Best Time to Visit Glacier National Park

Although Glacier Park is open year-round, certain facilities in the park may be closed due to seasonal weather conditions, primarily snowfall. That doesn’t mean winters are boring, in fact, the snow-covered landscapes are stunning and there’s still plenty to do.

Deciding on the best time to visit Glacier Park depends on what interests you most. Are you looking forward to swimming and water sports, would you rather be skiing, are you escaping for solitude, or do you want to bask in the sun on a beach?

Everyone is different, therefore instead of telling you what the best time is, let us cover each month of the year with some highlights and weather trends based on living here for the last 25 years. For us, there’s something special about every season.

January

The average temperature in January is 30°/15° Fahrenheit (-1°/-9° Celsius)

Expect snow in January (refer to graph below)

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is only open to Lake McDonald Lodge but there’s still plenty to do, including; cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter camping in the Park. In the surrounding Flathead National Forest, you can downhill ski and snowmobile.

Rates are lower this month

February

The average temperature in February is 32°/14° Fahrenheit (0°/-10° Celsius)

Expect snow in February (refer to graph below)

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is only open to Lake McDonald Lodge, but there’s still plenty to do, including; cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter camping in the Park. In the surrounding Flathead National Forest, you can downhill ski and snowmobile.

Also in February, enjoy the annual Whitefish Winter Carnival

Rates are lower this month

March

The average temperature in March is 39°/19° Fahrenheit (4°/-7° Celsius)

Expect snow in March (refer to graph below)

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is only open to Lake McDonald Lodge, but there’s still plenty to do, including; cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter camping in the Park. In the surrounding Flathead National Forest, you can downhill ski and snowmobile.

Bears are beginning to emerge from hibernation

Rates are lower this month

April

The average temperature in April is 46°/-26° Fahrenheit (8°/-3° Celsius)

Expect snow to taper off in April (refer to graph below)

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is open, at least to Lake McDonald Lodge, and there’s still plenty to do, including; hiking, winter camping, mountain biking, fishing, paddle boarding, canoeing, and kayaking.

Bears are emerging from hibernation

Rates are lower this month

May

The average temperature in May is 55°/33° Fahrenheit (13°/1° Celsius)

Typically, no snow in May (refer to graph below)

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is open, at least to Lake McDonald Lodge, and there’s plenty to do, including; hiking, camping, mountain biking, fishing, wildlife observing, golf, paddle boarding, canoeing, and kayaking.

Bears are emerging from hibernation

Rates are lower this month

June

The average temperature in June is 60°/39° Fahrenheit (16°/4° Celsius)

Rarely, will you see snow in June (refer to graph below)

The Going-to-the-Sun Road typically opens mid to late June

Other things to do in June include; hiking, swimming, rafting, floating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, golf, ziplining, boat tours, horseback riding, red bus tours, mountain biking, wildlife observing, treetop adventures, paddle boarding, whiskey, wine, and beer tasting, restaurant hopping.

July

The average temperature in July is 69°/44° Fahrenheit (21°/7° Celsius)

Rarely, will you see snow in July (refer to graph below)

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is open

Other things to do in July include; hiking, swimming, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, golf, ziplining, boat tours, horseback riding, red bus tours, mountain biking, wildlife observing, berry picking, treetop adventures, paddle boarding, whiskey, wine, and beer tasting, restaurant hopping, backcountry camping.

August

The average temperature in August is 69°/44° Fahrenheit (21°/7° Celsius)

Rarely, will you see snow in August (refer to graph below)

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is open

Other things to do in August include; hiking, swimming, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, golf, ziplining, boat tours, fishing, horseback riding, red bus tours, mountain biking, wildlife observing, berry picking, treetop adventures, paddle boarding, whiskey, wine, and beer tasting, restaurant hopping, backcountry camping.

September

The average temperature in September is 59°/39° Fahrenheit (15°/4° Celsius)

Rarely, will you see snow in September (refer to graph below)

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is open

The Montana Dragon Boat Festival takes place in September

Other things to do in September include; hiking, swimming, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, golf, boat tours, horseback riding, red bus tours, mountain biking, wildlife observing, treetop adventures, paddle boarding, whiskey, wine, and beer tasting, restaurant hopping, backcountry camping.

October

The average temperature in October is 46°/30° Fahrenheit (8°/-1° Celsius)

Expect snow to begin in October (refer to graph below)

The Going-to-the-Sun Road typically closes after the third Monday in October

Other things to do in October include; hiking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, wildlife observing, paddle boarding, whiskey, wine, and beer tasting, restaurant hopping, backcountry camping.

Rates are lower this month

November

The average temperature in November is 33°/-21° Fahrenheit (1°/-6° Celsius)

Expect snow in November (refer to graph below)

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is only open to Lake McDonald Lodge, but there’s still plenty to do, including; hiking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, wildlife observing, paddle boarding, wine and beer tasting, restaurant hopping, winter camping, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Bears begin hibernation

Rates are lower this month

December

The average temperature in December is 26°/14° Fahrenheit (-3°/-10° Celsius)

Expect snow in December (refer to graph below)

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is only open to Lake McDonald Lodge, but there’s still plenty to do, including; cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, winter camping in the Park. In the surrounding Flathead National Forest, you can downhill ski and snowmobile.

Bears usually finish hibernation in December

Rates are lower this month

Conclusion

Most park services, including the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open from late June to Early September.

The foliage during the Fall is beautiful, and the crowds are generally smaller, especially after the kids go back to school. You may also see more bear activity as they prepare to hibernate.

Although the weather is variable during the winter, the snow-covered landscapes are amazing, and the area is quiet and peaceful if you’re goal is relaxation.

Weather averages according to NOAA

During the 30 years we’ve been in Montana, we had 24″ of snow one year on June 24th, 18″ of snow on August 22nd in a different year, and last year (2018) we had 6″ of snow in the high country on July 4th. As you can see, snow during the summer is pretty remote.

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Save 20% on all Rooms and Cabins in 2020

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Limited time offer, based on availability

Save 20%

Save 20% on all Rooms and Cabins in 2020

Claim Discount

Limited time offer, based on availability

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