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Going on a Memorial Day road trip? The West has some of the highest and lowest gas prices

Closeup of a gas pump. You can see the arm of a person putting the nozzle back into the pump. It's a sunny day outside.
Gene J. Puskar
Associated Press
Gas prices in Nevada are some of the highest in the Mountain West going into the Memorial Day weekend, with a gallon of unleaded gas costing $4.31. Prices are up to a dollar cheaper in other Mountain West states, such as Colorado and New Mexico ($3.31 and $3.30 a gallon).

Memorial Day weekend is coming soon, and more than 40 million people are expected to hit the road, according to AAA. But what about gas prices? Western states have some of the highest and lowest gas prices. In the Mountain West, the price of a gallon of unleaded gas ranges from $3.30 a gallon to $4.31 a gallon. The average price of gas in the U.S. is $3.56 a gallon.

Patrick DeHaan with GasBuddy said prices vary by state for several reasons, but mainly because of proximity to refineries. So, Idaho, Nevada and Utah have among the highest prices in the nation. Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming prices are among the lowest, since a lot of oil and gas refineries are in those states.

“As we can see, the west coast, is really home to some of the more expensive prices," DeHaan said. "Whereas, other places in the country, far lower. So far cheaper if you're heading east out of the areas of the west."

If you're wary of paying high gas prices on a road trip, DeHaan said you can conserve by using cruise control and driving a little slower. 

“If you accelerate slowly and go say, 65 instead of 75, you're really going to do far better, but you don't really have to choose between steady or slow, you can essentially do both,” he said.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio (KNPR) in Las Vegas, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, KUNC in Colorado and KANW in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Yvette Fernandez is the regional reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau. She joined Nevada Public Radio in September 2021.