We all need a place and time to unwind, take our minds off our daily routines, and re-energize for quality results in our everyday activities. May is one of the best months to visit many national parks in the United States before summer arrives.
Depending on your preference, there are various breathtaking national parks you can visit in May that will leave you delighted and content. From the stunning landscapes of Sequoia National Park in California to the prettiest spring scenery in Alaska, there’s truly something for everyone on this list.
This article features an inspirational mix of the ten amazing national parks you can visit in May. We will also look into what to anticipate while there and why they are the best places to visit.
1. Yosemite National Park
|Yosemite National Park|
|Animal to See||Black Bear|
|Attraction to See||Ancient Sequoia Trees|
Yosemite National Park is a phenomenal sight to visit during May because of its pleasant temperatures that range between 44℉ to 73℉. It’s also not too crowded as compared to summer. So, you will be able to explore the park fully without any hindrance.
Yosemite is home to one of the largest waterfalls in North America. The park is also full of magnificent granite cliffs, giant sequoia groves, glaciers, clear streams, lakes, and mountains. But you should keep in mind that some of these places might still be closed in May since Yosemite gets lots of snow in winter, which takes longer to melt.
In May, experience the outdoors in a new way by hiking through Yosemite Valley, Wawona, and Hetch Hetchy. You can also cycle with friends or family members at the park. The park is also home to bears, bobcats, coyotes, river otters, and other animals.
2. Zion National Park
|Zion National Park|
|Animal to See||Mountain Lion|
|Attraction to See||Angels Landing, Expansive Canyon|
Zion National Park is an incredible place to visit in May because the weather is usually perfect for outdoor activities. Zion’s temperature makes it possible for one to experience the thrilling, beautiful cream scenery, the beautiful Virgin River, and the snow melting in the valley.
This park is home to beautiful canyons built over the years by powerful weather events and the Virgin River. Mountain lions occupy top positions of the canyons as they hunt mammals such as bighorn sheep and mule deer.
The highlight of Zion National Park is Angels Landing, where one can watch breathtaking sunset and sunrise. Lava Camp Point Campground, Watchman, and South Campground are among the best places to camp at the park because of their great scenic views.
3. Sequoia National Park
|Sequoia National Park|
|Animal to See||Black Bear|
|Attraction to See||Giant Sequoia Trees|
Visiting Sequoia National Park in May will enable you to see the giant sequoia trees, which are the main attraction of the park. In May, the temperatures are favorable, meaning you can even go underground to the crystal cave.
You can climb the high-sky granite rock to get a better view of coyotes, black bears, wolverines, beavers, badgers, and deer. You will marvel at the great scenes of the world’s largest trees and General Sherman from the granite rock.
Hiking along the 1.3-mile Big Trees trail, the 2-mile Congress Trail, and Moro Rock will take your breath away. This park also hosts a museum that has a history of behemoth trees and the surrounding community.
4. Big Bend National Park
|Big Bend National Park|
|Animal to See||Kitfox|
|Attraction to See||The Santa Elena Canyon|
Big Bend National Park is among the best national parks in Texas. The park is home to over 1,200 plant species and is famous for having many fauna and flora. It also hosts over 450 bird species and 75 mammals.
You might run into a kitfox, a bobcat, a ringtail, and many species of bats at the park. Seeing the park’s canyons, turtles on the river banks and bald eagles flying over the river can be an incredible experience as you kayak at Big Bend.
Big Bend’s vast areas provide a perfect hiking spot with desert and mountain trails to explore. Big Bend is the best place to stargaze since it’s one of the darkest parks, making it possible to see the Milky Way.
5. Saguaro National Park
|Saguaro National Park|
|Animal to See||Collared Peccaries|
|Attraction to See||Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum|
Saguaro National Park is one of the best places to tour if you like hiking and watching stunning sunsets. It’s a bit hot in Saguaro, with temperatures ranging from 59℉ to 91℉. The major highlight of the park is the Saguaro cactus over the Sonoran Desert, where tourists go for hikes.
Saguaro is home to the most unusual variety of animals, most of which are only found in Arizona. These animals include Gila monsters, collared peccaries, horned lizards, kangaroo rats, and roadrunners among others.
6. Arches National Park
|Arches National Park|
|Animal to See||Mountain Lion|
|Attraction to See||Delicate Arch|
Arches National Park is an incredible park to visit in May because of its favorable temperatures ranging from 52℉ to 81℉. The park is excellent for outdoor activities, like hiking through Park Avenue and the Double Arch.
One can also take a scenic drive and view the geological formations at the Balanced Rock and Devil’s Garden. You may run into woodrats, skunks, bobcats, and bighorn sheep along Highway 191 near the visitor center.
Mountain lions also roam the canyons and the talus slopes of Archives National Park. They hunt prey on the rocky slopes while negotiating the steep and rocky terrain with ease.
7. Mammoth Cave National Park
|Mammoth Cave National Park|
|Animal to See||Raccoon|
|Attraction to See||Dinosaur World|
Due to warm weather, Mammoth Cave National Park is among the best places to undertake outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, scenic drives, and biking in May. The park offers surreal adventures because it has one of the largest cave systems in the world.
Get to experience America’s last remaining rural ferries where one can hitch a ride on the Green River Ferry at Mammoth Cave. You can also walk through the forest and explore nature’s beauty brought forth by the blooming spring flowers.
In May, wild woodland animals, like young deer fawns, muskrats, opossums, woodchucks, and wild turkeys, also come out because of the warm temperatures. May is also the best time to visit the park as it is less crowded.
8. Glacier National Park
|Glacier National Park|
|Animal to See||Grizzly Bear|
|Attraction to See||Lake McDonald|
If you want to avoid crowds, May is the best month to visit Glacier National Park. You will get the best views of the Glacier Bay Mountains while sailing and kayaking in the park’s beautiful waters.
The park also offers you an opportunity to watch sea lions, eagles, bears, whales, porcupines, and moose in May. You will also be able to explore the backcountry chalets, the wonderful dense ancient forest, the photogenic Hidden Lake, and the pristine turquoise streams of Glacier National Park.
9. Great Sand Dunes National Park
|Great Sand Dunes National Park|
|Animal to See||Kangaroo Rats|
|Attraction to See||Towering Star Dune|
Great Sand Dunes National Park is an amazing park to visit in Colorado. If you are an adventurous person, you can tour the Great Sand Dunes in May and explore several outdoor activities such as sandboarding, camping, and scenic drives. It’s only possible to drive through the Medano Pass Primitive Road using a 4WD vehicle because of the tall dunes.
You can hike up to the 750-foot summit and enjoy the great view above the dunes. Small animals like kangaroo rats, ground squirrels, rabbits, and different birds live at the base of the dunes. Bobcats, coyotes, and other larger mammals live in the sheltered areas of the surrounding mountains.
Don’t be in a hurry to leave the park when the sun goes down, as the park offers the best view of the Milky Way at night.
10. Theodore Roosevelt National Park
|Theodore Roosevelt National Park|
|Animal to See||Herds of Bison|
|Attraction to See||Chateau de Mores State Historic Site|
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is among the most underrated national parks in North Dakota. However, it’s one of the best places to visit in May due to its pleasant temperatures. The park is home to large and small grazing animals, including bison, elk, prairie dogs, pronghorn, wild horses, and bighorn sheep.
Theodore is a great place to drive through the Badlands and past several overlooks and trails with amazing viewpoints. You will also experience an adventurous hike through different places like Buck hill (0.2miles), Boicourt Overlook Trail (0.2 miles), and Skyline Vista (0.1 miles).