There are important things to know as you’re planning a trip to visit Utah National Parks in May. As you add places to visit in Utah to your bucket list, visiting the national parks is a must!
The best thing about a May trip to Utah National Parks is the weather. It’s cool in the morning and evening, and just right during the day when you’re enjoying outdoor activities.
Here’s our guide to enjoying Utah National Parks in May: what to pack, weather, things to do and places to stay for all five parks!
Use our Packing list for Utah National Parks to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting in May! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!
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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!
Utah National Parks in May
All five of the Utah National Parks are open every single day in May. BUT it’s the peak season so the roads, hiking trails and parking lots typically fill to capacity.
Due to the popularity of this time of year, many parks now have permits to enter or do certain activities. So be sure to check about reservations required in May when determining the best time to visit Utah National Parks.
It’s also good to know the expected weather and temperatures for the parks you’ll visit in May:
- Arches National Park weather – highs 80 | lows 50 degrees F
- Bryce Canyon National Park weather – highs 60 | lows 30 degrees F
- Canyonlands National Park weather – highs 80 | lows 50 degrees F
- Capitol Reef National Park weather – highs 73 | lows 46 degrees F
- Zion National Park weather – highs 86 | lows 54 degrees F
Arches National Park in May
Arches National Park is open 24/7. When visiting Arches 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!
You can also plan to visit the park after 5 p.m. when again, you won’t need a ticket to get into Arches. The late afternoon and evening allows you to see and photograph sunset at Arches National Park, or enjoy stargazing at night!
Arches National Park Activities
- Arches National Park Scenic Drive
- Arches National Park Hiking Trails
- Arches National Park Photography
- Arches National Park Tours
Where to Stay Near Arches National Park
Canyonlands National Park in May
The temperatures are just right for outdoor fun at Canyonlands National Park in May! There is not much shade to be found at the park so we recommend getting into Canyonlands early or later in the day to avoid lines.
There are two popular districts to visit: Canyonlands Island in the Sky vs Needles:
- Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky, 30 miles from Moab
- Needles Canyonlands, 75 miles from Moab
Canyonlands National Park Activities
- Island in the Sky Scenic Drive
- Canyonlands Hikes
- Best Photo Spots at Canyonlands Island in the Sky
- Canyonlands National Park Tours
Where to Stay Near Canyonlands
Bryce Canyon National Park 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 we recommend exploring the park in the morning or later in the day. You can’t beat the Bryce Canyon sunrise photography and hiking in the morning!
Bryce Canyon National Park Activities
- Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive
- Bryce Canyon Hikes
- Bryce Canyon Photo Spots
- Bryce Canyon National Park Tours
Where to Stay Near Bryce Canyon
Capital Reef National Park in May
Capitol Reef is the least-visited of the Utah Parks which makes it a great place to visit during the busier times of the year.
When visiting Capitol Reef National Park in May we always recommend stopping at the Gifford House to get homemade treats like pie and ice cream!
There are a variety of passes available to visit Capitol Reef. Check the website for the most current fee prices and information. You won’t need a US National Park pass to drive along Highway 24 or through the Fruita area, but you will need one to access the Scenic Drive just past the Fruita Campground.
Capitol Reef National Park Activities
- Capitol Reef Scenic Drive
- Capitol Reef Hikes
- Capitol Reef National Park Photography
- Capitol Reef National Park Tours
Places to Stay Near Capitol Reef
- Places to Stay at Capitol Reef National Park
- Capitol Reef National Park Camping
- Hotels near Capitol Reef National Park
Zion National Park in May
There might be limited parking at Zion National Park in the town of Springdale so plan to start your day early to get a parking spot in town and a spot on the shuttle.
Hikers going to Angels Landing will need a permit. The National Park Service (NPS) will issue permits using online lotteries at Recreation.gov.
Zion National Park Activities
- Zion National Park Scenic Drives
- Zion National Park Hikes
- Zion Hikes Without the Shuttle
- Zion National Park Photo Spots
- Zion National Park Tours
Where to Stay Near Zion