It is about five years too late to say that Big Sky, Montana is having a moment. So, rather, we will say that Big Sky is having an ongoing moment, and there is no end in sight. It’s gorgeous alpine terrain and luxury ski communities have cemented its position on the U.S. ski map. In central Montana, just south of Bozeman, Big Sky has attracted a lot of developers and A-list celebrities looking for a ski retreat, much in the same way Park City, Utah has. With the influx of homeowners and powder chasers, the infrastructure of Big Sky has only expanded, making it a perfect ski destination for those looking for a long-term vacation home rental, or a quick winter getaway. Here, our guide to the very best of Big Sky, Montana.
Where to Ski in Big Sky
Big Sky Resort
In the overwhelmingly beautiful Spanish Mountains, Big Sky lies between Gallatin Valley and West Yellowstone. Seeing more than 400 inches of snow per year, Big Sky gets the most powder of any other Montana ski area. Big Sky Resort is the largest ski area and one of the state’s most popular mountain resorts. Home to nearly 6,000 skiable acres, 38 lifts, and a total vertical descent of 4,350 feet, Big Sky Resort is set on Lone Peak. While only one mountain, this is a peak that can keep you occupied for a week-long ski vacation. From Lone Peak’s south face to the bowl inset trails, there are a myriad of trails for skiers of every skill level. In terms of establishing Big Sky Resort as your home base, Mountain Village falls within Big Sky Resort; the village is bustling with shops, restaurants, hotels, and places to rent gear.
Where to Eat and Indulge in Big Sky Après-Ski
In Mountain Village, within Big Sky Resort, Everett’s 880 is a higher-end dining option, serving “alpine-inspired dishes with an expansive wine list” at the top of Andesite Mountain. While only open for lunch during the 2020 to 2021 winter season, you’ll enjoy the Everett’s experience even more during the day, because you have to take a heated chairlift to get to the restaurant.
Blue Moon Bakery
If you’re looking for a quick breakfast, a pre-ski coffee, or great pizza to take out after a chilly day on the slopes, Blue Moon Bakery has you covered on all counts. Blue Moon serves fair trade coffee and some of the best lattes in town.
Horn & Cantle at Lone Mountain Ranch
Lone Mountain Ranch is, in their words, a “true experience of Yellowstone Country.” They have luxe cabins and outdoor activities aplenty, but nothing tops an après-ski meal at Horn & Cantle Restaurant. With locally sourced meats and farm-to-table cuisine, this is country fine dining like you’ve never experienced, served in a cozy, chic ranch setting. If you’d rather have a completely out-of-the-box dining experience while visiting Lone Mountain Ranch, you can instead book a sleigh ride dinner, wherein you and your party will take a horse-drawn carriage to a private cabin restaurant lit with old-fashioned oil lanterns.
Montana Dinner Yurt
Dining in the spectacular Montana Dinner Yurt is practically a Big Sky rite of passage for western-bound skiers. At the base of Lone Peak (in a “private backcountry location”), guests will find a “torch-lit sledding run and campfire [that] lights up the scene outside, while inside candles flicker and the wood stove crackles, keeping the yurt toasty warm.” Guests will tuck into a multi-course, decadent, apres-ski French fare, like classic onion soup and filet mignon.
Where to Stay in Big Sky, Montana
Big Sky Resort
Big Sky Resort has four hotels in Mountain Village: Summit Hotel at Big Sky, Village Center, Huntley Lodge, and Shoshone Condominium Hotel. If you’re planning to spend most of the week on Lone Peak, staying within Big Sky Resort makes things simple from a logistics perspective. Each of the four hotels has their own merits; the choice ultimately depends on the atmosphere you’re after. Huntley Lodge and Summit Hotel both have a more intimate, luxury feel, Village Center is the most central to the mountain, and Shoshone is ideal for families looking to work from the mountain for a few weeks.