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Thread: Riding in May in Montana

  1. #1

    Riding in May in Montana

    Hi evryone. I am planing a trip from Vancouver Canada to California through Montana ,Wyoming,Utha,Nevada and back from the lovely Oregon coast. How cold is it in Montana and Wyoming middle of May? Its our 10th wedding anniversary and can't aford to have a cold bride on the back of the bike. Any suggestion will be great. thanks.
    Cheers . Farzad.

  2. #2
    JAMESDUNN
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    Montana in mid May.

    You should be okay in mid May in terms of cold weather. You could still encounter a late spring snowstorm, but unlikely. However, the nights will be cool and you should consider this when planning an early morning start. Consider the elevation and latitude of any mountain passes you may wish to cross. Finally, have lots of clothing you can layer and shed as necessary.

  3. #3
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    Heated riding clothes and a cuddle companion needed!

    I hope you have heated grips and seats....we don't plant anything in our garden until June 1 since mornings are almost always in the 30's F. The mountains are still snow covered and the Beartooth Highway won't be open in May. Yellowstone and Glacier Parks will still be very cold.
    I don't mean to sound negative, May is beautiful but it's still cold. I would wait until June if possible.

    P.S. The current temp here at 10 a.m. (just outside of Big Timber, MT) is 5 below zero F.

  4. #4
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    May riding

    Farzad:

    Here's some info for you; scroll down a bit to get to the spring section:

    http://www.bigskyfishing.com/Montana..._weather2.shtm

    Do you ah, have a Subaru available to you?
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  5. #5
    Thanks. Yes I have heated grips and west We will be traveling on a R1200gs but still don't want my wife to be cold eather. We just didn't want to get too hot on the bike when we get closer to nevada. When is the best time to travel that way and being able to avoid the heat in Nevada and California.

  6. #6
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    Depart May 31 @ 11:00 a.m.........!

    Hi Farzad:

    I picked your departure time for May 31 at 11:00 a.m., here is my reasoning.
    The weather should be just about perfect during your entire route, just sleep in a little to let the roads warm up from the nightime frost. The Desert in Nevada really isn't that hot most of the time unless you're way down south around Death Valley. I picked May 31 because it's just before all of the schools let out and so camping and riding should be great, though I would check into placing reservations in California (Napa Valley is a great ride and visit).
    I chose Sunday at 11:00, that's always a good departure time since the roads tend to be very quiet and it's a good time to escape a city since people are sleeping, eating waffles or at Sunday school.

    Have a great trip, drop me a note if you'd like....I can suggest a number of great restaurants, B&B's, and great roads and sites to see.

    Cheers!

    Mike

  7. #7
    Thanks Mike. Would love to learn some good tips about nice food and warm cozy room and some local roads. I think we are going to ride east toward Calgary then cross the border to USA or maybe at Osoyoos Bc and then south.
    cheers.

  8. #8
    schuldt
    Guest

    Weather Underground

    Farzad,

    Weather Underground is a really useful tool for trip planning. I used it for my Alaska trip and had only one day of rain and enjoyed mild temperatures. (Late May and early June, before the rains started.)

    In the "Trip Planner" function I plugged in Kalispell, MT. for the first 2 weeks of June. Looks like you're going to have some great riding weather.

    http://www.wunderground.com

    Try it out to see average temps, precip, cloud cover, winds... pretty cool.

    Les

  9. #9
    Just be willing to be flexible about the route while you are on it, and you'll be fine. Yes, it will be cold in the high country. Glacier's Going-to-the-Sun Road often isn't open until late June. You can run into cold rain anytime until the end of June, so look for alternative routes that take you to lower elevations, when the weather turns bad.

    Here is a story, it is typical for the time of year:

    About 35 of us (6 from MT and a bunch from NorCal and SoCal) wanted to meet in Las Vegas to see Art of the Motorcycle, the third week in May. Three or four days before we were due to leave MT, there was a blizzard and a complete whiteout along the I-90 corridor.

    I left Missoula MT and met a friend from Bozeman MT at the intersection of I-90 and I-15; 11 am and about 37F. We rode I-15 to Dubois, ID where we pulled off to get warm. Going over Monida pass there was snow on the sides of the road but the highway was clear and dry. And cold. Very cold.

    From there to Twin Falls, ID was wonderful. Next day, nearing Jackpot NV, we met up with two other MT riders. They had camped out in the Stanley ID area and it snowed on them. We all stayed in Ely that night, they camped again and it was cold. The next day we rode into Las Vegas and it as too d*mn hot the whole route. One of the others dropped their bike leaving a gas station, it was 4pm, city traffic and about 99F.

    A few days later, leaving Las Vegas, I rode alone up I-15, my riding buddy was a half-day behind me and planning to get his bike serviced in Salt Lake City. I rode as far as Pocatello ID that day. The next day, I made it home, it was cold and dry. My buddy didn't make it home, he stopped in Pocatello, a day after I was there, and called his wife to bring a trailer from Bozeman and come get him, it was too rainy and snowy to get home from Pocatello to Bozeman.

  10. #10
    thanks Les and Montana. we usually ride with no plans and route or where we are staying .So we are very flexible and we could change our route any time we feel is too cold or hot .
    cheers

  11. #11
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Montana in May

    ...in the Stanley ID area...it snowed on them....Montana
    During my last Stanley Stomp, we had morning frost on our bikes, in the middle of August. I think the temperature hit 28 F overnight.

    You could hear the whine of airhead starters all through the resort area.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by rinty View Post
    ... You could hear the whine of airhead starters all through the resort area.
    Is that "starters" as in, little electric motors, or "starters" as in, those people starting airheads were doing the whining?

    Or, both!

  13. #13
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Stanley Stomp

    ...or both..


    The Airheads there were a polite bunch, and I didn't hear any cussin'.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

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