Big Sky Travel Guide
St. Mary Lake, Montana © Ken Thomas
Montana's leading holiday destination, Big Sky is a fantastic year round resort offering the best skiing to be had in the state. Situated between Bozeman and West Yellowstone, Big Sky sits among some of the most gorgeous scenery in the United States and the ever-increasing number of tourists to the resort is testament to this. With great powder and long runs on three different mountains, Big Sky is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise and nothing beats a day out on the slopes than relaxing in a hot tub before enjoying the resort's après-ski entertainment.
The resort offers three mountains to suit all levels of skiers and snowboarders with over 5,512 acres to enjoy, 4,350 vertical feet of fun, 220 trails, 400 inches of snow annually, Big Sky is home to the greatest slopes in Montana. Lone Mountain is perhaps the most famous and at over 11,000 feet has enough variety for all. Andesite Mountain suits the intermediates while Flat Iron Mountain arguably has more diversity than Lone Mountain; the backcountry skiing is particularly good at Big Sky. The terrain park has all the usual suspects: boxes, rails, ramps and slides for all enthusiasts as well as those starting out.
Holiday visitors will find that there are enough shops offering ski and snowboard rentals and associated ski equipment purchases, notably Big Sky Sports, as well as gift and souvenir shops with some unique Montana-made oddities and grocery stores for the self caterers. Head to the Mountain Mall or Mountain Village for the largest selection of stores.
No one will go hungry while on holiday in Big Sky with a number of restaurants available. While there are a few Mexican and Asian options, most Big Sky eateries specialise in American fare like steak, burgers, and pizza. Popular restaurants include Buck's T-4 Restaurant, the Rainbow Ranch Lodge Restaurant, Olive B's Big Sky Bistro, and Gallatin River House.
The après ski atmosphere in Big Sky, though not the the wild party many other ski resorts offer, does have a few pubs and bars that stay open; the nightlife only really picks up from Thursday to Saturday, however. Scissorbills has some great happy hour specials, while the Carabiner Lounge is a quieter venue worth relaxing with a good drink. Some other venues include Bugaboo Café and the Lone Peak Brewery. Big Sky has fireworks displays every Saturday evening in season starting from Christmas.
Taking a break from the skiing and snowboarding, one can try tubing, sleigh rides, ice skating or snowshoeing. Even horse riding and fly fishing, for which Montana is especially famous, remain popular in the winter. During the summer months holidaymakers can enjoy golf, tennis, hiking, mountain biking and whitewater rafting. And if all this activity is too much, there are plenty of spas to relax in.
Big Sky is a family-friendly resort and even though there is a variety of nightlife available those looking for a more raucous ski holiday should look elsewhere.