Travel Guide For Visiting Utah in May

We’ve put together a guide of what it’s like to visit Utah in May. The weather is picture-perfect in May making it one of the best months to visit Utah for outdoor activities to explore the state and its extraordinary national parks.

We have lived in and traveled around Utah for over 20 years. The tips we share are based on our experiences visiting various Utah locations, especially in the month of May. This guide details places to visit, things to do, what to pack, and where to stay for a Utah vacation in May.

visiting Utah in May

There are a lot of Utah spring break ideas and activities for visiting in May. You’ll find a number of things to do all around the state: scenic drives, hiking, biking, river rafting, tours, photography, and more!

The number one tip we have for visiting Utah in May, is to have the right clothing and gear for the weather conditions for location you’ll visit. Use our Utah Packing Lists to see what we recommend for spring and grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

Utah packing lists for spring summer fall and winter
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A Photo Tour of Utah National Parks

Take a visual tour through all five Utah National Parks to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!

Northern and Southern Utah in May

Utah is divided into two regions: Northern Utah and Southern Utah.

Northern Utah in May:

Salt Lake City, Park City, and Provo are the three main cities in Northern Utah. You’ll find main streets with shopping, restaurants, nightlife, festivals, historic buildings and performing arts. 

In May, the higher elevations in the mountains may still have snow so you might be able to snowshoe, snow ski, or snowmobile. The lower elevations might get a rain or even snow storm in May. The snow runoff may make some hiking trails wet and muddy.

Southern Utah in May:

If you plan to drive from Northern to Southern Utah, most of the way you’ll be passing through rural areas with small towns, limited services, and spotty cell service.

Check to see where the Utah vacation spots are located around the state because a drive from Salt Lake City to any of the National Parks in the south can take 4 to 5 hours.

All 5 Utah National Parks are located in Central and Southern Utah. May is a popular time of year so be prepared for crowds and take note if permits are required to enter or participate in the activities you want to do!

Before heading out to explore any National or Utah State Park, check with the visitor center at each destination for the most current information.

Utah Weather in May

Here’s a summary of the average Utah weather in May around the state:

Northern Utah Average temperatures in May:

  • Salt Lake City: highs 73 / lows 50 degrees F
  • Provo: highs 66 / lows 47
  • Ogden: highs 74 / lows 47
  • Park City: highs 61 / lows 38
  • Dinosaur National Monument: highs 75 / lows 44

Southern Utah Average temperatures in May:

  • St. George: highs 85 / lows 56 degrees F
  • Moab: highs 83 / lows 51
  • Escalante: highs 76 / lows 42
  • Cedar City: highs 70 / lows 44
  • Natural Bridges National Monument: highs 71 / lows 44

It’s good to be prepared for the expected weather forecast and temperatures for the parks you’ll visit in May so we’ve written detailed guides for each National Park in Utah:

As the temperatures start to rise in Utah in May, it’s important to stay hydrated and use sun protection for any outdoor activities:

spring hiking gear

Is May a Good Time to Visit Utah?

Trying to decide the best times to visit Utah? It really depends on the things you want to do!

In May you can enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, boating, stargazing, off-roading, or camping in the mountains, forests, lakes, reservoirs, red rock canyons, and deserts.

The National Parks are popular destinations for Spring Break in Utah. Be prepared for crowds. The weather will be just right for outdoor activities.

Aztec Butte granaries at Canyonlands Island in the Sky
Aztec Butte granaries at Canyonlands Island in the Sky

Things to Do in Utah in May

Here’s a fun list of things to do and places to visit in Utah in May! Explore the breathtaking beauty of Utah’s national parks, where stunning landscapes and outdoor adventures await.

Utah National Parks in May

All of the Utah National Parks in May are open 24/7. Be sure to check the NPS website for the most updated information for the Visitor Center hours and services available at each park in May.

NOTE: Arches and Zion are two of the nine US National Parks requiring reservations.

Arches Timed Entry: You must have a timed entry reservation to enter the park from April 1 to October 31. You can enter Arches National Park before 7am and after 4pm without an advance reservation.

Zion Hiking Permits: There are three year-round permits required for hiking these trails:

  • Angels Landing hiking permit for the chains section – you can hike to Scouts Landing and back without a permit.
  • Left Fork North Creek Subway
  • Full 16-mile Narrows hike

Enjoy spring activities in Utah National Parks like hiking, biking, scenic drives, off-roading, landscape photography, and more!

We’ve written specific guides about visiting the five Utah National Parks in May:

Dead Horse Point State Park

Utah State Parks in May

In May you can enjoy hiking, biking, climbing, photography, stargazing, and camping at a variety of Utah State Parks. Here are a few of the parks we recommend visiting in May.

Hiking Trail at Bryce Canyon
Hiking Trail at Bryce Canyon

Hiking in Utah in May

Hiking in Utah is one of the best ways to experience this beautiful state. In May the temperatures are just right for hiking.

There are plenty of trails for spring hiking in Utah National Parks, State parks, National forests, and Wilderness areas. You’ll find a trail for any level of hiker from gentle, scenic routes perfect for beginners to steep, rugged trails that will test even the most experienced hiker’s stamina, the variety is endless.

Check out these fun spring hiking ideas around Utah at all five Utah National Parks:

Arches National Park Scenic Drive

Utah Scenic Drives in May

Utah has more than 400,000 miles of roads to explore. The scenic drives in Utah showcase the beauty of the state’s diverse geography. In May enjoy mild weather and clear skies as you drive through the natural wonders of Utah.

We recommend these Utah scenic drives during the month of May:

The scenic drives in Utah National Parks offer some of the best views and landscapes in America. All five parks have a road to explore the various points of interest with things to see, do and photograph at each stop.

Have you heard about the Utah National Parks GuideAlong App? It’s a great way to have your own private guide to hear fun behind-the scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location.

Eph Hanks Tower at Capitol Reef National Park
Eph Hanks Tower at Capitol Reef National Park

Utah Photography in May

Utah’s stunning landscape features deserts, sandstone cliffs, forested mountains, deep canyons, and red rock monoliths. It’s truly a photographer’s dream!

The best times to photograph the Utah National Parks is during the sunrise and sunset hours. The sun on the red rocks is vibrant and a spectacular sight. 

Check out this list of photo spots around Utah! Each destination showcases unique and diverse landscape to photograph around the state!

milky way over fins at Arches National Park
Milky way over fins at Arches National Park

Utah Stargazing in May

Stargazing is a must-do activity in Utah. The state has the highest concentration of certified International Dark Sky Parks in the world. We definitely recommend you take time to view the Utah night skies during your vacation.

In May you can see and photograph the milky way from 11pm to sunrise!

Northern Utah Stargazing Locations:

Southern Utah Stargazing Locations:

Utah Tours in May

You’ll find a variety of guided tours to enjoy in May around the state of Utah: hiking, rock climbing, photography, off-roading, and more! At the Utah National Parks there are guided tour to explore the red rock landscape!

Utah Camping in May

With its vast array of national parks and monuments, you’ll find a variety of camping opportunities around the state. In Northern Utah, it could still be too early for higher elevation camping in the mountains.

In Southern Utah, you’ll find options for camping at all five Utah National Parks as well as RV Parks and BLM campgrounds near each park. Whether you’re looking for a secluded spot in nature or a bustling campground with plenty of amenities, there is something for everyone when it comes to camping in Utah’s national parks.

Utah Travel Guides & Maps

Utah guides and maps

Places to Stay in Utah in May

Utah Bucket List

To find even MORE fun things to do in May, we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of must-do activities that belong on every Utah Bucket List: things to see, do and taste all around the state! Grab the free printable by clicking the graphic below!

utah bucket list - grab the free packet

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