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Increase In Travel Expected For Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend is close, marking the summer’s first three-day weekend and the start of the summer travel season.

From Malad to Island Park, all but two of Eastern Idaho’s campgrounds are open for overnight stays.

With no work or school on Monday, many break for the outdoors to enjoy mother nature. AAA predicts the mountain region will have a slightly higher number of travelers, compared with the rest of the country.

“When it comes to holidays, there’s a certain entitlement if you want to call it that, amongst Idahoans. You know this is our place, we want to get outdoors, we’ve been locked up all winter,” said Dave Carlson, director of Public and Government Affairs for AAA.

With the increase in travelers, many camp sites are expected to fill up quickly. All of Eastern Idaho’s campgrounds with the exception of Steel Creek in DuBois and Beaver Creek in Mont Pilier are open for visitors and overnight stays.

“If you’re looking for a campground, you should call our reservation system ahead of time and make a reservation,” said Lynn Ballard, PIO of Targhee National Forest. “Most of our campgrounds go through that system, so it might be difficult just to drive up and find a camping space.”

Gas prices will most likely keep people closer to home this weekend, however. Motorists in Idaho and the West will find that gas prices have risen at a time when they’ve been dropping nearly everywhere else.

AAA Idaho said oil refinery shutdowns have led to very tight supplies, pushing prices to well above the national average price of $3.68. In fact, Washington motorists are paying $4.24 today and California prices are averaging $4.33.

“Wholesale prices have come down, so it might be one or two weeks for gas prices to settle down in our region and in the West,” said Carlson.

AAA Idaho said car travel is expected to increase 1.6 percent this weekend, while air travel is expected to decline by 5.2 percent.

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