Fall in Montana Glacier National Park & Western Montana

Fall in Montana

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Enter today for a chance to win monthly prizes in Western Montana’s Glacier Country.

Explore Montana in Autumn

Hands down, fall is one of Montana’s most undiscovered seasons. It’s also one of the loveliest times of year to visit Western Montana, with comfortable temperatures, colorful foliage and shoulder season prices. Montana’s outdoors also offer plenty of options in terms of recreation, including incredible fly-fishing, scenic drives and plentiful opportunities to view wildlife.

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10 Ideas for Fall in Montana

1. See Fall Colors.

Glacier Country is a pretty big place, which means there are numerous places to take in the abundant colors of fall in Montana. Topping the list: Glacier National Park, the Seeley-Swan Valley and Missoula.

2. Explore Glacier National Park.

Fall is one of the quietest times in the Crown of the Continent and offers visitors stunning views throughout the park’s diverse terrain.

3. Attend Fall Festivals and Events.

There are a few events that seem to welcome fall in Montana with gusto. Among them are the Scarecrow Festival in Stevensville, Great Northwest Oktoberfest in Whitefish and Seeley Lake’s Tamarack Festival & Brewfest.

4. Taste Montana Brew.

Western Montana is home to 22 breweries, with each serving up a distinct taste of Montana. Our advice? Book a trip with Tap Room Tours—you’ll be able to visit local breweries while taking in the surrounding fall foliage.

5. Paddle Montana's Lakes and Rivers.

With countless rivers and lakes carving their way through Glacier Country, spending some time on the water can provide a different look at Montana’s fall foliage. For an up-close view, take a stand-up paddleboard to the waters of Lake McDonald, paddle a kayak along the Clearwater Canoe Trail or take a guided boat tour on Flathead Lake.

6. Cast a Line on Blue-ribbon Trout Water.

Fall is one of the best times to fly-fish the rivers of Western Montana, particularly Rock Creek, the Blackfoot River, Bitterroot River and the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.

7. Play a Round of Golf.

Montana’s Glacier Country is home to 28 golf courses—ranging from lake-view to mountain courses—with each designed to take advantage of its surroundings, including the changing colors of tamarack trees and snow-covered mountain peaks.

8. Travel Scenic Byways.

With scenery that varies from river valleys to jagged mountain peaks, travel along Montana’s scenic byways is sure to lead you to plentiful fall colors and treasures along less-traveled roads.

9. View Wildlife.

There are plenty of places to view wildlife (from a safe distance) in Montana's Glacier Country. Areas of note include Glacier National Park, the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge and the National Bison Range.

10. Bike and Hike.

Western Montana’s lush valleys are surrounded by many mountain ranges, making it an ideal place to spend some time exploring our hiking and biking trails. Recommended trails for viewing fall colors include The Whitefish Trail, the mountain bike trails at Whitefish Mountain Resort, Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road and Blue Mountain Recreation Area near Missoula.

Fall Events

September

October

For more fall events, visit glaciermt.com.

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Fall in Western Montana & Glacier National Park

Western Montana's Glacier Country

News from Glacier National Park: Currently 17.0 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open for travel.

Bird Woman Falls

An icon in Glacier National Park, Bird Woman Falls is a glistening 492-foot-high waterfall that cascades down the side of Mt. Oberlin. From West Glacier, travel the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Bird Woman Falls Overlook, located on the west side of the Continental Divide.

Trail of the Cedars

This short boardwalk trail (ADA accessible) takes visitors through an old growth cedar forest. It’s also the beginning of the Avalanche Lake Trail (just over two miles long) that leads to Avalanche Lake—one of the most popular day hikes in Glacier National Park. Trail of the Cedars is located about five and a half miles north of Lake McDonald Lodge.

Drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road

If your time in Glacier National Park is limited, one must-see attraction is the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This 50-mile long road takes travelers between St. Mary and West Glacier through the heart of the park, crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. There are numerous pullouts along the road, ideal for taking photographs and enjoying the scenery.

See a Glacier

As you’re traveling the Going-to-the-Sun Road, pull over at Jackson Glacier Overlook (located east of Logan Pass). The overlook offers the best opportunity to see a glacier from the road.

Many Glacier Valley

Home to incredible mountains, active glaciers, abundant wildlife and miles of hiking trails, Many Glacier is located in the northeast section of Glacier National Park. Trails leave from this valley in numerous directions, with popular hiking destinations including Iceberg Lake, Grinnell Lake and Ptarmigan Tunnel.

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