Located in southeastern Utah, Moab is a breathtakingly beautiful destination filled with red rock canyons, arches, stone spires, and more! Visiting Moab in May is amazing because the temperatures are perfect to enjoy all the outdoor activities you’ll find here.
Use this Moab Utah Vacation Guide to plan a May vacation: weather, activities, what to pack, where to stay and more!
Late spring is a popular time to enjoy all the outdoor things to do in Moab. You’ll love the amazing weather, but the town, trails and attractions will be crowded.
There are ways to avoid the crowds and enjoy a May vacation in Moab. Keep reading for our tips and recommended activities.
Be sure to use a Moab, Utah packing list so you have the right clothing and gear to enjoy all the outdoor activities for your May vacation! Grab your free printable packing list by clicking the image below!
Some of the links on this site are affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, we may earn a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Read the full Disclosure Policy.
A Photo Tour of Moab, Utah
Take a visual tour through the Moab, Utah area to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!
Visiting Moab in May
May weather is so amazing in Moab. It’s perfect to enjoy the outdoor Moab adventures you’ll find here! The mornings and evenings cool off to a nice temperature and the daytime highs don’t get too hot, which is nice because there’s not much shade to be found around Moab.
But, Moab in the spring is a popular time to go so it WILL be crowded. The town will be busy which means higher prices for accommodations and long lines at the restaurants! The national parks, state parks, overlooks, hiking trails and points of interest will also be packed with people.
If you’re willing to get up early, then you’ll be surprised at how much you can see, do and photograph before the crowds start!
If you’re wondering what it’s like to visit Moab at other times of the year, check out our article: Best time to visit Moab.
Moab Weather in May
The Moab weather in May is just about perfect: Highs 82 | Lows 51 degrees F!
With the warmer daytime temperatures, you’ll want to stay hydrated and use sun protection: use hydration packs or carry refillable water bottles in your backpack. Utah’s high elevation and dry air can be hard on your skin so use lip balm with sunscreen and hydrating lotion in addition to sunscreen!
Arches & Canyonlands AUDIO TOUR
“Download the app to your phone – no cell or wifi service needed. Based on your GPS location, the app takes you on a guided tour of the park and points out all the interesting features and stops. It’s like having a park ranger in the car with you.”
Things to Do in Moab in May
Here’s a list of activities you can do in May as well as kid-friendly things to do in Moab!
Check out these terrific locations to learn about the history and geology of the Moab area. We highly recommend the Moab Giants Museum for anyone who loves dinosaurs!
- Moab Giants Museum
- Moab Museum
- Moab Museum of Film and Western Heritage
- Amazing Petroglyphs in Moab
- Dinosaur Sites Near Moab
National and State Parks Near Moab in May
There are two National Parks and one State Park in the Moab area. You can explore these parks along the scenic drives, hiking trails or camping spots. Here’s what you can expect when you visit in May:
Arches National Park in May – in May you’ll need an Arches Timed Entry Ticket to enter the park during the busy daytime hours. Don’t worry if you didn’t get a timed entry ticket. Just plan to enter the park before 6 a.m. One benefit to getting in the park early is you can see and photograph the sunrise at Arches National Park!
Canyonlands National Park in May – the Canyonlands hikes are so nice in May because the sun is out and it’s not overly hot. This is quite different from summer when you’re sweating and worrying about heat exhaustion.
Dead Horse Point State Park – known for its stunning views of the Colorado River, dramatic vertical cliffs, canyons, and vista views. We highly recommend this location at sunset!
Moab Scenic Drives in May
Check out all the beautiful drives you can enjoy in the Moab the area.
Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway – the 34-mile round-trip drive is a terrific half-day excursion from the Moab area to see great views of the Colorado River, ancient rock art, and dinosaur tracks. Potash Road or the Lower Colorado Scenic Byway runs along the Colorado River and ends at the border of Canyonlands National Park. We recommend this drive in the late afternoon when the red rocks glow and reflect in the river!
Watch for signs and pullouts indicating petroglyphs. And look for the “Dinosaur Tracks” sign and turnout. A short hike takes you to a series of three-toed dinosaur tracks. You’ll be amazed at all the dinosaur tracks in Moab you can find.
Arches National Park Scenic Drive – the full 43-mile scenic drive, including the spur roads, takes 2 to 3 hours. Add more time if you plan to walk around and take photos or do any hiking at any of the stops.
Canyonlands Island in the Sky Scenic Drive – you’ll definitely want to have your camera ready to capture the beauty you’ll see at all 10 overlooks along this drive!
Located near Needles Canyonlands you’ll find two stunning places to see views of Needles, Island in the Sky, Dead Horse Point, and the Moab area!
Moab Hikes in May
Exploring the Moab Utah hiking trails is one of the best ways to see the area. May is a good time for hiking, especially in the morning when the temperatures are cooler.
Our favorite hikes in Moab are:
And of course you need to try the hikes in the nearby parks:
- Arches National Park Hiking Trails
- Canyonlands Hikes
- Canyonlands Island in the Sky Hikes
- Dead Horse Point State Park Hiking Trails
When hiking in Moab in May, be aware of the high temperatures, unrelenting sunlight, and low humidity. To keep cool, wear light colored, loose fitting UV protection clothing that does not absorb sunlight.
Biking in May Near Moab
May is a great time to enjoy the Moab biking trails. But it is a busy time of year so be prepared to share the trails. The advice to get out early to enjoy the cooler weather and avoid the crowds applies to biking as well.
You can rent bikes in Moab – and join a guided bike tour of Moab as well!
Photography Near Moab in May
There’s never a bad time of year to photograph the Moab area. Use our Guide to Moab photography that lists the best sunrise and sunset locations in the area. The colors are vibrant and the light creates a spectacular glow on the red rocks that cannot be missed.
CHECK OUT our Arches and Canyonlands Photography Guide! We share our favorite 3 day itinerary some of our favorite ‘lesser known’ places to take pictures in Moab!
Remember that if you want pictures at the most popular sites near Moab without people getting in the way, early morning is the best time to be out taking pictures!
Moab Area Stargazing in May
We highly recommend you take one evening to go outside and LOOK UP!
Arches, Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point are internationally recognized as one of the best places for stargazing because of the remote location, accessibility, altitude and clear skies.
When you’re visiting Moab in May, and you’ve got a clear night sky, head out to see or photograph the Milky Way! It’s visible from 11:00 pm to 4:00 am in May!
Moab Jeep Trails in May
Moab is known around the world for its off-road trails! You can enjoy off-roading in the spring with a jeep, side-by-side or other such vehicles.
Local tour companies offer 4×4 rentals for you to tackle the trails on your own. But for inexperienced drivers, we recommend you book a tour or have a guide ride along with you to navigate and teach. We have used and recommend Outlaw Jeep Tours.
Moab River Rafting in May
If you’re looking for a thrill, then a river rafting adventure in the Colorado River is a must-do activity!
You will find half-day, full-day, and even multi-day Moab rafting trips. This is a fun adventure to go on with your family or even a group of your friends.
Moab Camping in May
There are a variety of ways to camp in the Moab area in May: RV Parks and Campgrounds, National Park Campgrounds, State Park Campgrounds, and BLM camping.
- Arches National Park Camping
- Island in the Sky Campgrounds
- Needles Canyonlands Camping
- Dead Horse Point State Park Camping
- BLM Campgrounds in the Moab area
If camping is not your thing, here are many types of accommodations to choose from in Moab: budget-friendly hotels to higher-priced resorts. You’ll also find vacation rentals, a hostel, campgrounds and RV parks in Moab.