Things to Know About Visiting Arches National Park in May

Arches National Park in May is a popular and busy time at this park.

As you plan your trip, use our Arches National Park travel guide to help you know the things to do, what to pack, where to stay and more.

We give you tips below to navigate the park during the busy season, as well as information about what to pack, where to stay and things to do at Arches in May.

arches national park in may

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National Park Packing List

When you are visiting any national park it is important to be prepared. This includes wearing the proper clothes and shoes to be comfortable for the climate and the terrain.

→ CHECK OUT: National park packing list for summer and winter

For most national parks you will want to bring:

TOP REASON TO VISIT ARCHES NATIONAL PARK IN MAY

The weather in May is a great time for visiting Arches National Park.

You’ll enjoy the cooler mornings and evenings, and the daytime temperatures aren’t too hot compared to an Arches National Park summer vacation.

There is not much shade to be found at Arches, so we recommend exploring the park in the morning or evening to avoid the hottest part of the day.

BIGGEST DRAWBACK

Arches is a small Utah national park and it gets crowded during the peak seasons of spring and fall.

PLEASE NOTE: Arches will be doing a TIMED ENTRY pilot program April through October, 2022.

Timed entry tickets will be required to enter the park from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and will allow visitors to enter the park during a one-hour specified window of availability. After entering, visitors may stay in the park as long as they wish for the remainder of the day. Reservation holders may exit and re-enter the park on the same day with a correctly validated ticket.

Visitors can book reservations first-come, first-served on Recreation.gov. The park will release reservations three months in advance in monthly blocks.

Turret Arch Utah National Park in the spring

ARCHES WEATHER IN MAY

The weather at Arches National Park in May is perfect, with cooler mornings and evenings, and daytime temperatures not blazing hot.

In May the average highs are 79 degrees and the lows around 49.

Things to Do at Arches in May

There are so many things to do at Arches National Park.

Here’s a list of activities you can do in May:

Hiking

Arches National Park hiking trails are enjoyable in May, especially in the morning and late afternoon.

Most of the trails at Arches are fully exposed to the sun, so it’s important to carry water bottles to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and a sun hat!

→ CHECK OUT Devil’s Garden Trail Guide

turret-arch-arches-national-park-utah-photo-jeepers-1

Photography

Arches National Park photography is a reason many people visit this park.

CHECK OUT our 3 day Arches & Canyonlands Itinerary and Photography Guide to know all the best places and times to take pictures!

Delicate Arch at sunset is the most popular photo spot in Arches. You won’t have this location to yourself so be patient waiting for everyone to take their turn to get a photo under the arch!

If you want to capture photos without people climbing on the rocks at Balanced Rock, Turret Arch or the Windows, you need to enter the park EARLY!

Stargazing

Definitely take one evening to stay after the sun set and LOOK UP!

The slogan “Half the Park is After Dark” encourages visiting at night to simply Look up! On a clear night, the sky is literally filled with stars.

In May you can see the milky way from 11 pm to 4-ish am. It’s a late night but rewarding for those who want to make the effort!

Arches National Park is internationally recognized as one of the best places for stargazing because of its remote location, accessibility, altitude and clear skies.

Arches is a popular destination for astrophotographers so you won’t be alone in the park at night. Be sure to use a headlamp with a red light!

FAQ’S FOR VISITING IN APRIL

Is Arches National Park Open in May?

Arches National Park is open 24/7. Visit the NPS site to get the updated operating hours.

Is May a Good Time to Visit Arches National Park?

May is a terrific time for visiting Arches National Park, but you will need to reserve a ticket!

Check out our list of best times to visit Arches National Park with information about what to expect during each season and every month of the year.

What Park Activities Can You Do May?

RESOURCES TO PLAN A TRIP TO ARCHES

More Places to Visit Near Arches

Where to Stay Near Arches:

There are no hotels in the park. Here’s our list of where to stay near Arches National Park.

Arches National Park camping can only be done at the one small campground.

We recommend the following accommodations in Moab:

  • Purple Sage – our all-time favorite place to stay in Moab – walking distance to shopping, full kitchen, and only 8 units so you don’t feel lost in a large hotel. 
  • Red Cliffs Lodge – rooms up to 6 people – located 17 miles from Moab, this lodge is known for its beautiful location, winery and activities like horseback riding, fishing and more!
  • Vacation Rentals – we really like rentals with a kitchen, washer and dryer and amenities like a swimming pool and hot tub.
  • Rent an RV – have it dropped off at your vacation destination!
national park packing lists

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