Rainbow photo by Nathan DeBoer
© Nathan DeBoer
Spring
 
Average Temperature:

April – High 57 | Low 32

Average Rainfall:
April – 1.05 inches

As temperatures warm, the valley awakens with new life. Fragrant apple blossoms abound in the foothills beneath snowcapped mountain peaks. Willows and cottonwoods sprout fresh leaves. The Bitterroot River swells with melted snow and gentle rain. Red-breasted robins punctuate warm breezes with song. In green-carpeted meadows, calves frolic, lambs bound, and foals try out their spindly legs. In wild woods and river bottom, deer, elk, moose and bighorn sheep raise their young.


Explore…
  • At the Lee Metcalf and Teller Wildlife Refuges, watch ducklings, wild swans, and new fawns. Bring binoculars for a close-up look and a field guide for identification. Capture the beauty of spring with a camera.
  • Along the Bitterroot River, wade in at the many fishing access points. Hike along the bank or float the current northward in a raft or canoe.
  • Up the mountain sides, enjoy a last snow sports fling in early spring. Hunt for bear and wild turkey. Ride horseback or hike the trails to catch wildflowers and waterfalls at their peak.
  • In the valley, spend an afternoon at a golf course, walk, bike or skate the paved paths along the roadways to the river.
  • On the small town streets, buy crafts and produce at the Farmer’s Markets in Stevensville, Hamilton and Darby. Stroll or drive through the neighborhoods to see a variety of architecture from log to Victorian, framed with flowering plants in a riot of color.
  Water Stream photo by Nathan DeBoer
© Nathan DeBoer
Summer

Temperature:

July – High 82 | Low 49

Average Rainfall:
July – 1.00 inches

With up to 16.5 hours of sunlight, summer days are long and warm. The comfortably cool nights make for good sleeping weather. Down country roads, the air is perfumed with the refreshing scent of new-mown hay. Eagles soar the heights, meadowlarks sing from the treetops, and hummingbirds hover over flowers. Lake Como and the Bitterroot River warm to swimming temperatures. Bears amble through huckleberry patches and deer browse the bushes.


Enjoy…
  • At the parks, river, lakes and refuges, hike, swim, fish, camp, boat and ride horseback.
  • Up the mountainsides, join a guided wilderness walk or get a local trail guidebook and discover for yourself. Get intense with rock climbing and mountain biking.
  • In every small town, enjoy special summer events that showcase the history, culture, and artists of the area. From parades, rodeos, and art shows, to festivals of music and microbrews there is something special happening for every age and interest.
  • Throughout the summer, catch on going events including the monthly First Friday in Stevensville, Saturday morning farmers’ markets, Tuesday music at noon in Hamilton’s Legion Park, and Sunday programs at the Ravalli County Museum. On Labor Day Weekend, then cap off the summer season with the Ravalli County Fair and Carnival.
Fall Refuge photo by Susan Hatch
© Susan Hatch
Autumn

Average Temperature:

October – High 59 | Low 31

Average Rainfall:
October – .78 inches

Crisp temperatures usher in the autumn leaves of red and gold. Fall brings frosty mornings and snow-capped mountains. The sky is dotted with the v-shaped formations of Canada Geese honking their way south. Tamaracks, aspens and cottonwoods splash golden patches amid the dark green pines and firs. Tree-lined streets of Hamilton and Stevensville explode the vivid reds and oranges. Harvest season brings apple trees heavy with ripe fruit and deer, elk and moose in full antler.


Experience…
  • In the 1.6 million acres of Bitterroot National Forest, enjoy nearly 750,000 acres of protected wilderness. Hunting season opens for deer, elk, bear and moose. Bring a rifle, bow and arrows or camera to take a Bitterroot memory home.
  • At the Lost Trail Powder Mountain Resort, ski and snowboard the late fall snows. Cross-country ski on groomed trails at Chief Joseph Pass.
  • On the small town streets, celebrate the bounty of the harvest with fall festivals including the McIntosh Apple Days and the Annual Wine Tasting. Stroll down the maple lined streets of brilliant colors.
  Winter Como photo by Susan Hatch
© Susan Hatch
Winter

Average Temperature:

January – High 35 | Low 17

Average Rainfall:
January – 1.11 inches

Sheltered between the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains, the valley is spared much of the harsh blizzard winds and record-breaking wind chill temperatures. Although the mercury occasionally dips below zero, Bitterroot winters are usually mild, earning the valley nickname, “Banana Belt of Montana.” While snow seldom accumulates more than 6 inches on the valley floor, the annual average at Lost Trail Ski Resort is 300 inches of pristine powder. Billions of stars, meteor showers and rare displays of Northern Lights adorn the deep black night skies.


Ski Powder…
  • At Lost Trail Powder Mountains, ski and snowboard some of the best powder to be found anywhere.
  • Avoid the crowds on the 25 runs of this family-friendly ski resort.
  • On the Continental Divide, cross-country ski trails offer spectacular vistas at every turn. A warming hut and emergency caches are located along the 33 groomed and un-groomed trails at Chief Joseph Pass.
  • In the East Fork, Skalkaho, and Lost Trail areas, snowmobile trails lead to frozen waterfalls and open meadows. Trails are marked and groomed after the New Year.
  • Indoors, swim year-round in the Bitterroot Aquatic Center’s warm pool and at area Hot Springs. Opportunities for dancing, bowling, and skating are also available.
  • In Hamilton, enjoy winter festivals, craft fairs and a wide variety of shows at the Performing Arts Center.

Current Weather:



Stevensville Airport
Weather in Stevensville Montana

Hamilton Airport
Weather in Stevensville Montana


Bitterroot Valley Chamber News

Live Webcam Links:

Downtown Hamilton

Bitterroot River near Stevensville


Lost Trail Pass

Air Quality in the Bitterroot Valley

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