GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- 1.5 million travelers are expected to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend, that’s a 5 percent spike, but mid-May gas prices are at their highest levels since 2014 and it has some people rethinking their weekend plans.
Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest travel times, but with gas prices expected to reach above $3 a gallon, it might be a great time to save some cash and explore what the Grand Valley has to offer.
"It seems like overnight it shot up quite a lot,” said Colorado driver, Rodney Graham.
As gas prices soar, people are rethinking their weekend travel plans.
"It makes you think twice about a long trip cause when you go to fill up your tank you notice the big difference in the price when you go to pay at the pump,” said Graham.
According to GasBuddy.com, the national average price for a gallon of regular gas is almost $3, and AAA expects it to climb even higher.
"Go down and grab a couple 5-gallon gas cans and fill those up prior to the weekend,” said Graham.
An increase in demand and the annual switch to the more expensive summer blend are fueling the price hike.
"Probably the last 30 days I noticed it shooting up slowly,’ said Graham.
Visit Grand Junction says it may be a good time to become a tourist in our own backyard.
"Go on the Colorado National Monument, slip into downtown, look at what's going on with GJ off-road, the racers there, the vendors there, eat some lunch and then maybe head on out to wine country,” said Barbara J. Bowman, Director of Sales for Visit Grand Junction.
She says May is one of our busiest months, with the start of summer, graduations, and JUCO.
"I think sometimes when it's on your doorstep, especially locals you can tend to take it for granted, but we forget people travel thousands of miles to see this,” said visitor, Hylton Fothergill.
So why not pass on the pump and play in the park.
"Spectacular drive and amazing scenery,” said Fothergill.
Head to Palisade, or push the bike pedal.
"It's one of those breathtaking moments where you're like wow,” said Fothergill.
Overall AAA says the average price per gallon should remain steady, that's between $3 to $3.20.
Compared to the rest of the country we are about average.
The highest gas prices can be found in California, at almost $5 a gallon.