What to Expect When Traveling to Montana in June
Visiting Montana in June? Here’s all the practical info you need to know plus what to expect for national parks in June, as well as some travel info and tips if going this year in June.
While Montana is a wonderful place to visit year-round, its peak travel season begins picking up at the end of June. Most trails and roads in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks open by the end of the month, and the state’s other outdoor attractions are most enjoyable when the weather is warm.
There’s so much to see in Montana, especially in summer, and one benefit to going in June is you’re beating the really heavy crowds that arrive in July and August.
In fact, early June is Travel Montana Now team member Jackie’s favorite time to go to Yellowstone because it’s less crowded, the weather is warming up, and there’s lots of baby animals to see!
What’s the Weather Like in Montana in June?
June may not be Montana’s hottest month, but it’s still warm. You should expect average highs of 74.5 degrees Fahrenheit, and nighttime temperatures that are mild – on average, 46 degrees Fahrenheit.
Just keep in mind temps can dramatically differ depending what altitude you’re at.
For example, at the end of June in Glacier National Park last year I was wearing pants and a light jacket in the morning, shorts and a t-shirt in the afternoon, and was back to wanting a jacket in the evenings.
Rain is still likely in June, too, so you may want that light jacket to be water-resistant.
Also, wind may make the air feel cooler, but Montana is typically not very humid in June. If you plan to spend time outside at night, pack a light jacket.
How Cheap are Flights to Montana in June?
Since June is the start of Montana’s busiest travel season, expect plane tickets to cost more than they would in the winter, spring, or fall. To ensure you’re getting the best price, be flexible with your dates and compare prices at nearby departure airports.
Travel Tip: If flying to Montana in June, check for car rentals first if you’ll need one while visiting Montana! Car rentals in Montana can be quite a sticker shock, especially after the past few years of rental shortages. Shop around for car rentals at the same time you shop around for flights.
For Example: You may want to fly into Spokane, Washington instead of the typical flight to Missoula or Kalispell for Glacier and Western Montana if car rentals are more affordable there. Also look into Billings, Montana instead of Bozeman as you may get luckier finding more car rentals there if Bozeman is sold out (but maybe not so double check first!). Of course, be sure to factor in convenience, too, and how much being closer to your ultimate destination means to you.
Festival & Events in June
Here are some of the best events happening in Montana during June:
- Montana Folk Festival: This is a three-day outdoor festival in Butte that celebrates traditional dance, music, and arts. It showcases various performers from around the world.
- Western Montana Fair: It is a week-long fair that takes place in Missoula. The fair features various activities such as carnival rides, live music performances, food vendors, and more.
- Big Sky PBR: This is a three-day event that features Professional Bull Riders (PBR) competing against each other. It is held in Big Sky and attracts thousands of visitors every year.
- Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit: This organization runs rodeos most weekends in June around the state. They typically feature various competitions such as barrel racing, bull riding, steer wrestling, and more. Find locations on the MPRC schedule.
- Whitefish Arts Festival: It is a two-day event that showcases various artists from around the country. Visitors can buy unique art pieces, watch live demonstrations and enjoy musical performances. It’s held in downtown Whitefish a short walk away from Main Street.
These are just some of the many events that take place in Montana in June. Check out this calendar for more.
What’s Open at Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks in June?
When you visit Yellowstone National Park in June, you shouldn’t have to deal with road closures like you would in the spring or winter. Almost all of the park’s lodges will be open by June 1st, except for Roosevelt Lodge and Lake Lodge – they open a few days later. You can also camp at the Mammoth Campground and hike through the park. Consider joining a ranger-led activity during your visit, too!
Glacier National Park is a bit trickier in June. Some lodges and campgrounds will be open the entire month, but others don’t open until mid-June. For the lodges and campgrounds that are open, be sure to book your stay in advance.
Also, if Going-to-the-Sun Road is a must-do for you on your Glacier trip, you might be better off delaying your trip a few weeks and going to Montana in July. That is because Going-to-the-Sun Road doesn’t always open in June; it depends on how much snowfall happened that winter and how long it takes for the road to be completely cleared.
You can see the historical dates Going-to-the-Sun Road has opened over the past several decades here.
2023 Travel Tip: Glacier National Park is requiring a separate entrance ticket for Going-to-the-Sun Road, Many Glacier, Rising Sun, and North Fork this summer between the hours of 6am and 3pm from May 26 to September 10, 2023, in addition to the regular park pass. This is different from the past couple years when tickets were only required for GTTSR and the North Folk. The ticket sales open up for each date 60 days in advance with some held to be released two days in advance. Find out more here.
Also, we want to stress that if you don’t get a pass, don’t panic! You can still enter after 3pm, which is plenty of time to do the drive before sunset. If you want to do a hike along GTTSR, it’s best to get an early start, but you’d probably want to get there before 6am even if you have a pass in order to secure parking. So a pass will let you have more flexibility, but not having one won’t hinder your vacation.
Another way to get into those areas between the hours of 6am to 3pm is to get a boat tour ticket or stay in a lodge located in that section of the park. See our Glacier Lodging Guide here.
One of the best things to do in Montana in June is to go hiking. Montana has some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the country, with stunning views of the mountains, lakes, and forests. Some popular hiking trails to do in June around Montana include those in Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and the Beartooth Mountains.
Another great thing to do in Montana in June is to go fishing. Montana is known for its world-class fishing opportunities, with over 20,000 miles of blue-ribbon trout streams and rivers. Some popular fishing spots include the Gallatin River, the Madison River, and the Yellowstone River. For those who prefer to fish in lakes, Montana has over 3,000 lakes, including the iconic Flathead Lake, where you can catch trout, bass, and pike.
Whitewater rafting and river kayaking in Montana during the month of June is an exciting and adventurous experience. The snowmelt from the mountains creates strong and rapid currents, making it a prime time for padding enthusiasts to hit the water. The scenery is breathtaking, with towering mountains and lush forests surrounding the river. Montana is home to many different rivers and rapids, offering a range of options for rafters and kayaker of all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rafter, June is the perfect time to enjoy the thrill of whitewater rafting in Montana. If you’re not an experienced whitewater rafter or kayaker, we recommend going with a local guide.
If you are looking for a more relaxing activity, Montana has plenty of hot springs to soak in. The hot springs are a great way to unwind after a day of hiking or fishing. Some popular hot springs include Lolo Hot Springs, Bozeman Hot Springs, and Chico Hot Springs.
Finally, if you are interested in history and culture, June is a great time to visit many outdoor sites that are only open seasonally or not as cold to explore. The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument is one must-visit site, where you can learn about the Battle of Little Bighorn and the history of the Native American tribes in the area. A short drive north of there is Pompeys Pillar, another interesting historic site and interpretive center along the Lewis and Clark Trail.
Other Things to Do in Montana in June
Here are some additional resources to help you plan an epic June Montana vacation:
Best Time of Year to Visit Montana (includes festival ideas!)
Things to Do in Whitefish for Every Season
15 Best Things to Do in Bigfork, MT
Travel Guide for Montana State Parks Along Flathead Lake
Tips for Visiting the Swan Lake Day Use Area
Favorite Vacation Spots in Montana
Why You Should Visit Eastern Montana
Dinosaur Trails & More Things to Do in Glendive, MT