Average Snowfall in Montana (+Parts That Get the Most Snow)

Will Beck
Last Updated: January 5th, 2024

Are you wondering about what part of Montana gets the most snow? 

We’ve got you covered! This article will unpack the average annual snowfall in different areas across Montana and explore some of the exciting activities that each of these regions has to offer. 

Montana has America’s third-lowest population density, meaning it is home to some of the world’s most pristine wilderness areas. Located in America’s northwest, Montana has one of the country’s coldest climates. 

So, how much snow does Montana get?

Below, I’ll take you through:

  • The average snowfall in Montana 
  • The average snowfall in different parts of Montana
  • Which parts of Montana are best for which activities. 

Let’s dive in!

Snowfall in Montana

Does it snow in Montana? It certainly does! Montana’s average snowfall is 49 Inches of snow per year, which is well above the average of 28 inches per year for the United States. 

Montana’s positioning near the Canadian border means that its snow season extends far beyond the rest of the country. 

Indeed, Missoula’s snow season lasts almost all year, with only June being without a week of snow

This makes Montana a hotspot for winter activities enthusiasts, including skiing and snowboarding, sleigh rides, and ice fishing. 

Across Montana, the peak snow season occurs between December and February each year. 

During this period, snowgoers can expect anywhere between 6 – 30 inches of snow each month. 

In general, snowfall generally decreases significantly during the rest of the year, with very little or no snow from June until September.

how cold does it get in Montana

Average Snowfall Across Montana

Region Average Snowfall (inches)
Great Falls 58 
Livingston 47.4 
Kalispell 54.4
Evergreen 55
Whitefish 70
Bozeman 63
Cooke City 80

great falls

Average Annual Snowfall by Places

Northwestern Montana

Montana’s northwest is known for its sprawling mountains, the cities of Missoula and Kalispell, and, perhaps most notably, Glacier National Park.

 Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, this region is home to some of the most isolated and pristine areas in Montana. Wildlife are abundant and so are the trails to see them.

Days Place Inches Centimeters
41.4 Kalispell 54.4 138.2
24.2 Libby 48.2 122.4
40.1 Missoula 43.0 109.2
59.2 Seeley Lake 118.9 302.0
54.6 West Glacier 115.2 292.6
35.1 Whitefish 63.1 160.3

Southwestern Montana

Montana’s southwest encompasses inter-mountain regions, with grassy tussock areas and expansive landscapes. 

Here, the population is minimal, and signs of human civilization are often few and far between. This area is home to the Madison Range, which has over 120 peaks reaching over 10,000 feet. 

Days Place Inches Centi­meters
47.7 Anaconda 75.1 190.8
54.1 Bozeman 91.3 231.9
6.1 Dillon 11.2 28.4
51.2 Hebgen Lake Dam 177.2 450.1
28.1 Helena 37.2 94.5
59.3 Sula 88.4 224.5
33.3 Virginia City 64.7 164.3

South-central Montana

Like most of Montana, its south-central landscape is the perfect play area for any outdoor enthusiast. 

Its mountains offer hikers and campers a pristine getaway, while the four major rivers that run through it – the Madison, Yellowstone, Jefferson, and Gallatin – are perfect for fly fishing. 

Days Place Inches Centi­meters
11.1 Bighorn Lake, Yellowtail Dam 43.9 111.5
38.8 Billings 57.4 145.8
90.8 Cooke City 213.1 541.3
59.9 Mystic Lake 192.7 489.5
39.4 Red Lodge 141.9 360.4

Eastern Montana

Eastern Montana has a landscape of canyons and prairies and is known for dinosaur remains, its wildlife, and the Missouri River. 

History enthusiasts will know Eastern Montana for the Little Bighorn battle site and horse trekking tours are available for travelers wanting to visit this historic area. 

Days Place Inches Centi­meters
36.2 Glasgow 43.7 111.0
18.8 Glendive 22.6 57.4
45.3 Great Falls 66.1 167.9
31.0 Havre City 41.0 104.1
41.5 Lewistown 112.1 284.7

Montana’s Top Snowfall Champions

Montana is known across the globe for both the quality and quantity of its snow. This area of the Rocky Mountains is known to hold great ski and snowboard conditions. 

Indeed, while Montana’s winters are often harsh, this is, in many ways, the reason that travelers flock to Montana every winter. 

Below, I’ll take you through the average annual snowfall in different locations and what activities they are best known for.

Location Average Snowfall (inches) Best for
Great Falls 58  Ski/snowboard, snowmobiling, hiking
Livingston 47.4  Ski/snowboard, cross-country skiing, hunting
Kalispell 54.4 Ski/snowboard, snowshoe tours, cross-country skiing
Evergreen 55 Nordic skiing, backcountry skiing, ice skating, snowshoe tours
Whitefish 70 Ski/snowboard, snowshoeing, ice-climbing, fat-biking
Bozeman 63 Ski/snowboard, ice-climbing, snowshoeing, visiting hot springs
Cooke City 80 Backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, wildlife watching, snowmobiling

Great Falls

Great Falls is situated towards the center of Montana, with a scenic view of the Rocky Mountain Front. 

This city gets freezing cold in winter and has an average snowfall of 58 inches! It will come as no surprise, that Great Falls has a variety of skiing resorts in the area, including Great Divide Skiing Area and Big Sky Skiing Resort.

You can also visit Great Falls to get a beautiful view of snow-capped mountains. It goes without saying, but pack plenty of warm clothes and layer up! This area is also in close proximity to Glacier National Park, making it perfect for those looking to access one of Montana’s pristine wilderness areas.



Livingston is located in southwestern Montana and is one of the snowiest places in the region. It is situated between two famous Mountain Ranges: the Crazy and Absaroka Ranges. Livingston’s wide range of winter activities makes it a hotspot for travelers from around the globe.

Skiing, hunting, and snowmobiling are among the most common winter recreational activities around Livingston. There is an abundance of trails to explore that are located just outside of the town which are perfect for snowshoeing or backcountry skiing.



Situated in northwestern Montana, Kalispell has become a famous tourist attraction thanks to being a short drive away from the renowned Glacier National Park. Its large annual snowfall turns this area’s countryside into a picturesque winter landscape.

The winters in this city are extremely cold, but the magnificent views that Kalispell offers during the winter make up for it! The beautiful scenic views on offer attract many seasonal travelers that head to this area during the winter months.



To the northeast side of Kalispell is the town of Evergreen, with a population of just over 8000. Evergreen is so closely situated to Kalispell, that many tourists brave the bitter cold to stop by to admire the gorgeous views available. 

Evergreen is known for its continuation of the Nordic skiing tradition and ice skating. This makes it a hotspot for winter sports enthusiasts looking for alternative activities to skiing and snowboarding.



Whitefish attracts tourists year-round because of the breathtaking views and plenty of recreational activities in the area. Having its unique winter charm, you can enjoy an adventurous trip to Whitefish during the season. 

A unique activity that has become popular in Whitefish is “fatbiking”! 

“Fatbiking” involves biking along snow-covered trails on mountain bikes with “fat” wheels. Moving at a biking pace allows you to take in much more of the beautiful landscape.

For those making the winter trek, you must visit the Whitefish Ski Resort on your visit. It provides an exceptional skiing experience while offering excellent lodging facilities to guests. For those who like to stay out all day, the resort also offers night skiing!



Bozeman is located near the Bridger Bowl and Big Sky Resort. This location makes the city ideal for visiting families to plan a family-friendly skiing experience. Bozeman has a variety of hot pools and thermal baths, offering the perfect way to relax after a long day on the slopes.

In addition, Bozeman has numerous ice rinks for those who love to go skating. So, put on your skating shoes and get ready for an exciting ice skating experience at Bozeman! For those looking for a little more adventure, Bozeman offers ice climbing courses that will take you up frozen waterfalls and cliffs!

Cooke City

cooke city

Now to answer what location in Montana has the most snow. The answer is Cooke City, a small town in Montana with a population of around 140 residents. It is known as the snowiest town in Montana with an average snowfall of around 80 inches. The massive amount of snowfall makes this location a popular tourist attraction among both skiers and snowboarders.

Located a few minutes away from Yellowstone National Park, the area has many recreational activities for tourists. You can try skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and many other activities while staying at Cooke City. Just remember to keep yourself warm and the snow out of your boots!

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About The Author

Will Beck

Will is a true digital nomad, taking his work on the road at every opportunity. His first love is coffee, with travel a close 2nd. He loves nothing more than hitting the road in his self-build campervan and visiting off-the-beaten-path places, away from popular tourist destinations.

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