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The Best National Parks to Visit in May 2024

With warmer temperatures and longer days ahead, you can look forward to spending more time outdoors and traveling to conquer new terrains. If you’re kicking off your National Park planning and exploring this month, your head is in the right place.

Late spring is a fantastic time to visit these popular destinations, mainly because the weather is mild, and the roads are clearer with school still in session. As much as there are perks to heading to these parks during peak seasons, the crowds are a big downside, as they can limit your time or experience on the trails. 

If you’re looking for the best National Parks to visit in May 2024, we pulled together our six favorites, with a few in driving distance from the Pacific Northwest.

Six Stunning National Parks To Visit This May


1. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park lake and waterfall view

Where: California 

Average May Temperature: 70°F - 45°F 


If you’re mesmerized by waterfalls, wildlife, meadows, and towering cliffs and rock formations, you must visit Yosemite National Park this May. There are so many trails to tackle and views to see, starting with the iconic Yosemite Falls hike, which leads you to the fifth-tallest waterfall in the world. May is an ideal time to see Yosemite fully alive in the spring season, without all the foot traffic that comes with the summer crowds.

For more captivating cascading views, you can trek along the Bridalveil Fall, Vernal Fall, or Mist Trail. And to stay protected from the misty conditions, go with a waterproof look, like this lightweight women’s jacket or this packable men’s jacket.

But the most popular sight by car? The Tunnel View, which lives up to its name, taking you from a dark tunnel to sweeping views of the Yosemite Valley. 

See the valley views.


2. Zion National Park


Where: Utah 

Average May Temperature: 69°F - 42°F 


Another spectacular park with iconic views and desert conditions, Zion National Park is a must-visit in May. With spring in full swing, the Virgin River will be flowing and wildflowers will be in bloom. Whether you’re taking a scenic drive or a hike, you will be amazed by the outstanding pink rocks, which look particularly magnificent against piercing blue skies or golden hour. 

For a memorable hike, grab a pair of waterproof boots and a walking stick to conquer The Narrows, one of the most legendary trails that takes you through the narrow walls of Navajo sandstone. And if you don’t have a fear of heights, we also recommend checking out the challenging Angels Landing trail. With both trails being wildly popular, May will offer fewer crowds and more solace to enjoy all the majesty that Zion has to offer.

Book your trip. 

3. Joshua Tree National Park


Where: California

Average May Temperature: 86°F - 55°F 


Immerse yourself in this peaceful park desert, known for its interesting views of twisted Joshua trees. 

In the Cholla Cactus Garden, you’ll catch glimpses of fascinating green cacti. And if you’re down for getting up early, catch the sunrise at Keys Views to see views of Coachella Valley, or even Mexico’s Signal Mountains on a clear day. 

There are also tons of hiking and walking trails to choose from, but our top pick is Hidden Valley for the towering boulders. For stargazing, head to the four designated areas such as Quail Springs, Hidden Valley, Cap Rock, or Ryan Mountain. 

A few tips before you go, bring plenty of food and water, as there is no running water in the park. Also, temperatures tend to drop drastically at night, so bring a cozy women’s hoodie or a warm men’s pullover.

Experience the magic.


4. Hot Springs National Park

Where: Arkansas 

Average May Temperature: 80°F - 58°F 


If you’re looking for a serene spring reset, head to the unique Hot Springs National Park. Rich with history, you can explore Bathhouse Row, where you can see eight historic bathhouse buildings, and book your traditional bathing or elevated spa experience, like the popular Buckstaff Bathhouse or Quapaw Bathhouse.

Aside from relaxation, there are many forest trails to explore featuring rich greenery, winding creeks, and staggering mountain views. To take a long hike, check out the Sunset Trail, a rigorous 12.9-mile loop with steep climbs and challenging turns. And for a picturesque road trip, pack your car snacks for the Hot Springs National Scenic Drive. 

Get refreshed.


5. Grand Canyon National Park

Where: Arizona 

Average May Temperature: 71°F - 36°F 


A landmark that needs no introduction, the Grand Canyon must be on your bucket list. We recommend visiting the popular South Rim, which is open all year round, easily accessible, and has plenty of lodging and dining options nearby if you want to stay awhile. May is an ideal time to visit with pleasant temperatures and fewer visitors.

There are so many ways to explore the canyon, whether gazing at the lookout points, taking a leisurely bike ride through Hermit Road, or conquering the depths of the canyon by taking a guided hike.

Either way, bring your camera. And, your long-sleeve layers with sun protection to deflect harmful rays like this versatile men’s quarter-zip or protective women’s hoodie

See what the hype is all about. 


6. Yellowstone National Park


Where: Wyoming 

Average May Temperature: 52°F - 28°F 


May is an ideal time to visit Yellowstone, which happens to be the first national park. With several entrances, pick out what types of activities you’re hoping to do before you go. Rest assured, there’s something for everyone. 

See the depths of Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon, explore Lamar Valley for wildlife sightings like bison, kayak on Lake Yellowstone, or see the remarkable Grand Prismatic Spring, which gets its vibrant colors thanks to the algae. 

And of course, you can’t leave the park without catching a glimpse of Old Faithful, one of 500 geysers in Yellowstone. To find out when it might erupt next, you can head to the visitor center, or check the National Park Service app.

Witness the wonders of Yellowstone.


Pack Your Suitcase & Enjoy Your May National Park Ad

If you’ve already booked your ticket or started mapping out your route, don’t forget about your gear. While we listed the average temperatures for each location, you can never be too prepared. Head to our outdoor men’s and women’s apparel collection to ensure you have enough protective outerwear and lightweight layers. Enjoy your epic travels! 

Topics: Travel,Outdoors