7 Reasons to Visit NW Montana in the Summer

Jewels in the Treasure State

By: Gavin Pirrie

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Montana is a state that caters to outdoor enthusiasts, and there are many activities in NW Montana that showcases this. The entire state of Montana is a treasure, but NW Montana is a special part – a part of Montana that brings together many of the awe-inspiring components that make up the treasure state.

St. Mary's Lake
St. Mary's Lake, Glacier National Park


Glacier National Park boasts a combination of natural wonders exclusively available to visitors to the park. Glacier National Park is a must visit on any trip to Montana. Activities in the park range from hiking to fishing to biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road under a full moon. A lesser-known wilderness area of Montana lies in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. The Bob is just over 1 million acres of backcountry land just waiting to be explored by backpacking on foot or packing in by horse. The Bob Marshall Wilderness is an excellent way to explore the true wilderness of Montana without the distractions of everyday life.

Martin Falls
Martin Falls

2.     CAMPING

Montana offers a multitude of campsites throughout the northwest portion of the state. Camping is a magnificent way to explore the beauty of Montana. Most campsites in Montana accommodate RV’s and campers and almost all campsites accommodate tents. The weather during the summer months in Montana can range from highs of 65˚F to blistering days where the mercury hits 100˚F+. The common theme for Montana can be boiled down to this – Always be prepared.

Fly Fishing
Gallatin River


Northwest Montana has an abundance of streams to enjoy. From rafting to walking along the shores to kayaking, there is no wrong way to enjoy the rivers of NW Montana. The fishing is excellent during the summer months after the runoff from the mountains has receded. A quick ask of the locals in the area will surely land you where the fish are jumping at the time.

Middle Thompson Lake
Middle Thompson Lake


Few sights, if any, can top a Montana sunset. Arguably the best part about a Montana sunset is that it doesn’t matter where you are when sunset takes place, it is stunning anywhere you see it. After the sun goes down, Montana puts on an impressive show. The light pollution in the state of Montana is one of the lowest in all 50 states. This allows for the stars of the night to shine extremely bright. Stargazing in Montana is a must for anyone visiting.

Bond Lake
Bond Lake

5.     THE LAKES

A true treasure of NW Montana is the bounty of lakes in the area. Lakes in this region range from the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River, Flathead Lake, to the small, secluded mountain lakes such as Wildcat Lake in the Jewel Basin. The larger lakes cater to many activities including boating, wakeboarding and waterskiing. The smaller lakes are excellent for kayaking, fishing and camping.

Hyalite Peak
Hyalite Peak

6.     HIKING

NW Montana has a plethora of trails to hike. From summiting high peaks such as Mt. Cleveland in Glacier National Park, to casual strolls along the North Fork area of the Flathead Valley there is a hike that caters to everyone’s ability. While the hiking is magnificent, the region is also known for its bear country. Bear spray and proper bear awareness are essential for hiking in NW Montana.

Norm's Soda Fountain, Kalispell
Norm's Soda Fountain, Kalispell


The locals are truly what define Montana. Whether it’s taking a stroll down the, big for Montana, 5-block Main St. or hiking in a remote area of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Montanans are as friendly as they come. They are always kind, talkative and willing to lend a helping hand. I’ve heard tall tales of the mean Montanan, but it’s always been from out-of-state visitors. Maybe that’s why I’ve never seen one myself…

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.