With an abundance of winter and summer activities, it may be hard for visitors to decide when will be the best time to visit. So, to help you on your trip to Big Sky Country we have provided a guide to help you decide when to visit Butte, Montana!
When is the Best Time to Visit Butte?
Butte tends to have short, mild summers and long, freezing winters. Most activities and events happen during the warmer months when everyone is out and about, but you can still find exciting things to do in winter.
- Best Time to Book Hotels: You can book hotels easily year-round in Butte. There are many hotels in the area for every budget, including Airbnbs. If there is a popular event coming to town, like the Freedom Festival in July or St. Patrick’s Day in March, you may need to plan and book a room in advance.
- Best Time for Sightseeing: If you’ve ever been to Montana, you know that every season change brings new breathtaking views. From winter with white-capped peaks and frosted trees to summer with lush green and rippling water. If you want to make the most of your time in Butte, come for the best photo ops and access to gorgeous mountain scenery during the summer and fall. During the summer, you can hike the trails and stand on peaks to fully view the trees and rivers below. You can stroll the parks and trails during the fall while watching the leaves turn fiery red and orange.
- Best Time for Shopping: You can expect access to the finest shopping Butte offers from late spring to early fall. Peruse the farmers’ markets, buy local produce, shop in the bustling area in Uptown, and find treasures in antique stores. During events at the fairgrounds, you can purchase handmade gifts and treats.
- Best Time for Festivals & Events: Most festivals and events in Butte happen during the summer, but special events occur during major holidays like Christmas and Easter. Butte can get slow-going during the winter because of freezing temperatures and slick roads. When summer hits, everyone is outside, enjoying nature and having a good time at local festivals, markets, and concerts.
Butte Travel Seasons
Peak Season (Late June to Late August)
The busiest time to visit Butte is during the summer (June through August). Because winters in Montana are frigid and last around five months, people don’t tend to visit the area until the weather clears up (except for special events).
Butte, like most of Montana, is a perfect destination for road trippers during the warmer months because the roads are clear, and there are many things to do.
During the summer months, Butte stays in the low 70s to low 80s, a perfect temperature.
Shoulder Season (Late April to Mid June and Early September to Mid October)
Should season is often the sweet spot for tourism. There aren’t as many people crowding the parks and other attractions, but the weather is decent enough to enjoy your time.
In late April, the weather gets nicer, the snow goes away, the leaves sprout, and flowers bloom. By mid-June, the air is warm, everything is green, and activities are popping up everywhere. As everyone heads home, the crowds die down to start the new school year in late August.
By September, there is a chill in the air, and the leaves begin to turn. September and October are excellent times to catch the fall foliage, and the snow won’t set in until late October.
Off-Season (Late October to Mid April)
Butte deals with freezing temperatures, clouds, and snowfall for five to six months of the year. The ski season in Montana begins in late November and runs until early March.
The off-season is a perfect time for skiers and snowboarders to book a trip to Butte and hit the slopes! Be careful of road conditions if you’re traveling by car, especially on mountain passes.
Butte Weather by Month
Butte weather in January
While January is peak ski season, for most travelers, it is a difficult time to travel to Butte. January in Butte is frigid with constant cloud cover and a chance of snow.
The average high temperature is 32°F while the average low is 11°. The snowfall is over 2 inches on average for January, decreasing slightly from December. Make sure to bundle up at night!
Butte Weather in February
February in Butte is still freezing with constant cloud cover and possible snow. Temperatures begin to rise slightly, with an average high of 38° and a low of 17°.
Snowfall begins to decrease, with an average between one and two inches.
Butte Weather in March
In March, you start to see a slight shift from winter to spring. The days get a little longer, and the climate goes from freezing overnight to very cold during the day.
The cloud cover is still constant in March, with a slight increase in the snow, around 2 inches for the month. The average daily high is 47°, and the low is 24°.
Butte Weather in April
The snowfall in April is similar to March, between one and two inches, with an increase in rain. The cloud cover decreases, going from 68% to 55%.
You can still expect freezing temperatures overnight and cold temps during the day. The average high is 56° with a low of 31°.
Butte Weather in May
You can expect more spring-like conditions in Butte by May, with an average high of 64° and 39°, although still relatively cold. Plan for constant cloud cover and an increase in rain.
Snowfall will start decreasing by mid-May, and by the end of the month, you should expect less than an inch. You will also begin to see vegetation come back to life this month.
Butte Weather in June
June is the beginning of the growing season, and the weather will be mild, with plenty of vegetation sprouting up.
Clouds and precipitation will decrease rapidly this month, and you can expect longer, warmer days and cold nights. The average high is 75°, and the average low is 44°.
Butte Weather in July
Butte is in full swing of summer by July! The weather is warm with a low chance of rain and clouds during the day. Nights during the summer still get cool, so bring a light sweater. The average high is 81°, and the low is 47°.
Butte Weather in August
In early August, you can expect the hottest temperatures in the low 80s. By mid-august, though, temperatures will start to decrease. Cloud cover will increase slightly, but the chance of rain will remain relatively low. The average high is 75°, and the average low is 42°.
Butte Weather in September
By September, you can expect fall-like weather conditions. The temperature decreases and the cloud cover and rain begin to increase. The snow will start later in the month.
By late August, the tourists have left, and everyone is back in school. The average high is 62°, and the low is 33°.
Butte Weather in October
The weather turns cold by October, with the chance of snow increasing later in the month, around three inches. The days grow shorter, and the clouds cover the sky over 50% of the time.
You can expect an average high of 48° and a low of 24°.
Butte Weather in November
Before you know it, it’s ski season again and back to freezing temperatures. The average high is 33°, and the low is 14°. Cloud cover is at 56%, and the average snowfall will end the month under three inches.
Butte Weather in December
December is the coldest month in Butte, with a high of 29° and a low of 9°. You will experience constant freezing temperatures every day with continuous cloud cover and around 2.5 inches of snow for the month.
Butte Events & Festivals
While Butte does not have significant events throughout the year, you can plan a trip around their most popular and festive activities.
Butte in January
SnoFlinga – This festival aims to shed light on the fun activities in winter like skiing, ice skating, snowboarding, and more. You can find live music, delicious food, drinks, and other vendors.
Butte in March
Patrick’s Day – St. Patty’s Day is the biggest day of the year for Butte. Every year the city doubles its population for this special Irish celebration. Enjoy the parade, bar crawl, food, and fun!
Butte in July
Freedom Festival – Celebrate Independence Day with a three-day festival where you can enjoy a parade, music, food, and fireworks.
Montana Folk Festival – This free outdoor festival features continuous live music in Uptown Butte. Enjoy over 200 dancers, musicians, and other artists. Dance, sing, and check out the food courts!
Butte 100 Mountain Bike Race – This famous race features a 25, 50, and 100-mile off-road course. It’s a challenging bike race, but amateurs and professionals can enter.
Butte in August
An Ri Ra Montana Irish Festival – This Irish festival is held at the original minefield and honors Irish heritage with music, dancing, outdoor Mass, and a 5K.
Butte in December
Christmas Stroll – This annual Christmas tradition features a parade, tree lighting, and an ice sculpting competition. Stroll through Uptown and see all the local businesses decked out in holiday cheer, handing out goodies.