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Gas prices, inflation are not stopping Memorial Day weekend travel plans

May 27, 2022, 8:38 AM | Updated: 8:55 am
Cars line up at an entrance, memorial day weekend travel is expected to cause traffic build up....
Traffic crawls up to the entrance of Arches National Park over the 2015 Memorial Day weekend. Photo credit: Andrew Kuh.

SALT LAKE CITY – It will cost more to get there, but that does not seem to be deterring a lot of Americans and Utahs from traveling a considerable distance from home this Memorial Day holiday weekend.  The AAA estimates just over 37-million Americans will travel this weekend, mostly by car. 

It’s happening as gasoline prices continue to climb. 

Another report published by the AAA shows the average price per gallon of gas in Utah is now $4.68.  That’s well above the national average, but not close to some areas in California where people have been paying more than $6.00.  

Getting to that destination may also mean delays.

The Utah Department of  Transportation has listed a number of potential hot spots for congestion.  I-15 is expected to be busy in Davis and Salt Lake Counties beginning early Friday afternoon.. and lasting into the evening. 

Crowds are expected at Utah’s parks and forests as well. 

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen about a  150% increase in use of our campgrounds,” said Chad Hudson, assistant supervisor for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests. “And it’s up 400% on trails,” he said. Hudson does not expect those numbers to go down any time soon. 

At Zion National Park, one of Utah’s busiest attractions, they say all roads are currently open.  But with crowds, they expect they’ll close the Mt. Carmel highway to traffic at some point. In a tweet, park officials said Memorial Day is a very busy time there. 

Weather is causing concerns for different reasons, in northern and southern Utah.  In the south, the National Weather Service has posted a red flag warning for five counties. That means critical fire weather conditions are possible, with high temperatures and high winds.  In the north, the forecast calls for rain and unsettled conditions through the weekend.  KSL 5 Meteorologist, Matt Johnson said a cold front is moving in.  That will bring a chance of rain and thunderstorms.  He said by Monday, the snow level could be as low as 6,500 feet. 

Gas prices climbed to an average of $4.69 per gallon, according to the latest survey by the AAA

 

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Gas prices, inflation are not stopping Memorial Day weekend travel plans