By Brian Jewell
Summer means endless blue skies and purple mountains majesty, and winter brings a stunning snowy landscape and a passel of mountain sports. But fall has its own distinct, if lesser known, allure in Montana, and groups that venture there during the autumn months will find a refreshing calm.
“Montana isn’t necessarily top of mind when it comes to fall, but we have some pretty outstanding fall foliage,” said Tia Troy of the Glacier Country Regional Tourism Commission. “September and October are definitely quiet seasons for us. If you go into Glacier National Park, you feel like you have it all to yourself, and you see some great foliage along the way. Highway 2, along the southern border of the park, is particularly stunning. And on Looking Glass Highway, you look down into a valley filled with golds, yellows and beautiful red undertones.”
In addition to the fall color, the season brings a number of special events to the area, including the Montana Dragon Boat Festival on Flathead Lake and the Rumble in the Bay Car Show in Big Fork.
Closer to Yellowstone, fall is an ideal time to see wildlife.
“Because fall is the rutting season, the animals are migrating to their winter areas,” said Robin Hoover of the Yellowstone Country Tourism Region. “The animals are more out and about. The elk are moving, both inside and outside the park, and birding has become quite popular in the fall.”