Need suggestions for a greener National park/places in the Southwest. Visiting May 1st week


We are visiting visiting Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon in the 1st week of May. Since we have too much ‘desert’ on our itinerary, I wanted suggestions on whether there is any place/ park nearby that is really very lush green? So we have variety in our itinerary.

Right now - I am considering Sequoia and Yosemite. But the drive unto there and back is a bit long. Also, I haven’t been to Yosemite so I am not sure how green it is in the first week of May.

Sorry for the long question but I am trying to plan something out for days but no success.

Yosemite & Sequoia/Kings Canyon are both great choices and will both be very green in May. Yosemite is probably already booked up but Sequoia should have availability. Stay away from the lower elevation campgrounds as they will probably be heating up by then.

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Sequoia is an awful long way to drive. It’s hard to get away from the desert in the southwest but there are areas that you can find green. The flagstaff area is a great example. Mt humpfres and Walnut Canyon National Monument are very beautiful. And of course Zion canyon is a paradise.

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Dixie National Forest in Utah is all kinds of green. Elevations as high as 11,000 feet. Problem will be snow - and opening dates for campgrounds because of the weather. Check on

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@Kim_K1 Interesting that you should mention Dixie National Forest. Do you think May 1st week will give me views with green grasslands and purple yellow flowers like the Yellowstone’s?
I am asking because someone has posted these pics from Dixie National Forest on Google. I would be interested in these if it was possible in May.

Also do you think it will be more lush green at high elevations or low elevations? Sorry I am a complete newbie and haven’t been in these areas before

So, I’ve only been there in the Fall. It was definitely pretty. We took a day trip from Zion to Cedar Breaks through Brian Head and then back to Zion through Duck Creek Village.

It’s a good break in scenery from the red rock of Zion - although there are trees and greenery in Zion and Capitol Reef.

going to Yosemite or Sequoia is just really far from Utah. Nothing will compare with Yellowstone but southern Utah has some great, unique scenery. Plus, the altitude in Zion and Bryce give it a different feel than the desert southwest of Arizona

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Do you only have a week? Or do you start the week of May 1 and run longer? If just a week, I would limit yourself to those general areas, but be sure to explore the Kolob Canyon side of Zion as well Looks like services on the north rim of the Grand Canyon doesn’t open until May 15. My recollection is of more trees on that side.

Thanks @Jean_C
Yes we have a week only starting May 4th. Yes, we will be going to Kolob Canyons for stargazing one of the nights too. For GC, right now we have planned really the south rim for a couple days. But the scenery there will be repetitive/ uninteresting considering we will have already visited Zion and Bryce, methinks. So want to see if I can find a change in scenery to really green. That way I want to try to replace GC south rim with that green place.

Based on your timeline, I think you should really enjoy the week that you have just visiting the parks already on your agenda. You will be rushed as it is. The places you are visiting are very different from one another. I’d plan another trip at a later date to get to some different geography.

Have you been to the Grand Canyon before? I don’t really think if it as repetitive/ uninteresting compared to Bryce and Zion. If you’re fit, consider a hike down into the GC, at least to Indian Garden, for example.

The Patchwork Parkway in Dixie NF and Cedar Breaks has wildflowers, but it looks like July may be the time to see those.