April Showers bring May flowers, right? Kind of. Montana does things a little different during these months with its indecisive weather patterns. It’s a shoulder season between ski resorts closing in April and the summer sports opening for full time play. It’s a great time of year to come to Montana for multiple reasons and I’ll share a few with you here. Spring in Montana is one of our favorite times of year, pending you have the right layers of clothing. So let’s start with what to pack.
There is still snow in the mountains but the roads in town are most likely clear. With warmer temperatures in town, planning for colder temps for hikes, fishing, biking, etc is a crucial.
Layers are broken down into Base layers, Mid layers, and Outer layers.
For your base layer it’s important to grab something that absorbs, or wicks sweat and is breathable. This material is either merino wool and polyester are you best options.
The mid layer should be a fleece jacket or wool sweater. This provides warmth during the beginning part of your excursion and can be taken off easily once you warm up.
Finally, the outer layer. This is typically a waterproof jacket or shell. This layer provides protection from wind and rain, while also insulating your layers underneath. This can either be a heavier ski jacket, waterproof shell, or down coat when no precipitation is forecasted.
For pants I recommend a 4 way stretch breathable hiking pant. This provides comfort and maximum movement for any experience you find yourself in. Make sure to throw in gloves and a hat just in case.
You’re now set up for spring weather here in Montana! But now what to do? You can snowshoe/hike on Friday, Fish on Saturday, Bike on Sunday, and do Yellowstone on Monday and Tuesday. Of course, there are so many other options, here are some of our favorites.
Hike, Bike, Fish, Hunt, Float, Ski tour, Rent, Zipline, or Cavern.
Yellowstone starts to open its roads to just about everywhere. The bison are calving and the animals are on the move enjoying some of the warmer weather. Getting our early is always your best chance for wildlife viewing. Additionally, this is the time of year when the park has the fewest people, making it your best opportunity to see bison, wolves, grizzlies, elk and more without crowds. Rent a spotting scope from Explore Rentals to take this viewing experience to the next level.
Yellowstone opens the roads to non motorists the first two weeks of April, making a bike trip a great way to see parts of the park, while getting a little exercise.
Fish and Float:
There’s no icebergs in the rivers and the fish are starting to get hungry. Renting a raft and some fishing equipment from Explore rentals is a perfect combo to get you into some fish and enjoy a warmer day. A float down the Lower Madison can lead to some great views and gentle rowing
If you’re up for more of an adrednaline rush, fly through the air with Yellowstone Zipline & Canbopy tours in gallatin canyon or their second location in Gardiner, right near Yellowstone Park’s north entrance.
Take a Drive:
Just west of Bozeman by 45 minutes there is the historic Lewis and Clark Caverns. These incredible caves are accessed by tour only and give you a glimpse into one of the largest limestone caverns in North America.
Additionally, a phenomenal drive is up and over the Beartooth highway which is generally open Memorial Day – Mid September, with possible temporary closures for weather. This spectacular drive between Red lodge and Cooke city/Yellowstone Park NE entrance, takes you through the eastern side of the Beartooth mountains on one of the highest highways in America and will leave you breathless and your camera roll full. Need a car? We have them! Rent a car from Explore Rentals
No list is complete without relaxing in some hotsprings:
A long day of adventure is always complimented by a relaxing soak in one of our many hotsprings.
Yellowstone Hot springs – Located close to Yellowstone’s North Entrance, south of Livingston, MT off highway 89
Chico Hot springs – Located South of Livingston, MT about 25-30 minutes
Norris Hot springs – West of Bozeman on Norris Rd/highway 84 about 30 minutes
Bozeman Hot springs – Just south of 4 corners on Bozeman’s western edge.
Top of the list needs to be a waterfalls tour. Start in Bozeman with Palisades Falls in Hyalite. This beautiful waterfall is an easy hike from the trailhead for an up close view of the falls.
Move down through Big Sky to do another short hike for Ousell Falls. This is an iconic hike in Big Sky that offers everyone an opportunity to see this grand falls.
Another falls that you should not miss is the upper falls in Yellowstone National Park. This stunning Waterfalls is picturesque from all angles and it is also easily accessible right off from the road
Who we are:
Explore Rentals has been providing visitors to the Bozeman area with rental cars and rental outdoor adventure gear since 2010. Not only do we rent cool stuff, but we are also happy to help point you in the right direction to make the most of your Bozeman experience.