I can feel it in the air. The slight chill of the early morning hours, the gradual changing colors of the leaves, the crispness that seems to be prevalent after the sun goes down. It’s time to face the facts, people. Fall is nearly here. And while I’m not giving into autumn quite yet (hey, I’ve got some summer-like activities left to accomplish), it is indeed time to start thinking about it.

So, since we’re in thinking about fall in Montana mode, I’ve pulled together my top picks and happenings in Western Montana’s Glacier Country this fall. Without further ado, here are the autumn activities that are topping my list…

See fall colors. I know what you’re thinking…”Duh, Tia.” But allow me to elaborate. While I know it doesn’t seem like it, this pretty little place I call home has some stunning fall foliage. Like in a knock-your-socks-off kind of way. Where can you see this type of beauty? Start with the Daly Mansion in Hamilton. The long driveway that leads to the mansion is lined with trees that are literally stunning in autumn.

The driveway leading to the Daly Mansion is filled with colorful foliage. Photo: Donnie Sexton
Hello fall foliage. Photo: Donnie Sexton

Another prime fall color viewing destination is the Seeley-Swan Valley. Keep keep an eye out for the tamarack trees. Their needles turn a lovely color of gold before falling to the ground.

Visit Glacier National Park. Secret time: Glacier National Park is stunning in September and October. And hardly anyone goes to the park during the fall, making it one of the quiet and most peaceful times to take in the Crown of the Continent. First things first, drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This year, the last day to drive the road in its entirety is September 21. But, you’ll still be able to access Logan Pass from the west side all the way through October 19.
A bit of advice: Pack layers. Temperatures can change quickly and it’s always a good idea to pack a jacket, fleece, etc. when you’re visiting. 

Fall in Glacier National Park. Photo: Corrie Holloway
Fall in Glacier National Park. Photo: Corrie Holloway

Watch dragon boats race on Flathead Lake. This September 13 – 14, teams of dragon boat paddlers will gather at Flathead Lake Lodge in Bigfork and race on Flathead Lake in 46-foot-long dragon boats. And while it’s a fun event to participate in, it’s just as fun to go and watch the teams compete. Plus, the festival has local food and drink, as well as Made in Montana vendors.

An aerial view of the races. Photo: Gravity Shots
An aerial view of the races. Photo: Gravity Shots

Sample 100+ Montana beers at the Montana Brewers Festival in Missoula. Every year, the Montana Brewers Association hosts a fall beer festival and this year, it’s taking place at Caras Park in Missoula on Saturday, October 11. To sum it up: If you love beer, you should make plans to be at this festival.

Three cheers for Montana beer. Photo: Donnie Sexton
Three cheers for Montana beer. Photo: Donnie Sexton

What’s on your list for this fall?


August 22, 2014

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