I am planing a motorcycle trip to the western us nat parks this May. I will b there for appox30, 45 days Is this a good time of year to ride
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Auto/Motorcycle, Road Biking, Ranger-led Programs, Camping, Park Passes and Fees, RVing
10 years ago
6 Answers
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May in the west can be unpredictable. For instance, in Yellowstone, Teton & Glacier there will still be several feet of snow in many areas. It can snow & be below freezing for most of May in the Wyoming-Montana region. So, if you were to start in the Southwest & work your way north, you should have a lovely trip!
10 years ago
Expert Answer
2 Answers
3Helpful Answer Rating
It's always a great time to go tour the national parks on motorcycle, the important questions to address are which parks and what is your starting point. On my first trip from New York City to Yosemite and back, I left in June and was greeted by rainstorms and a wide swing of temperature extremes. On the day I planned to ride into Yellowstone, I had to stop because there was snow on the pass and the road was closed.  I searched almost a dozen stores before finding one that could sell me an extra layer to wear under my protective shell, as they all said it was summer and they no longer sold fleece or other jackets. (I ended up with a compressible, lightweight down jacket, which I had multiple occasions to break out.) As you well know, it gets cold awfully quickly when you consider the wind chill factor, one of the realities of cold weather riding. If you start in a warm climate and take a southern route, you should be just fine. No matter when you ride, be aware of the need to carry extra layers, as it's always best to be prepared. I've made snowballs in the afternoon on the top of a mountain pass after having ridden through the hot desert all morning long, in July! I recommend a good pair of water-proof gloves (or covers) for any extended trip, along with weather-proof, padded riding gear.  If you let everyone in the OhRanger.com community know what parks you're considering and where you'll be starting, perhaps we can make some specific recommendations for places to see. For example, if you were consider to focus on Utah, you could create a great tour by riding the "Grand Circle." The desert parks of Southern California and Nevada are also fantastic in May. 

I look forward to hearing about your adventures and hope that OhRanger.com will help you with your plans. Check out our new feature that allows you to find the activities you like near to any place you choose in America. Safe travels!

10 years ago