Montana Summer: Weather, Activities, and Must-Haves

When you think of a summer trip, Montana would be one of the places that comes to mind. From the sweeping plains to the majestic mountains, the Treasure State offers a diverse landscape that’s just waiting to be explored.

With the perfect Montana summer weather, you will find yourself in a tale of warm days, cool nights, and the occasional gust of wind. But what else can you expect weather-wise?

We’ll take a closer look at what the summer weather has in store for you. Whether it’s hiking in Glacier National Park or fishing in Bighorn Lake, this article is a must-read for planning your Big Sky Country summer trip.

So, whether you’re a nature lover, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply someone looking to escape the summer heat, get ready to embrace the beautiful Montana summer weather.

7 Key Takeaways on Summer in Montana

  1. Montana’s summer weather is generally warm during the day and cool at night, with occasional gusts of wind.
  2. While thunderstorms are not as common, they can contribute to the state’s wildfire risk, so fire safety is important.
  3. Montana offers 14 to 16 hours of daylight, allowing for ample time to explore its scenic wonders.
  4. The state’s summer climate is comfortable, with only occasional heatwaves.
  5. Montana’s summer weather is mostly dry, with light rain being the exception.
  6. A wide range of outdoor activities is available, from sailing and biking to wildlife viewing and golfing.
  7. Essential items to pack include layered clothing, rain gear, hiking boots, sun protection, bug spray, and camping/hiking gear.

Getting Ready for Summer in Montana

A group of people enjoying a summer hike along a trail near a body of water in Montana.

Summer in Montana is a time of adventure and outdoor revelry. But before you embark on your hiking, fishing, or camping expeditions, it’s essential to know what the weather has in store.

From dry thunderstorms to scorching days, the summer climate in Montana can vary dramatically. Let’s dive into some tips to help you make the most of your summer trips in the Treasure State.

Summer Weather in Montana

A meadow in Montana during the summer, adorned with vibrant yellow flowers and mountains in the background.

When it comes to summer weather, Montana knows how to put on a show. With an impressive 14 to 16 hours of daylight, you will have the opportunity to explore the scenic wonders for an extended amount of time.

In this time, you can expect warm days, cool nights, and an abundance of sunshine. From July to early September, let’s break down the important things to know about the warm Montana summer weather:

Key AspectsJulyAugustSeptember
Average Temperature62.6°F (17°C)60.8°F (16°C)53.6°F (12°C)
Minimum Temperature50°F to 60°F (10°C to 15.6°C)50°F to 60°F (10°C to 15.6°C)40°F to 50°F (4.4°C to 10°C)
Maximum Temperature80°F to 90°F (26.7°C to 32.2°C)75°F to 85°F (23.9°C to 29.4°C)65°F to 75°F (18.3°C to 23.9°C).
Average Wind Speed9.3 mph (15 kph)9.3 mph (15 kph)11.2 mph (18 kph)
Average Rainfall109 mm112 mm82 mm

During the summer months in Montana, the weather is usually warm and pleasant during the day, with July being the hottest month. August is still warm, but towards the end of the month, there may be a slight drop in temperature. As September approaches, the weather begins to change, as summer transitions into autumn.

The temperature gradually decreases, and there are noticeable changes in the weather. Generally, temperatures in Montana during the summer are comfortable, with only occasional heatwaves. So, you won’t be sweltering, but you’ll still get to enjoy some warmer temperatures.

While you may encounter a few days of clouds and light rain, Montana’s summer weather is predominantly dry, with sunshine being the norm.

It is worth noting that thunderstorms do occur during the summer, but they are not as common as you might think. Most are dry thunderstorms, which contribute to the state’s wildfire risk. So, while you’re enjoying the beautiful summer weather, be mindful of fire safety.

With a summer climate that perfectly complements its stunning surroundings, Montana is the ultimate destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. You’re welcome to discover if the same holds true for Montana’s winter weather.

Montana Summer Outdoor Activities

A group of people whitewater rafting in Montana during the summer.

When the Montana summer rolls around, you’re met with a playground of possibilities. From hiking through pristine trails to horseback riding in vast meadows, there’s something for everyone.

The best part? You can enjoy all these activities in the moderate daytime temperatures and low humidity, a stark contrast to the sweltering heat of many summer destinations.

Here’s a taste of what you can dive into during summer in Montana:

  • Sailing and boating 
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Road trips
  • Biking 
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Golfing
  • Rock Climbing
  • Fishing
  • Camping

And what better way to enjoy the summer than being on bodies of water? Montana boasts some of the most stunning lakes, and here are a few you shouldn’t miss:

  • Flathead Lake – The largest natural freshwater lake in the western U.S., Flathead Lake is also one of the cleanest and clearest in the world. Stay at the historic Flathead Lake Lodge for a truly immersive experience.
  • Bighorn Lake – Offering a fishing haven and picturesque views, Bighorn Lake surrounds you with some of the most beautiful outdoor scenery in the northwest United States.
  • Elwell Lake – Lake Elwell is a year-round angler’s paradise, providing abundant opportunities to catch numerous species of fish such as walleye and native trout.
  • Echo Lake – Known for its warm waters, Echo Lake is perfect for a summer dip.

While the summer months are the busiest in Montana, especially in Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, there’s still room to find your slice of serenity.

So, whether you’re reeling in a trout, scaling a rock face, or simply indulging in some ice cream by the lake, Montana’s summer activities are as diverse as they are exhilarating. The only limit is how much adventure you can pack into a single trip.

What to Pack for Summer in Montana

A woman is packing clothes into a suitcase for a Montana summer trip.

Montana’s summer weather is a delightful mix of moderate daytime temperatures and cool, refreshing nights. To make the most of your adventure during the warmest time of the year in Montana, here’s a rundown of the essential items you shouldn’t leave without:

  1. Layered Clothing – The key to tackling Montana’s climate is layering. Pack a mix of t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and a light jacket.
  2. Rain Gear and Water-Resistant Footwear – Montana’s summer skies can be unpredictable. A compact raincoat and water-resistant shoes are a must.
  3. Hiking Boots –  Whether you’re exploring the trails of Glacier National Park or the backcountry of Yellowstone, a sturdy pair of hiking boots is essential.
  4. Hats – Protect yourself from the sun with a wide-brimmed hat or a baseball cap.
  5. Sunblock – Montana’s high elevation means you’re closer to the sun. Don’t skip on the SPF.
  6. Sunglasses – Shield your eyes from the bright mountain sun.
  7. Bug Spray – Keep pesky critters at bay during your outdoor excursions.
  8. Backpack – A comfortable, lightweight backpack is perfect for day hikes and exploring.
  9. Binoculars and Camera – Montana’s wildlife and scenic vistas are begging to be captured.
  10. Camping and Hiking Gear – If you plan to camp or embark on longer hikes, pack your tent, sleeping bag, and other necessary gear.
  11. First Aid Kit – Accidents happen, so be prepared with a compact first aid kit.
  12. Snacks – Montana’s vast landscapes can leave you hungry. Pack energy bars or trail mix for quick bites.
  13. Chargers and Powerbanks – Stay connected and ensure your devices are juiced up.

As someone who has hiked the Big Sky trails and camped under the starry Montana sky, I can vouch for the importance of packing smart. The weather can change in a heartbeat, and being prepared will only enhance your summer adventure.

Montana Summer Weather Expectations Final Thoughts

A valley with mountains and red flowers in Montana during the summer.

As you plan your summer escapades in Montana, keep in mind that the Treasure State offers a delightful blend of warm days, cool nights, and an abundance of sunshine. While the occasional gust of wind or passing shower may add a touch of unpredictability, the majority of your adventures will be under clear, blue skies.

With the pleasant Montana summer climate, you have a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy. From hiking and horseback riding to sailing and fishing, you will get plenty of vitamin D from the sun all the while getting the tan of your dreams.

Just remember to pack smart, with layered clothing, rain gear, and sun protection being key. We can’t have you leaving with a sunburn!

Montana’s summer is a season of magic and adventure, and it’s waiting for you to embrace it. So go forth, and let the Treasure State weave its summer spell on you.

Montana Summer Weather FAQs

1. How Hot Is Montana in the Summer?

July and August bring hot summer temperatures with temperatures rising above 80°F (27°C) and accompanied by occasional heat waves.

2. What Is the Warmest It Gets in Montana?

Montana’s hottest temperature on record is 117°F (47°C). This happened on July 20, 1893, in Glendive.

3. Is Montana Nice in the Summer?

Summer is one of the best times to visit Montana. Montana summers are colorful, with long, sunny days and cool nights. Read more about Montana’s best weather locations.

4. What Is the Weather Like in Montana Summer Nights?

During summer nights in Montana, temperatures can cool down to a range of 50-60°F (10-15°C).

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Written by:

Ashley Smith
Hello there! I'm Ashley Smith, born on a chilly winter's day, Montana has been my playground since childhood. The first snowfall of the year always brings back memories of building snowmen and winter hikes. Co-founding was my way of sharing the magic of Montana's seasons with the world. While Chris dives deep into the landscapes, I'm obsessed with Montana's rich culture, from the local festivals to the tales passed down generations.

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