The Best Time to Visit Montana

When is the Best Time to Visit Montana?

May 29, 2020

Montana is a place filled with so many opportunities for outdoor fun. When visiting Montana is mentioned, trending cities like Missoula and Helena come to mind. The summer months in Montana lasts between June and August. These summer months may be the best time to visit Montana and have a memorable experience. You can also choose to visit during the skiing season.

Montana is fun for its open spaces, adventures, national parks, wildlife, and other things to do outside that are endless. Grab a Montana travel guide for more ideas of things to do in Montana. In this article, we shall talk about the best time to visit Montana and have the most fun. 

Things to consider before visiting Montana 

Consider the weather and seasons

November through March is officially winter here. Spring, fall, and summer mix together sometimes. The imaginary line, which is the continental divide that runs on the Rocky Mountains peak, makes the state have two climates zones. If you visit the North pacific zone, you should come along with a waterproof jacket and sweater since there is an all-round rain and snow here.

Persistent snow covers the boardwalk trail from Logan Pass to the Hidden Lake overlook.

In some parts of Montana, it’s joked that “if you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes.” When visiting Montana, prepare for possible temperature and weather changes each day.

While cold, snowy winters are great for snow activities like skiing or winter hikes, Montana winters can be tough if you aren’t prepared. Keep in mind that you could experience very cold temperatures when visiting Montana between November and February.

Major events and festivals

In a year, Montana has quite a number of festivals including rodeos, music festivals, and cultural events. Ensure you plan for any of these festivals by starting out early – especially if attending an event at Yellowstone or Glacier National Parks. Booking accommodation and camping spots early as space can get filled quickly. Hotels often increase prices during the summer and winter months.

Changes

Fall Drive Along Lake McDonald

In Montana, the leaves of many trees (like aspens, larch and cottonwoods) always undergo a change in color. This process depends on the specie of the tree, its location, and the weather condition. Because the timing of the color change depends largely on the weather, it can be difficult to know exactly when the Fall colors will appear. If the weather is warm, the color change of the leaves will be slower. On the other hand, if cold weather is experienced, the change in color will be rapid.

Generally, the best time to see fall foliage colors in Montana depends on which part of the state you’ll be visiting. In Western Montana, fall colors typically peak in early to mid-October. Central Montana usually peaks in late September to early October.

Plan to visit Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park welcomes visitors all through the year. However, there are opportunities one could take advantage of to avoid the crowds. There is usually a reduced entry fee during the Winter (between November and April.) That said, you may have the additional challenges of available lodging and road closure during the winter months. While spring is usually not long, it is often unpredictable. Whether visiting in Spring or Winter, check the local weather each day and dress appropriately for those conditions.

When hiking in Glacier, check with a Park Ranger for any trail recommendations and try to head out early to increase the chances of getting the trail to yourself.

Peak Season for Visiting Montana

The Summer months (between June and August) are the most popular times to visit Montana. The weather is warm and sunny, providing an ideal climate to enjoy outdoor activities. You will find that Yellowstone Park and Glacier National Park are crowded during these months. So, if you want to visit at this time, you’ll want to reserve your travel and accommodations early.

While it’s not a peak month for tourists, many people enjoy visiting Montana in January due to the high amounts of snow which is great for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities.

What do you think about visiting Montana some day?

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