When is the best time to visit Montana? 

The best time to visit Montana depends on the type of holiday you want to have. Each season offers different activities from skiing and snowboarding in winter, to hiking in summer and wildlife spotting in spring.

Mild temperatures in summer (around the mid 20°Cs) make it the most popular time to visit, but it's also the busiest time of year so cities and national parks are crowded and accommodation prices increase. Spring and autumn, on the other hand, are still warm enough to enjoy the great outdoors and crowds are thinner.

In winter, average temperatures can drop below freezing, especially in the northern part of the state. However, these chilly conditions are prime for winter sports at Whitefish Mountain, Blacktail Mountain and resort towns like Big Sky Resort and Discovery Ski Area.

Seasons in Montana

Spring (March-May)

Best for: photography, animal spotting and visiting national parks

The weather in spring is a bit all over the place. March still sees a lot of snow and many travellers continue to flock to the state's ski towns before the season closes.

As the season progresses, temperatures start to warm up with an average of 15°C in April and 19°C in May. It's an excellent time to go adventuring through the state's stunning landscapes as they thaw and flowers bloom again. Keep your camera close to capture the colours and newborn wildlife.

Glacier National Park is easier to access in spring as ice and snow melt, making the roads, trails and highways safer to drive. The same goes for Yellowstone; however, some roads may still be inaccessible so if you plan on visiting in April, so best to stick to hiking.

Summer (June-August)

Best for: hiking, biking and camping 

Montana doesn't get as hot as some other states, with June, July and August only averaging a handful of days over 32°C. So, while it can get hot, summer temperatures are more likely to hover in the mid 20°Cs, making it the perfect time to enjoy activities such as hiking, biking and camping.

One thing to be aware of when travelling in summer is the humidity. Montana's humidity increases to 45% in July so the air's likely to feel sticky and the temperature may feel warmer than it actually is.

Keep this in mind if you're spending long periods of time doing strenuous activities and bring plenty of water to keep hydrated. 

Autumn (September-November)

Best for: participate in Halloween activities, scenic drives and buzzing cities 

Autumn sees a fair bit of rainfall across the state. September is the wettest month with an average of 1.3 inches. Remember to pack an umbrella for those inevitable rainy days. 

Autumn coincides with the beginning of a new university term so expect cities like Billings, Bozeman and Missoula to buzz with energy.

Halloween is also a celebration Montanans take very seriously so if you're travelling in October, make sure you plan some spooky activities and visit some local festivals to get into the holiday spirit.

Autumn also brings with it the changing of nature's colours from green to a hue of browns, reds and oranges, making scenic drives through the state's national parks a must.

Winter (December-February)

Best for: skiing, snowboarding and hot chocolate drinking 

Despite the cold temperatures in Montana, winter is almost as popular as summer thanks to the state's large mountainous regions and numerous ski resorts. January is the coldest month with an average low temperature of -11°C (colder than most of the states in America). But with freezing temperatures comes snowfall and Montana is one of the best destinations in the US to enjoy the fluffy white stuff.

While January is the coldest month, December is the snowiest, with 9.6 inches of snow expected to fall. This is closely followed by 8.7 inches in January and 6.9 inches in February. Surprisingly, March and November also receive substantial amounts of snow with 7.7 inches and 6.4 inches respectively. 

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