PLEASE NOTE: If you’re interested in Grand Canyon backpacking trips, and you don’t see them in the calendar, it’s likely because permits aren’t available yet. Permits are issued approximately 4 months prior, and it’s extremely beneficial to register before the permit process begins. Learn more or register on the individual trip pages.

Trip Dates



May is one of the busiest months of the year for us at Wildland Trekking. This is for several important reasons that also provide huge benefits to guests hiking in the month of May. First, a couple massively popular trips open up – these include the Rim to Rim hike in the Grand Canyon and the Half Dome Trek in Yosemite. May is a phenomenal time of year to join any of our hikes in Yosemite because the waterfalls are running at their peak flows, which is spectacular.

Second, in May you can pick from many desert and canyon destinations (like Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Sedona’s Red Rock Country and more) because they are in their prime season. And you can also pick from multiple mountain destinations which are just starting to open up or are very close to their prime (like Yosemite, the Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains, Yellowstone and more.)

Internationally, May is considered one of the best months of the year to hike the Inca Trail or other Peru treks. And Vietnam is still excellent.

Finally, a huge benefit of May is that schools and colleges are still in session so the summer peak tourist season is not yet underway. This means you can enjoy some amazing destinations with relative solitude.


One of the biggest drawbacks of hiking in May is that there aren’t very many international destinations that are in their prime. Peru and the Inca Trail are the major exceptions to this point.

Another drawback, especially in mid to late May, is that the Grand Canyon is moving closer to its higher summer temperatures, which inside the Canyon can be 105 degrees fahrenheit in the shade.


Huge waterfall between rocky mountainsThere are three main categories of destinations to hike in May:

– USA desert and canyon destinations – these options include Grand Canyon, Sedona’s Red Rock Country, Zion, Bryce, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Paria Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands and more.

USA mountain destinations – the major mountain destinations that are open, some in their early seasons, in May are Yosemite, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Mountains and Yellowstone.

– Trekking and backpacking internationally – recommended options for May are Peru and Vietnam.