Slightly off the beaten path, Big Sky Resort offers skiers and snowboarders a massive amount of terrain to explore. With the acquisition of Moonlight Basin, the resort boasts 5,750 skiable acres with 4,350 vertical feet, and is one of the largest resorts in North America. Crowd-free terrain satisfies families and thrill seekers alike. Have five days to adventure? Here’s a quick rundown of what to do while in Big Sky.
Day 1: Unwind With Local Beers
Unlike many popular Colorado destinations, Big Sky Resort is not located near any major metropolitan city. Most visitors will access Big Sky via Bozeman, a vibrant town with a passion for the outdoors and around eight microbreweries. On your way up to Big Sky, consider stopping in Bozeman for a local pint, at RoughStock Distillery for a tasting, or a beer sampling in The Meadows, Big Sky’s closest town. In The Meadows, Lone Peak Brewery and Beehive Basin Brewery are worth quick deviations and tastings as you relax into vacation mode. After settling in at your accommodations, take the afternoon to explore the quaint Mountain Village.
Day 2: Take a Lesson & Explore Andesite Mountain
Big Sky’s Mountain Sports lessons are a great way for beginners to dust off their skills, for kids to learn new tricks in the terrain parks and also to acquaint oneself with the resort’s endless terrain. Children under the age of ten ski free with their Mountain Sports lesson.
Warm up your legs on Andesite Mountain, accessed by the Ramcharger lift. With impeccable, long groomers off the back, ranging from greens to black diamonds, your quads will thank you for reminding what skiing is all about. Stop by Everett’s for a quick snack or lunch on the deck, and take in the astounding views of Lone Peak. After lunch, explore the resort’s higher terrain accessed by the Swift Current and Challenger lifts. The steeps under the Challenger are often buffed by the wind, offering chalky and steep bowls. If you missed Everett’s at lunch, we highly suggest stopping for an après margarita on your way to the hot tub.
Day 3: Venture to Moonlight Basin & Dine Swiss Style
Once a separate resort sharing a Lone Peak boundary with Big Sky, Moonlight Basin is now part of Big Sky Resort, offering even more terrain for skiers and riders. Long, winding and playful runs down to the Six Shooter High Speed Chair are family-pleasers for all abilities, while the area between Moonlight Basin’s Pony Express and Derringer lifts offers private beginner terrain, great for progression. Expert skiers will enjoy the hike-to Headwaters terrain, accessed by the Headwater’s lift. These steep and often cliff-filled shoots are not for beginners or the faint of heart. Recharge with lunch at the Madison Base area.
For dinner, enjoy the Swiss specialty, fondue, at the Fondue Stube. Located within Chet’s Bar & Grill, eat your weight in cheese and refuel your tired legs. There are two seatings every night, reservations are recommended.
Day 4: Don’t Miss Yellowstone National Park
Within an hours drive from Big Sky, Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first, beckons travelers from all over the globe. While the nearby West Yellowstone Entrance is closed to vehicles during the winter months, visitors can enter on a guided snowcoach (popular tours include a visit to Old Faithful), on a snowmobile tour or can take cross-country skis and snowshoes for an athletic adventure. Wildlife in the winter includes animals like wolves, elk, moose and bison. Snowcoach tours and snowmobile tour rentals are offered by a variety of outfitters in the area, while guides are at hand to make the most of your experience in the park.
Day 5: Discover Lone Mountain
Advanced skiers and boarders will enjoy the tram-accessed terrain off Lone Mountain. With views of the Yellowstone Club below, on clear days you can see all the way to the Tetons from the top. The Gullies offer steep, technical lines while riders with backcountry skills and tools (beacon, shovel and probe) can sign up to ski the famed and daunting Big Couloir.
For a final, memorable dinner, take a snowcat ride from the Mountain Village to the Montana Dinner Yurt, located in the woods of Lone Peak. There, enjoy a three-course candle-lit dinner while musicians play acoustic guitar music. The menu consists of fresh-baked bread, soup, filet mignon and Toblerone chocolate fondu. Kid’s meals are also available.
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com managing the website and blog content, I couldn't be happier. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.