May is one of the best months to visit the Grand Canyon when temperatures are ideal. Until May 15th, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon remains closed to the public, leaving the canyon’s South Rim a popular tourist option for those searching for that perfect weather.
Still, many canyon-goers suggest avoiding visits in early May due to the large spring break crowds--the Grand Canyon is often less crowded later in the month. Ultimately, May is a fantastic time to visit the canyon because you’ll experience the serenity it offers on top of the warm, mild weather. For help planning your tour of the Grand Canyon, check out this article.
What Are the Pros of Visiting the Grand Canyon in May?
The Northern Rim opens on May 15th, allowing tourists and visitors to access that region of the Grand Canyon and indulge in the spectacular rim-to-rim hiking expedition. In addition, May is a perfect time to enjoy South Rim activities, including helicopter rides, sightseeing, and bicycle tours. It’s also the best time to enjoy rafting across the Colorado River.
Although the Grand Canyon may have large May crowds, it’s doable compared to the peak season challenges during summer. If you’re traveling within Nevada, you may be wondering: is it worth it to go to the Grand Canyon from Vegas? We’ve got you covered.
What Are the Cons of Visiting the Canyon in May?
One con of visiting the Grand Canyon this time of the year is that heat levels are increasing. So, if you’re planning to hike to Phantom Ranch, hike rim-to -rim, or backpack, expect the temperatures to reach the 90s. Although that can feel mild under the shade--it’ll be much hotter in the sun.
Another drawback to visiting in May is that the summertime crowd is starting to appear. Again, the canyon isn’t at peak levels in May, but it’s busier than in the winter months. Visiting from Las Vegas and wondering, are there shuttles from Vegas to the Grand Canyon? Click here to read our latest article.
What To Do at the Grand Canyon in May
- Hike the Rim Trail to the Grand Canyon Village
The flat trail to the Grand Canyon Village from the visitor center is 2.5 miles long and has some of the canyon's most incredible viewpoints. This trail is perfect for visitors looking to experience the canyon's beauty without hiking across the canyon. In addition, this trail is an excellent way to enjoy a sunny day.
- Hike Rim-to-Rim
Many hikers often have the rim-to-rim hike through the canyon on their bucket lists; the terrain itself is stunning and offers beautiful views of the Grand Canyon that no other hiking trail can offer.
It’s not an easy route, though. The trail is one way, 24 miles long, and may take several days to complete. Start at the North Rim and work your way to the South Rim–the best route is hiking through the North Kaibab Trail and moving to the Bright Angel Trail.
- View the Sunrise at Mather Point
Mather Point is one of the best places in the Grand Canyon to see the sunrise. Because of its proximity to the large car park at the visitor center and the majestic views it offers, it’s no wonder why Mather Point is a go-to place for sunrise watchers. In May, you should arrive early to secure a front-seat view of the sunrise--it’ll be worth it!
It’s definitely worth visiting the Grand Canyon in May because of the minimal tourism and warmer weather–the majestic hiking options without the summer crowds make May the best time for visitors looking for a tranquil and memorable experience.