Local Tips for Visiting Montana in August
Summer is the most popular time to visit Montana – the national parks are fully open and the weather is sunny and hot. It’s going to be crowded, but if you plan your trip to Montana right, you can still find open spaces and peaceful excursions.
If you’re looking to book a vacation in August to Montana, you’re in for an incredible time. However, there are some things you should know about traveling to Montana in August.
What’s the Weather Like in Montana in August?
Since it’s the height of summer, August is one of Montana’s hottest months. Temperatures reach an average high of 84.1 degrees Fahrenheit, dropping to as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
You likely won’t experience much humidity since Montana is known for its dry heat, but this tends to make for a more comfortable summer even when temps are high.
Unfortunately, with the dry heat comes the risk of wildfires. August is often referred to as “fire season” by locals in Montana. August (and sometimes earlier or into September) often sees wildfires ravaging parts of Montana. While your chances of being affected by evacuations or closures due to a wildfire are low, know that it is likely to encounter smoke in the air if a fire is blazing. How bad the smoke is and how much the normally blue sky is clouded depends on the fire containment level and which way the wind is blowing.
How Cheap are Flights to Montana in August?
Plane tickets to Montana will be more expensive in August than they would be later in the year. Consider booking your trip outside of Labor Day weekend since prices will typically be even more expensive over the holiday weekend. Beyond that, you’re likely just going to have to pay a premium for flying during August to Montana, which is expensive even in low season!
But definitely compare prices at different airports (such as Missoula vs. Kalispell or Bozeman vs. Billings) and compare rental car prices at each airport to find the rate that’s best for your budget. You might be surprised by what ends up being cheaper when you add together flight and car.
What’s Open at Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks?
While all the campgrounds and lodges in Yellowstone is typically scheduled to be open at Yellowstone National Park in August, be prepared to book your reservation well in advance. Accommodations in Montana fill up early and fast for August.
Many visitors take advantage of the summer hiking conditions, and you should, too – just don’t forget to bring your bear spray! After your hike, you can visit a Yellowstone lodge for a bite to eat, gift shopping, or to participate in a ranger-led program.
Like Yellowstone, all of Glacier National Park’s accommodations are usually open in August, but you’ll need to reserve your spot quickly.
August is also the only travel month when you can be fairly certain the entire Going-to-the-Sun Road will be open to driving. Every spring into June, huge snow drifts must be carefully plowed before it can open to drivers. In 2022, the road didn’t fully open until the middle of July!
That in and of itself is a prime reason why you should travel to Montana in August if you’re planning to visit Glacier National Park.
Read More: Best Things to Do in Glacier National Park
Other Things to Do in Montana in August
National parks and mountain hiking trails aren’t the only outdoor attractions worth visiting in Montana – the hot springs are beautiful, too! We especially love Bozeman Hot Springs and Chico Hot Springs, but they’re all pretty great in their own way.
Festivals and rodeos abound in Montana during August, too. Popular ones include the Sweet Pea Festival in Bozeman, the Headwaters Festival in Three Forks, Huckleberry Days in Whitefish, An Rí Rá Montana Irish Festival in Butte, just to name a few. Check local events for small towns you’ll be driving through, too.
Read More: Best Small Towns in Montana