Montana in July: Complete Travel Guide

In this 2023 Complete Travel Guide, I’ll be your trusty guide as we explore the wonders of this captivating destination.

Here, in the heart of Big Sky Country, you’ll discover the breathtaking beauty of Flathead Lake, the pristine wilderness of Glacier National Park, and the majestic wonders of Yellowstone National Park.

But Montana in July is much more than just national parks. It’s a playground for mountain biking, camping, and hiking-friendly summers.

I’ve spent years studying and researching Montana’s hidden gems, finding the best log cabins, alpine lakes, and hot springs that await your discovery.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or venturing to Montana for the first time, this guide is tailored just for you.

So, join me on this exhilarating journey through Montana in July. Together, we’ll uncover the secret trails,  and immerse ourselves in the warm embrace of this extraordinary state.

Let’s make unforgettable memories and embrace the magic of this breathtaking land.

Montana in July: Reasons to Visit

A view of a forest in Montana

You’ll find July to be the ideal month to immerse yourself in all that Montana has to offer.

July boasts some of the warmest days of the year in Montana. It’s a time when the sun-kissed landscapes invite you to indulge in an array of outdoor activities.

From mountain biking through rugged trails to embarking on breathtaking hikes, Montana in July caters to every adventurer’s heart.

But it’s not just about exploring the great outdoors. Montana comes alive in July with an array of vibrant festivals and events that celebrate the spirit of this captivating state.

From epic summer festivals that bring communities together to the sheer joy of devouring delectable ice cream, there’s something for everyone to savor here.

Whether you’re traversing the awe-inspiring Glacier National Park or taking in the wonders of Yellowstone National Park, Montana in July encapsulates the epitome of Montana’s summer bliss.

Montana awaits you with open arms, ready to show you an exceptional time.

Montana in July: Weather Conditions

A picturesque town in Montana

When it comes to the weather conditions in Montana during July, prepare yourself for warm and pleasant days, perfect for outdoor adventures.

The summer sun bathes the landscapes in a golden glow, beckoning you to explore all that this captivating state has to offer.

Weather in Northwestern Montana During July

A city in Northwestern Montana with mountains in the background.

When it comes to weather in Northwestern Montana during July, you can expect a range of temperatures depending on where you are.

LocationDaily High TemperatureDaily Low Temperature
Missoula80°F (26.7°C)23°F (-5°C)
Kalispell78°F (25.6°C)19.1°F (-7.2°C)
Whitefish77.2°F (25.1°C)18.6°F (-7.4°C)
Glacier National Park71.4°F (21.9°C)9.3°F (-12.6°C)

In Missoula, the daily high temperature averages around 80°F, while the daily low temperature drops to about 23°F.

Kalispell sees slightly cooler temperatures, with a daily high of 78°F and a low of 19.1°F. Whitefish experiences similar conditions, with a daily high temperature of 77.2°F and a low of 18.6°F.

When it comes to Glacier National Park, things cool down significantly. The daily high temperature in the park reaches an average of 71.4°F, with a chilly daily low of 9.3°F.

So if you’re planning a visit to Glacier National Park in July, be sure to pack some extra layers.

Weather in Southwestern Montana During July

An arial view of a town in Southwestern Montana

In Southwestern Montana, July is a month of diverse weather conditions. Let’s delve into the climatic factors of some key cities.

LocationDaily High TemperatureDaily Low Temperature
Bozeman72.4°F (22.4°C)12.3°F (-10.9°C)
Butte71°F (21.7°C)7.7°F (-13.5°C)
West Yellowstone65.2°F (18.4°C)-5.9°F (-21.1°C)
Helena74.7°F (23.7°C)13.6°F (-10.2°C)

Bozeman has an average daily high temperature of 72.4°F, allowing for pleasant outdoor adventures. Butte, on the other hand, experiences a similar average daily high of 71.7°F, but the lows are colder at 7.7°F.

Venturing further west to West Yellowstone has a daily high of 65.2°F. The nights here can be icy, reaching a low of -5.9°F.

Helena is slightly warmer, with a daily high of 74.7°F, making it great for explorations during the day. The lows dip to a cool 13.6°F.

West Yellowstone and Helena offer a cooler atmosphere, perfect for hiking and enjoying outdoor activities during the day.

Whatever your preference, Southwestern Montana in July has the ideal climate for your summer adventures.

Weather in South-Central Montana During July

An arial view of a town in South central Montana

LocationDaily High TemperatureDaily Low Temperature
Billings82.4°F (28°C)21.9°F (-5.6°C)
Cooke City58.7°F (14.8°C)-4.1°F (-20.1°C)
Red Lodge69.8°F (21°C)6.9°F (-13.9°C)

In Billings, the daily high temperature reaches a balmy 82.4°F, making it one of the hottest spots in South Central Montana. 

Heading further west to Cooke City, you’ll experience cooler temperatures with a daily high of 58.7°F. Be prepared for some chilly evenings in this area.

Red Lodge offers a slightly milder climate. The recorded lows here are cool as well, dipping down to 6.9°F. While not as extreme as Cooke City, it still requires layers and a warm jacket for those nightly ventures.

Billings is certainly the warmer choice in South-Central Montana during July, with Cooke City being cooler and Red Lodge falling somewhere in between.

Whether you prefer the heat or thrive in cooler temperatures, South Central Montana offers a range of options to suit your preferences. 

Weather in Eastern Montana During July

Towering hills in eastern Montana

LocationDaily High TemperatureDaily Low Temperature
Glendive88.5°F (31.4°C)16.2°F (-8.8°C)
Miles City88°F (31.1°C)18.9°F (-7.3°C)

Comparatively, Glendive takes the crown for the highest temperature, making it the hottest place in Eastern Montana during July. But don’t forget your jacket, as the nightly lows can bite.

Both locations offer a significant range in temperature, making for an interesting climate that keeps you guessing. Just be prepared for the striking drop in temperature when the sun goes down.

Montana in July: Things To Do

A hillside with trees and mountains in Montana.

From exploring the pristine beauty of Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park to indulging in thrilling mountain biking adventures to leisurely rides, Montana in July offers a playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

With its stunning landscapes and a calendar bursting with epic summer festivals, Montana in July is the ideal time to embark on unforgettable adventures and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

1. Visit Yellowstone National Park in July

A bison is grazing in a grassy field in Montana.

Visiting Yellowstone National Park in July is an experience like no other. I can confidently say that July is one of the best months to explore this magnificent park.

The weather is absolutely delightful, with clear skies and comfortable temperatures that make outdoor activities a pure delight.

Plus, all the roads and facilities are open, allowing you to roam and experience the park’s wonders to their fullest.

The biggest benefit of visiting Yellowstone in July is the accessibility of the trails. Most of the snow has melted, revealing miles of trails that are just waiting to be explored.

Camping is also available throughout the park, with all the campgrounds open in July. Imagine waking up to the crisp morning air, surrounded by nature’s beauty.

There are several must-see sights in Yellowstone, including the iconic Old Faithful, the mesmerizing Grand Prismatic Spring, and the picturesque Lamar Valley.

These attractions offer awe-inspiring experiences, from witnessing the eruption of Old Faithful to marveling at the vibrant colors of the thermal features.

Wildlife viewing opportunities abound in the park, so keep your eyes peeled for bison, bears, wolves, and other fascinating creatures.

After a long day of adventure, treat yourself to the ultimate relaxation by visiting one of Yellowstone’s famous hot springs, such as the Mammoth Hot Springs.

Soothe your tired muscles and bask in the natural warmth of these enchanting pools. It’s the perfect way to unwind and reflect on the amazing experiences you’ve had in the park.

Keep in mind that Yellowstone is a busy place in the summer, so if you’re planning a visit during July, it’s essential to make reservations for camping or lodging in advance.

Also, some activities may require permits, so be sure to book those ahead of time as well.

2. Explore Glacier National Park in July

A river in Glacier National Park, Montana surrounded by trees and mountains

When it comes to exploring Glacier National Park in July, the possibilities are endless.

One of the most popular activities during this time is mountain biking. The park offers a wide range of trails that cater to all skill levels, from beginners to experienced riders.

July is also a great time for hiking in the park. Most of the trails are open and accessible, allowing you to immerse yourself in the stunning beauty of the park.

Don’t forget to hike to the famous Lake McDonald, an alpine lake that will take your breath away with its crystal-clear waters and majestic mountain backdrop.

For those who want to spend the night in the park, Glacier National Park offers a variety of camping options.

From front-country campgrounds with modern amenities to backcountry camping for a more rugged experience, there’s something for everyone.

The weather in July in Glacier National Park is typically warm and sunny during the day, perfect for outdoor activities, and cool and starry at night, providing a peaceful ambiance.

Make sure to visit the must-see landmarks in Glacier National Park, such as the iconic Logan Pass and the breathtaking Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Keep your eyes peeled for the abundant wildlife in the park, including grizzly bears, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elks, and wolves.

It’s important to note that in summer, a vehicle reservation is required for certain areas of the park, including Going-to-the-Sun Road, Two Medicine, and Many Glacier. Plan ahead and make your reservations to ensure a smooth visit.

July is one of the busiest months in Glacier National Park, so be prepared for crowds and higher prices for lodging and services.

Despite the influx of visitors, the beauty and majesty of Glacier National Park make it a must-visit destination. 

3. Visit Museums in Bozeman in July

Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana

When visiting Bozeman in the month of July, you’ll be delighted to find a diverse array of museums to explore.

Here are three top museums to visit during your July trip:

  1.  Museum of the Rockies –This world-class museum offers a captivating journey through cultural and natural history. With ever-changing exhibits that showcase treasures from around the globe, you’ll be amazed by the depth and breadth of their collections. Don’t miss the astronomy exhibits, which will leave you in awe of the vastness and mysteries of the universe.
  2. Gallatin History Museum – Dive into the rich history of the Gallatin Valley at this fascinating museum. From exhibits on Native American history to stories of early settlers and the mining industry, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the region’s past. Immerse yourself in the vibrant narratives that shaped Bozeman and its surrounding areas.
  3. Montana Science Center – If you have a curious mind, this is the museum for you. Dedicated to science education, the Montana Science Center offers interactive exhibits on physics, chemistry, biology, and more. Get hands-on, conduct experiments, and expand your knowledge in a fun and engaging way.

During the summer months, including July, many museums in Bozeman host special exhibits and events.

Be sure to check each museum’s website for up-to-date information on what’s happening during your visit.

With such a wide range of options, you’ll have the opportunity to explore and indulge in your areas of interest. Make the most of your museum experience that awaits you in Bozeman.

4. Enjoy Fly Fishing in July

A man is fishing in a river with trees in the background

When it comes to fly fishing, July in Montana is a true angler’s paradise. With a plethora of rivers and lakes to choose from, you’ll have endless opportunities to cast your line and reel in some impressive catches.

Let me take you through the best places to fish.

  • Madison River – The Madison River is a popular destination for fly fishing in July, with opportunities to catch rainbow and brown trout.
  • Smoky Mountains – The Smoky Mountains offer a variety of streams and rivers for fly fishing in July, with opportunities to catch brook, rainbow, and brown trout.
  • Blackfoot River – The Blackfoot River is a Montana fly fishing paradise. Fishes you can catch here include salmon fly, rainbow, and brown trout.
  • Bighorn River – The Bighorn River is a popular destination for fly fishing in July, with opportunities to catch rainbow and brown trout.
  • Missouri River – The Missouri River is a great place to fly fish in July, with opportunities to catch rainbow and brown trout.
  • Flathead Lake – Flathead Lake is a popular destination for fly fishing in Montana with opportunities to catch pike, cutthroat, bull, and rainbow trout.

To make the most of your fly fishing adventure, it’s important to understand the conditions and skill levels required.

Different fish species tend to be more active at certain times of the day, so familiarize yourself with their feeding habits. Good casting skills are crucial, especially in fast-moving water like rivers.

And remember, most of these areas require a fishing permit, so make sure to secure one before you hit the water.

July offers the perfect conditions for fly fishing, so grab your gear and get ready for a rewarding angling experience.

5. Explore the Flathead Lake

Flathead Lake in Montana

Explore the Flathead Lake, a true gem in Montana, where July brings forth a world of possibilities. 

Take a leisurely boat cruise, and set sail on a sailboat. If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or canoe for a different perspective of the lake.

For those who prefer to keep their feet on solid ground, the Swan Mountains, located east of the lake, offer a variety of hiking trails with stunning views of the area.

And what better way to immerse yourself in nature than camping? There are several campgrounds located near the lake.

If you are planning to camp in one of the campgrounds, be sure to make a reservation ahead of time through the National Recreation Reservation System‘s website.

If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, consider booking a stay at the Flathead Lake Lodge, conveniently located near the lake.

This rustic yet elegant lodge offers a range of activities for guests to enjoy, including horseback riding, mountain biking, and fishing.

And let’s not forget the scenic Highway 35, a 51-mile-long road that wraps around the lake. Take a drive along this picturesque route and soak in the breathtaking views that surround you.

If you find yourself in the charming town of Bigfork, make sure to make a pit stop at the Flathead Lake Brewery. Here, you can savor a locally crafted beer while taking in the lively atmosphere.

Whatever your preference may be, exploring Flathead Lake in July is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories of its beauty and adventure.

Montana Festivals and Events in July

A crowd of people in Montana gathered in front of a large building in July.

July in Montana is a time of vibrant energy and celebration, with an array of festivals and events that showcase the best of this breathtaking state.

From lively music festivals to exhilarating outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you’re a seasoned local or a first-time visitor, July is the perfect time to immerse yourself in Montana’s rich culture and natural beauty.

1. Montana Folk Festival

A city at night with a full moon in the sky in Montana.

It’s an extraordinary celebration of music, dance, and craftsmanship that’s held annually in the charming town of Uptown Butte, Montana.

The Montana Folk Festival is held annually in July, and the dates for the 2023 festival were Friday, July 14th to Sunday, July 16th.

This festival has a rich history, and captivating performers from all over the country and beyond.

You can expect to be enchanted by the talented musicians and dancers as they bring their unique cultural traditions to life on stage.

Beyond the performances, the festival also offers a vibrant marketplace filled with food and craft vendors.

It’s the perfect opportunity to indulge in local delicacies and browse through handmade crafts, reflecting the region’s rich heritage.

The Montana Folk Festival holds immense significance for the local community. It brings people together, fostering a sense of pride in their heritage and culture.

The festival also attracts a significant number of tourists each year, providing a boost to the local economy and promoting Montana as a top-notch destination for cultural experiences.

The next Montana Folk Festival 2024 is scheduled to be on July 12-14, 2024.

So if you’re in Montana in July, the Montana Folk Festival is an absolute must. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this incredible celebration of dance, music, and culture.

2. Big Sky County State Fair

A group of people riding a ride at an amusement park in Montana.

I had the pleasure of attending the Big Sky Country State Fair in Bozeman, Montana. This annual extravaganza, held at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds, is a celebration of all things Montana.

From July 19th to July 23rd, the Big Sky Country State Fair exploded with excitement, drawing locals and tourists alike to its bustling grounds.

Upon arriving at the fair, I was immediately captivated by the vibrant atmosphere. The fairgrounds were alive with laughter and the aromas of delicious treats wafting through the air.

The fair boasted an array of attractions and activities to suit every taste. From thrilling carnival rides that sent me soaring into the sky to challenging games that tested my skills, there was no shortage of excitement.

For those who appreciate the agricultural roots of Montana, the fair presented a delightful assortment of exhibits. Of course, no fair experience would be complete without indulging in the mouthwatering delights offered by the food vendors.

From classic fair favorites like corn dogs and funnel cakes to tantalizing twists on traditional dishes, my taste buds were in a state of pure bliss.

Admission to the fairgrounds was typically free, allowing everyone to join in the festivities. However, some events may require tickets or additional fees.

The fair thoughtfully offered multiple ticket packages for the fair and carnival, as well as options for ticketed concerts and rodeos, ensuring that visitors could tailor their experience to their preferences.

The next Big Sky Country State Fair will be held July 17-21, 2024 at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds. So never miss this

3. Whitefish Arts Festival

A woman drawing a graffiti on a road in Montana

This annual event, now in its 45th year, showcases a captivating collection of artwork from both local and regional artists.

Scheduled to take place on July 5th, 6th, and 7th, 2024, the Whitefish Arts Festival spans the entire weekend, providing ample time for visitors to explore the myriad of artistic creations.

The festival typically runs from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Friday and Saturday, and from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday. With such generous hours, there’s no excuse not to immerse yourself in this celebration of creativity.

Visitors to the Whitefish Arts Festival can also indulge in live music and performances that add a melodic backdrop to the vibrant atmosphere.

And of course, no festival experience would be complete without tantalizing taste buds with local food and drinks. The culinary delights were a feast for both the eyes and the palate.

One of the best aspects of the Whitefish Arts Festival is that admission is typically free, making it accessible to all who wish to embrace the beauty and creativity that permeate the event.

So mark your calendars and prepare to be captivated by the extraordinary talent showcased at the Whitefish Arts Festival this July. 

4. Flathead Cherry Festival

Cherries in baskets on a wooden table in Montana.

Located in Polson, Montana, the Flathead Cherry Festival is a delightful celebration of all things cherry.

Taking place in the heart of the town on Main Street, the Flathead Cherry Festival is a must-visit for cherry enthusiasts and anyone looking for a fun and family-friendly summer event.

Mark your calendars for the upcoming festival, scheduled to take place on a sunny weekend in July.

The exact dates for this year’s festival are yet to be announced, but you can expect a weekend filled with cherry-themed activities and treats.

From intricately crafted jewelry to stunning pottery and paintings, there’s something for every art lover. It’s a perfect opportunity to support local artists and bring home a unique souvenir.

The Flathead Cherry Festival is not just about art and crafts, though. Live music will fill the air, adding a lively and melodic ambiance to the festival.

And for those looking to unleash their creativity, a sidewalk chalk art contest is a chance to let your imagination run wild.

This family-friendly festival offers activities for kids of all ages. From face painting to delicious cherry treats, there’s no shortage of fun and entertainment.

The best part? Admission to the festival is typically free, ensuring that everyone can partake in the cherry-filled festivities.

So, whether you’re a cherry enthusiast, an art lover, or simply looking for a delightful summer event, don’t miss the Flathead Cherry Festival. Enjoy a weekend filled with cherries, creativity, and community.

Montana in July Final Thoughts

A river meandering through the scenic mountains of Montana in July.

Montana in July offers an abundance of outdoor activities, festivals, and events to enthrall visitors.

For those who are eager to explore the great outdoors, the weather in July in Montana is generally hot, providing the perfect conditions for hiking, mountain biking, and other adventures.

While the heat can be intense, it’s usually not accompanied by stifling humidity, making it more comfortable to be outside.

July is also an excellent time to visit Yellowstone and Glacier National Park, as most of their facilities are open, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the breathtaking landscapes and diverse wildlife.

Fishing enthusiasts will find July to be a prime month for flyfishing, with plenty of opportunities to cast their lines and reel in some impressive catches.

There are also numerous festivals and events happening throughout Montana in July. The Montana Folk Festival and Big Sky Country State Fair are just a couple of highlights that offer entertainment and cultural experiences.

However, it’s important to note that July falls within the peak tourist season, so thorough planning is essential to secure accommodations and avoid crowded attractions.

Visiting Montana in July provides an ideal opportunity to indulge in outdoor adventures, immerse oneself in the local culture, and create unforgettable memories.

Just be sure to plan ahead and make the most of this exceptional time in the Treasure State.

Montana in July FAQs

1. Does Montana Have Snow in July?

Yes, Montana can have snow in July, although it is not common.

While snow in July is not common, it has occurred in Montana in the past. For example, Butte received several inches of snow on July 2, 1921.

Snow in July can sometimes occur especially on higher elevation places such as The Big Sky Resort.

2. What Is the Best Time to Visit Montana?

The ideal time to visit Montana depends on your interests and activities.

Summer which is June to August, is the most popular time to visit, with warm temperatures and a variety of outdoor activities available.

Fall is also an excellent time to visit, with cooler temperatures, fewer crowds, and beautiful fall foliage.

3. Is Montana Dry or Humid?

Montana is generally considered a dry state, although humidity levels can vary depending on the location and time of year.

The state’s humidity levels can be slightly higher than those of other dry states due to the thousands of lakes, rivers, and creeks in the state.

4. How to Pack for Montana in July?

In July in Montana, make sure to pack lightweight, breathable clothing, a mix of layers, sunscreen, a hat, insect repellent, a bear spray, and comfortable hiking shoes.

it is important to pack for a variety of temperatures and conditions and prepare for the activities you will be doing.

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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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