What to Know Before Planning a March Vacation to Montana
Winter is still well underway during March in Montana, which is good for winter sports enthusiasts and not so good for those who hate the cold.
Other advantages such as fewer visitors and cheaper plane tickets also may make March a great time for you to visit, despite the cold.
If you’ve never seen the Big Sky State before, a March trip will introduce you to many of its best attributes and no doubt make you want to come back again after the weather heats up.
What’s the Weather Like in Montana in March?
When visiting Montana in March, you should expect mild winter weather. Generally speaking, you can expect the temperature to reach an average of 48 degrees Fahrenheit and drop to an average of 23 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
Western Montana gets more snow than Eastern Montana, so visit cities like Missoula, Bozeman, and Whitefish if you’re hoping to see some.
How Cheap are Flights to Montana in March?
Plane tickets for a March vacation won’t be as expensive as they are in the summertime, and you’re also traveling in between most families mid-winter break and spring break. Expect it to jump closer to the end of the month as spring break approaches.
Billings International Airport will likely have the cheapest prices, but depending what you want to see, you’ll have to drive farther to get to March Montana hot spots like Big Sky Resort and Yellowstone National Park, compared to if you flew into Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.
What’s Open at Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks?
In March, Yellowstone National Park starts plowing out the snow in preparation for summer visitors, but that doesn’t mean the roads are going to open yet. In fact, March is a transitional time for the park.
The ski and snowshoe warming huts at Fishing Bridge, Madison, West Thumb, and Old Faithful close on March 15th, and Mammoth Hot Springs closes its lodges and cabins even earlier on March 1st. However, the Mammoth campground is open year-round, and the Old Faithful Snow Lodge stays open until March 15th.
If you’re hoping to visit Yellowstone while you’re in Montana in March, try to come at the beginning of the month to cross-country ski, ride snowmobiles, and see winter wildlife.
Glacier National Park leaves one road into the park during the winter that connects the west entrance with Apgar Village, allowing visitors to have the chance to cross-country ski and snowshoe near the village and McDonald Lodge — all of which is closed in March.
You can also go watch the wildlife or get a backcountry camping permit. If you camp in the park during the winter, prepare to not have running water and make sure you know are prepared for the cold, wet, and avalanches. Camping in the winter in Glacier National Park is best for experience winter campers.
Other Things to Do in Montana in March
Outside of the national parks, Montana has plenty of great places to visit.
From Hyalite Canyon to Red Lodge to Whitefish, Montana is known for excellent cross-country skiing trails.
—> Read More: Best Places to Go Cross-Country Skiing in Montana
Downhill skiing is also still happening during the month of March. Big Sky Resort and Whitefish Mountain Resort are popular, but there are many others to choose from.
—> Read More: Where to Go Downhill Skiing in Montana
If you’ll be staying near Bozeman, make time to head to Hyalite Canyon for some end of season snowshoeing. Afterward, soothe your muscles at the Bozeman Hot Springs to relax in the both indoor and outdoor naturally heated pools.
Read More: Best Things to Do in Bozeman, MT
Need more ideas of things to do or where to stay during a March trip to Montana? Check out these articles:
- Best Things to Do in Montana in the Winter
- 12 Incredible Montana Winter Vacations
- Where to Ride a Sleigh in Montana
Montana is always worth visiting, but visiting in March lets you experience the state without the drawbacks of crowds, and the weather may be warmer than you’ll find in January and February. No matter which part of the state you’ll be spending your time in, you’ll be awed by the late winter and early spring views in Montana during the month of March.