Exploring the great outdoors
Zion is filled with peaks and valleys that fulfill everyone’s hiking dreams and more. Visiting in May will ensure you see all of the park’s amazing sights while avoiding the huge tourist crowds. While still visiting during one of the best times of year for great, mild hiking weather!
Why is Zion National Park so special?
One of the things that makes Zion National Park so special is its location at the meeting point of three different land formations in the United States. The joining of the Colorado Plateau, the Mojave Desert, and the Great Basin. This means the park is filled with lots of unique wildlife, and stunning land formations varying from mountains to canyons.
The National Park, originally named Mukuntuweap National Monument in honor of the local Puebloan and Southern Paiute Native American Tribes. Was formed over millions of years by water erosion and plate tectonics. When the Colorado Plateau was created by plates colliding and pushing up to higher elevations. The rivers going through the area that would become Zion National Park became steeply angled down. With the extra force caused by the downward slope, the rivers were able to carve the beautiful canyons and peaks that create the stunning views the park is so famous for.
Now, because of these greatly varied land formations and different climates coming from the different land regions around the park, it’s important to know that the weather of the park can change greatly from season to season and even day to night. Visiting during May is a great way to make sure you have some of the best weather. You will have sunny warm days and cool nights. Due to melting snow you’re also likely to experience the peak of the wildflower blooming season. Which is truly a beautiful sight to see!
Beautiful natural sandstone formations along a road in Zion National Park
The Best Hikes
To take the most advantage of beautiful May weather in Zion National Park, make sure to go on some great hikes! One of the most popular walking ventures is a trail called The Narrows.
Start at the Temple of Sinawava, which can be reached by the park’s shuttle service. The follow the accessible paved path along the river for a mile, before jumping into the river itself and walking upstream through the narrowest section of Zion Canyon. You’ll be able to hike for up to ten miles without a permit. Make sure to pack some sturdy waterproof hiking shoes and a change of socks for when you’ve finished your explorations and want to warm your feet up again!
It’s also important to check the park’s weather before planning your hike. Just to make sure you won’t be caught in any rain or cold. The National Park Service gives updates on the speed of the river current, the weather forecast, and most importantly the flash flood potential for each day.
Zion Narrows hike through the Virgin river
Another of Zion’s most famous hikes is the 2.5 mile trek up to Angel’s Landing. If you’ve ever imagined what it would be like to fly, this is the perfect hike for you.
Sunny clear skies in May, lower tourist crowds, it’s the perfect time to adventure up the peak of Angel’s Landing. The sunny path starts out paved before winding up a narrow ridge. Fortified with chains for hikers to hold onto while traversing the ledges, before ending at what is arguably the best view in Zion.
For this hike, make sure you’re well hydrated. Be prepared for a strenuous climb, and don’t have a fear of heights. Take a look at the weather beforehand to make sure the winds are calm and there’s no chance of a late spring shower. When the sky is clear, head on out to the hike of your lifetime!
Climbing the path to Angels Landing
Rock Climbing and More
If hiking horizontally isn’t enough of an adventure for you, try some vertical hiking, or rock climbing! Zion is famous for its almost endless sandstone vertical walls. With difficulty levels that will please seasoned climbers, and many guide services available for beginners who want to learn on some of the most amazing cliffs around, all parties will be pleasantly surprised with what Zion has to offer!
Think 2000-foot walls of sandstone, beautiful views, and even bouldering areas that are easily accessible. While you’re getting to your climbing route or anywhere else in the park, make sure to plan a route along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive.
The winding road takes you down into the bottom of one of the canyons and can be accessed by the parks free shuttle service which is the best and only way to get around the park in May. While you’ll be able to drive your own vehicle to the visitor’s lodge or to the Zion Lodge if you’re a guest there, the best way and fastest way to get into the park and on the shuttle system, is to park in the city of Springdale and catch the shuttle into the park from there!
Kolob Canyons, home to amazing rock formations, are popular climbing spots
Where to Stay
Finding lodging in Zion National Park is an easy search as there’s only one place to stay inside the actual park borders. Zion Lodge is a mecca within the park with hotel rooms, suites, and private cabins available for lodging.
The room rates are reasonable for the quality and location of lodging. With an average of just over $200 per night for either a hotel room or cabin. You’ll find yourself in a very cozy home with an amazing view from your private balcony or porch.
You will have good food from a variety of restaurants at your fingertips year-round. Because the lodge is the only place to stay within the park, it’s a good idea to book very early and to have a flexible plan of travel. But once you’re booked, get ready to spend your spring taking in nature and being amazed by earth and her beautiful natural wonders!
People relaxing on the lawn outside Zion Lodge
If you are curious of where else is on the top of my travel list here at myoutofoffice.net then click the link below.
Make sure to stop by next week and see my top June travel destinations.
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