to Phoenix Airport (PHX): $26
  • Private Phoenix International Airport Transfer to Pittsburgh: $48
  • Transfer from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to Phoenix: $56
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) to Phoenix - Arrival Private Transfer: $60
  • Phoenix to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) - Departure Private Transfer: $60
  • Arrival Private Transfers: Sky Harbor Airport PHX to Phoenix in Business Car: $76
  • Departure Private Transfers: Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport PHX in Business Car: $76
  • Departure Private Transfer to Phoenix Airport PHX by Business or Luxury Vehicle: $78
  • Arrival Private Transfer Phoenix Airport PHX to Phoenix Business-Luxury Vehicle: $78
  • Airport Sedan Phoenix One Way Transfer to Phoenix Address: $91
  • Airport Sedan Phoenix One Way Transfer Scottsdale Address: $91

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

Prices for flights to both Columbia River Gorge and Phoenix 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
    Phoenix $42
    Columbia River Gorge $37
Typical Food prices in Phoenix

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Phoenix:


  • Nice Lunch (for 2)
    $36
  • Indian Food Dinner (for 2)
    $32

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Phoenix

For Phoenix, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Awesome French Crêpes Cooking Class: $65

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Phoenix $32
    Columbia River Gorge $16

Tours and Activities in Phoenix

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Phoenix.

  • Skip the Line: Heard Museum Admission Ticket: $18
  • Phoenix Walking Ghost Tour: $20
  • Phoenix Scavenger Hunt Adventure: $21
  • Phoenix Zoo: One Day General Admission Ticket: $23
  • RoRo Street Art Tour: $27
  • Lockdown- Samurai Escape Room Experience: $28
  • Phoenix Legends Bike Tour: $43
  • Tabletop Adventure - Gaming in Nature: $46
  • BYOB Pedal Bar Experience In Old Town Scottsdale: $53
  • Private Group Sonoran Desert 1.5 Hour Hiking Adventure: $75
  • Scottsdale: Half-Day Casual Bike Tour with Guide: $75
  • Private Group Sonoran Desert Half Day Hiking Adventure: $95

Tours and Activities in Columbia River Gorge

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Columbia River Gorge are as follows:

  • Cascade Locks: 1-Hour Columbia River Sightseeing Cruise: $50
  • Cascade Locks: Columbia Gorge Sunday Brunch Cruise: $94
  • Portland: Columbia Gorge Flight Tour: $99
  • Portland: Multnomah Falls Scenic Air Tour: $199

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Phoenix $13
    Columbia River Gorge $9.49

Sample the Local Flavors in Phoenix

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Phoenix:

  • Wine Tours, Airport Transportation and more!: $100
  • Custom Arizona Brewery Tour: $245
  • Scottsdale: Mountain Biking and Brewery Tour: $250
  • From Phoenix/Scottsdale: Sedona Hiking & Wine Tasting Tour: $275
  • Private Southern Arizona Wine Tour Phoenix to Sonoita-Elgin Vineyards: $997
  • Private Wine Tour from Phoenix to Sonoita-Elgin Vineyards: $1,650


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


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

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

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

Both Columbia River Gorge and Phoenix during the summer are popular places to visit.

The heat can be very extreme in Phoenix. In the summer, Phoenix is much warmer than Columbia River Gorge. Typically, the summer temperatures in Phoenix in July are around 98°F (36°C), and Columbia River Gorge is about 68°F (20°C).

In Columbia River Gorge, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Phoenix. In the summer, Phoenix often gets more sunshine than Columbia River Gorge. Phoenix gets 380 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbia River Gorge receives 338 hours of full sun.

Phoenix usually gets more rain in July than Columbia River Gorge. Phoenix gets 0.8 inches (21 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 0.7 inches (18 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Phoenix 98°F (36°C) 
    Columbia River Gorge 68°F (20°C)

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

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Phoenix and Columbia River Gorge.

In October, Phoenix is generally much warmer than Columbia River Gorge. Temperatures in Phoenix average around 79°F (26°C), and Columbia River Gorge stays around 55°F (13°C).

In Phoenix, it's very sunny this time of the year. Phoenix usually receives more sunshine than Columbia River Gorge during autumn. Phoenix gets 305 hours of sunny skies, while Columbia River Gorge receives 155 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Phoenix usually receives less rain than Columbia River Gorge. Phoenix gets 0.7 inches (17 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 2.6 inches (67 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Phoenix 79°F (26°C) 
    Columbia River Gorge 55°F (13°C)

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

The winter brings many poeple to Phoenix as well as Columbia River Gorge.

Be prepared for some very cold days in Columbia River Gorge. Phoenix is much warmer than Columbia River Gorge in the winter. The temperature in Phoenix is usually 58°F (14°C) in January, and Columbia River Gorge stays around 40°F (4°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Phoenix this time of the year. In the winter, Phoenix often gets more sunshine than Columbia River Gorge. Phoenix gets 254 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Columbia River Gorge receives 86 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Columbia River Gorge. Phoenix usually gets less rain in January than Columbia River Gorge. Phoenix gets 0.7 inches (17 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 5.2 inches (132 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Phoenix 58°F (14°C) 
    Columbia River Gorge 40°F (4°C)

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

Both Columbia River Gorge and Phoenix are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities.

In the spring, Phoenix is much warmer than Columbia River Gorge. Typically, the spring temperatures in Phoenix in April are around 74°F (23°C), and Columbia River Gorge is about 51°F (11°C).

It's quite sunny in Columbia River Gorge. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Phoenix. Phoenix usually receives more sunshine than Columbia River Gorge during spring. Phoenix gets 355 hours of sunny skies, while Columbia River Gorge receives 231 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Phoenix usually receives less rain than Columbia River Gorge. Phoenix gets 0.2 inches (6 mm) of rain, while Columbia River Gorge receives 2.4 inches (61 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Phoenix 74°F (23°C) 
    Columbia River Gorge 51°F (11°C)

Typical Weather for Columbia River Gorge and Phoenix

Phoenix Columbia River Gorge
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 58°F (14°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm) 40°F (4°C) 5.2 inches (132 mm)
Feb 62°F (17°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm) 44°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Mar 66°F (19°C) 0.9 inches (22 mm) 47°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Apr 74°F (23°C) 0.2 inches (6 mm) 51°F (11°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm)
May 83°F (28°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm) 57°F (14°C) 2 inches (51 mm)
Jun 92°F (34°C) 0.1 inches (3 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.5 inches (39 mm)
Jul 98°F (36°C) 0.8 inches (21 mm) 68°F (20°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm)
Aug 96°F (35°C) 0.9 inches (24 mm) 69°F (20°C) 1 inches (25 mm)
Sep 90°F (32°C) 0.9 inches (22 mm) 63°F (17°C) 1.7 inches (44 mm)
Oct 79°F (26°C) 0.7 inches (17 mm) 55°F (13°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm)
Nov 66°F (19°C) 0.7 inches (18 mm) 46°F (8°C) 5.4 inches (136 mm)
Dec 58°F (15°C) 1 inches (25 mm) 40°F (5°C) 6.1 inches (156 mm)


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Phoenix vs. Columbia River Gorge Travel Comparison

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