Big Sky

Big Sky Ski Resort Guide

United States

Amid the wide-open spaces of Montana in the western United States, Big Sky Resort lives up to its name with gorgeous views of the Madison Mountain range and Yellowstone National Park.

Located an hour’s drive from Yellowstone, Big Sky has been serving winter enthusiasts since 1973.

Part of the Big Sky 2025 plan, it features the Ramcharger 8 – North America’s first ever high-speed lift. It is the 2nd largest ski resort in the US by acreage.

The resort is about 1 hour from Bozeman, Montana, though you will probably have to make 2 changes if you are flying from the UK.

The Resort

Various styles of condos and hotels populate the mountain village around a traffic-free central plaza.

This is done in a less-charming way than many of its Europeans counterparts, but they are conveniently located at, or close to, the lift base.

Restaurants, bars and shops are spread out, so be prepared for this. Down the road there is a new Town Centre which has a booming real estate market, so expect some good Airbnb options.

You may need a car, however, if you stay further away from the mountain village as the bus service is poor.

On the slopes

If you like uncrowded slopes, Big Sky offers lots of space to enjoy excellent tree glades and expansive bowls.

With 7 terrain parks and 300 named runs on 4 connected mountains, Big Sky offers a lot of variety for all ski levels, though it mostly designed for advanced and expert skiers.

The longest run of 6 miles stretches from Liberty Bowl to Mountain Mall. The vertical drop of 1330m will surely get your thighs burning and you jaw dropping.

An abundance of highly-rated double-blacks and black pistes cut alpine runs between rocky features and will keep the expert skiers very happy.

Be ready for a queue however – about half of these expert and advanced runs can only be accessed from the Lone Peak Tram, which has very poor lifting capability (carrying 15 passengers every 4 minutes).

Après Ski

Big Sky can be a bit wanting when it comes to proper après ski activities. Scissorbills Saloon is the best après-like option, but the food often leaves something to be desired.

Good local beer is abundant and cheap – head to Mountain Jack in the Mountain Mall to try the original Moose Drool beer on tap.

Many of the restaurants are spread out, and the selection and quality are limited, but overall, food is cheaper than in Europe.

There are a few fancy options including Peaks and Everetts 8800, otherwise most options are take-out or the more affordable option of classic American burgers and fries.

For a lovely view of Lone peak, go to Carabiner, a lounge bar featuring nice cocktails and creative appetisers such as bison dumplings.

The best locally-sourced Montana cuisine is Horn and Cantle, featuring smoked Elk meatballs. If you fancy seafood, check out top-rated Olive B’s Big Sky Bistro.

If Skiing isn’t your thing, or you simply want a break from the slopes, other family-friendly activities include tubing, ziplining, sleigh rides, day spas, dog sledding and snowmobiling.

Also, a visit to nearby Yellowstone National Park should be on your list before you make that long flight back to the UK.

Good for

Non Skiers
Published: December 13, 2019 Modified: December 16, 2019

The location

PISTES 250kmm