Things to Do in Montana

What to Expect When Traveling to Montana in July

There’s a reason why so many people visit Montana in July – it’s one of the hottest months of the year, the national parks are fully operational, and there are fewer college students in bigger cities.

Summer in southeast Montana

If you’re wondering what to expect weather-wise, how expensive flights are, and the best things to do in July in Montana, then you’re in the right spot. We have the practical info and insider tips you need for traveling to Montana in July all right here.

Plus, we’ve added info you need to know about the 2024 summer travel season in Montana since this year has some important updates for travelers, particularly if you’re traveling to the National Parks located in Montana.

If you’ve never visited the “Big Sky Country” state before, consider booking a summer trip to make hitting items on your bucket list easier. Some of the best things to do in Montana are easiest to accomplish in July.

What’s the Weather Like in Montana in July?

In Montana, it doesn’t get much hotter than it does in July (though August might give it a run for its money!). On average, temperatures reach a high of the mid-80 in Fahrenheit degrees during the day with milder nights that hover around 50 to 60 degrees. Those mountains and alpine climate can sure bring the temps down at night!

Humidity tends to stay below 40%, and you may experience some wind. All of this contributes to more tolerable weather for afternoon hikes and the possibility of wanting a light jacket to wear after the sun goes down.

Keep in mind the temperature can dramatically differ depending where you are in Montana in July. Western Montana is going to have cooler nights due to the mountains while eastern Montana can get even higher temps during the day and stays warmer at night. No matter where you are, though, humidity tends to stay low in Montana.

How Cheap are Flights to Montana in July?

You should expect to spend more on plane tickets to Montana in July than you would in the winter, especially during the week of Independence Day. To save money on your flight, avoid flying close to the 4th of July, be flexible with your travel dates, and be open to leaving from different airports.

2024 Travel Tip: If flying to Montana in July 2024, check for car rentals first if you’ll need one while visiting Montana! For the past few years, travelers are finding car rental shortages in Montana. You may want to fly into Spokane, Washington for Western Montana instead of the typical flight to Bozeman (Yellowstone) or Columbia Falls (Glacier). Also look into Billings, Montana instead of Bozeman as you may get luckier finding car rentals there (but maybe not so double check first!). Also check with Costco and car dealerships for rentals if the typical Avis, Hertz, etc. car rental shops aren’t showing any available vehicles.

What’s Open at Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks in July?

In July, every lodge and campground is scheduled to be open at Yellowstone National Park. You’ll get to see plenty of wildlife on hikes through the park, but keep in mind that the trails may be crowded. After your hike, check out the hot springs, fishing holes, and ranger-led programs that the park has to offer.  

2024 Travel Tip: Road construction is happening in summer 2021 along the route between Tower-Roosevelt and Canyon Village in Yellowstone National Park and is expected to be closed all summer. Because of this, add some backtracking time into your itinerary for the park. Also expect some construction delays at the North Entrance and getting to and from Old Faithful.

Since summer is Glacier’s peak season with July historically being when Going-to-the-Sun Road finally opens after the snow removal is completed, you’ll want to book your Glacier National Park lodging far in advance. All lodges and motels in the park should be open by July, though any remaining snow might make the hiker chalets and campgrounds inaccessible still in early July – all depends on that winter’s weather.

Glacier National Park in July

As for things to do, most visitors will want to drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road (GTTSR) and take in a few of Glacier National Park’s incredible hikes. GTTSR is usually open by late June most years, but depending on snowfall and rmoval, there have been some years when the road doesn’t open until after July 1, so be aware of that possibility when planning. Other fun activities to do in the park in July include kayaking, whitewater rafting, boat tours, and horseback riding.

2024 July Travel Tip: Glacier National Park has required a separate vehicle registration ticket for Going-to-the-Sun Road in addition to the entrance ticket for the past few years. In 2024, it’s changing a bit. You now only need a vehicle reservation if you’re planning to enter GTTSR from the West entrance in July between 6am to 3pm. In addition, the North Fork and Many Glacier areas will also require a vehicle reservation in if traveling to Glacier National Park in July. The ticket sales open up for each date 120 days in advance, with some held to be released at 7pm MST the day before. Get tickets here.

Other Things to Do in Montana in July

Of course, there’s more than just the national parks to entice your interest in July in Montana!

Montana Lake Life

If you love the lake life, July is an incredible time to go to esteemed Flathead Lake, a 200-square-mile lake that’s perfect for fishing, swimming, boating, and other watersports.

Flathead Lake State Park Camp Site
Flathead Lake State Park Camp Site

You can read our comprehensive guide to the best activities in Flathead Lake here.

July is also an excellent time to check out the many state parks located around Flathead Lake along its picturesque shores. You can get a day pass or book one of the campsites. Just do so early! Accommodation in the popular areas of Western Montana fill up very quickly.

Swan Lake is another great lake to visit in Western Montana. You can read read what we love about Swan Lake here.


Montana is home to some epic summer festivals. Some popular ones to check out in July are Under the Big Sky, a music and arts festival in Whitefish; Montana Folk Festival, a free folk music festival in Butte, and the Red Ants Pants Music Festival in White Sulphur Springs.

Fourth of July in Montana

If it works into your schedule, don’t miss spending the 4th of July in one of Montana’s small towns. Many of the towns in Montana go all out for this holiday in the most charming of ways, with parades and community events and a fun, festive spirit.

For cities, Butte is once again a stand-out in July due to their Independence Day festivities on July 3 with the Big Bang Fireworks show. In Billings, there are fireworks shot off from Metra Park. Many locals also head to Laurel, the next town over, for a Main Street parade and an epic firework show from Thomson Park.

Museums in Bozeman

If you want to escape the heat and aren’t by a lake, but are staying in or close to Bozeman (or need something to do before your flight from Bozeman Airport leaves), then you can check out some of its incredible museums and take advantage of the air conditioning!

Our favorite museum in Bozeman is the Museum of the Rockies. Don’t leave without seeing the Siebel Dinosaur Complex, home to an incredible collection of bones fossils, and other artifacts from that time.

If you’re into technology, check out the American Computer and Robotics Museum. This museum explores devices that are ancient, futuristic, and everything in between, and rotating exhibits means there’s always something new to see. You don’t have to spend all day in the sun if you don’t want to!

Here are city guides to some of our favorite cities to visit in Montana in July:

Enjoy Montana in July!

When you visit Montana in July, you’ll have access to a wide range of Montana activities. Whether you’re visiting for the national parks or not, you won’t want to spend all of your time indoors here – the state’s weather and landscapes invite outdoor adventures in every region. Which part of the Montana will you visit first?

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