Visiting Bryce Canyon in May

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the most beautiful places in Utah. Do you wonder what it’s like visiting Bryce Canyon in May?

Use this Bryce Canyon travel guide to see if May is the best time for you to visit! We share everything you need to know about Bryce Canyon National Park in May: weather and temperatures, what to pack, where to stay, things to do, and more!

Bryce Canyon National Park in May

Visiting Bryce Canyon in the summer is amazing! Use this guide to help you decide if a May vacation to Bryce Canyon is the right time for you to enjoy outdoor adventures at this park.

Here are some done-for-you Bryce Canyon itineraries to make it easy to plan your dream vacation depending on the time you have to spend in the park:

Bryce Canyon Travel Bundle
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A Photo Tour of Bryce Canyon National Park

Take a visual tour through Bryce Canyon National Park to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!

Visiting Bryce Canyon in May

May is a great time to enjoy outdoor Bryce Canyon activities. The mornings and evenings will be cool and the daytime temperatures won’t be too hot due to Bryce Canyon’s higher elevation.

There are so many things to do at Bryce Canyon National Park like hiking, biking, horseback riding and more.

There’s not much shade on along the trails at Bryce Canyon, so having moderate temperatures is a big reason to visit in May!

One drawback for a trip to Bryce Canyon in May is the crowds. Utah National Parks are busy during the peak seasons of spring, summer and fall so be prepared for crowds.

Our big tip to avoid the crowds is to get into the park early. You can’t beat the Bryce Canyon sunrise photography and hiking in the morning!

Does the Shuttle Run in May?

The Bryce Canyon shuttle runs every day in May. The free shuttle buses bring visitors to the Bryce Amphitheater area of the park. Riding the shuttle is not mandatory.

Weather at Bryce Canyon in May

The Bryce Canyon National Park weather in May is pretty much perfect, but be prepared for rain just in case. Always check the weather forecast so you have the right clothing for the conditions.

Due to the high elevation, the temperatures at Bryce Canyon in May are still on the cooler side. The highs are usually in the low 60s and the lows are in the low 30s. The mornings and evening will be cool so you’ll want a fleece jacket. Layers are best for all-day activities. 

Lightning at Bryce Canyon is a year-round danger, especially during summer storms! If you can hear thunder, lightning is within 10 miles and you need to seek the shelter of a building or your vehicle immediately.

Can you drive through Bryce Canyon in May?

In May the shuttles are running, but you can drive your car to the various Bryce Canyon views and photo spots along the scenic drive.

You can also drive and park at the various amphitheater lots. Parking could be an issue so again, we recommend exploring the park in the morning or later in the day.

Things to Do at Bryce Canyon in May

There are a ton of things to do at Bryce Canyon National Park any time of year. Below are the activities you can do in May.

Bryce Canyon Visitor Center and Ranger Programs in April

We recommend you stop at the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center to find out the latest hiking trail conditions and talk to the ranger to see if they have any tips for things to do while visiting.

It’s also good to ask about the ranger-led programs at Bryce Canyon available during your stay. If you are traveling with kids you will want to grab Junior Ranger booklets as well. 

The services at the Visitor Center include:

  • Restrooms
  • Drinking Water
  • Backcountry permits
  • First Aid
  • Ranger Help Desk
  • Book Store
  • Twenty Minute Introduction Movie
  • Exhibits
Hoodoos at Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon hoodoos

Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive in May

May is a terrific time to explore the Bryce Canyon scenic drive. There are multiple viewpoints to see hoodoos, arches and windows!

We always recommend you start by driving to the end of the road at Rainbow Point then working your way back to the amphitheater. This way all the overlooks are on the right so it’s easy to pull in and out of each parking lot.

Check out the Bryce Canyon GyPSy Guide App to hear fun behind-the scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location. It’s a great way to have a tour guide in your car as you drive!

Bryce Canyon hiking trail
Bryce Canyon hiking trail

Bryce Canyon Hiking in May

Hiking is the best way to explore Bryce Canyon that includes over 35,000 acres of picturesque expansive views!

Bryce Canyon’s elevations reach over 9,000 feet. Even a small amount of exertion may leave you feeling light-headed and nauseated. Remember, most Bryce Canyon hikes begin with a descent and end with a climb. Leave yourself enough energy for your return trip.

When hiking at Bryce Canyon keep in mind:

Thor's Hammer at sunrise
Thor’s Hammer at sunrise

Bryce Canyon Photography in May

The best time to photograph Bryce Canyon is sunrise. The colors are vibrant and the light creates a spectacular glow on the multi-colored hoodoos that cannot be missed.

People come from around the world to see the amazing Bryce Canyon views. Be sure to grab our Bryce Canyon Photography Guide with tips and best times to take pictures at each viewpoint!

Sunset Point, Inspiration Point and Bryce Point are our favorite Bryce Canyon sunrise photography spots.

Be sure to download our camera gear checklist before arriving at the park to make sure you have everything you need. And since May mornings will still be cold, we like to use photographer gloves and keep rechargeable hand warmers in our jacket pockets!

Bryce Canyon Stargazing in May

You cannot visit Bryce Canyon National Park in May without stargazing at least one evening. As you view the night sky, you will be blown away that you can see up to 7500 stars on a moonless night!

Take advantage of seeing the night sky at one of Utah’s International Dark Sky Parks. The Milky Way is visible in April from 11:00 pm to 4:00 am.

biking path near Bryce Canyon
Biking near Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon Biking in May

From Bryce Canyon City to Inspiration Point, this 5 mile section of road is available for biking at Bryce Canyon. The elevation gain is 746 going north to south. You can also take the park shuttle to Inspiration Point then ride back going downhill.

All viewpoints, the Lodge, Visitor Center and Shuttle Station have bike racks so you can stop at various places in the park to explore the area.

There’s also an 18-mile Shared-Use Path connecting Red Canyon with Inspiration Point. Pedestrians, leashed pets, cyclists, skaters, longboards, non-motorized scooters and wheelchairs can use this path.

You can rent bikes in Bryce Canyon City.

horseback riding at bryce canyon
Horseback riding at Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park Tours in May

Whether you’re looking for a half-day or full-day excursion, there are plenty of Bryce Canyon National Park Tours available to fit your needs: guided hikes, horseback riding, photography, and ATV experiences!

Bryce Canyon Camping in May

There are two campgrounds near the Visitor Center and Amphitheater for Bryce Canyon National Park camping in May.

Due to the high elevation at Bryce Canyon (8,900 feet above sea level), be sure to pack for the weather conditions. The temperatures drop at night, so it’s important to be prepared.

May is a busy time so finding camping spots in the park can be difficult. Check out the various Bryce Canyon National Park RV campsites near the park as well.

If you’re ok with getting of the grid, there are places for boondocking near Bryce Canyon.

Or you can elevate your camping experience to enjoy glamping near Bryce Canyon National Park!

Kodachrome Basin State Park
Kodachrome Basin State Park

Things To Do Near Bryce Canyon in May

Bryce Canyon maps and guides

Check Amazon for: Bryce Canyon Guides and Maps

Where to Stay Near Bryce Canyon in May

Bryce Canyon Packing List

The climate and altitude of Bryce Canyon can be harsh if you’re not prepared with the right clothing, hydration, food, personal items and hiking gear.

To help you know what to pack for your May trip, check out our Bryce Canyon Packing List! Click the graphic below to get your free checklist download!

We also recommend using a camera gear checklist to be sure you have all the necessary equipment to capture the stunning Bryce Canyon landscape!

get the free Bryce Canyon National Park packing lists

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