Thinking of hitting the road this holiday weekend? You may want to look at gas prices

A man pumps gas into his automobile at a Chevron gas station
Joseph Starr, of Aliso Viejo, pumps gas into his automobile at the Chevron gas station in Orange last year.
(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

Gasoline prices are continuing their steady upward climb in Los Angeles County, reaching their highest levels in more than two months and approaching the $5 mark.

The average price for a regular gallon of gas in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is now at $4.80, up from $4.70 a week ago and $4.51 last month, according to figures posted by the American Automobile Assn.

Prices have gone up for 17 consecutive days — and are now at their highest point in L.A. County since Dec. 6, the organization said.


The increases can be attributed in large part to unplanned flaring at the Phillips 66 refinery in Wilmington, said Doug Shupe, spokesperson for the Automobile Club of Southern California. Several other West Coast refineries have also been having issues, and the California Energy Commission has been reporting significantly lower inventories, he said.

Prices are also on the rise in the rest of Southern California.

In Orange County, regular gas has reached an average of $4.76 per gallon, up from $4.66 a week ago and $4.43 a month ago. In Riverside County, a regular gallon of gas is an average of $4.68, up from $4.55 a week ago and $4.38 last month.

Those numbers are still lower than the dizzying peaks of last year, when prices in L.A. County set records on multiple occasions, reaching an average price of $6.49 per gallon for regular gas in October.

Relief arrived in time for the Christmas holiday, however, with prices falling in L.A.-Long Beach to $4.42 per gallon in late December.