Montana experiences the fullness of all 4 seasons each single 12 months. It has stunning heat summers, colourful and funky falls, chilly and snowy winters, in addition to life-giving springs. Every season gives wonderful journey and adventuring alternatives. The seasons can, nonetheless, be harsh in Montana with heavy precipitation and excessive temperatures. Whatever the climate, there are countless possibilities to discover all that Montana has to supply.
The very best occasions to go to Montana are in the course of the summer time and fall. The climate is cooperative and virtually all actions are on the desk. I’ve spent quite a few days in Montana via all 4 seasons, however the late summer time and fall are simply my favourite occasions to go.
The 12 million individuals who go to Montana a 12 months usually come in the course of the hotter months, however the mountains and lodging refill within the winter because of the unbelievable snowboarding and snowboarding throughout the state.
Fast Look: Greatest Time to Go to Montana
For Fishing: April, June, July, August, September, and October.
For Swimming: July, August, and September.
For Mountaineering: June, July, August, September, and October.
For Nationwide Parks: June, July, August, September, and October.
For Fewer Crowds: Could, June, September, and October.
General Greatest Time To Go to Montana: September
September is the very best time to go to Montana. The climate throughout the state has begun to chill after a heat summer time and most of the people are returning again house after just a few months of journey. No matter the place you go to, you’ll discover that parks, trails, lakes, rivers, and mountains are far quieter than they’re throughout June, July, and August.
I’ve spent fairly a little bit of time in Montana from June via August, however previously few years, I’ve began visiting in the course of the fall. October can get chilly and snowy within the northern a part of the state, however September gives snug temperatures wherever you go to.
It doesn’t matter for those who’re tenting, fishing, or climbing, the climate is right. The cool mornings and heat afternoons are excellent for adventuring.
I completely love the peace and quiet that September gives after a loopy summer time of vacationers protecting all components of the state. Plus, I’m a diehard fly angler, and the fish have a tendency to reply higher when the air temperatures are cooler, (and circumstances calm down sufficient for fish to be energetic longer).
One of many remaining issues that makes September an incredible month to go to is that peak season costs are over. Lodging, actions, and even small issues like fuel fall again to extra regular costs presently of 12 months.
Montana residents begin crawling out of their summer time hibernation and start to get pleasure from all that the state has to supply now that the vacationers are gone. Every thing is simpler to seek out and it’s simpler to journey across the state freely.
Peak Season in Montana
(June – August, and December – February)
Through the 12 months, June via August is when most individuals select to go to Montana. Virtually all the trails are open and every little thing is in full bloom. The state is crammed with households, hardcore adventurers, and all types of vacationers in between. Most nationwide park trails and campgrounds are fully full throughout this time.
Costs are at their highest, and in depth planning is required to ensure you have entry to every little thing you want. Fishing, climbing, mountain biking, and climbing are among the hottest actions in the course of the peak season.
December – March is the height season in the course of the winter. Snowboarders and skiers flock to the dozen or so ski resorts unfold throughout the state. Since there’s such a wide range of snowboarding and snowboarding accessible within the state, first-timers, and households, all the way in which as much as professionals will be discovered on the slopes.
Snowmobiling, ice fishing, and cross-country snowboarding can also be widespread with visitors of Montana in the course of the winter. This time of 12 months is unquestionably much less busy than the summer time, however you’ll discover excessive ranges of holiday makers in fewer areas, so it feels a bit of crowded.
Shoulder Season in Montana
(September – October, and Could – June)
The shoulder season is my favourite time to go to Montana. The autumn shoulder season runs from September to October. The entire actions which might be accessible in the course of the peak season in the summertime are basically all accessible in the course of the shoulder season too.
Among the northern components of the states, in addition to the mountain peaks, start getting snow in October and temperatures can drop into the 20s at night time. The primary folks on the paths, visiting the parks, and having fun with different areas are locals. There are many full-time vacationers everywhere in the state, however the variety of vacationers is way decrease in comparison with peak season.
Within the spring, the shoulder season is Could – June. This can be a difficult time to go to the state until you’re snug spending time within the low nation. All components of the state are hit with snow, so runoff is in full drive in Could and June.
Because the temperatures heat, rivers, streams, and higher-elevation areas are muddy and crammed with water. Actions like fishing and common sightseeing are attainable, however solely particularly areas. Costs throughout Could and June are low, and if it’s been a very dry 12 months, this generally is a nice time to go to.
Off Season in Montana
(October – November, and March – April)
Through the fall low season, adventuring will be very hit and miss. October and November present stunning fall colours, however the time of 12 months additionally comes with snow and different precipitation. Costs are low and most locations are pretty empty, so if privateness is what you’re after, then it’s a good time to go.
If you happen to’re keen to work via some testing circumstances, you possibly can have among the hottest locations within the state to your self. There are climate home windows the place the highs are nonetheless within the 50s and 60s, however that may change extraordinarily rapidly, so be ready. Areas like Bozeman, Billings, and different southern components of the state are finest to go to in late fall.
Within the spring low season, you’ll discover that climate is in all places. Sooner or later it may very well be 60 and sunny and the subsequent it’s 25 and a blizzard. The nearer you get to the mountains, the extra unpredictable the climate will get.
Like the autumn low season, the costs are low and locations are empty in comparison with the height and shoulder seasons. You’re capable of get in some snowboarding within the northern components of the state, however for essentially the most half, you’ll be restricted to fishing and sightseeing. Convey your snowshoes for those who intend to hike!
When to Go to Montana For Swimming
The very best time to go to Montana for swimming is throughout July and August. Since virtually all lakes in Montana freeze in the course of the winter, the water wants time to heat up! Plus, the common temperature in Montana in July and August is within the high-70s to mid-80s.
It’s not unusual for there to be days over 90 levels, particularly at decrease elevations. Seashores alongside Flathead Lake in Kalispell and Whitefish Lake in Whitefish are wonderful to go to this time of 12 months. The water is snug and the hotter circumstances offer you an opportunity to chill off with a swim.
Different seashores, like my private favourite Lake McDonald Seashore in Glacier Nationwide Park, are nice to go to throughout these months. Since Glacier Nationwide Park is to this point north of the state, it takes some time for the ice to depart the lake, and for the air temperatures to heat the water sufficient to swim in.
When you’ll discover that lots of the lakes and rivers throughout the state don’t turn out to be like bathwater, (since most are crammed with snowmelt and underground springs), the vast majority of lakes and rivers are snug temperatures on these hotter days.
When to Go to Montana For Snowboarding
I like to go to Montana in January or February for snowboarding. My favourite resort, Big Sky, is finest throughout this time of 12 months. Sure, the temperatures are chilly, however the snow circumstances are virtually all the time excellent – the excessive elevation and hundreds of acres accessible to ski are lined in recent powder.
Christmas time is extremely busy across the ski resorts in Montana, so a mid-January or early February ski journey provides you an opportunity to seek out some peace and quiet and nonetheless benefit from the wonderful winter circumstances.
Virtually all the resorts throughout the state are able to creating their very own snow, but it surely’s hardly ever wanted, particularly at resorts based mostly larger within the mountains. Bridger Bowl, Large Sky Resort, Whitefish Ski Resort, and Blacktail Mountain Resort are among the finest selections within the state.
The number of slopes and challenges, in addition to the gorgeous mountain views, are extraordinarily laborious to beat. Persist with January and February, and also you’ll be blissful.
When to Go to Montana For Cities
If you happen to’re hoping to benefit from the distinctive cities in Montana like Bozeman, Missoula, Kalispell, Large Sky, and Whitefish, your finest wager is to go throughout Could, June, September, or October. The temperatures are snug they usually’re not so filled with vacationers.
Most shops and eating places run to their peak season hours, so that you don’t have to fret about lacking out on a neighborhood favourite. Plus, the climate isn’t too sizzling or chilly, so you possibly can get pleasure from strolling across the cities and never have to fret about any inclement climate.
A whole lot of cities in Montana don’t have public transportation, so it’s as much as you to make your method across the metropolis. Whereas Helena and Billings are distinctive in their very own proper, among the mountain “cities” are the very best within the nation.
Missoula is my private favourite as a consequence of its distinctive structure, phenomenal eating places, and enjoyable college-town ambiance. Montana cities are not like many different mountain cities within the west; crammed with historical past and continually evolving.
When to Go to Montana For Fishing
Fishing is the very best in Montana from mid-June to early July. Anglers can even have nice success in September and October. The months of July and August will be productive, however the hotter climate and heavy strain could make fishing more difficult.
Mid-June is my favourite time to go to due to the Salmonfly hatch that happens in lots of rivers throughout the state. The Gallatin River close to Bozeman and Large Sky has a beautiful Salmonfly hatch annually.
Different rivers like Yellowstone and Madison provide higher fishing in late June – early July. It takes fairly a little bit of time for the runoff season to conclude in Montana because of the excessive quantity of snow the encircling mountains obtain.
September and October are different good months to fish. Most vacationers have returned to their house states, and the water ranges have dropped. The fishing turns into extra technical, however the fish are hungry and desirous to feed earlier than the chilly winter temperatures hit. I like to develop my abilities within the fall.
When to Go to Montana For Tenting
Tenting in Montana is finest from June to September. Be aware that early June and late September nights can drop into the 30s, however temperatures for many of July and August are excellent. If you happen to’re in larger elevations like Crimson Lodge or Missoula, the nights usually drop into the 40s, so that you received’t ever be too sizzling while you’re sleeping.
The primary factor to pay attention to throughout these months is that campgrounds will be extraordinarily busy. Pay shut consideration to reservation methods in March and April after they start opening dates to e book. You’ll need to soar on these!
There are lots of dispersed campgrounds throughout the state which might be first-come-first-served, so that you don’t have to fret about reserving any of the websites. Plus, most Nationwide Forest land has dispersed tenting in all places, so you possibly can reside a bit of extra and not using a plan and nonetheless discover an incredible place to remain.
Dispersed tenting is free, however you received’t have any services, so ensure you’re geared up to go off-grid. All of my tenting experiences in Montana have been in nationwide forests or wilderness land. There are such a lot of stunning spots to select from!
When to Go to Montana for Nationwide Parks
The very best time to go to Nationwide Parks in Montana is from June to October. Glacier National Park has sections which might be closed (Going to the Solar Highway, and many others) till late June; ensure you take note of the nationwide park web sites to determine what’s open.
A lot of the parks shall be totally open by mid-July. Sure components have reservation methods that final till the tip of August, so visiting in September and October is finest as you received’t have to fret about reserving your reservation as far prematurely.
Yellowstone National Park is way additional south than Glacier, so a lot of the park is accessible in June. Among the higher-elevation trails will nonetheless be lined in snow via early July, however a lot of the park is simple to get to. Wildlife in Yellowstone is energetic in June because the temperatures are rather less extreme.
Wildlife remains to be out and about in July and August, but it surely’s most energetic in the course of the mornings and evenings.
Each Glacier and Yellowstone are two of my favourite parks in your entire nation. The quantity of backcountry land accessible to discover in every park is not like some other park within the decrease 48.
Montana’s backcountry is my favourite place within the United States and easy purposes for backcountry permits give you every week’s entry to stunning trails, phenomenal wildlife, and nice fishing.
When to Go to Montana For Low-cost Costs
For affordable costs, you’ll need to go to Montana from September – November or April – June. Lodging, actions, eating places, and even easy purchases like groceries and fuel are decrease in the course of the shoulder and off-seasons.
Lodging fills up quick in the course of the summer time, however resorts and trip leases are eager for bookings in the course of the offseasons when costs are closely decreased in comparison with the height season.
Guides, outfitters, and expertise hosts are additionally conscious of the decrease visitors in the course of the offseasons they usually’ll typically provide large reductions exterior of months that see extra guests.
Bear in mind that it could take a bit of extra work to seek out outfitters throughout this time as many will virtually shut down in the course of the offseasons.
Montana has boomed in reputation previously 10 years, so costs proceed to rise whatever the time of 12 months. Nevertheless, if you need an opportunity at some extra affordable choices, go to in the course of the shoulder and off seasons.
When to Go to Montana For Mountaineering
Mountaineering is finest in Montana from July to September. Montana is finest to hike when all the trails are almost huge open and are away from snow. It often takes till mid-July for many trails to fully clear and lots of routes throughout the state received’t ever clear fully, however they’re satisfactory by the point August hits.
Sure, the paths are busy throughout these three months, however the higher climate provides you an opportunity to get out additional away from the crowds.
I like to hike in Red Lodge and Kalispell throughout these months. The Absaroka Wilderness and Bob-Marshall Wilderness are nonetheless comparatively untouched in comparison with the remainder of the state. There are few locations within the decrease 48 as distant as these two wilderness areas.
The wildlife and distinctive climbing trails are among the finest I’ve ever seen. It’s important to earn the views, however they’re all the time well worth the effort. There’s nothing fairly like a hike on a distant Montana path in the summertime.
The Greatest Time to Go to Montana By Month
Every month in Montana offers its personal distinctive climate and adventures. Whereas some months are simpler to go to than others, all of them give guests entry to the wonderful components of the state. As soon as you understand what to anticipate in every month, it makes preparation for journey far simpler.
Montana in January
January in Montana is a part of the height season for winter vacationers and all winter actions.
Climate in Montana in January
In January, the climate in Montana is chilly and snowy. The typical temperature throughout the state is 22 levels Fahrenheit. The state is nearly fully lined in snow, so winter actions are on the forefront of everybody’s thoughts.
At over 5,000 or 6,000 toes elevation, there’s prone to be just a few toes of snow, and temperatures are generally within the teenagers and single digits all through the day. Chilly and snowy is the secret in Montana in January.
Issues To Do in Montana in January
In January, individuals are targeted on snowboarding, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. The circumstances are excellent for winter actions all through your entire month.
Guests can spend time exploring the nationwide forests on snowmobiles, snowshoes, and skis, and I personally love taking my cross-country skis out on the paths close to Large Sky presently – often, after I’ve ice-fished or snowboarded at Big Sky Resort.
Montana in February
In February, Montana remains to be within the midst of winter, however the vacationer numbers aren’t as excessive as they’re at first of the 12 months.
Climate in Montana in February
The climate in February isn’t fully totally different than the climate in January. The typical temperature throughout the state is 27 levels Fahrenheit and snow remains to be a typical prevalence.
At larger elevations, temperatures hover across the single digits at night time and the mid-teens or low-20s in the course of the day. Snow usually happens with a few toes of recent powder hitting the mountains each few weeks.
Issues To Do in Montana in February
In February, vacationers are both spending their time fully indoors or exterior having fun with winter actions. Visiting Whitefish Ski Resort in February is a private favourite as a result of temperatures aren’t as brutal and the slopes aren’t as busy as they are often in January.
Ice fishing can also be nice in February. With barely hotter temperatures, fish turn out to be extra energetic. Canyon Ferry Reservoir close to Helena is without doubt one of the finest locations to ice fish in Montana in February.
Montana in March
Montana in March is without doubt one of the slowest when it comes to tourism and the climate begins to alter because it turns into hotter and extra springlike.
Climate in Montana in March
In March, the decrease elevations sit within the mid-30s for the common temperature. It’s nonetheless not unusual to see just a few snow storms all through the month and a few excessive temperatures, however decrease elevation areas turn out to be fairly snug.
At elevations close to 5,000 toes, winter remains to be in drive in March. The main distinction is that there’ll often be abnormally heat days within the 40s and 50s, however 20-degree days and snow storms will nonetheless usually happen – winter isn’t carried out but.
Issues To Do in Montana in March
In March, winter actions are heading towards their final leg. Most ski resorts will keep open all through your entire month so long as there’s sufficient snow. Snowmobile trails are nonetheless good to go to, however beware that as quickly because the snow begins melting within the mountains, getting caught turns into an actual risk.
Individuals are beginning to fish within the rivers and streams because of the warming temperatures presently, and you’ll nonetheless go to the mountain cities earlier than they sluggish method down for the quiet season.
Montana in April
April in Montana is one other sluggish month for tourism and the climate begins to turn out to be extra snug.
Climate in Montana in April
Climate in Montana in April is about as predictable because the Powerball numbers. At decrease elevations, you’ll discover temperatures sitting within the low-60s with fairly just a few days of rain.
At larger elevations, temperatures begin to rise and the runoff season begins. Snow begins melting and filling each lake, stream, and river round. There will be some days of snow, however temperatures are principally within the 40s for a excessive.
Issues To Do in Montana in April
In April, Montana is in a time of transition. In consequence, there isn’t a concrete exercise that all the time happens. Mountaineering trails are moist from snowmelt, rivers are starting to fill, and the ski resorts are seemingly closed.
In consequence, most individuals keep at decrease elevations and luxuriate in mountain biking or sightseeing excursions. Anglers could also be hitting rivers and streams earlier than the runoff turns into too excessive. Take this time to go to cities and take a look at some indoor actions.
Montana in Could
In Could, the vacationer numbers are nonetheless down and the snow runoff is at its peak. The vegetation are starting to bloom and virtually every little thing is moist.
Climate in Montana in Could
In Could, the climate throughout Montana is way hotter. Common temperatures climb into the mid-60s, however rain remains to be widespread at decrease elevations.
At larger elevations, temperatures crawl into the 50s with some good spring rains that add to the already vital melting course of. Bear in mind that Could is a typical time for flooding in Montana.
Issues To Do in Montana in Could
Like April, out of doors actions are a bit extra of a problem. The unpredictable climate and altering circumstances invite guests to go to among the quaint mountain cities as they put together for the height summer time season.
Driving excursions and wildlife excursions are nice in Could. Go to Yellowstone National Park and see the park come to life after a protracted winter.
Montana in June
Peak season in Montana begins in June and virtually all summer time actions can be found for vacationers to get pleasure from.
Climate in Montana in June
The climate in June throughout the state is nearly at its finest. Temperatures in the course of the day are within the mid-70s at decrease elevations and rain isn’t as widespread as it’s throughout April and Could.
At larger elevations, the temperatures are within the high-60s and mid-70s. Every thing is starting to dry and turn out to be way more accessible for adventurers.
Issues To Do in Montana in June
When you received’t seemingly be summiting any peaks in June, many trails beneath 10,000 toes elevation are way more accessible, and lots of the trails throughout the nationwide parks are accessible.
Runoff has often subsided by June, so fishing is extraordinarily productive. The Salmonfly hatch happens in June, so hit the Gallatin if attainable.
Montana in July
Montana in July is totally stunning with sunny skies, clear trails, and entry to all issues that make Montana nice in the summertime.
Climate in Montana in July
Decrease elevation temperatures in July simply attain the mid-80s and into the low-90s and it’s often dry.
Within the mountains, July is a good month. The times are often round 75 or 80 levels and the nights are nonetheless within the 40s and 50s.
Issues To Do in Montana in July
Montana is totally alive in July. Each mountain city, path, and exercise is in full swing. Mountain biking, backpacking, fishing, horseback using, and climbing are among the commonest actions.
Each time I go to in July, I attempt to cowl as many miles on trails as I can. Lots of the higher-elevation trails turn out to be accessible and my eagerness to summit some mountains will increase past perception.
Montana in August
Montana in August is crammed with vacationers, cool evenings, heat days, and summer time actions at their peak.
Climate in Montana in August
August in Montana is similar to July. The decrease elevations might even see extra temperatures within the 90s, however they’ll get a bit extra rain than in July.
Larger elevations sit in temperatures that common 80 to 85 levels and have nights within the excessive 40s or low 50s. That is the final month of true warmth in Montana.
Issues To Do in Montana in August
August in Montana remains to be crammed with summer time actions. Among the areas which might be packed by snow within the winter lastly turn out to be accessible in August, so hold that in thoughts. Biking, climbing, and climbing are widespread actions throughout this time.
Fishing will be sluggish as a consequence of much less rainfall and hotter temperatures, so ensure you’re out early or within the evenings to have the very best probability.
Montana in September
Montana in September is when vacationers start to depart and every little thing begins to relax after a full summer time of hundreds of thousands of holiday makers passing via the state.
Climate in Montana in September
September in Montana is when the temperature variations between high and low elevations turn out to be huge. At low elevations, temperatures are usually within the 80s and low 90s, however rain is much more widespread in September.
At elevation, temperatures fall from the 80s to the mid to low 70s and there are extra constant 40-degree nights. Keep in mind that the mountain storms in September will be intense.
Issues To Do in Montana in September
September is the very best month to strive all the standard summer time actions in Montana. Nowhere is totally lined by snow and among the hottest locations turn out to be far quieter because of the decrease ranges of vacationers.
Mountaineering, fishing, climbing, and biking are nonetheless what you have to be doing in September. My favourite half is that the bushes at larger elevations start to alter colours.
Montana in October
Fall colours and funky temperatures fill the state in October with virtually all summer time actions nonetheless accessible.
Climate in Montana in October
The climate in October at decrease elevations is often someplace within the 60s and low 70s at first of the month. By the tip, temperatures solely attain into the 50s for highs.
At elevations above 5,000 toes, temperatures are constantly within the 50s and the nights are someplace within the 30s. Plus, snow is beginning to fall at these elevations above 8,000 toes.
Issues To Do in Montana in October
In October, most summer time actions are nonetheless accessible on the decrease elevations. You received’t be spending time above 8,000 or 9,000 toes with out seeing snow, however beneath that, you possibly can nonetheless hike, bike, and climb with out worrying about an excessive amount of snow.
Fishing can also be nice in October. I like to fish in October as a result of the fish are desirous to fatten up earlier than winter totally hits. Try Rock Creek close to Crimson Lodge. I all the time have success, right here.
Montana in November
November in Montana is the primary month of winter circumstances, so be ready for empty trails and dig out your winter adventuring gear.
Climate in Montana in November
In November, the decrease elevations constantly see temperatures within the low-40s in the course of the day and 20s and 30s at night time.
Within the mountains, winter has arrived by November. Temperatures sit across the freezing mark in the course of the day and drop into the kids and 20s at night time. Plus, snow is beginning to hit usually at elevations above 5,000 or 6,000 toes.
Issues To Do in Montana in November
Some ski resorts are capable of open in November, however most individuals are snowshoeing and snowmobiling round a few of these larger elevations. Cross-country snowboarding can also be extraordinarily widespread.
Spend time within the cities and on concrete throughout November. Montana often wants this month to transition into full winter mode.
Montana in December
All winter actions turn out to be accessible in December because of the chilly circumstances and better snowfall.
Climate in Montana in December
In December, decrease elevations see temperatures round freezing and obtain fairly a little bit of snow. Winter has totally hit decrease elevations by December.
Within the mountains, temperatures are within the 20s and snow is constantly hitting larger elevations above 5,000 toes. It’s a winter wonderland in every single place you flip within the mountains all through December.
Issues To Do in Montana in December
Snowfall needs to be excessive sufficient that each one ski resorts are open and winter actions are in full impact. Snowboard, ski, ice fish, and snowshoe your method across the mountains – they’re a must-see in winter by all means.
Most cities have embellished properly for Christmas, so that they’re nice to go to after a protracted day of adventuring.
Selecting the very best time to go to Montana isn’t all the time the simplest because of the number of actions accessible and the climate circumstances to pay attention to. If you happen to actually need to expertise Montana and all its true magnificence, it’s finest to go to throughout all 4 seasons. You’ll all the time discover lots to do.
Every time I go to, I discover myself feeling that I like a distinct season finest. Montana has by no means let me down no matter after I go to.