Jackson Hole in May is just before the start of the main summer season. Activities start to open up, but the business and crowds of summer haven’t arrived yet. This means that visiting Jackson Hole in May comes with several perks: less crowds, slightly better prices (since demand hasn’t peaked yet), and plenty of fun things to do.
Here’s our Jackson Hole May bucket list:
1. Grand Teton National Park Opens All Roads to Vehicle Traffic May 1
May 1 signals the opening of the roads of Grand Teton National Park to vehicles. You can drive freely through the park and access to all it has to offer.
Jackson Hole in May can still have snowy and icy weather, so the trails of the park may not be completely clear. Know that if you plan to explore the park, you may need to be prepared for snowy/icy trails.
The upside to visiting in May is that there are less visitors to the parks. Wildlife is also pretty active during this time. Animals migrate to their summer grounds and baby animals can be spotted with their herds as they are born in spring.
2. Yellowstone National Park Opens Its South Entrance
Around mid-May Yellowstone National Park will open it south entrance. If you are staying in Jackson Hole this is the entrance you will want to take into the park. For a live list of roads openings & future dates, see here.
3. Elk Fest
Each year thousands of elk spend their winter on the Elk Refuge, just outside of town. During this time they shed their antlers, dropping them throughout the refuge. The local Boy Scout troop will retrieve some of the antlers in the Spring and auction them off in Town Square.
People travel from all over the country to Jackson Hole in May take part in this one of a kind event. Seeing hundreds antlers laid out around Town Square is something you won’t want to miss.
For a full schedule of the Elk Fest weekend, see here.
4. Old West Days
The Old West Days takes place at the end of May and is a celebration of of the old western culture of the area. The highlights include a parade, rodeo, live music, brewfest, and many other family activities.
There’s something for everyone during the Old West Days. Whether you’re passionate about food, culture, history, or beer! It’s a unique way to experience Jackson Hole and a favorite of both locals & visitors.
For the full schedule, see here.
5. Aerial Tram Opens for Summer at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
The Aerial Tram (used to ski the mountain in winter) at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village opens mid-May for the summer. Take the tram up for stunning 360 degree views of the tetons, access to hikes on the mountain, or enjoy a gourmet waffle at Courbet’s Cabin.
This is an incredible way to see the mountains and Jackson Hole in May: the tram goes up over four thousand feet in just 12 minutes.
Tram ticket prices are lower in May and slightly cheaper if you buy online (purchase here).
May in Jackson Hole is often overlooked for the busier summer months, but the perks of coming this month are plenty. Whether you are interested in wildlife, the culture of the region, or exploring nature, May in Jackson Hole has one of a kind experiences to offer!