Things To Do in the Fall in Western Montana + Glacier National Park

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Things to Do in the Fall Discover Our Golden Season

Discover Our Golden Season

When the landscape in Western Montana transforms with autumn’s hues and you can see as far as the eye can see, the view is vast and vibrant. Like spring, fall in Glacier Country is an undiscovered season of beauty and adventure. In fact, it’s one of the loveliest times to visit. Brilliant shades of gold, orange, yellow and red pop against deep browns, blue skies and snowcapped peaks. This tapestry of colors, plus cooler temperatures for hiking and biking, fall fly-fishing, shoulder season prices and small towns that bustle all year long, make Glacier Country’s autumn a time to discover. Mark your calendars for mid-September through early October to find our peak golden season.

There’s this place where we hit the trail for happy hour.

What do you get when big-city culture meets local mountain charm? Visit Missoula, Montana and find out for yourself.

10 Ways to Play in a Montana Autumn


Tamarack Trees provide beautiful colors in Glacier National Park, Montana

1. See Fall Colors

Because Glacier Country is a pretty big place, there are numerous ways to take in the abundant colors of fall in Montana. Topping the list: Glacier National Park, the Bitterroot, Kootenai Falls in Libby, the Seeley-Swan Valley and Missoula.

Many Glacier Hotel is surrounded by beautiful fall views in Glacier National Park, Montana.

2. Explore Glacier National Park

Park visitation quiets down this time of year, making it one of the most peaceful times to visit the Crown of the Continent, where stunning views are made even more vibrant with the colors of fall.

Missoula, Montana's Western Montana Fair is an event not to be missed.

3. Attend Fall Festivals and Events

We like to welcome autumn with various fall events like the Scarecrow Festival in Stevensville and Great Northwest Oktoberfest in Whitefish.

Visit a Western Montana brewery to get your own little taste of Montana.

4. Taste Montana Brew

Western Montana is home to 20+ breweries, each serving up a distinct taste of Montana.

A jet skiier takes to a Western Montana lake in the fall.

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 vantage point for viewing Montana’s fall foliage. For an up-close look, 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.

Fall is a great time to try your hand at fishing in Western Montana.

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.

Take in the fall scenic views in Western Montana by playing a round of golf while admiring the Tamarack trees and snowcapped peaks.

7. Play a Round of Golf

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

Travel Western Montana's scenic byways by car or motorcycle in the fall.

8. Travel Scenic Byways

With scenery that varies from river valleys to jagged peaks, traveling along Montana’s scenic byways in the fall is a sure bet for viewing the foliage.

Do some wildlife viewing in the fall in Western Montana. Areas include the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, Glacier National Park and the National Bison Range.

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.

Fall is a great time to hike and bike the trails of Western Montana.

10. Bike and Hike

Western Montana’s lush valleys are surrounded by many mountain ranges, making it an ideal place to spend 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.

News from Glacier National Park Currently, 21.0 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open for travel.

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