Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, embarking on an adventure with friends or escaping the city limits for a family vacation in the mountains, Big Sky is a destination of boundless beauty, immersive experiences, exhilarating outdoor adventures and classic Montana mountain cabins with a contemporary spin.
Some of the best restaurants in Big Sky are located in Big Sky Town Center. At Town Center, you’ll find everything from pizza to fine dining, cocktails bars and breweries, and grocery stores to stock up for a meal at home. Restaurant hours in Big Sky are seasonal – please always check the website for current hours and reservations. Read on to check out our favorite 18 spots to check out while visiting this little slice of mountain heaven!
Big Sky Vacation Rentals offers a selection of luxury vacation homes and condos within walking distance to Big Sky Town Center, the Big Sky Golf Course, and some of the top trailheads in Big Sky – fully equipped with modern comforts, luxury amenities, and all the bells and whistles for a memorable Big Sky vacation.
Looking to travel to Big Sky, Montana? With so many lodging options available in the area, it can be an overwhelming task to find the perfect vacation home for your stay.
To make things easier, Big Sky’s lodging is divided into 3 main areas:
– The Meadow Village – The Mountain Village – The Moonlight Basin area
The great news is that all three are great places for a beautiful Big Sky vacation with your friends and family. Within these three areas, you will find incredible neighborhoods, luxury accomodations, and custom homes. Browse below to find the neighborhood that fits your needs the best!
Meadow Village properties are in the town center area of Big Sky, and an easy 7-mile drive (or a free shuttle) will get you to and from the mountain base in about 10 minutes. Meadow Village has more shops, restaurants and year-round amenities than lodging near Big Sky Resort. With a golf course and ice rink right in town, fishing and white water rafting a couple minutes away and more shops, restaurants and year-round amenities located in town center than on the mountain, this is a great option for both summer and winter if you are looking to explore more of Big Sky.
All the resort amenities of Big Sky Resort near your luxury rental. With some of the best ski-in ski-out access in Big Sky, lodging in Mountain Village is a great option if you are coming to Big Sky to ski the resort. Some of the few winter lodging options where a rental vehicle is not necessary as you are within walkable distance from Big Sky Resort’s main base. Walk to dinner, shops, and be right at the center of the action of Big Sky Resort Lodging in Mountain Village.
Spanish Peaks views, serene pine forest surroundings and the occasional wildlife visitors are only some of the perks at Moonlight Basin homes. Exceptional ski-in ski-out access to the Biggest Skiing in America and close proximity to Moonlight Basin’s Madison Base and Big Sky Resort’s Mountain Base make these high-altitude homes the perfect starting point for your Big Sky adventures. From their sunny perches high on the mountain, these ski-in/ski-out abodes feature an abundance of natural light and alpine vistas. These incredible highland retreats have all the comforts of home in a mountain paradise.
Convenient Big Sky Resort Lodging at Mountain Village, Amenities and offering easy ski access, Beaverhead Condos provide the perfect base camp for all your alpine adventures. The prime location gives guests the unique option of vacationing without a vehicle, as ski school, dining, shops, apres ski, and all other Mountain Village amenities are only a short, 10-minute walk away. Catching that first chair, or getting the little ones to daycare or Big Sky Resort ski school will be a breeze from these lofty retreats.
Located in the Mountain Village at Big Sky Resort, these luxurious, ski-in/ski-out Black Eagle Lodges, with picturesque views, provide a beautiful setting for your mountain vacation. Perfect Big Sky lodging option that does not require a car rental. Situated within walking distance of the Big Sky Mountain base area, a Black Eagle Lodge will give you easy access to alpine adventure and village amenities.
These exceptional homes are located throughout the Big Sky Resort area. Most offer ski access to Big Sky Resort via access lifts or are slopeside to Big Sky Resort. These homes are located in Moonlight Basin, Cascade, Mountain Village, and the Meadow near the town of Big Sky.
The Homestead Chalets at Big Sky Resort are the newest development in Big Sky, Montana. Homestead Chalets are 5, 6 and 7 bedroom units with a mountain modern chic decor. Located near Mountain Village just above the Powder Ridge Cabins. Featuring immense views of the Spanish Peaks and plenty of room for groups to spread out or gather in the expansive living rooms. Ski Access is adjacent to White Otter Access and Rosebud Access. Big SKy Resort Lodging at its biggest and best is hard to beat at the Homestead Chalets!
If you are looking to ski Big Sky these cabins have easy access to all of the resort lifts and trails. In the winter all of the cabins provide some of the easiest ski in/ski out access anywhere at Big Sky Resort. In the summer these mountain luxury log cabins are less than one mile from a wide array of family-friendly activities including mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, paddle boating, paddleboards, ziplines, scenic tram rides to the top of Lone Peak, bungee trampoline, swimming and more.
Located just off the Powder River Run, many of these luxurious, cozy, free-standing cabins display sweeping, 360-degree postcard views of the surrounding mountain expanses. Perched high on the Moonlight side of Lone Mountain, these Cowboy Heaven Cabins offer a warm and inviting haven for travelers. Enjoy convenient access to lifts and easy ski access to both Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin terrain. TRUE ski-in/ski-out, these one of a kind luxury cabins make the perfect base camp to adventure, and will bring you back season after season.
These exceptional homes are located throughout the Big Sky Resort area. Most offer ski access to Big Sky Resort via access lifts or are slopeside to Big Sky Resort. These homes are located in Moonlight Basin, Cascade, Mountain Village, and the Meadow near the town of Big Sky.
Located on the ski mountain and just steps from Moonlight Lodge make these Cowboy Heaven Luxury Suites one of Moonlight’s finest lodging options. Steps from the Moonlight Lodge and the Madison Base area, these units are the epitome of convenience and luxury in Moonlight Basin.
Moonlight Mountain Homes are located in Moonlight Basin and offer some of the most exceptional views and ski access in Big Sky. Many of these homes are directly adjacent to primary ski runs while some are located on access trails and secondary runs. Slopeside in style these homes have vaulted ceilings providing ample views of the endless mountain ranges in the endless distance.
Luxury for the most discerning guests! This brand-new development boasts fantastic ski access and jaw-dropping views. From the picture-perfect perch in Cowboy Heaven, these contemporary mountain-chic homes overlook the stunning Spanish Peaks. The sweeping vistas and wide-open landscapes follow you inside with floor-to-ceiling windows and vaulted ceilings. The Silvertip vacation homes are conveniently located and feature ski-in/ski-out access to Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin.
In the winter you have your very own access lift that makes getting to and from Big Sky Resort easy. These homes are located within Moonlight Basin and offer secluded stays in the woods. Not your typical cabin, these are the modern adaptation of a cabin in the woods.
Big Sky is your summer basecamp to the wonders of Yellowstone National Park and beyond. Home to wide-open spaces, blue-ribbon trout rivers, endless miles of trails, and fascinating mountain vistas, and an incredible food + wine scene!
Savor Big Sky Wine Festival is a celebration of food, wine, + spirits set against the stunning backdrop of Big Sky, Montana. Join us for an experience where you’ll expand your palate through the long weekend and beyond, shaped by world-renowned chefs, wineries, breweries, and spirits purveyors paired with the best local ingredients. Big Sky’s grand setting will not be lost on you as you hike to brunch, sip a glass of wine with live music, or stargaze with spirits in hand. Read on to view the entire event schedule and click through to buy your tickets today!
SAVOR GRAND TASTING
SATURDAY JULY 1, 2:30 – 5:30 P.M.
At the heart of Savor Big Sky is the Grand Tasting: a celebration of local, regional, and international farm-to-table fare. Over 30 wineries, breweries, and distilleries will showcase their best varieties alongside over eight of the region’s exemplary food purveyors, all against the backdrop of Big Sky’s Lone Mountain and the sounds of Montana’s own Tsunami Funk.
Start your weekend at Better Off Red, a 5-course farm-to-table dinner at Peak’s Chophouse & Wine Lounge. Celebrate locally-sourced ingredients provided by Montana-based Chef Scott Myers and a selection of rich, complex red wines from Reynolds Family Winery. Full menu and wine pairings will be released in June.
For more than a decade, Music in the Mountains has been Montana’s finest free outdoor concert series, featuring the best up-and-coming touring musicians as well as established, well-known, and well-loved artists from across the country. The festival also includes the Bravo! Big Sky Music Festival, and a free performance from Montana Shakespeare in the Parks.
Savor the unparalleled beauty of Big Sky from 8800′ atop Andesite Mountain. Enjoy a two-mile hike or a ride up Ramcharger 8 chairlift and replenish with a 3-course, wine-paired lunch featuring selections from Argentina’s Piattelli Vineyards at Everett’s 8800. Sommelier Grant Jennings will guide you through this South American tasting lunch. Full menu and wine pairings will be released in June.
Take a ride up Ramcharger 8 chairlift and learn about the different styles and flavors of rosé, led by Sommelier Kellie Martin with SommSchool. Enjoy light bites from the culinary team at Everett’s 8800 while tasting different regions and grape varietals that make up this warm-weather favorite sip. Full menu and wine pairings will be released in June.
Learn about the rich and diverse world of Italian wines, taking a look into the regions and unique varietals paired by Italian wine expert Don Jost. You’ll explore the endless range of aroma, flavor, and texture profiles Italian wines offer. Light bites will be provided at this seminar in the Talus Room. Full menu and wine pairings will be released in June.
Join us for live music from Amanda Stewart, food tastings celebrating regional chefs, local distilleries and breweries, and highlighting wine from around the world. Full menu and wine pairings will be released in June.
An adult take on an ice cream social. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Bozeman-based Genuine Ice Cream alongside spirits pairings. A unique and complementary combination, learn how the flavor profiles of three different spirits can be paired with your favorite ice creams.
Bubbly, brunch, and a beautiful view. Ride the Ramcharger 8 chairlift to Everett’s 8800 deck and sip and savor a delicious brunch tasting menu with selections from Gruet Winery. Sommelier Kellie Martin with SommSchool will lead you through this pairing brunch while you take in views of Lone Mountain. Full menu and wine pairings will be released in June.
Lace up your boots and enjoy a guided hike exploring the terrain and vast beauty that Big Sky has to offer, followed by a 3-course, wine-paired lunch led by VinCru and Montana-based Chef Daniel Cox. Full menu and wine pairings will be released in June.
Explore wines from Washington in this sampling seminar featuring expert knowledge of different regions, winemaking techniques, and the characteristics of grape varietals grown on the West Coast. This seminar will be led by Dunham Cellars and K Vintners. Light bites will be provided. Full menu and wine pairings will be released in June.
At the heart of Savor Big Sky is the Grand Tasting: a celebration of local, regional, and international farm-to-table fare. Over 30 wineries, breweries, and distilleries will showcase their best varieties alongside over eight of the region’s best food purveyors. Guests can also look forward to a demonstration by Chef Jaison Leroy and live music by Montana’s own Tsunami Funk.
Wine(d) down the evening with sunset views of Lone Peak and local beats at The Umbrella Bar.
**Free to the public
SUNDAY – JULY 2nd, 2023
BUBBLES + BRUNCH
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Peaks Chophouse & Wine Lounge
A Savor Big Sky send-off. Cap off your weekend with delectable dishes from the culinary team at Peaks Chophouse & Wine Lounge and sparkling sips from Wine Bridge Imports. Full menu and wine pairings will be released in June.
Located a scenic hour-long drive through the Gallatin National Forest south of Bozeman, Big Sky has never been easier to access. With over 30 nonstop flights, Big Sky is the best-served mountain destination in the country. Extend your trip and explore all that the area has to offer, including Yellowstone National Park.
Interested in other rental options with breathtaking views of Lone Mountain and the area? We offer the largest selection of luxury homes in the Big Sky, Moonlight and Meadow Village area. Whether you are looking for a cozy mountain cabin or a modern estate, we have the home for you. Please give us a call today at +1-888-915-2787 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org inquire, or simply browse through our available properties.
One of the most common questions our guests ask is “When is the best time to ski in Big Sky?”
Big Sky boasts the Biggest Skiing in America with 5,850 acres of diverse terrain for every level, a vertical drop of 4,350 feet (one of the longest vertical drops in the US), 300 runs, 7 terrain parks with over 100 features, luxurious heated lifts to keep you warm and an average annual snowfall of 400+ inches. Big Sky is one of the best uncrowded resorts in the US, thanks to the expansive terrain, averaging two acres per skier on even the busiest days.
Read on to learn about each month during winter season in Big Sky, and why you should put it at the top of your list for travel!
Average High/Low in °F: 38/15
Big Sky Resort opens for the winter season around Thanksgiving and there’s no better way to celebrate Turkey Day than warming up your ski legs and getting back to the slopes. Early season snowfall is unpredictable but with Big Sky’s snowmaking facilities you’re always guaranteed a snowy slope. Big Sky Resort is ideal for a family ski vacation with 2,300 acres of terrain dedicated to beginners and intermediates.
Average High/Low in °F: 28/6
Celebrate the Christmas season in Big Sky, a winter wonderland that comes alive with festivities. By mid-December, a larger portion of the mountain is open for skiers and snowboarders to explore the trails and while the snowstorms are fewer than later in the season, Big Sky has had a number of record-breaking Decembers to remember.
Average High/Low in °F: 31/8
After Big Sky’s NYE celebrations, the crowds disperse. January is the quietest time of year to ski Big Sky resort with perfect powder stashes and without the holiday season crowds or lift lines. If you’re in search of peace and quiet, January is the best time to visit Big Sky for smaller crowds.
Average High/Low in °F: 35/8
By February, Big Sky has a deep base depth, and the snowstorms are more frequent. Apart from the Presidents Day long weekend, the crowds are still thinner making February the best time for untouched powder in Montana’s favorite winter playground.
Average High/Low in °F: 42/16
March is historically the snowiest month of the winter and peak season at Big Sky Resort. Big Sky is one of the top spring skiing destinations in the US with warmer temperatures, legendary snowstorms and long bluebird powder days. The best time of year to experience all of Big Sky’s diverse terrain.
Average High/Low in °F: 50/22
Late season skiing is a completely different experience and Big Sky doesn’t disappoint. The afternoons may be slushier, but the slopes are sunny, outdoor patios come alive with music and thirst-quenching après ski and Big Sky celebrates the last day of the ski season with fun festivities. Visiting Big Sky in April has an added bonus of combining your ski trip with a unique experience exploring the natural wonders of Yellowstone National Park.
The Finest Big Sky Homes
After each full day of exploring the resort, retreat to your luxurious, comfortable vacation home for an evening to remember. We proudly boast one of Big Sky’s largest selections of vacation rentals, so you’re bound to find one that perfectly suits your group’s size, style, and budget. Luxuries include private hot tubs, lavish outdoor patios and the best mountain views in Big Sky. Please give us a call today at +1-888-915-2787 or email us at email@example.com to inquire, or simply browse through our available properties.
Winter magic calls to you from beautiful Big Sky, Montana! From enchanting forest walks, to captivating holiday traditions, to world-class music and epic winter sports, Big Sky beckons travelers from far and wide to experience a winter wonderland amidst the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains.
The winter season starts early in Big Sky, MT. Wednesday, November 22nd marks the opening day of Big Sky Resort’s 2023-24 winter ski season, welcoming skiers and snowboarders to explore the slopes – and be the first to experience the all-new transformed Lone Peak tram coming Winter 2023. Big Sky’s bucket-list experiences don’t stop at skiing and snowboarding. Big Sky’s winter calendar is packed with off-slope activities and thrilling events that promise to make the season unforgettable.
Bundle up, embrace the crisp mountain air, and come to Big Sky Montana this winter. In the meantime, check out this handy calendar of winter events…
When winter blankets the stunning landscapes, a magical world awaits at Big Sky Resort’s Enchanted Forest. This enchanting experience is a must-visit during your winter getaway in Big Sky. Ride the Ramcharger 9 chairlift to embark on a journey through the woods, illuminated by thousands of twinkling lights. This immersive winter wonderland experience is perfect for couples, families, or solo adventurers! It’s a wonderful way to kick off your winter vacation in Big Sky, MT.
There’s no better way to create lasting memories than by celebrating Christmas Eve with Santa at the Huntley Lodge in Big Sky. Bring your camera and holiday spirit as Santa Clause listens to your wishes and reads the enchanting holiday classic “T’was the Night Before Christmas”. After your visit with Santa, enjoy heartwarming holiday meals and festive slopeside après ski at one of Big Sky’s restaurants or bars. Reservations are essential at all Big Sky restaurants during the holiday season!
Imagine mountain peaks lit up by the soft flow of torches as skiers and snowboarders descend! The Big Sky Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade is a captivating tradition where Andesite Mountain comes alive with a procession of torch-bearing skiers snaking down the slopes followed by festive fireworks lighting up Lone Peak. Hundreds of spectators gather around the base of Mountain Village for this highly-anticipated event. This winter season, you should too!
Bid farewell to the old year and welcome in the new with a bang at Big Sky Resort’s New Year’s Eve Celebrations. Indulge in a family-friendly New Year’s Eve buffet in the Huntley Lodge dining room, join the festivities and fireworks in Mountain Village, then ring in the new year with DJs and dancing at The Exchange. Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening with a loved one, a lively party with friends, or festivities fit for the whole family, you’ll find the perfect way to usher in the New Year in Big Sky, MT.
For a change of pace, treat yourself to an evening of world-class entertainment at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky. The 24th Anniversary North American Tour of International Guitar Night brings together acoustic rock interpreter Luca Stricagnoli, award-winning classical guitarist Thu Le, internationally renowned Brazilian composer Marco Pereira, and blues slide guitarist and singer Minnie Marks for an enchanting musical experience.
Explore the local crafts, talents, and flavors of Big Sky at the Winter Market, held in the Wilson Hotel at Big Sky Town Center. This market showcases the best of the region, from handmade goods and artwork to locally produced food and beverages. The Winter Market is a delightful way to support the local community, discover the hidden gems of our mountain town, and find unique souvenirs and gifts to remember your winter adventure in Big Sky, MT.
In addition to these annual events, Big Sky Montana offers a dynamic weekly calendar of winter activities and entertainment. From aprés ski, live music, and karaoke nights to fun family events, there’s always something happening during winter ski season in Big Sky!
When planning your winter escape to Big Sky, consider the comfort and convenience of a vacation rental! Stay near the best winter events in Big Sky with the flexibility of your own space and the freedom to create your own winter adventures.
Whether you’re seeking a cozy mountain cabin, a contemporary condo, or a luxurious mountain chalet, you’ll find a range of accommodations to suit your needs with Big Sky Vacation Rentals and a team of local experts to customize your stay!
The mighty Gallatin River that flows through Big Sky is one of Montana’s most iconic rivers. The Gallatin River is wild and scenic with one of the best whitewater runs in the Yellowstone region, world-class flyfishing, free-roaming wildlife, and captivating Big Sky Country landscapes that will leave you in absolute awe!
The Gallatin Canyon was first discovered by Native American tribes who survived by fishing the trout-rich waters, hunting wildlife, and trading with other tribes. The Gallatin River was originally named “Cut-tuh-o-gwa”, a Shoshone name meaning “swift water” and renamed in 1805 by Meriweather Lewis in honor of Albert Gallatin, the US Secretary of Treasury.
The Gallatin River carves a channel between the Madison and Gallatin mountain ranges from Wyoming’s Gallatin Lake in the high peaks of Yellowstone National Park north through Big Sky and on to form the headwaters of the Missouri River in Three Forks, Montana.
The river descends 4,800 feet between Wyoming and Montana with a wide variety of water changing from meandering trout streams to rapid whitewater and is a world-class recreational hub for hikers, bikers, rafters, anglers, and nature lovers of all ages.
The scenic drive from Bozeman or West Yellowstone into Big Sky is an awe-inspiring introduction to Montana’s mighty Gallatin River. US Route 191 follows the Gallatin River from Bozeman south to Big Horn Pass near the West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park with many pull-outs and trailheads to access the river. Plan to take your time! The Gallatin River Canyon is a wilderness corridor for bighorn sheep, black bears, elk, and moose so expect wildlife encounters! The drive to Big Sky, MT is beautiful.
The Gallatin River is world-renowned for its blue ribbon trout fishing. If you’ve watched Robert Redford’s classic movie “A River Runs Through It”, then you know all about the world-class fly fishing experience that awaits on the trout-rich Gallatin River. The Gallatin River hosts hovers of rainbow, brown, brook, and cutthroat trout for year-round flyfishing and is best fished with waders, from the river banks, or with a professional, local guide that knows the secret fishing spots on the Gallatin River. A Montana Fishing License is required!
The Gallatin is one of the best rivers for whitewater rafting in Montana and most Gallatin River trips leave right here from Big Sky! The upper stretch of the Gallatin River between West Yellowstone and Big Sky features gentle waters and easy Class I-II rapids for a scenic float trip with stunning views and endless opportunities for wildlife sightings.
The wild whitewater stretch of the Gallatin River is between Big Sky and Squaw Creek Bridge about 15 miles north. The lower whitewater section ranges from Class II-III rapids for a fun cruise through the cliffs to wild Class III-IV rapids with big waves, big drops, and extensive whitewater. Whitewater enthusiasts will find never-ending thrills on famous wild waters like Screaming Left, House Rock, and Mad Mile. For the wildest whitewater rafting experience, the Gallatin River reaches its peak flow in June with spring runoff.
If you prefer your feet on the ground, the Gallatin River is best explored on the riverside hiking and biking trails. There are endless trailheads along US191 accessing the Gallatin River. Our favorites are the Ousel Falls Trail, a short, stunning hike from the heart of Big Sky, and the Gallatin Riverside Trail which follows the river from the Lava Lake trailhead near Big Sky to Storm Castle Creek, an easy 5.5-mile round trip along the Gallatin River. Big Sky is bear country! Always carry bear spray and be on the lookout for our local wildlife sharing the trails.
During your stay in Big Sky, you can even experience the Gallatin River on horseback! The Original Paddle and Saddle Tour with Geyser Whitewater Expeditions includes a two-hour trail ride through the mountains followed by an afternoon of river running the Gallatin River. Saddle up for another unique outdoor adventure in Big Sky, MT.
Take your Gallatin River flyfishing experience to the next level with Gallatin River Guides in Big Sky, MT. Serving visitors to the Gallatin Canyon for over 30 years, Gallatin River Guides know when, where, and how to fish our world-class blue-ribbon trout waters and offer a wide variety of professionally guided fly fishing trips for every angler, year-round! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, you’ll find a fly fishing experience with Gallatin River Guides. Choose from flyfishing lessons, half-day and full-day walking & wading trips, full-day floats, three rivers in three days, or a flyfishing package customized just for you and your crew!
Gallatin River Trip Options Winter Fishing Trips Family Fishing Trips Half-day & Full-day Walking & Wading Fly Fishing Trips Duration: 1-hour to 8-hour trips
Geyser Whitewater Expeditions are the local whitewater experts for rafting trips on the Gallatin River departing from Big Sky, MT. Situated minutes from Big Sky, Geyser Whitewater Expeditions offers half-day and full-day trips on the gentle sections of the upper Gallatin Canyon and the raging rapids in the lower whitewater.
Geyser Whitewater Expeditions also offer great combo packages like the Rafting & Zipline Adventure Park and the Rafting & Horseback Adventure. The Yellowstone Pass is another great value package for families with Gallatin River whitewater rafting, a pass to Zipline Adventure Park, unlimited entry to the climbing wall, savings on Yellowstone Park tours, and unlimited boat rentals at Big Sky’s Lake Levinsky.
Located in Big Sky Town Center, Grizzly Outfitters has everything you need to adventure outdoors in the majestic Montana wilderness alone! They offer friendly local service and a wide selection of winter ski and sports equipment, hiking gear, mountain bike and e-bike rentals, and all the fishing gear required for the ultimate Montana flyfishing experience on the Gallatin River. For all your self-guided outdoor activities in Big Sky, stop by Grizzly Outfitters in Big Sky Town Center.
The charming mountain town of Big Sky Montana sits high in the Madison Mountains above the Gallatin Canyon and is the ultimate base camp to adventure and explore the wild and scenic Gallatin River.
However you choose to experience the Gallatin River, you’ll find the perfect place to relax at the end of the day with Big Sky Vacation Rentals. Our elite collection of 125+ Big Sky vacation rentals ranges from classic cowboy cabins in the alpine peaks to luxury mountain lodges for large groups in the heart of Big Sky Town Center.
Let the Gallatin River be the backdrop to unforgettable Montana memories with Big Sky Vacation Rentals! Search our selection of mountain-inspired homes, find travel inspiration in our Big Sky Travel Guide, or call our team at (888) 915-2787 to customize your vacation in Big Sky.
Fall is the perfect time of year for epic leaf-peeping adventures in Big Sky with cooler temperatures, fewer crowds, festive fall events and the soft golden hues of the aspens and cottonwoods highlighting the spectacular outdoor beauty that surrounds Big Sky.
1. Resort Activities
Big Sky Resort offers award-winning golf, ziplining, a bungee trampoline, disc golf, archery and scenic chair rides up Andesite Mountain for hiking, mountain biking or an off-road experience on the Lone Mountain Expedition. On a clear day you can see from the summit of Lone Peak across two National Parks and three states!
2. Fall Hikes in Big Sky
The trail lined mountains of Big Sky boast endless adventures for all ages, close to town and in the secluded backcountry. Below are a few of our favorite trails highlighted for vibrant fall foliage and gorgeous mountain views. Always be prepared for approaching wildlife and carry bear spray when adventuring in Big Sky country!
This popular fall trail is easy to access and hike! The 1.6 mile trail follows the South Fork ravine through the pines, along the river, creeks and pools to the beautiful Ousel Falls. The Yellow Mule Trail and South Fork Loop join this trail for a longer hike. There are several picnic sites along the trail for a picnic break.
Big Sky’s best hike is a scenic moderate 6.6-mile out and back hike that leads to Beehive Basin, a crystal clear lake surrounded by the incredible Spanish Peaks wilderness and overlooking Lone Peak. Pack a picnic and spend the day soaking up the fall colors, mountain views and cool alpine waters.
The Storm Castle trail is a popular 5.3 mile moderate trail in the Gallatin River Canyon. The trail begins at Storm Castle Creek and climbs up steep switchbacks through the forest and rocky slopes to the summit of Storm Castle Peak for magical views of Garnet Mountain, the Gallatin River and the upper Madison Range.
3. Horseback Riding
Horseback riding in the Montana backcountry is best in the cooler months when beautiful fall foliage surrounds you and you can find many opportunities to observe wildlife. Book a trail ride on an authentic Montana ranch or combine a day in the wilderness with an epic fly fishing adventure on the Gallatin River.
Take a day-trip to Yellowstone National Park for leaf-peeping, geyser gazing and wildlife viewing! The west entrance of Yellowstone is only a 50 mile scenic drive south of Big Sky, Montana. Interested in learning more about what Yellowstone National Park is like in the fall? Click here!
5. Stargazing from our Luxury Rentals
Fall is one of the best times to see the Milky Way, and even the Northern Lights over the Montana skies. Stay with Big Sky Vacation Rentals and choose from our selection of vacation homes and condos with luxury amenities including outdoor hot tubs, private wrap-around decks and quiet, secluded settings ideal for a night under Montana’s big skies.
Yellowstone National Park is one of the top most visited and one of the most beloved parks in the USA. Yellowstone even broke records and set new visitor highs this summer! While the summertime brings in the most visitors to the area, locals know that autumn is Yellowstone’s better and quieter season. With thinning crowds, bright sunny days, cool crisp air and a vibrant display of golden aspens, these gorgeous times make for some of the best days the park sees all year. Read on to learn about our tips for visiting the park this fall.
1. Fall Foliage Hikes in Yellowstone
Prime time for fall foliage in Yellowstone is from mid-September in the higher elevations above 7,000 feet through to mid-October in the lower valleys. The best way to see the autumn glow is on one of the many Yellowstone National Park hikes with ample leaf-peeping opportunities, wildlife viewing and panoramic vistas. The Bunsen Peak Trail south of Mammoth Hot Springs boasts 360-degree views of the Gallatin Mountains and Yellowstone River Valley. Safety first!
Local’s Tip: Be sure to carry bear spray at all times and know how to use it!
2. Autumn Fishing in Yellowstone
Fishing in Yellowstone during the autumn months offers some of the best fly fishing and the potential for the perfect catch. The brown trout spawn between late-October and mid-November, perfectly timed with Yellowstone’s fall foliage season. The Madison River near the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park and the Gardner River near Mammoth Hot Springs are prime spots for fall fishing in Yellowstone.
3. Check Out Yellowstone’s Geological Wonders
More than half the world’s hydrothermal features (more than 10,000!) are preserved at Yellowstone National Park from hot springs and mud pots to the world-famous geysers. “Geyser Gazers” flock to Yellowstone throughout the year to view these geological wonders. Top geysers easily accessible on a day trip to Yellowstone from Big Sky include the spectacular Grand Prismatic Spring and Old Faithful to the south and Artists Paintpots, Norris Geyser and the terraces and thermal pools of Mammoth Hot Springs up north.
4. Wildlife Viewing
Fall is the best time to see the Iconic Yellowstone wildlife, with best viewing times at dawn and dusk. Herds of elk and humpbacked bison migrate from higher elevations to the valleys for winter grazing, bears forage for food in preparation for winter hibernation and the hawks and raptors begin their annual fall migration (best seen in the Hayden Valley). Mid-September to mid-June is prime time for wolf watching in Yellowstone and the musical bugle of the elk during rutting (breeding) season can be heard from September and often as late as mid-October (best seen at Mammoth Hot Springs). Safety first! Stay well away from wildlife as the park suggests 100 years from bears and wolves, 25 yards from all other animals.
5. Don’t Forget: Check the Weather & Road Closures
The autumn weather in Yellowstone can be highly unpredictable and snow can begin to accumulate as early as October in the higher elevations! Be prepared to experience a wide range of temperatures from cool lows of 20 F to highs in the 60’s.
Many of Yellowstone’s restaurants, services and lodging facilities close by mid-October, however the roads remain open until November 8th for guided and self-drive tours of Yellowstone. Always check for seasonal road closures when planning an autumn trip to Yellowstone.
Escape the Crowds and Enjoy Yellowstone National Park as it Opens in the Spring
Spring is one of the most dynamic times of the year in the Yellowstone National Park. The landscape changes almost daily as the hillsides start turning green and the days grow longer. The rivers run higher and the waterfalls become more prominent from the snow melt while snow still lingers in higher elevations. As the temperatures increases, wildlife including grizzly and black bears will start coming out of hibernation and become more active in the meadows.
While most visitors don’t come to Yellowstone National Park until the months of July and August, there is a certain beauty to the park in the spring time making it worth a visit before the crowded summer months. Please check the National Park Service website for current weather and road conditions.
Dress Warm! While the weather is generally milder than in March, April still brings occasional snow storms with temperatures dropping below freezing on some days.
Rise Early! Before sunrise if possible as Yellowstone in the spring has some of the most exciting wildlife watching. Rising early is the best time to observe animals in their natural habitat.
Be Prepared! If you plan to hike make sure to bring bear spray, water, sunscreen and rain gear as Yellowstone is a mountain wilderness and being prepared will ensure you have an enjoyable trip.
Pack Your Lunch! Most restaurants and services in the park will still be closed for the season so make sure you bring enough food for an entire day’s explorations.
Biking in Yellowstone National Park
Every spring, biking, including e-bikes are allowed on Yellowstone National Park roads while they are still closed to motorized, public travel. Spring bicycling season usually starts by early April with no set date as designated routes are opened once they are cleared from snow. The closest route to Big Sky that is open to biking is from the West Entrance to Mammoth Hot Springs.
This is a wonderful way to explore the vastness and wildlife of the park in all tranquility while getting some exercising in as well!
Yellowstone Wildlife in the Spring
Spring is the best season to view wildlife in Yellowstone. Baby animals start appearing all over the park, including grizzly and black bear cubs starting mid March, bison calves in April and elk calves later on from May to June. While bears and bison are incredibly exciting to observe, please be sure to respect wildlife, follow all park safety guidelines and keep your distance for your safety and theirs.
Bison calves tend to be born from late March through May and have a fuzzy, orange-reddish fur, earning them the nickname “red dogs”. The bison calves are able to keep up with their mothers just a couple hours after they are born and they are protected from danger by the rest of the herd surrounding them at all times. You will be able to see the herds with the red dogs in the meadows, make sure to watch from a distance as bison can get aggressive if too close.
The Finest Big Sky Homes
After each full day of exploring Yellowstone National Park, hiking or biking around Big Sky, retreat to your luxurious, comfortable vacation home for an evening to remember. We proudly boast one of Big Sky’s largest selections of vacation rentals, so you’re bound to find one that perfectly suits your group’s size, style, and budget. Luxuries include private hot tubs, lavish outdoor patios and incredible mountain views. Please give us a call today at +1-888-915-2787 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire, or simply browse through our available properties.
Big Sky is known for its world class skiing and snowboarding, with some of the best snow in the country. But what if you’re not here to ski but still want to enjoy the snow and have some winter fun?
Not to worry! The fun in Big Sky doesn’t start at the top of the mountain and end at the base area. Montana provides a variety of activities for all ages and there is always something new and somewhere new to explore. For guests who’ve never stepped foot on skis, family members who want additional options, or skiers and riders who just want to take a day to enjoy something new, Big Sky has something for everyone.
Here are some of our top choices for fun activities in Big Sky when you’re not hitting the slopes….
Snowshoeing is a fantastic way to get outside and enjoy the beautiful views of Montana. If you get lucky, you might even see some wildlife! Big Sky is tucked in the middle of the Madison Range and with the Gallatin Range and Yellowstone National Park close by, the opportunities to explore are endless. Just grab you pair of snowshoes or rent one at Grizzly Outfitters and go explore the wintery scenery.
Explore the beautiful scenery on over 85 kilometers and 2,200 vertical feet of groomed cross country ski trails right out of Big Sky. Lone Mountain Ranch was voted #1 Nordic ski destination in North America in Cross Country Skier magazine and certified instructors available, they invite skiers of all abilities to venture out on the trails. If you are looking for a more backcountry feel, Big Sky has a large trail network that is suitable for cross country skiing as well, with rentals available through Grizzly Outfitters.
Conquer the snow in style! Take a snowmobile tour for a couple hours or a full day and enjoy slicing your way through the snowy mountains while taking in the beauty of Montana’s finest. With options around Big Sky and West Yellowstone, expert guides and top-notch equipment, snowmobile companies ensure a safe, enjoyable and memorable experience for you and your whole group.
The free ice skating rink in the heart of the Big Sky Town Center is opening back up on December 1st for the winter, come enjoy an afternoon of the ice with your family and friends! Ice skate rentals are available at Grizzly Outfitters and East Slope Outdoors in Town Center.
Big Sky offers some of the best dog sledding in Montana! This is truly a unique way to experience the wintry beauty of Big Sky and learn more about the art of dog sledding. Sit back and get ready for an exhilarating adventure that the entire family will enjoy. If you would like to get more involved and learn to mush, Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures offers half day experiences where you get to drive your own sled and team of dogs.
Offered from December to March, sleigh ride dinners at Lone Mountain Sports provides a relaxing and magical evening activity for the entire family. Guests load up in a sleigh and are taken on an enjoyable moonlight ride through the snowy landscape of Big Sky to the North Fork cabin for a family-style prime rib dinner, one of the most delicious meals you’ll ever have!
Skiing and snowboarding aren’t the only ways to fly down the hillsides around Big Sky. Grab a sled at Grizzly Outfitters or Ace Hardware, and enjoy some fast runs down on sleds behind Town Center with the entire family!
8. Winter Tours in Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone receives millions of visitors every year, but only a small percentage visit the park in the winter. Without the traffic and the crows, Yellowstone National Park is a magical winter wonderland. Yellowstone snow coach tours are available to several park destinations including Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. If you are lucky you might see a herd of bison, elk and even some wolves!