What Time of Year is Best for a Trip to Montana?

What Time of Year is Best for a Trip to Montana?

Do you want to take your family on a vacation that won’t break the bank? Then you should put a trip to Montana, the “big sky” state, on your list of places to visit. Is there a preferable time of year to travel? We looked into Montana’s weather patterns to find the best time of year to visit the state.

Montana is at its finest in the latter half of May and throughout the month of June. The mountain state is awash in a kaleidoscope of hues right now thanks to the changing of the seasons. It is still cool enough to go for a hike in the mountains, but warm enough to take a dip in one of Montana’s many lakes or rivers. This time of year in Montana is ideal for seeing the state’s many natural wonders.

Planning a vacation is a lot of work, and it’s even more so in a state like Montana. This is why we detailed seasonal weather expectations and what to do in each. Keep reading to find out why Montana deserves to be your next vacation destination.

Montana’s Seasonal Weather

There is no shortage of tourist attractions, recreational opportunities, and other enjoyable pursuits in Montana. Outdoor pursuits like hiking, fishing, and water sports are just the tip of the iceberg of fun things to do in the great outdoors. Despite the fact that the summer months are the most pleasant, you should be prepared for any kind of weather. The old adage goes: “If you don’t like the weather in Montana, wait five minutes!”


It’s true that Montana is a stunning state, but it’s also worth noting that its weather can be fickle. Always check the forecast before packing your bags for Montana. Try to plan your trip so that you arrive in early July or later in June if you want to visit during the Summer. By August, it can get scorching hot, and there is a high chance there will be a forest fire or two filling the blue sky with smoke.


Amazing autumn colors make a road trip through Montana a classic American experience. September is a great time to visit Montana if you’re interested in a fall trip there. Simply put, the weather in September is ideal for outdoor pursuits.

With the weather being mild and school being back in session, September makes for a good time to tour the usually crowded state and national parks. There is no set pattern to the weather in Montana, and the fall is no exception; you may need both a coat and shorts because it can be 90 degrees one week and snowing the next.


You probably already know that Montana’s winters can be brutal. Temperatures below -20 degrees and three feet of snow are not exceptional. It wouldn’t hurt to bring along an extra coat if cold weather is something you’re not used to.

Drive carefully and check the road reports before venturing too far on the interstates during a snowstorm or when winds are gusting above 50 miles per hour. In addition, if you must drive, select a vehicle with four-wheel or all-wheel drive.


This is a stunning season, but temperatures can range from the low 30s to the high 70s on any given day. Getting one last snowstorm in the middle of April isn’t unheard of in Montana, so keep that in mind. May is the best month to visit because there is less chance of snowfall then. You should bring a coat to Montana at any time of year.

What To Do In Montana In Fall?

A trip to Montana in the fall is a great idea, as there is plenty to do. As was previously mentioned, autumn is a great time to visit due to the pleasant weather and lower tourist volume. This time of year is perfect for visiting a state or national park, or participating in a fall festival like the world-famous sheep drive.

What To Do In Montana In Winter?

You probably know it will be chilly if you plan on visiting Montana in the winter. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time despite the situation. Boasting 17 ski resorts, this is the perfect place to ski or snowboard. If you get the chance, check out Big Sky resort and tour around. The experience is pricey but well worth it. As the locals call it, Whitefish Mountain or Big Mountain is a less expensive alternative and offers some fantastic skiing.

Festivals are a lot of fun, and you can find them during the winter as well. Thousands of people from all over the world attend the annual Pond Skim in Big Sky. The Winter Carnival in Red Lodge is another fun event worth attending, albeit a much smaller one. You can enjoy the local talent, beer, and cuisine at both.

What To Do In Montana In Spring?

Also, the Spring is a great time to hit the road and explore Montana. In the same way that the fall is a great time to visit the National Parks because of the lower number of visitors, the spring is also wonderful. You can stop by the old Lewis and Clark Taverns on the way. Keep in mind that this state park does not allow visitors until May 1st, despite the fact that it has numerous campsites and hiking trails.

If you enjoy live music and unique beers, Montana is the place for you. If you get the chance, stop in Bozeman or Missoula and go on a brewery tour and catch a show. Tamarac Brewing is a must-visit when in Missoula. Get a drink and hang out by the river to watch the surfers. If you find yourself in Bozeman, Montana instead, stop by MAPS Brewing and have lunch by the lake. Having a beer outside in the spring is like being in paradise, what with the warm weather and the vibrant coolers.

What Do In Montana In Summer?

Summertime has finally arrived! As we’ve already mentioned, there’s no shortage of things to do during the summer in Montana. Camping and hiking opportunities in the area are something to investigate if you have a passion for the outdoors. Montana is well-known for its wide open spaces and iconic mountain ranges, which feature more than 500 hiking trails and a wide variety of wildlife. When hiking in Montana, it’s important to keep an eye out for bears, not do so alone, and carry bear spray.

Even though snow is often mentioned first when people think of Montana, the state’s hot summers are nothing to sneeze at. One need not search long or hard to come across a waterway suitable for recreational use. Activities like boating, fishing, and rafting are fun for the whole family. If you find yourself in Glacier National Park, stop by the picturesque Flathead Lake and enjoy a refreshing huckleberry milkshake.

In conclusion, if you’re itching for an adventure but missed the winter ski season, Beartooth Pass is a great place to go. I don’t understand how you can ski in the summer. Well, high elevation and extreme snowfall make it possible for adrenaline junkies to hit the slopes one last time in June! Take the trip through the mountain town of Red Lodge and make the scenic switchback drive up the pass. The hiking trails, campsites, and ski run are all up there. To reach Yellowstone National Park, proceed along this road.

Final Thoughts

While a trip to Montana in the months of May and June is almost guaranteed to be enjoyable, that in no way implies that the rest of the year is boring. At any time of year, there is more than enough time to enjoy the outdoors and beer from local breweries. Don’t forget your camera, and bring a jacket in case it gets chilly.

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