Record high temperatures in Montana this summer don’t need to put a damper on an adventurous vacation. Between high alpine regions and plenty of river miles to go around, you can find a whole lot of ways to cool off, even when it gets hot. Here are a few of our favorite ways to beat the heat in Montana this summer.
River floating is a prime sport under the big sky—although calling this lazy drifting, best enjoyed with a drink in hand, a “sport” might be a bit of a stretch. Buy or rent float tubes, and run a shuttle yourself or hire one if you only have one vehicle — popular rivers for floating at the Madison, the Jefferson, and the Yellowstone. Keeping your behind in the water all day is sure to keep you cool.
If a relaxed float doesn’t come with enough adrenaline for you, you might want to give whitewater rafting a try. Go with a top guide like the ones at Montana Whitewater near Yellowstone or Montana Raft near Glacier, and experience the thrill of riding the rapids. Snag your seat at the front of the boat, and take each splash and spray full-on.
When it comes to getting out on a lake or river, a kayak makes a worthy vessel for fun and adventure. Give yourself a splash from the paddle when you feel yourself heating up, or make a splash yourself and take the time to jump in while you get in a good workout on the water.
Even though they’re called stand-up paddleboards, balancing is not required to ride. Some people prefer paddling on their knees, sitting, or even just lounging for a nap while they float around. Take one of these out on Flathead Lake or Hyalite Reservoir on a calm day, or float a mellow stretch of river—whitewater optional.
Sure, you’ll be sweating on the way up when you start your mountain climb. But you can take advantage of lower temperatures at the top, sometimes accompanied by snowfields or glacially fed alpine lakes to cool you down, too. Take in the views, and feel that mountain air to bring your temperature down.
Take a hike, but not just any hike. When you head up the trail to a waterfall, you get to enjoy the refreshing breath of evaporative cooling from the spray, and you can sometimes take advantage of the free—and icy cold—shower that comes when you stand under the flow. Either way, you can dip your toes in to chill out as the river flows around your feet.
Don’t be afraid of Montana weather: after all, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only improper gear! And sometimes in summer, the gear you need just includes a river or lake to jump into. Fuel your fun with the good rest that comes with a stay at one of the Highline Adventures properties, where a leap into the pool or a nap in the A/C will restore your spirits after a day of adventure.