Montana's climate is dictated by the Rocky Mountains and of the four seasons, three of them are absolutely magical in their own distinct ways. The only time of year that isn’t particularly pleasant is spring, which tends to run from April through May and is often soggy. This is a time when everything melts rapidly, turning trails muddy and the weather an unreliable mess. Of course, this is also the time to find the cheapest rates on hotels throughout the state.
Summers kick off in mid-June, when the daytime highs creep into the upper 70s°F peaking in the low 80s°F by July and August. Clear blue skies punctuated by frequent, but beautiful afternoon thunderstorms are the norm. It still gets cool at night, but summer is the ideal season for many forms of outdoor recreation and wildlife viewing. Fall comes quick on the heels of summer, with September temperatures dropping into the 60s°F. In general, you can expect spectacular blue skies and pleasantly crisp temperatures right through the end of October. But always be prepared for the random early snowstorm.
Winter weather arrive by the beginning of November and lingers all the way until March. This is a lovely time of year in Montana, even though the daytime highs hover around the freezing point and below December through February. Plenty of snow falls during these months, creating a white powder wonderland for skiing and snowmobiling. But it is very cold, so always go outside dressed in layers.
Best Time to Visit Montana
Depending on your hobbies, any of the three seasons will be magical times to experience Montana. Winter (November to March) is marvelous for skiing and snow sports because the state has some of the best cold weather conditions in the country. You won’t find many cheap hotel deals in winter unless you are staying in towns where outdoor recreation is not popular.
Summer (mid-June to August) is easily the most popular travel season because the entire state opens up to hiking, camping, mountaineering, kayaking, and just about every other sport. Comfortable climates and blue skies make this a great season, which is supported by a steady schedule of festivals and events. Fall (September and October) is just as nice in a cooler, more colorful way. This is when the aspens and other trees explode into a rainbow and the skies are impossibly blue. The only time you can rely on for deals is just after the ski season ends from late April through late May.