Big Sky Ski Resort
Big Sky Montana is ….. big! Actually it’s massive! The skiable terrain is the biggest of the Montana ski resorts
at 3,832 acres (1,551 hectares), and when you include the interconnected Moonlight Basin ski resort you get another 1,900 acres (769 hectares) of terrain. The two ski resorts form a colossal ski area; the 2nd biggest in North America and the largest in the USA!
The vertical drop is also one of the biggest in North America. At 4,366 feet (1,330 metres), skiing at Big Sky is highly likely to get the thighs burning and the lungs screaming!
Big Sky is the most popular ski resort in Montana, and compared to the other Montana ski areas, Big Sky has very well developed infrastructure and amenities. Nevertheless it’s still a far cry from some of the glitzy “world class” resorts that can be found in Colorado and Utah where well heeled families go for a winter vacation. At Big Sky Montana, it’s still just about the skiing and snowboarding.
Big Sky Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Big Sky ski resort used to be known as a destination resort for intermediates, but this reputation was shed in the mid 1990s when a small cable car was installed that headed to the top of the exposed slopes of Lone Mountain, which towers at 11,150 feet (3,399 metres) above sea level. The terrain serviced by the tram is steep and gnarly to say the least; it will make your jaw drop and your sphincter tighten! The steeps, chutes and cliffs have become a rite of passage for expert skiers.
The tram only carries 15 passengers every 4 minutes, so lift queues sometimes develop considering the limited uphill capacity. Thankfully there are generally no lift queues at the other lifts, in part because there are four high speed quad chairs, but largely due to the distinct lack of crowds. There aren’t many “locals” in Montana, and not a lot of other skiers or boarders make the trek to Montana. All the better for avid powderhounds!
Of course Big Sky still caters very well to intermediate riders via lots of groomed cruisers. Beginners have an area near the base which is more than adequate, but there are probably much better ski resorts for beginners.
Where is Big Sky Montana?
The Big Sky Resort is located in the Madison Mountain Range which is part of the Rocky Mountains. Big Sky is in southwest Montana, about an hour southwest of the college town of Bozeman.
The closest airport is the regional Bozeman airport which has direct service from several major airports including Los Angeles and Denver. From the Bozeman airport there are affordable shuttles to Big Sky. Car rentals are also available at the airport, although a car is not really necessary once you’re at Big Sky.
The Salt Lake City international airport is 378 miles to the south, about a 6 hour drive away.
Big Sky Lodging & Villages
Mountain Village has a range of accommodations including some ski-in ski-out properties and a variety of upscale condo hotels. The Mountain Village is the heart of Big Sky and the hub of evening activities with lots of restaurants and watering holes. Nevertheless keep your expectations reasonably low regarding the après ski activities and nightlife!
The two other Big Sky lodging areas are the Meadow Village and the Canyon. The latter is about 9 miles from the lifts and serviced via a complimentary shuttle system.
It is possible to find economical Big Sky lodging, but most of the accommodation standards are high and have the associated price tag.
Click here for a listing of Big Sky accommodations
Yellowstone National Park
A bus departs Big Sky daily for the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park which is only 48 miles away. Yellowstone offers a smorgasbord of feasts for the eyes, from gushing geysers and thermal pools to close encounters with buffalo and other wildlife. You can explore the park via snowmobiling tours, ranger guided snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or snowcoach rides to Old Faithful.
More Reasons to Ski or Snowboard at Big Sky Ski Resort
Big Sky is blessed by Mother Nature with an average of 400 inches (10.2 metres) of snow per season, so there’s a high chance of scoring a powder day on your vacation.
Another highlight for powderhounds and experts is the Biggest Skiing in America lift ticket which provides access to Moonlight Basin and the chutes near the top of Lone Mountain. Other strengths of Big Sky include the tree skiing, no crowds, and the BIG terrain.
Tours That Include Big Sky
No listings were found for Big Sky.