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Big Sky Resort

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Mountain Stats

  • 400 in of annual snowfall
  • 5750 total skiable acres
  • Top elevation 11164 ft, base 6801 ft
  • 14% beginner, 26% intermediate, 40% advanced, 6% expert
  • Projected opening: 28/11/2013
  • Projected closing: 20/04/2014

Big Sky Beginner Skiing

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.

Big Sky Beginner Terrain

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.


Big Sky Restaurants

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.

Big Sky Dining

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. Meat-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.

To learn more about Big Sky/Moonlight basin dining call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Big Sky Expert Skiing

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.

Big Sky Expert Terrain

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 to get as extreme, as say a professional extreme skier, 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.

Big Sky Intermediate Skiing

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 Terrain

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.

Big Sky Mountain Tours

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 Night Life

Big Sky’s low key on mountain vibe extends to its night life scene: there aren’t huge 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 night life scene 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.

Big Sky Bars

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. Sicssorbill’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.

To learn more about Big Sky nightlife call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Big Sky Lodging

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 news, because you can find world-class accommodations at affordable rates. And despite the trek it takes to get there, there is a lodging option to fit every ski vacation style: cozy cabins, sprawling mountain homes, full-service hotels, family-friendly lodges, ski in ski out condos and affordable digs.

Big Sky Hotels and Condos

Big Sky offers a wide variety of ski in, ski out condos and conveniently placed lodging options. Here are some of Ski.com’s top picks. To learn more, call, or chat with, one of our knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Located on the Moonlight Basin side of the resort, Saddleridge Townhomes provide guests with unforgettable views of Lone Mountain—to the west—and Spanish Peaks—to the north.  This elegant, ski in, ski out three-story townhomes are not only incredibly spacious, making them ideal for families, but they also provide all the convenience of a hotel with an outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, 24-hour front desk and fitness center. 

Beaverhead Condominiums are among Big Sky's most convenient ski in, ski out condominiums. The units are just a few steps to the slopes and the Mountain Mall.  Ideal for families, large groups or anyone who just wants to spread out on their Big Sky ski vacation, all Beaverhead units are equipped with full- kitchens, dining rooms and wood fireplaces. Guests can enjoy private indoor hot tubs and private garages so parking is never a problem.

To learn more about Big Sky lodging call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Big Sky Family Ski Vacation

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.

Big Sky Family Lodging

With a huge inventory of ski in, ski out condos, families will be especially pleased with the Big Sky lodging options. Here are Ski.com’s suggestions for families. To learn more call, or chat, with one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Conveniently located near the chairlifts, Huntley Lodge—named after NBC news broadcaster Chet Huntley—includes The Huntley Dining Room, Chet's Bar & Grill, espresso bar, concierge, shops, ski storage, meeting rooms. The whole family will appreciate The Solace Spa, fitness center, sauna, an outdoor heated pool and hot tubs. Plus, kids 10 and under stay and eat breakfast at the Huntley Breakfast ABuffet for free when accompanied by their parents. 

The Summit View Lodge, a deluxe ski in, ski out accommodation, combines the convenience of a hotel with the amenities of a condominium. Large families will appreciate the unit’s lock-offs for many sleeping arrangement options. 

Just steps away from the lifts, the Shoshone is conveniently located in the heart of the base village. Each standard, corner, or loft condominium-suite, offers a full kitchen, gas fireplace, living area and balcony with village or mountain views. Everyone in your family will appreciate the indoor/outdoor hot tub and outdoor swimming pool, as well as the complex’s health club, steam room and sauna.

Big Sky Family Skiing

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.  Over 60-percent of their 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.

Big Sky Family Restaurants

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.

To learn more about Big Sky family ski vacations call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Things to Do in Big Sky

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.

Big Sky Outdoor Activities

You name it, you’ve got it when it comes to outdoor activities in Big Sky. Winter enthusiasts can enjoy everything from a family-friendly sleigh ride or afternoon at the resort’s Tube Park to an exhilarating snowmobile tour to a lively trek the resorts 53 miles of Nordic trails. A popular outdoor activity unique to Big Sky and the Yellowstone area is a wildlife- and wilderness-viewing snowcoach tour for capturing photos

To learn more about things to do in Big Sky call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Big Sky Luxury Ski Vacation

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 Luxury Hotels

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. 

  • Offering incredible ski in, ski out access, the Moonlight Mountain Homes offer guests spacious and beautifully appointed 1,170- to 2,000- square-foot chalet-style homes. The properties also feature wrap-around decks, wood-burning and gas fireplaces and a full kitchen. Incredible windows provide stunning views of Spanish Peaks.
  • Ski in, ski out Cowboy Condominiums are penthouse-style suites feature extravagant interior and exterior design, featuring stone and log accents, grand picture windows, large deck with private hot tub, fireplace, and deluxe gourmet kitchen. 
  • Located within 100 yards of the chairlifts, Summit at Big Sky, a deluxe, slopeside lodge marries the convenience of a condominium with the amenities of a luxury hotel. This sophisticated Euro-Western Summit at Big Sky features eight residential levels, two public levels with reception, concierge, meeting rooms and an espresso cart.

To learn more about these properties, or book them for your next ski vacation, call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.

Big Sky Fine Dining

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 Budget Ski Vacation

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.

Big Sky Budget Hotels

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. With a long docket of affordable options to sift through choosing a place to stay can take some serious time. So let Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialist help make that decision quick and easy. Call, or chat with, them today.

  • Big Sky's most convenient ski in, ski out condominiums, Beaverhead provides lovely panoramic views and convenience. Walk to the Mountain Mall or to the slopes from Beaverhead condos, it’s all right there. The units are equipped with full kitchens, dining rooms and wood fireplaces. Enjoy luxury amenities for a penny-pinchers price tag, Beaverhead units have private indoor hot tubs and private garages. 
  • Big Horn Condominiums are truly a home away from home. These Spacious, well-planned and conveniently located units are ideal for families and especially comfortable for groups. Exceptional views of Lake Levinsky and Lone Mountain make you quickly forget that you’re getting this incredible lodging option for a steal. The Bear Back Poma lift is an easy 50 to 500 feet away, which is nice for families looking for an expedient ski vacation. Private garage, washer-dryer, a fully equipped kitchen, fireplace and balcony are in all condos. Access to pool and hot tub is available.
  • Nestled at the base of Lone Mountain and one-quarter mile from the base village, Powder Ridge Cabin, a ski in, ski out accommodation, offers a balcony with a private hot tub and a wooded view. There are full kitchens, a fireplace, and washer-dryer in all the cabins.

Affordable Big Sky Restaurants

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.

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