SALT LAKE CITY — The cost of driving is climbing in the Beehive State. Utah saw a 13-cent increase in gasoline prices over the past 30 days — the largest hike of the five-state mountain region, according to AAA Utah.

Utah’s average price for a gallon of regular gasoline has steadily increased since the first of the year, with the current average price at $3.54. While that price was higher than March, it was 17 cents less that the same time last year.

All of the Utah cities tracked in the monthly AAA survey reported increases this past month. The average price in Salt Lake City and Vernal rose 15 cents, while St. George reported the smallest increase of just 8 cents.

Nationally, 22 states have prices lower than Utah, with Hawaii reporting the highest average price in the country at $4.39 and California reporting the highest price in the contiguous 48 states at $4.02 a gallon.

The national average price was $3.58, 12 cents less than last month’s AAA gas report. Today’s 35-cent decline from 2012 was the largest decrease since October 2009.

“Retail gasoline prices in the country surged at the start of 2013 with a record breaking increase of 49 cents attributed to somewhat higher crude oil prices, but mostly due to a decline in refinery production and higher gasoline futures prices,” said Rolayne Fairclough, AAA Utah spokeswoman. “The falling retail gas prices across the country are a result of increased refinery production and economic concerns.”

Jasen Lee, Twitter: JasenLee1