By Kelly Werthmann

DENVER (CBS4) — If you’re hitting the road this Thanksgiving, you’re in good company. AAA Colorado estimates some 840,000 Coloradans are road-tripping for the holiday.

“Thanksgiving has always traditionally been largely a road trip holiday for Coloradans,” said Skyler McKinley, regional director of public affairs for AAA Colorado.

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And that, of course, means more traffic.

“It’s good news and bad news,” McKinley said. “Bad news is traffic is back, but the good news is traffic is back because we’re able to spend time with our loved ones again, which for many may be the first time in a couple years.”

That’s true for Christina, who was fueling up Wednesday morning for her drive to Kansas City to visit family. She’s been looking forward to the trip, but not so much the cost to get there.

“It’s definitely a deep dive into my wallet to fill up,” she told CBS4.

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In fact, Coloradans are paying more to fill up. According to AAA, the national average price at the pump is $3.39 – Colorado’s cost is about ten cents higher.

“Gas prices in Colorado are at $3.50 on average per gallon,” McKinley explained. “That’s the highest it’s been since Thanksgiving 2011.”

CBS4 check prices around the state and, as of the day before Thanksgiving according to GasBuddy.com, the cheapest gas is in Fort Morgan at $2.65 per gallon of regular unleaded fuel. Along the I-25 corridor, prices are at or just above $3/gallon and climb upwards of $4/gallon in the high country. Some of the priciest pumps CBS4 found were in Silverthorne at $4.29/gallon.

“Gas prices are high, which is frustrating, but (high) gas prices almost always are a sign of a recovering economy,” said McKinley.

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AAA Colorado expects gas prices will fall after the Thanksgiving holiday before picking back up again around Christmas. McKinley also said prices in the state will likely stay above the national average for the better part of 2022.

Kelly Werthmann