Montana’s Calling: Unforgettable Summer Adventures in Big Sky Country

Mark Barnett
Last Updated: May 10th, 2024

Y’all ready for a taste of the real West? Montana in summer is something special – think wide-open spaces, cowboy towns, those jaw-dropping Rocky Mountains… It’s the perfect escape from city living. 

If you’re looking to fill your summer with unforgettable moments, whether that’s chasing waterfalls or hitting the open road, Montana won’t disappoint.

Best Things to Do in Montana This Summer

1. Glacier National Park: A Mountain Paradise

glacier national park 7-day

  • Location: Northwest Montana (Open in Google Map)
  • Website:
  • Phone: (406) 888-7800
  • Outdoor Adventures:
    • Going-to-the-Sun Road: This scenic drive ain’t for the faint of heart, but the views are worth every hairpin turn.
    • Hiking: Trails for all levels, from lakeside strolls to mountain climbs (check out the Highline Trail for an adrenaline rush).
    • Wildlife Watching: Keep your eyes peeled for grizzly bears, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep.

Glacier National Park is a bucket list destination for a reason. With towering mountains mirrored in pristine lakes, lush valleys bursting with wildflowers, and cascading waterfalls – it’s nature at its most awe-inspiring. The iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road is a must-do, offering a breathtaking journey through the park’s heart.

If you’re a hiker, Glacier is your paradise. Trails wind past glaciers, through forests, and up to panoramic viewpoints – choose your challenge level!  Keep your eyes peeled for the park’s wildlife residents. You might spot bighorn sheep scaling cliffs, mountain goats balancing on rock ledges, or even a powerful grizzly bear foraging for berries.

Glacier National Park is a reminder of the wild beauty our planet holds, a place where you’ll truly feel small amidst the grandeur of the mountains. Just remember, respect the wilderness and its creatures – this is their home, and we’re privileged to be guests.

2. Hike, Bike, & Raft Around Whitefish

whitefish bike retreat
Image: Whitefish Bike Retreat
  • Location: 855 Beaver Lake Road, Whitefish, MT 59937 (Open in Google Maps)
  • Website:
  • Outdoor Adventures:
    • Hiking & Biking: Trails galore on Whitefish Mountain Resort and in the surrounding Flathead National Forest.
    • Whitewater Rafting: Get your adrenaline rush on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.
    • Water Sports: Paddleboard or kayak on Whitefish Lake – perfect on a hot summer day.

Whitefish is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream! This vibrant mountain town is the perfect basecamp for any Montana adventure. Start your day carving through the forest on a mountain bike or hitting the stunning hiking trails that crisscross Whitefish Mountain Resort and the nearby Flathead National Forest. From leisurely strolls with lake views to challenging climbs with panoramic rewards, there’s something for everyone.

When the summer heat gets to you, Whitefish Lake is ready to offer a refreshing escape. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore its tranquil waters or simply find a spot to soak up the sun.

For the ultimate thrill-seekers, the Middle Fork of the Flathead River promises white-knuckle whitewater rafting adventures guaranteed to make your heart race. And remember, Glacier National Park is just a short drive away for even more wilderness exploration. Whether you’re craving adrenaline or serenity, Whitefish has you covered.

3. Yellowstone National Park: Geysers, Wildlife, and Wildness

yellowstone national park

  • Location: Mostly in Wyoming, with portions in Montana and Idaho. 
  • Website:
  • Phone: (307) 344-7381
  • Outdoor Adventures:
    • Boardwalk Trails: Explore geysers like Old Faithful and colorful hot springs.
    • Scenic Drives: The Grand Loop Road offers stunning views.
    • Wildlife: Watch for bison, elk, wolves (from afar!), and bears.

Yellowstone National Park is an American icon, a place where the earth bubbles, steams, and bursts with geothermal wonders. While most of the park lies in Wyoming, a visit to the Montana side offers a chance to witness its famous geysers, like the seemingly immortal Old Faithful, and the vibrant hot springs that paint the landscape in otherworldly colors.

Take a scenic drive along the Grand Loop Road, winding through valleys teeming with wildlife. You might encounter lumbering bison herds, graceful elk, or even spot the elusive gray wolf.

Yellowstone is a reminder of nature’s raw power and a place of immense natural beauty. But always remember, this wilderness is home to powerful animals – admire them from a safe distance and follow park safety guidelines to ensure an unforgettable and safe experience.

Montana’s Flavors & Cultural Experiences

1. Cast a Line: Fly Fishing Paradise

give fly-fishing a try

  • Blue Ribbon Rivers: Montana is famous for its trout streams. The Madison, Gallatin, and Yellowstone rivers are bucket list destinations for anglers.
  • Guides & Outfitters: Get expert tips, learn the local spots, and rent equipment if you’re new to the sport. Montana Fly Fishing Guides is one of the top shops if you’re looking for an expert escort.
  • Scenery & Tranquility: Half the fun is soaking up the stunning surroundings while you wait for a bite.

If the idea of casting a line into a crystal-clear river with mountains as your backdrop sounds like heaven – Montana’s your spot. Test your fly fishing skills (or learn from the best) while getting up close and personal with the state’s natural beauty.  Whether you’re a seasoned angler or looking to try something new, the peaceful rhythm of fly fishing will hook you in no time.

2. Explore Montana’s Arts & Culture Scene

whitefish arts festival event details

  • Art Galleries & Studios: From Western-themed works to contemporary pieces, Montana’s towns are buzzing with creative energy.
  • Live Music & Festivals: Catch a concert under the stars, attend a local fair, or experience a traditional powwow.
  • Western-Themed Events: Rodeos, cowboy poetry gatherings, and historical reenactments celebrate Montana’s heritage.

Step beyond the mountains and into the vibrant heart of Montana’s smaller communities. Seek out art galleries showcasing local talent, tap your toes to some live music at a summer festival, or dive into the state’s Western roots at a lively event. This is the perfect way to connect with Montana’s unique culture and creative spirit.

3. Foodie Finds: Taste the Best of Montana

food table healthy delicious organic meal concept

  • Farm-to-Table Delights: Fresh produce, locally raised meats, and huckleberry everything – Montana cuisine is all about fresh flavors.
  • Breweries & Distilleries: Sample craft brews and spirits made with local ingredients.
  • Farmers’ Markets & Local Eateries: Taste your way through towns and meet the people who create and grow these delicious treats.

Your tastebuds will love Montana! From mouthwatering bison burgers to farm-fresh veggies, savor the state’s commitment to local food. Visit bustling farmers’ markets, grab a stool at cozy cafes, or tour the state’s best breweries and get a taste of Montana’s growing culinary scene.

The Bottom Line: Montana Delivers a Bit of Everything

Montana in summer is hard to beat.  Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or something altogether unique, Big Sky Country delivers.  So if you crave jaw-dropping scenery, a taste of the Wild West, and memories that linger long after you leave – well, Montana is waiting. Now, what are you waiting for?

About The Author

Mark Barnett

Mark Philip is a writer and lifestyle enthusiast from the Midlands in the U.K. With a background in martial arts and fitness, Mark headed out to Bangkok, Thailand where he now lives and works. Mark has authored e-books, articles, and blogs across a wide range of topics for commercial, educational, factual, lifestyle and leisure-based purposes.

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