Montana in August: Updated Travel Guide

If you’re dreaming of an epic summer trip, then Montana in August should be at the top of your list.

Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. I’ve experienced the beauty of this incredible state for years, and let me tell you, August is the perfect time to experience all that Big Sky Country has to offer.

Montana is home to some of the most breathtaking national parks, including the renowned Glacier National Park and the iconic Yellowstone National Park.

Whether you’re into hiking, fishing, or simply immersing yourself in nature’s wonders, you’ll find plenty to do in these outdoor playgrounds.

So whether you’re an adventurous soul seeking thrills in the great outdoors or simply looking to unwind in the serenity of nature, Montana in August is calling your name.

Get ready to make unforgettable memories and discover your own piece of paradise in the Treasure State. Let’s dive in!

Montana in August: Reasons to Visit

A picturesque Montana field with trees and mountains in the background.

Montana in August is an absolute dream. The weather is sunny and hot, the ideal temperature for all your outdoor adventures.

With the national parks fully open, you’ll have endless opportunities to hike, cycle, whitewater raft, and spot incredible wildlife. 

By August in Yellowstone National Park, you can witness the impressive geothermal features, observe bison roaming freely, and even catch a glimpse of a grizzly bear if you’re lucky.

Unlike Montana’s March chill, the August sunshine clears Going-to-the-Sun Road of snow and opens it to traffic, providing amazing views of Glacier National Park’s untamed wilderness.

But there’s more to Big Sky Country in August than just stunning landscapes. The state comes alive with events and festivals such as the Northwest Montana Fair and Rodeo, and the enchanting Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

So, if you’re looking for an incredible time and the hottest months to visit Montana, August is your answer.

However you should keep in mind that August is considered peak tourist season in Montana, so be prepared for crowds and plan your itinerary accordingly.

With its ideal temperature and a calendar full of exciting events, it’s the perfect time to experience the magic of this beautiful state.

Montana in August: Weather Conditions

A stream running through a forest in Montana with trees in the background.

Weather conditions in Montana in August can be described as ideal for outdoor activities and exploration.

With average temperatures ranging from comfortable to slightly hot, it is the perfect time to embark on a summer trip to this beautiful destination.

Average Temperatures During August

An aerial view of a city in Montana.

In August, Montana’s cities and towns exhibit a range of temperatures, each contributing to a distinct climate experience.

LocationAverage TempWarmest TempColdest Temp
Billings72.9°F (22.7°C)101.6°F (38.7°C)50.2°F (10.1°C)
Kalispell67.1°F (19.5°C)98.9°F (37.2°C)39.7°F (4.3°C)
Missoula69.0°F (20.6°C)100.1°F (37.8°C)46.7°F (8.2°C)
Bozeman67.7°F (19.8°C)81.6°F (27.6°C)53.8°F (12.1°C)
Helena68.9°F (20.5°C)82.5°F (28.1°C)55.3°F (12.9°C)
West Yellowstone63.2°F (17.3°C)79.2°F (26.2°C)47.3°F (8.5°C)

Billings emerges with the warmest temperatures. The city’s lowest recorded temperature remains relatively moderate compared to the extremities found in some other locales.

Similar to Billings, Missoula, experiences one of the hottest temperatures among the listed places in August, with a scorching maximum temperature of 100.1°F (38.7°C).

Bozeman strikes a balance, offering a pleasant average temperature with a peak that can be described as delightful.

Helena enjoys a consistently moderate climate, with both average and peak temperatures providing an agreeable experience.

West Yellowstone, while showcasing a slightly cooler average temperature, still offers a temperate climate.

Its warmest days are described as delightful, and even the lowest recorded temperature in August remains moderate compared to other places.

Kalispell, characterized by its relatively moderate average temperature, encounters milder temperature extremes.

Comparing these climates, Billings stands out as the city experiencing the hottest conditions, with a scorching maximum temperature.

On the contrary, Kalispell is one of the more modest places, characterized by a milder range of extremes and a lower recorded lowest temperature, providing a more temperate climate experience.

What to Wear in Montana During August

Two women with backpacks walking through a field in Montana during August.

When it comes to the weather in Montana during August, you can expect a delightful mix of warm and sunny days.

However, don’t be surprised if you encounter some afternoon rain showers. It’s always a good idea to pack a rain jacket or an umbrella just in case.

First and foremost, make sure to pack at least one pair of comfortable, close-toed walking shoes. You’ll want to be prepared for all the outdoor activities available during the season.

The temperature can vary greatly and quickly throughout the day.

A typical Montanan might dress for an August day by layering a short-sleeved T-shirt with a long-sleeved button shirt and topping it off with a lightweight vest.

This allows for flexibility in adapting to the changing temperatures.

Although August is generally warm, it’s important to note that temperatures can drop significantly in the evenings.

So, be sure to bring along a light coat or sweater to stay cozy when the sun goes down.

By packing comfortable walking shoes, dressing in layers, and being prepared for the occasional rain shower, you’ll be ready to fully enjoy all that Montana during your summer trip.

Montana in August: Things to Do

A lake in Glacier National Park during August.

When it comes to Montana in August, there is no shortage of incredible things to do and see.

From the breathtaking landscapes of Glacier National Park to the awe-inspiring wonders of Yellowstone National Park, outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers will be in paradise.

With temperatures ranging from comfortable to warm, it’s the perfect time to embark on a summer trip and indulge in your favorite activities.

Visit Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park, Montana.

Yellowstone National Park is a summer trip like no other. In August, this beautiful summer destination offers a wide range of activities that will make your visit unforgettable.

Here are some of the things you can do in Yellowstone National Park in August:

  • Hiking and Backpacking – Yellowstone National Park has more than 900 miles of trails. There are great hiking options around many of the famous sights such as Old Faithful.
  • Wildlife Viewing – August is a great time to see wildlife in Yellowstone National Park. Bison, elk, and bears are commonly seen throughout the park.
  • Fishing – Fishing is a popular activity in Yellowstone National Park, and August is a great time to do it. But be aware that you will need a permit to fish in the park.
  • Guided Tours – Yellowstone National Park offers a variety of guided tours, including wildlife tours, geology tours, and historical tours.
  • Horseback Riding – Horseback riding is a great way to explore the park’s backcountry. Several companies offer guided horseback rides in Yellowstone National Park.
  • Boating – You can explore Yellowstone Lake by boat. There are several boat tours available, or you can rent a boat and explore on your own.
  • Camping – Camping is available in Yellowstone National Park, and all the campgrounds are open in July and August. Multi-day hikes and backpacking are also possible in Yellowstone in summer.
  • Picnicking – There are plenty of beautiful places in the park that make perfect picnic spots such as the Madison River picnic area and the Nez Perce Creek picnic area.

Keep in mind that August is a popular time to visit Yellowstone, so be prepared for large crowds and increased traffic.

Long lines for services and extended drives around the park might be a part of your experience. It’s important to have a plan, but also be flexible.

Know where you want to go before you begin driving to make the most of your visit to Yellowstone National Park.

Explore Glacier National Park

A trail leading up to a mountain in Montana in August, within Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park in August offers a diverse range of activities to satisfy any traveler’s cravings.

Photographers, get your cameras ready! Glacier National Park offers breathtaking scenic locations like Lake McDonald, Many Glacier, and Logan Pass.

Hiking and backpacking are a must-do. You can explore iconic landmarks like Going-to-the-Sun Road, Many Glacier, and Two Medicine while hiking.

For wildlife enthusiasts, the park is a paradise. Keep your eyes peeled for grizzly bears, black bears, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and moose as they are commonly seen throughout the park.

Explore Glacier National Park’s pristine lakes with boat tours. Choose between guided tours or renting a boat for a personal adventure. Plenty of options await.

Explore the crystal-clear waters of Lake McDonald and let the serene surroundings take your breath away.

Camping is another incredible option in Glacier National Park. All the campgrounds are open in July and August, so you can experience the great outdoors in all its glory.

And don’t forget to embark on the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road. This scenic drive connects the east and west sides of the park, offering unparalleled views along the way.

For an elegant and unforgettable experience, indulge in high tea at the historic Prince of Wales Hotel which offers stunning views of Waterton Lake and the surrounding mountains.

Take a Trip to Flathead Lake

Flathead Lake in Montana

If you’re looking to escape the summer heat and immerse yourself in nature’s wonders, a trip to the Flathead Lake in Montana should be at the top of your list.

One of the best ways to experience the lake is by leisurely boat cruises, sailing, or inner tubing.

And if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, why not grab a kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or canoe and explore the quiet bays along the shore? There’s always something new to discover around every corner.

For wildlife enthusiasts, a visit to Wild Horse Island is a go-to. This state park, located within Flathead Lake, is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including wild horses, bighorn sheep, and bald eagles.

If you’re in the mood for some adrenaline-pumping action, consider going whitewater rafting on the Flathead River.

With its rushing rapids and scenic landscapes, this thrilling experience is bound to get your heart pumping.

Polson, located near the lake, offers some excellent spots for whitewater rafting, so be sure to check it out.

Several campgrounds around Flathead Lake offer the perfect spot to pitch your tent and embrace the serenity of nature. Camping by the lakeside during August is also an experience like no other.

So why wait? Plan your summer escape to Flathead Lake and indulge in the beauty and adventure that this hidden paradise has to offer!

Montana in August: Events and Festivals

August in Montana is a time of celebration and excitement, as the state comes alive with an array of events and festivals that showcase the vibrant spirit of this beautiful summer destination.

Cowboy Poetry Gathering

A group of men in cowboy hats sitting in a log cabin in Montana.

The Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering is a multi-day event in Lewistown, Montana, celebrating the cowboy way of life in the upper Rocky Mountain front.

This gathering unites cowboys from across the country for a captivating extravaganza in August.

The event was, held from August 10-13, 2023, and showcased an array of talents.

Over 70 cowboy poets and Western musicians will converge to exhibit their exceptional skills during this extraordinary event.

Explore the Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering even further with over 20 Western vendors providing a variety of items, allowing you to immerse yourself in cowboy culture.

From captivating poetry performances to soul-stirring Western music and enriching workshops, this event offers a unique and memorable experience.

The upcoming 38th Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering is scheduled for Thursday, August 8, to Sunday, August 11, 2024, in Lewistown.

So, if you find yourself yearning for an authentic taste of the Wild West, be sure to join me at the Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering next August.

Visit Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering‘s website for more information.

Northwest Montana Fair and Rodeo

A cowboy riding a white horse at a rodeo in Montana.

Explore the wonders of Montana in August with the annual Northwest Montana Fair and Rodeo, a tradition spanning over 120 years.

This extraordinary event, held every August, offers a must-attend experience for those in search of an authentic Montana encounter.

In the city of Kalispell, the Northwest Montana Fair and Rodeo presents a diverse set of features.

Experience a thrilling concert, three nights of PRCA rodeo, captivating exhibits, a vibrant livestock show and sale, live music, carnival rides, and tempting fair food.

But the crown jewel of this event is undoubtedly the rodeo. Attendees can anticipate witnessing exceptional displays of bravery and skill as cowboys demonstrate their expertise in various rodeo events.

These include bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, and barrel racing.

The atmosphere is charged with excitement as these athletes tackle the formidable challenges of the rodeo arena.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Flathead County Fairgrounds, this gathering of Montana’s finest embodies the spirit of the Wild West.

The 2023 Northwest Montana Fair and Rodeo occurred at the Flathead County Fairgrounds in Kalispell from August 16-20, 2023.

For those planning ahead, mark your calendars for the next scheduled event, set to take place from August 15-17, 2024.

For more information, you can visit Montana Pro Rodeo‘s official site.

Huckleberry Festivals in Montana

A person is pouring huckleberries into a jar in Montana.

In Montana, August heralds the Huckleberry Festival, an event that captures the essence of summer.

Two notable festivals to note on your calendar are the Trout Creek and Swan Lake Huckleberry Festivals, celebrated in various locations across the state.

The Trout Creek Huckleberry Festival, occurring on the second full weekend of August, offers a lively experience with live music, food and craft vendors, and parades and contests.

The recent festival took place on August 12-13, 2023, and the upcoming 2024 event is scheduled for August 10-11, 2024.

Meanwhile, The Swan Lake Huckleberry Festival, located at Swan Lake Day Park near mile marker 72 on Montana Highway 83, features a scrumptious pancake breakfast and a competitive huckleberry baking contest.

The festival includes various activities such as a baked goods sale, silent auction, raffles, an arts and crafts fair, and live music, catering to diverse interests.

The recent Swan Lake Huckleberry Festival occurred on August 12, 2023, and the upcoming 2024 festival is scheduled for August 10.

So mark your calendars, because these Huckleberry Festivals are the perfect way to celebrate the abundance and flavors of Montana’s summer season.

Montana in August Final Thoughts

A white RV on a road with mountains in the background in Montana.

August in Montana is an outdoor enthusiast’s haven, revealing the state’s rugged beauty.

Ideal for wildlife viewing in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, boat tours in Yellowstone offer a unique perspective on lakes and rivers, showcasing Montana’s grandeur.

Yellowstone, in full swing by August, is a must-visit with geysers, hot springs, and wildlife sightings. It’s peak fishing season, with rivers abundant in diverse fish for impressive catches. 

Montana’s vibrant culture shines through events like the Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Montana Fair and Rodeo, and Huckleberry Festivals in August, providing a glimpse into rich traditions.

The August weather is perfect, with sunny days and warm temperatures, making it the best time to immerse yourself in Montana’s outdoor wonders.

However, August is a popular time for tourists, so plan carefully. Secure accommodations and activities in advance for a smooth experience.

Montana in August is a treasure waiting to be discovered, guaranteeing memories that last a lifetime.

Montana in August FAQs

1. Is Montana Worth Visiting in the Summer?

Montana is certainly worth visiting in the summer.

The state’s natural beauty truly shines during this season, with its stunning national parks, including Glacier and Yellowstone, offering a wide range of outdoor activities like hiking, wildlife viewing, and boating.

The pleasant weather and longer daylight hours make it ideal for exploring the vast landscapes and enjoying various events.

2. What Should I Wear in Montana in August?

Include advice on dressing for warm weather, summer weather is nearly always beautiful and sunny.

Dressing for an August day in Montana often involves layering, with a short-sleeved T-shirt, a long-sleeved button shirt, and a lightweight vest being common choices.

Given the potential for significant and rapid temperature fluctuations throughout the day, it’s wise to have extra layers at your disposal.

3. What Is the Cheapest Time to Go to Montana?

The shoulder seasons from April to June and October to November are perfect for visiting Montana if you want to avoid crowds and enjoy lower prices.

Lodging, activities, restaurants, and even simple purchases like groceries and gas are lower during the shoulder and off-season.

4. Has It Ever Snowed in Montana in August?

Yes, it has snowed in Montana in August. In August 1992, a storm developed over Western Montana that dumped as much as 8 inches of snow on Great Falls, Cutbank, and Browning.

The National Weather Service called it an “unprecedented” weather event, considering no snow had ever been measured in August at Great Falls in 100 years of record-keeping.

5. Is Montana Cheap to Visit?

Montana can be a budget-friendly destination for travelers. Montana has no sales tax, making it easier to stick to a budget when shopping at grocery stores.

However the state levies selective (excise) taxes on gasoline, alcohol, tobacco, lodgings, and other items.

There are also many affordable motels and remote campsites available for visitors.

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Written by:

Chris Hall
Hi, I'm Chris Hall, co-founder of Growing up among Montana's breathtaking landscapes ignited my passion for travel. While I've journeyed to many corners of the world, the allure of Montana's wild beauty always draws me back. To me, travel is about understanding the soul of a place, and Montana has a special place in my heart. It's where endless adventures meet raw nature.

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