Meet Spring, Montana’s Most Underrated Season

Photo © Jessica Downing

One of Montana’s quietest seasons, spring offers visitors to Glacier Country plenty of room to roam with uncrowded roads, open trails and scenic byways that are perfect for exploring off-the-beaten-path locations.

Perhaps one of the region’s most unexplored areas in spring is Glacier National Park. While many of the amenities inside the park don’t open until late May, spring still offers plenty of recreational activity options. One of the most popular: biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road. During this time of year—and before opening to vehicular traffic—the Going-to-the-Sun Road becomes a prime destination for bikers and hikers. Pedaling the road is one of the best ways to see the park’s snow-capped mountain peaks and jaw-dropping views. You can bring your own bike or pick up bike rentals in nearby Whitefish, Montana—a 35-minute drive from the park’s entrance at West Glacier.

If you go: There are several businesses outside the park that are open for visitors in the spring, including the Izaak Walton Inn in Essex (open year-round), Great Northern Resort in West Glacier (open May 1), Serrano’s Mexican Restaurant in East Glacier Park (open May 1) and guided boat tours at Lake McDonald (open May 21).

Spring is also an ideal time for road tripping through Western Montana to explore quieter locations along Highway 200, with highlights that include the National Bison Range, St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway, fishing on the Clark Fork River and biking the Route of the Hiawatha—a 15-mile-long bike trail that travels through tunnels and along steel trestles in the Bitterroot Mountains.

If you go: Plan on staying at Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort in Paradise and exploring small-town Montana with a stroll through Thompson Falls or Trout Creek.

Plan your spring visit at