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Thread: Utah's big 5

  1. #1

    Default Utah's big 5

    I plan on taking my daughter on a trip to visit Utah after college graduation. She graduates in early May and then she will start Grad School late August.

    Is early to mid May a good time to visit Utah? I don't want to go in the hottest times but also don't want it to be freezing cold either.

    We went on a trip to CA after her high school graduation and we were completely caught off guard by the cooler temps in the San Francisco Bay area in July. So we will definitely do our research on temps and be better prepared this time. Starting now - by asking the experts on this forum.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    I think May would be a pretty ideal time to visit Utah. There are going to be some significant temperature ranges, because you'll be dealing with a variety of altitudes, but overall, it should be a pretty pleasant.

    The average daytime temps generally are in the 60s and 70s. The biggest issue you're likely to face would be cool overnight temperatures, especially at higher elevation places like Bryce Canyon, where it still often dips down below freezing in May.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Unpredictable.

    Hello and welcome to RTA!

    You can get a good idea about climate by searching on-line but the weather at the time you travel is totally unpredictable until a few days before you leave. May can be a lovely month to travel but it can also see cold nights, especially at high elevation in places such as Bryce canyon where you could still experience night time temperatures below freezing. On the other side of the coin you could have daytime temps in the mid 80's at Arches NP. I'd say mid May could offer a good balance between too hot and too cold but you would have to pack layered clothing and as I said at the start, there are no guarantees when it comes to weather.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Could Be Perfect

    If I had to pick a single month of the year to visit Utah, May would be very high on the list, even given my personal partiality to Autumn. While climate is not weather and it's always possible that you could run into unexpected conditions, in general May is the time when the desert southwest, including Utah, is transitioning from 'winter' to summer. Daytime highs are usually in the mid-70s or so, overnight lows in the mid-50s, and what passes for a rainy season is coming to an end with less than 2" total in a typical month. Of course, all of that is dependent not just on weather patterns but on local elevation as well which will change considerably as you make the circuit of the Big 5. So... expect the best, but be prepared for the occasional spot of rain and perhaps a bit of (dry) heat here and there. And be content in the knowledge that you've picked perhaps one of the best times for weather, let alone that most schools won't have let out yet and the parks shouldn't be too crowded.


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