Sweet Summers in Montana

May 2, 2017 - Mike Lessard is Adventure Cycling's Tours Assistant Director

Biking in Glacier

Who’s excited for summer? I know I am! 

I don’t think I’ve ever spent a summer in a better spot then Missoula, Montana, my home for the last three years. Sunny, warm days ... cool, clear nights, and more recreational opportunities than time allows give me a feeling of wonderment and excitement as I continue to find new things and places to explore. And this is coming from someone who grew up in Maine, a state that boasts being known as “Vacationland.”

I relocated to Missoula to work with Adventure Cycling at the end of 2013 and after a brief hiatus, I’m excited to be back. After a cold winter, I'm feeling the summer bug as the hillsides green up and wildflowers dot the landscape. I know that right around the corner, summer will be in full swing, and I can’t wait.

Biking down the Bitterroot

Since there is so much to do in the summer in and around Missoula, I’ve learned to make a checklist of summer musts:

Spend time on the river

The Clark Fork River flows directly through town, and floating on the river is a popular pastime for many people to cool off and meet others as they slowly drift past you. I like to spend my time on my stand-up paddleboard, but floating on an inner tube after a long ride is just as satisfying.

Paddleboarding on the Clark Fork

Climb a big mountain

I’ve knocked off a few of the jagged peaks in the Bitterroot Mountains just south of town, but there are still many more to conquer. I always struggle to get to the top in early summer as I spend hours in the woods picking huckleberries — a purple fruit that resembles a blueberry with a sweet-tart flavor combination. Whether a successful summit or a successful pick, I always make time to stop by one of the fantastic pie shops on the way back home.

Hiking in the Bitterroots


Get out on the bike, of course!

While I spend my days planning tours for Adventure Cycling, I spend my evenings planning other biking adventures. I’m currently researching a weeklong trip from Glacier to Yellowstone, passing by the beautiful Flathead Lake and down the stunning Bitterroot Valley along the way.

Jumping for Joy

Biking on the trails

There are so many options to make a summer in Montana memorable, and they all start by taking the steps to get here! As you think about finalizing your summer plans, think about coming by our neck of the woods!

At Adventure Cycling, we have the resources to make this great — what could be better than hopping on a bike, riding through Montana with like-minded folks, and soaking in the sun and the scenery? If this sounds like your idea of fun, Cycle Montana - Missoula is for you!

More interested in dirt riding? Then join us on Cycle the Divide - Montana. Riding with us, you’ll be able to experience a taste of the best things Montana has to offer! And if you swing by the office, you can definitely coerce me to float with you down the river!

Photos by Mike Lessard | Photo 2 Emma Wimmer


ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team— Paul, Mandy, Emma, Mike, and Arlen — tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, helping you bring your cycling dreams to fruition. Check out our 2018 Guided Tours today!


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