Grand Teton National Park in May: Everything You Need to Know

A trip to Grand Teton National Park in May is one of our favorite times to visit.

By mid-May most of the services and roads are open. The weather can still be unpredictable and cold, and trails can still be muddy. By the end of May things should be perfect!

Use our Grand Teton National Park guide and the information below to learn all about a May trip: services available, what to pack, where to stay, things to do, and more!

grand teton 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:

Grand Teton National Park in May

There are a lot of things to do when visiting Grand Teton National Park. Each season will have different activities and services available.

In May you’ll enjoy fewer crowds, scenic drives and wildlife viewing. But many of the hiking trails are muddy or still covered with snow. And some areas in the park are closed due to bear activity.

Use our guide to find YOUR best time to visit Grand Teton National Park.

Services in May

Grand Teton is open 24 hours, every day of the year. All roads are usually open by mid-May, conditions and weather permitting. Check the website for the most current opening dates.

NOTE: All campgrounds are by advanced reservation system only up to six months in advance at Recreation.gov.

Moose opening dates:

  • Moose-Wilson Road – May 1
  • Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center – May 1
  • Chapel of the Transfiguration – May 8
  • Moose Landing, Snake River Launch – open April 1
  • Gros Ventre Campground – open April 30

Jenny Lake opening dates:

  • Teton Park Road – May 1
  • Boat Launch – May 1
  • General Store – May 7
  • Campground – May 7
  • Visitor Center – May 16
  • Lodge closed until June 1

Laurance S. Rockefeller opening dates:

  • LSR Preserve Parking Area – May 1
  • Preserve Center – May 30

Signal Mountain opening dates:

  • Lodge, General Store & Gas Station – May 14
  • Gas pumps open 24/7, self service
  • Campground – May 14

Jackson Lake opening dates:

  • Lodge, Dining Room Shops – May 17

Colter Bay opening dates:

  • RV Park, Launderette & Showers – May 6
  • Visitor Center – May 7
  • General Store, Cafe – May 24
  • Campground, Cabins, Tent Village – May 24
  • Marina – May 24 (water levels permitting)

Rockefeller Parkway, Flagg Ranch opening dates:

  • Headwaters Convenience Store and Gas Station – May 7
  • Gas pumps open 24/7, self service
  • Headwaters Campground and RV Park – May 14
  • Cabins and Camping closed until June 1

May Weather

When you visit Grand Teton in May you still can expect very cold temperatures: highs 60, lows 30.

It’s STILL important that you dress in layers and bring your winter clothing because it can still rain and even snow in May!

Always check the current weather and road conditions on the Grand Teton website.

grizzly bear at Grand Teton

Wildlife

May is a terrific time to see wildlife at the park.

At Grand Teton National Park in the spring there will be area closures due to bear activity and other wildlife management so be sure to follow instructions on any posted signs.

Here’s a list of great wildlife viewing areas in May:

  • Oxbow Bend
  • Mormon Row
  • Gros Ventre
  • Willow Flat
  • Coulter Bay
  • Pilgrim Road
  • Moose-Wilson Road

Please be a responsible wildlife observer by maintaining a safe distance of at least 100 yards from wolves and bear, and 25 yards from all other wildlife. The Grand Teton website has more detailed information about wildlife viewing in the park.

Hiking

Hiking in the early par of May usually means muddy or even snow-covered trails so be prepared. Stop by a visitor center to get recent trail conditions.

By the end of May, we recommend these Grand Teton day hikes to explore the park!

There are a few things to note about hiking at Grand Teton :

  • May is an active time for bears and cubs! Make noise as you hike and always carry bear spray and know how to use it. Visit the Bear Safety page for more information.
  • Carry drinking water. Dehydration is common and can be serious. Plan to drink considerably more at Grand Teton due to low humidity and high elevation.
  • Be prepared for rapid weather changes! In the spring at Grand Teton you’ll need layers, spring outdoor gear and cold weather outdoor gear!
  • Pace yourself. High elevation may cause breathing difficulties so listen to your body and don’t overdo it! The only cure for altitude sickness is to retreat to a lower elevation.
  • Be careful crossing snowfields and streams. Do not hike in steep snow unless you have previous experience and the proper equipment.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
  • Solo hiking and off-trail hiking is not recommended. Many rescues involve solo parties that were unable to self-rescue, sometimes with life-threatening injuries.
Moulton Barn Grand Teton National Park

Photography

The spring landscape at Grand Teton is amazing! The jagged peaks of the snow-capped mountains are a photographer’s dream!

Check out our tips to photograph Grand Teton National Park. We share our favorite photo spots!

Be ready with your camera gear to capture images the landscape and wildlife as you drive along the road or hike the trails.

PLAN A GRAND TETON VACATION

Where to Stay in Jackson near Grand Teton:

Where to stay near Grand Teton National Park

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