Where better to learn or progress, but on uncrowded, wide trails? The Big Sky beginner skiing is all this and more. Novice skiers who opt for the Biggest Skiing in the World ticket have tons of beginner terrain to explore between Big Sky and Moonlight Basin’s 5,532 acres. In fact a large chunk of Moonlight Basin’s terrain features only beginner skiing. Big Sky offers more experienced beginners the opportunity to ski higher up on the mountain, plus an incredible up-front view of Lone Mountain.
When skiing at Big Sky beginners want to start out at the Mountain Village base area, there they can smooth at the basics on the magic carpets and poma lift. When they’re ready, the Explorer Lift is a great lift to start out on. This short ride brings beginner skiers to several meandering green circle trails, including Lower Mr. K and Chet’s Knob. The Southern Comfort Lift offers novice skiers their own little private playground. Once beginners feel ready the Swift Current High-Speed Quad offers great alpine views and longer sustained green runs, like Upper Mr. K and Natural Half Pipe.
Moonlight Basin’s entire bottom, left half of the mountain is green trails only—specifically between Pony Express Lift and Derringer Lift. Moonlight’s lack of crowds and beginner area is perfect for beginners looking to pick up the sport in the most comfortable environment possible. Beginners who’ve skied a couple times beforehand, and feel they’re ready to mix it up on the slopes with skiers of other levels can take Six Shooter Lift to the top and enjoy skiing down winding Lazy Jack.
To learn more about Big Sky beginner terrain call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
If you’re looking for time-tested dining experiences, then the Big Sky restaurant scene has a couple classic options. While there may not be a plethora of places to eat, what’s there offers enough variety to gratify every taste. Big Sky restaurants range from hearty post-skiing fare to eclectic menus the whole family will love to an unrivaled Western dining experience.
Don’t miss By Word of Mouth’s, or “Bywom,” diverse dining experience on your Big Sky ski vacation. Bywom is located on Aspen Leaf Drive. Its menu offers everything. Seriously, everything: burgers, paninis, vegetarian options, fish, Asian cuisine, and local beef dishes. The menu is ideal for health and environmentally conscious diners too, with its seasonal, local ingredients. Foodies will be pleasantly surprised by Bywom’s gourmet flavors, and high quality.
For diners looking for creative eats and an inviting atmosphere, a reservation at Olive B’s Bistro, in the Meadow Center Village, is in order. Olive B’s features interesting comfort food menu items like lobster mac-n-cheese and roasted duck with a peach glaze, sweet potatoes and grapes. Buck’s T-4 Restaurants, on Gallatin Drive, is a favorite among local Big Sky restaurant goers. Buck’s T-4 is fine dining establishment with a distinctive Western flare. Everything from the décor, which is reminiscent of a wood cabin, to the local game and meet on the menu, like bison tenderloin and red deer with truffle risotto, is meant to take you back to simpler days.
If you’re looking for a special evening, or a great date spot, that offers a uniquely Montana experience, then you must have dinner at Rainbow Ranch Lodge. Game-lovers and conscious eaters, alike will swoon over Rainbow Ranch Lodge’s local ranch beef and game, like elk kielbasa, wild boar sausage with huckleberries, lamb and duck prosciutto. The restaurant is set just off of the Gallatin River, and offers magnificent views and a rustic atmosphere. Add in an award-winning wine list and inspired cocktails, and you’ve found yourself a little slice of Western eatin’ heaven.
Driving up to Big Sky or Moonlight Basin, expert skiers will notice the gigantic, looming center piece, Lone Peak, and want to ski it. Lone Peak not only offers incredible 360-degree views of Yellowstone and the Tetons, but has endless expert and extreme terrain just waiting to be slashed, carved and bombed out. To enjoy both sides of Lone Peak, the south-east facing Big Sky and Northwest facing Moonlight Basin, be sure to purchase the Biggest Skiing in America ticket. Combine all the terrain possibilities with the fact that you’ll never have to wait in a lift line, and a Big Sky ski vacation is a no brainer for an expert skier.
Every aspect of Lone Peak slopes into challenging bowl skiing, complete with extreme terrain nuggets like steep chutes and challenging couloirs. Big Sky and Moonlight Basin offer four lift accessed bowls brimming with expert goodies. Take Big Sky’s Lone Peak Tram for incredible views, and to access extreme zones like double black diamond Big Couloir, on looker’s right side of ridge, and The Gullies and South Wall on looker’s left side. Extreme seekers also have steep options on South Face, which is access on the south aspect from Lone Peak summit. Expert skiers will find everything from steep wall skiing, wide open, above tree line fields with variable snow and chutes. Expert skiers looking for more “on-piste” skiing will note be disappointed at there are black and double black runs scattered literally all over both Big Sky and Moonlight.
If you’re looking an expert looking to challenge yourself, maybe even scare yourself a bit, then you’ll want to head to Moonlight Basin’s Headwaters, which is host to the Freeride World Tour Qualifier, a prestigious big mountain skiing and snowboarding event.
To learn more about Big Sky expert skiing call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
With immaculate, uncrowded groomers that go on for miles and miles, a Big Sky ski vacation is an incredibly personal experience—it’s just you and the corduroy. What could possibly be better? There are few ski resorts that can offer all those things rolled into one. The Biggest Skiing in America lift ticket offers guests’ access to Moonlight Basin and Big Sky’s combined 5,532 acres. Intermediate terrain is spread out all over the mountain including at the base of Lone Peak, offering intermediate skiers views of a lifetime.
Big Sky intermediate skiing can be found all over the mountain, and comprises over 60 percent of the terrain. The Swift Current High-Speed Quad accesses intermediate terrain on either side of lift, as well the Lone Peak Triple, which brings skiers to the base of the looming and beautiful Lone Peak. Intermediate can ski down the gut of this gully on Upper Morningstar, taking in the views in every direction.
Moonlight Basin offers intermediate skiers that same uncrowded, pristine goodness that should be reserved for ski heaven. Moonlight has several ridgeline and boundary line top to bottom runs, like Horseshoe and Lookout Ridge on looker’s right side of the mountain, and Fast Lane. Moonlight Basin offers intermediate skiers the opportunity to explore the base of Lone Peak, on Stillwater Traverse, in Stillwater Bowl.
Since the intermediate terrain is spread out over Big Sky and Moonlight Basin’s massive 5, 532 acres, first time visitors probably want to acquaint themselves with the terrain. So be sure to take advantage of one of Big Sky’s complementary Mountain Tours. Plus the mountain hosts will show you where the secret stashes are. The Big Sky Mountain Tours meet at 10:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Swift Current Lift.
To learn more about Big Sky intermediate skiing call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
Big Sky’s low key on-mountain vibe extends to its nightlife scene: there aren’t large throngs of people to mingle with, which can be nice if you’re looking to “get away,” but Big Sky bars are a perfect place for a relaxing après drink. And while Big Sky bars may not be teeming with college students and Spring Breakers, you will find like-minded people who truly enjoy slowing down on their ski vacation. The Big Sky nightlife exists in a handful of base village restaurants and hotel bars, as well as the town of Big Sky which houses local hot spot the Lone Peak Brewery.
Whiskey Jack’s is the main lunch, après, and dinner joint at the base of the mountain. Guests will find they have incredible beer selection and hearty pub food, ideal for a big day of skiing. Generally there’s live music and a fun, but laid back vibe. Scissorbill’s Saloon is another great spot for live music, hearty food and satiating adult beverages. Don’t miss the corn nuggets, nachos and margaritas. Chet’s offers cozy couches, a roaring fireplace, hearty menu and the entertainment of the Crazy Austrians.
The beauty of Big Sky, in addition to its spectacular 5,000-plus acres and no lift lines, is that it’s a little off the beaten path. From a lodging standpoint this is great because you can find world-class accommodations at affordable rates. Big Sky's ample accommodations and lack of crowds make it possible for ski vacationers to stay in their preferred lodging option, not just what happens to be available. Options include: cozy cabins, sprawling mountain homes, full-service hotels, family-friendly lodges, ski in ski out condos and affordable digs.
Big Sky offers a wide variety of ski in ski out condos and conveniently placed lodging options.
With trails that are miles long, and feel miles wide, and are virtually empty, your entire family can cruise around Big Sky practically side-by-side. Upgrade the family to the Biggest Skiing in America lift ticket for access to both Big Sky and Moonlight Basin. The two resorts combined 5,532 acres offers a nice mixture of terrain, so every skier in the family will have the time of their lives with three ideal “beginner zones,” miles upon miles of cruisin’ groomers, six terrain parks and the challenging steeps, chutes and bowls of Lone Peak.
With a huge inventory of spacious ski in, ski out condos, lodges and mountain homes, Big Sky offers families ideal lodging options. Here are Ski.com’s suggestions for families:
Novice families have an entire dedicated beginner section of the mountain at Moonlight Basin, between Derringer and Pony Express Lift. These trails weave around private homes and lodges, which makes for a fun and interesting experience. At Big Sky, beginner families can learn to ski in the “slow skiing” base area, which tends to be an uncrowded part of the mountain during the day. More experienced beginner families looking to warm up their legs should head to Southern Comfort High-Speed Quad lift. Once they’re ready they can take the Swift Current High-Speed Quad lift for exceptional, center-stage views of Lone Peak. Be sure to get a family photo. Jay Walk trail access a handful of green circle trails, so beginner families can pick their way down.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find better intermediate skiing than Big Sky. More than 60 percent of the resort's terrain is designated at intermediate to advanced intermediate. Combine that with Big Sky, and Moonlight Basin’s, uncrowned reputation, and intermediate families will want to return year after year. Expert families should take Big Sky’s Lone Peak Tram to the summit for a family photo. From the peak’s 11,166-foot summit, experts have world-class terrain options off of Lone Peak’s many bowls, chutes, and steeps. Expert families with extreme skiing experience and the Biggest Skiing in the World lift tickets can access Moonlight Basin’s famed double-black Deep Water bowl from the Lone Peak summit.
If there’s one Big Sky family restaurant it’s By Word of Mouth, as its menu offers everything, literally: burgers, paninis, pot roast, salads, Asian dishes, seared tuna, trout and locally sourced steak. All of the menu items feature seasonal, local ingredients too, so health-conscious families will be pleased. Foodie families will be equally delighted with the uncompromising quality and gourmet flavors, and those on a budget will also walk out feeling satisfied, as there’s nothing on the menu over $30.
With one of the U.S.’s most loved treasures just a couple minutes up the road—Yellowstone National Park—winter visitors to have an overwhelming amount of things to do in Big Sky. Most of them trend towards outdoor activities; you’re in Montana after all.
You name it, you’ve got it when it comes to outdoor activities in Big Sky.
If exclusivity tops your ski vacation charts, then Big Sky Resort is guaranteed to delight. You’ll feel like the resort's 5,750 skiable acres are all yours. Big Sky Resort is often coined as the “best ski resort you’ve never skied.” There’s never a lift line, allowing you to ski on your own terms. Plus, there are plenty of luxury lodging options and fine-dining experiences to satiate those with a proclivity for indulgence. While the nightlife and evening activities are sleepy, a Big Sky luxury ski vacation is perfect for someone looking for an exclusive, private−and deeply relaxing−experience that few skiers can offer.
Big Sky Resort offers some of North America’s best ski in ski out access, and there are plenty of properties that provide high-end details, services and amenities. Here’s Ski.com’s top picks for Big Sky luxury lodging options.
If you want a world-class fine dining restaurant that offers an authentic Western experience, then a reservation at Rainbow Ranch Lodge is in order. The menu revolves around a ranch-to-table concept, similar to the conscious farm-to-table movement, but specific to ranch meat, game and wild vegetables. House specialties include elk kielbasa, wild boar sausage with huckleberries, lamb and duck prosciutto. Pair this with an incredible wine list, barrel-aged liquor-fueled cocktails and spectacular views of the Gallatin River.
Big Sky is the definition of a “destination resort.” It’s not near a major airport hub, which can make the travelling aspect a tad more difficult than say Denver International Airport or Salt Lake City International Airport. Big Sky can offer two things that the other highly traveled Colorado and Utah resorts cannot: next to no lift lines and affordability without sacrificing quality. Big Sky doesn’t see the same foot traffic that some other resorts do, so you’ll usually be able to find quality lodging and dining options at an incredible rate.
Budget hotels and condos are king at Big Sky. You can find just about every lodging preference at a modest price compared to many other resorts. To help save you time, we've pulled together a list of our favoite budget-friendly Big Sky accommodations.
For a tasty and wallet-friendly lunch, you’ll have to drop in at Yeti Dogs, located on Low Dog Road in the Mountain Village, for an old-fashioned dog. They served up quality wieners with creative, gourmet toppings. Plus, the price is right; a combo meal costs under $8. Blue Moon Bakery, on Big Pine Drive, is also another great lunch option for hearty, high-quality eats, like deli sandwiches and homemade pizza, all for a reasonable price.
If you like Thai food (and reasonable prices and large portions) than a meal at Big Sky’s Lotus Pad, on Pine Drive is a must! This is a tiny restaurant, so get their early or head in later, avoid prime time dinner hours or you may have to eat elsewhere. The soup bowls are huge and tasty, as are all the noodle dishes. And even better, every entrée is priced below $20.