With the solstice toward the end of the month, June marks the beginning of the high season for tourism to the state. As the snowmelt concludes, the rest of Montana’s roads and trails open to locals and tourists alike, and no part of the state is left inaccessible. This is when Montana’s big skies clear and most days are warm, making it one of the most picturesque times to plan a trip to the state.
If you’re planning a trip to Montana in June, you should know that you’re not alone. The summer season is the most popular time to come, with the majority of tourists congregating in Glacier and Yellowstone national parks.
But even outside of them, everything becomes just a bit more crowded, so you should be prepared for lines, limited parking, and activities and tours that are already fully booked. The best way to visit Montana in June is to begin your planning well in advance to ensure you’ll be able to do everything on your bucket list.
What’s The Weather In Montana Like In June?
While the beginning of June may still have some crisp nights and the occasional rainy day, toward the end of the month will feel distinctly summery. You can expect temperatures to hover around 65º to 70º, and no more than 10 days of rain in the entire month. While you can probably ditch the winter parka, some reliable rain gear would be a wise addition to your arsenal for a trip to Montana in June.
Travel To Montana in June
With the high season beginning in June, airlines are in stiff competition to attract customers to fly on their routes in and out of Montana. For many of them, summer travel constitutes much of their revenue for the year, and with a little advanced planning, you can find some incredible deals on flights to Yellowstone and Glacier from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, as well as a handful of rock-bottom-priced flights from Denver.
As the high season begins, parking at the most famous attractions within Montana’s national parks can become tricky. Early in the season you can usually avoid the parking crunch by leaving your car at a trailhead early in the day, and exploring on foot when the majority of tourists arrive. You’re most likely to find tour busses visiting popular sited between noon and five, so it can be a good idea to avoid the most popular trails at this time.
Events in Montana in June
Since you’ll probably want to spend at least a day or two inside Glacier National Park during your June visit to Montana, you could easily plan to also attend Feast Whitefish, a multi-platform, multi-venue festival that celebrates all things food and drink. Split into four different events, this festival celebrates all things food and drink at the beginning of June.
The festival kicks off with Restaurant Week, when several participating restaurants in Whitefish prepare a special prix-fixe menu for visitors, often with fare that isn’t available the rest of the year. The Distillers’ Fest and Burger Battle invite folks to sample some of the best burgers and cocktails in the state, with the best ones crowned the winner by a panel of esteemed judges at the end. Feast Whitefish culminates in the Grand Gala, a spectacular evening of food and drink where the best local chefs collaborate to create a six-course meal, each at the helm of an individual dish.
A cool event for kids and a perfect way to celebrate the arrival of summer in big sky country is the Shelby Kite Festival. Kids can make their own kites for free, and adults can buy one from the many vendors in attendance. Held every year at the Shelby Regional Airport, there will also be plenty of food, drinks, and even face painters available.
At the end of the month is one of the most storied and longest-running events in the entire state, the Annual Augusta American Legion Rodeo. Ranching is an integral part of Montanan culture, and the Augusta rodeo serves to celebrate that legacy with an exciting calendar of activities and exhibitions. Far more than just a rodeo, it becomes a city-wide affair as Augusta also hosts live music, a parade, and other fun activities throughout the weekend.
About two hours from Augusta on the same weekend is the Fort Benton Annual Summer Celebration. Here you’ll find plenty of live music, food, and plenty of Montana’s signature craft beers. This weekend in Fort Benton is all about enjoying the longest days of the whole year to the fullest by taking advantage of the extraordinary weather that arrives when summer begins.
Things To Do In Montana In June
Probably the most anticipated signal that high season is beginning in Montana is the opening of Logan Pass every June. This mountain pass crosses the continental divide along the Going-to-the-Sun road which crosses Glacier National Park, connecting the east and west entrances. Total, the Sun Road, as it is colloquially called, is about 50 miles long but can take a few hours to drive as it is famously difficult to navigate, even when conditions are perfect.
Its noted combination of narrow lanes and hairpin turns immediately adjacent steep cliffs makes you not want to attempt to navigate the Sun Road on your own, you can arrange to take a Red Bus Tour, which departs daily from the eastern or western entrances of the park beginning in June. This is considered the oldest operating tour company in the world, and their vintage fleet of 33 busses are incredibly charming. Notably, their busses are fitted with roll-back tops, so you won’t have to miss a moment of the incredible scenery, and that famous Montana big sky.
Meanwhile in Yellowstone, the entire park begins to open for the busiest season of the year. Lodge houses and other facilities are in full swing, but keep in mind you’ll have a better chance at getting your choice of equipment rentals and hotel rooms if you plan in advance.
This is a prime time of year to hike backcountry trails be them in one of the national or state parks, or on BLM land. June has optimal temperatures for day and thru-hikers at most elevations, and the continuing glacial melt ensures you’ll have access to plenty of water if you’re far from man-made facilities.
Just keep in mind that in many parts of the park and for all overnight stays, visitors are required to have a backcountry permit. The National Parks Service limits how many of these are issued to minimize damage to the lands caused by humans, so be sure to begin your planning well in advance.
Planning Your Trip To Montana In June
- Summer begins in June, meaning the high season for tourism begins. Advance planning is recommended as Montana hosts the most tourists during this time.
- The weather is excellent in June, warm with only a few rainy days.
- The least expensive flights in June are generally from Denver to Bozeman, though some great deals can be found from the west coast.
- The competition begins for rentals like cars and sports equipment, so reserve as far ahead as you can.
- Logan Pass opens along the Going-to-the-Sun road for tour groups and individuals.
- Lodgings inside Yellowstone and Glacier reopen for overnight guests.