Spring In Montana - What You Need To Know
March 29, 2022by Sarah Day
Yesterday the sun was shining and the temperature rose to 65 degrees. As I sit here and write this post, it’s spitting thick raindrops that are trying their very best to become snowflakes. The most important thing to know about Spring in Montana is that it’s extremely temperamental and will continue to go back and forth between what most people call spring and winter until one day you realize it’s summer. Sometimes that doesn’t happen until late June or early July.
What does this mean and how do you adjust? In terms of wardrobe, the key is to wear layers. You might start out in the morning in your winter jacket and end up in a tank top by afternoon, only to race for your jacket again the second the sun goes down. Dressing prepared and wearing layers is my favorite way to ensure that I’m comfortable all day long, no matter what the day brings. In addition, I personally keep a pair of muck boots or old tennis shoes in my car to change into if needed. I find this helpful professionally in case I end up showing a property last minute that’s more remote. However, I also find it helpful personally in case I get the chance to take a walk or hike at lunch – I’m ready to go!
Speaking of walking and hiking, there are some things to know about those activities specifically in spring. As soon as the weather warms up we all race outside to hit the trails and take in the reprieve from our long winter. I absolutely get it - I do the same thing. What we all need to remember is that using dirt trails during this time of year can actually cause a lot of damage and make them less enjoyable or unusable later in the year. Why is that? Because they’re usually muddy and our footsteps are more impactful - they create divets and ruts. Even worse, due to human nature certain places on the trail actually become widened as people avoid big puddles and the landscape adjacent to the trail is ruined by heavy foot traffic.
Luckily we have options. There are numerous paved trails around town and most neighborhoods (all of the newer ones) have sidewalks systems. They may not be quite the same as hiking your favorite trail, but they still get you outside. They might also guide you to a new area of town you wouldn’t have explored before! My top recommendation is to check out the path along Bridger Canyon Road.
As I’ve mentioned, the weather goes back and forth and you’re constantly changing your outfits and shoes. What is much harder to change quickly is your car tires. I don’t personally recommend taking them off too early. Unless we get up into the 70’s and you have to drive a long ways on the interstate, your snow tires will probably be fine left on until May. In fact, studded snow tires aren’t legally required to be removed until May 31 because they know up until then they might be needed! That doesn’t mean you can’t SCHEDULE your tire change before May though. Beat the crowds and call the tire store next week! You’ll be thankful you did it when everyone else is scrambling to have it done and the tire store will be thankful you aren’t adding to the chaos that they deal with every spring and fall.
Does all of this sound daunting? Is it making you want to pack up and leave – maybe even for just a little bit? Then do that too. In my opinion March-May is a great time to travel. I’m not saying you need to take an extended leave from your job and miss the entire season (there are some nice parts about it!) but travelling somewhere else during this time can help you wait for summer to get here a little more patiently. It especially helps if you’re able to travel somewhere warmer, even just down to Salt Lake City.
Spring is my favorite season. If you’ve gotten this far in the post you may have just read that last sentence and said “seriously?”. But yes, absolutely spring is my favorite season. It feels hopeful and exciting. I love the way the valley looks as it starts to green up and there’s still snow on the mountains. It feels fresh and like the opportunity for a new start. Perhaps it’s also comforting to know that the season that follows is summer, which is another incredible time here in the Gallatin Valley. During spring you have the comfort of knowing that you won’t be freezing cold for the next few months and you can breathe a sigh of relief.
If you want any more suggestions for how to adapt to spring in Bozeman, don’t hesitate to reach out! I’d love to meet you on one of the paved paths to walk and get to chat.