Utah gas prices are about a dollar more than in Colorado. Why?

Apr 26, 2024, 6:00 AM

Gas prices in Utah are almost a whole dollar more on average compared to Colorado....

A man refuels his car at a gas station. (ETIENNE LAURENT /EPA-EFE /Shutterstock)


SALT LAKE CITY — There’s a big difference when it comes to gas prices in Utah vs. the state’s next door neighbors in Colorado. In Salt Lake City, the average price for a gallon of gas is $3.92. Just south of Denver, you can find the same stuff for almost a whole dollar less at $2.97. Some stations in Denver are selling for as low as $2.71. Why is that?

The short answer is the Rocky Mountains.

A map of gas prices in the United States.

A map of gas prices in the United States. (screenshot from

“A lot of it has to do with the source of where exactly Utah’s getting gas from,” said Julian Paredes, a spokesperson with AAA, “even though geographically Utah and Colorado are very close. I would speculate that the Rockies are between a lot of the refinery production in Colorado. So it’s more likely that Utah’s getting its gas from a more southwest area. Like California.”

He continued to say that Utah gas prices are similar to Nevada and Arizona, states that also get gas from California.

Gas prices and the cost of oil

Paredes told KSL that the biggest factor in gas prices is the cost of oil.

“[Oil has] been more expensive for the last few weeks, few months. So that’s definitely going to make gas more expensive every for everybody,” Paredes said,  “But there’s also things like regionality, different states have different laws when it comes to taxes or environmental factors. California has the strictest in the country.”

Paredes said that even though the price of oil is relatively the same for everyone in the country, these strict environmental factors make “California gas”

“And a lot of it has to do with seasonality. (It’s) springtime right now,” he said, “so more people are out driving and there’s more demand for gas.”

Paredes said that gasoline is about $82 a barrel right now, and he said that’s good news.

He also said that the situations in Israel and Ukraine had a big impact in the cost of oil.

Looking forward 

“At least in the short term,” said Paredes, “gas prices are going up dramatically, but the next big thing to watch out for is Memorial Day. That kind of marks unofficially the start of summer travel season, and that’s usually when gas prices are highest, the beginning of summertime.”

Derrick Jones contributed to this story.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Business + Economy

The housing market in Utah is competitive and shows minimal signs of slowing....

Curt Gresseth

Should you take on debt for home repairs?

A national financial expert at Bankrate joins the conversation about borrowing for home repairs, renovations, etc. His advice: It’s always better to save money than to borrow.

41 minutes ago

FILE - Visitors stand in a line to enter the ancient Colosseum, in Rome, Tuesday, June 27, 2023. Th...

Curt Gresseth

Is retiring abroad worth it? What about health care? Other costs?

The number of Americans retiring abroad has tripled in 30 years, according to a 2024 Monmouth poll. Is it right for you?

10 hours ago

(Draper City)...

Tammy Kikuchi

Draper won’t build a “homeless camp” as claimed on protest sign

Draper officials don't know why a sign is still on the corner of 11400 South and State, since the developer's plan is approved.

12 hours ago

The site of the old Motor-Vu Drive-In...

Tim Vandenack,

‘End of an era’: Motor-Vu Drive-In will soon be demolished to make way for housing

Trees are coming down around the shuttered Motor-Vu Drive-In in Riverdale, Weber County, to be replaced with a housing development, as the demolition process starts.

2 days ago

Almost half of working Americans say they feel good about their finances, for now. They're feeling ...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Working Americans are worried about their future finances

Almost half of working Americans say they feel good about their finances, for now. They're feeling unsure about the future.

5 days ago

A newly implemented city regulation in Washington DC is making the city and childcare even more exp...

Devin Oldroyd

New law raises Washington DC childcare cost and affects childcare staff

A newly implemented city regulation in Washington DC is making the city and childcare even more expensive and unsustainable for families.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Utah gas prices are about a dollar more than in Colorado. Why?