Fun Fall Activities in Big Sky, MT

It’s impossible not to fall in love with fall in Montana! 


Fall is Montana’s most breathtakingly beautiful season … brilliant colors paint the landscapes, wildlife are at their most active preparing for winter, the days are crisp and clear with blue sunny skies, and there’s fewer travelers than summer and winter ski season

Montana is a dream destination for lovers of the great outdoors and there’s no better basecamp than Big Sky! Big Sky is the most naturally beautiful, and coolest mountain town in Montana. Visitors are welcomed with wide expanses of wilderness, towering mountain peaks, endless opportunities for exploration, and the perks of a laid-back, and welcoming resort community

It’s been a long, hot summer in the mountains – but the smell of wood-burning fireplaces and pumpkin spice is already in the air! It’s time to pull out the sweaters and beanies, take advantage of the cooler temperatures by day, cozy up with s’mores and stories round the firepit, and take time out with family and friends before the silly season. Big Sky Mountain Village sits at an elevation of 7,500 feet – the colors start popping mid-September in the higher elevations and continue through the end of October with leaf-peeping adventures around every corner … and from home!


Enjoy the Fall Foliage Drive to Big Sky


Whether you’re approaching Big Sky from Bozeman or West Yellowstone, the drive to Big Sky along the Gallatin River Canyon is spectacular any time of year, yet even more so in fall. The Gallatin Canyon follows the infamous Gallatin River with the crisp colors of golden cottonwoods and vibrant red alder bushes bursting along the river banks, and free roaming wildlife in the river valley. 

Plan time to take it slow … it’s a Montana fall foliage drive you’ll never forget!

Chase Waterfalls & Fall Colors


Big Sky is paradise for hikers, mountain bikers, and casual strollers! Wherever you adventure in Big Sky during the fall season, you’re bound to witness vibrant fall colors popping. The Ousel Falls Trail near Big Sky Town Center is short, spectacular and perfect for casual strollers and families with the reward of the scenic Gallatin River, a natural pool (chilly in fall!), and a gorgeous waterfall. 

Other top Big Sky fall foliage hikes include the Beehive Basin trail (ranked one of the world’s 10 greatest hikes!), the Lava Lake trail, and the bucket-list Lone Peak trail to Montana’s highest scenic overlook point at 11,116 feet.

Experience World-Class Fly Fishing


If you’ve seen A River Runs Through It, you’ll know all about the world-class fly fishing that awaits in Big Sky, MT. Big Sky is surrounded by famous blue-ribbon trout waters including the Yellowstone River, Madison River, and Gallatin River near Big Sky. Fall is one of the best times to reel in a big trout on the Gallatin River (right before spawning season) and with the golden hues of fall reflecting on the waters, you’re in for a world-class fly fishing experience in Big Sky. 

For the ultimate fly fishing experience in Montana, Gallatin River Guides have been operating year-round guided fly fishing trips on the Yellowstone, Madison, and Gallatin River for over 30 years. They know when, where, and how to fish Big Sky’s blue-ribbon trout waters with options for walking and wading, floating trips, or beginner fly fishing lessons on a private pond.

Saddle Up for a Western Trail Ride


Saddle up at an authentic Montana dude ranch to explore the backcountry of Big Sky on horseback – you can even go fly fishing on horseback! Whether it’s your first time riding or you’re keen to gallop off into the wilderness, horseback riding takes you to Big Sky fall foliage trails your hiking boots can’t! 

You’re in cowboy country … why not live the classic Old West experience! There are many local Big Sky ranches and outfitters that don’t stop saddling up after summer and operate year-round with unique horseback experiences for every level of rider.

Soak in Natural Hot Springs


While most of Big Sky’s natural hot springs are remotely situated on private land, there’s still opportunity to soak up the fabulous fall colors in Montana’s rejuvenating natural hot springs. Bozeman Hot Springs, Norris Hot Springs and Chico Hot Springs are all an easy drive from Big Sky and are open year round for a rejuvenating soak backdropped by beautiful fall colors. 

Of course, first prize would be to leaf-peep from your private hot tub – there’s that too! Our collection of Big Sky vacation rentals includes 110+ Big Sky hot tub homes with panoramic views of Lone Peak and perfectly perched for the best leaf-peeping in Big Sky, from the comfort and privacy of home!

Plan a Fall Trip to Yellowstone National Park


It’s clearly still a secret that fall is the best time to visit Yellowstone National Park, and not only for fall foliage. The visitor numbers to Yellowstone drop radically after summer, the crazy traffic jams are over, Yellowstone’s world-famous wildlife make their way to the meadows and valleys, and a kaleidoscope of colors adds awe to Yellowstone National Park’s natural wonders. It’s a spectacular season to visit the park. 

The West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park is an hour drive south of Big Sky, the drive alone is worth it! Amidst the vibrant display of colors, fall visitors to Yellowstone have the privilege of witnessing grizzlies and brown bears preparing for hibernation, elk rut season, the fall migration of hawks and eagles, prime wolf watching, and biking and hiking trails awash in glorious golds. For the ultimate fall experience of Yellowstone, we highly suggest a guided tour with knowledge of the best leaf-peeping and wildlife viewing spots in Yellowstone!

Explore Big Sky Town Center


From the majestic Montana wilderness to the heart and soul of Big Sky, Big Sky Town Center. Whether you’re staying close by in Meadow Village or a short shuttle ride away in Mountain Village or Moonlight Basin, Town Center is the “downtown of Big Sky” and deserves a spot on your fall vacation itinerary. 

Browse the art galleries, sports outfitters and upscale boutiques, stock up on vacation groceries at Roxy’s Market or Hungry Moose and be sure to keep your eye on the event calendar for local events – there’s always something fun happening at Big Sky Town Center.

Indulge in Big Sky’s Restaurant Scene


Our Big Sky vacation rentals feature some of the best kitchens in Big Sky but don’t let that stop you from indulging a little (or a lot!) in Big Sky’s amazing restaurant scene. Between Big Sky Town Center and Mountain Village you’ll find everything from cozy coffee shops and cafes to family restaurants, fine dining, breweries and cocktail bars.

Hit the Slopes on Thanksgiving Opening Day


If there’s no time to visit Big Sky in time for fall foliage, plan your trip for later in the fall season! Thanksgiving is well celebrated in Big Sky – traditionally, and with the opening day of Big Sky Resort. The fall colors have faded but there’s unique alpine experiences both on and off the slopes at Big Sky Resort – here’s our guide on What to Expect at Big Sky Resort Winter 2022-23.

Refresh & Relax with Family & Friends


Refresh, relax and unwind with friends and family in the privacy of a Montana mountain cabin with leaf-peeping and wildlife viewing from your front porch … or a warm bubbly hot tub! From classic romantic log cabins for two to rare 7-bedroom modern mountain chalets, our Big Sky vacation rentals offer the ultimate retreat to get away from it all this fall.


A Luxury Spa Day at Home in Big Sky, MT


Indulging in a luxury spa day at home often seems out of reach within the stress of daily life … that’s why we plan vacations. Big Sky is a destination that allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of the mundane, breathe in crisp mountain air, adventure outdoors, and soak in a relaxing spa like experience – without leaving home or checking in to a spa! 

Our BSVR Platinum Collection homes are perfect for pampering spa days in the comfort of your Big Sky vacation home. All Platinum Collection bathrooms (excluding bunk rooms) are stocked with luxe spa amenities like plush fluffy towels, luxury bath robes, and organic bath essentials that turn your tub to total paradise. 

The other five-star perks of our Platinum collection homes include Smart TVs, sound systems, gaming systems, indoor entertainment, luxury boot dryers, and high-end kitchens for home-cooked meals … or a private chef to cater while you self-care! 

For the full spa experience, our Platinum rentals all feature private hot tubs with options for at home massage and spa treatments for an extra dimension of luxury and indulgence. For the crème de la crème of luxury vacation rentals with spa-inspired bathrooms, browse our collection of 50+ luxury Platinum Collection Big Sky Vacation Rentals – we’ve handpicked a few for inspiration!


Lodgeside 4B


3 Bedroom – Moonlight Basin – Ski-in/Ski-out

Stay at Lodgeside 4B and you can sneak away for a spa session between ski runs! This luxury 3 bedroom Lodgeside condo is situated steps from Moonlight Lodge with unbeatable access to Big Sky Resort’s slopes, stunning Spanish Peaks views, and upscale amenities for a spa escape in the majestic Montana mountains. 

Warm up in front of a roaring fire, then slip away to the master suite for a soothing bath infusion and tranquil rainfall shower. Pop on your plush robe and step outside for a rejuvenating (and romantic) hot tub soak, surrounded by towering pines and perfect mountain views. Luxury, leisure and lavish comfort awaits at Moonlight Basin Lodgeside 4B.

Speaking Eagle Lodge


4 Bedroom – Mountain Village

Tucked away on a quiet street in the trees near the entrance to Moonlight Basin, Speaking Eagle Lodge offers a luxury spa day with Lone Peak Views. This 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom Big Sky Lodge boasts contemporary interiors, two spacious living areas, a wet bar for spa day cocktails, and plenty of boredom busters for the kids making it easy to sneak away for a soak. Start your spa session in the outdoor hot tub overlooking Lone Peak then escape to the master suite for a pamper. 

Set back off the living room, the master guest suite beckons for personal pampering. The luxury suite features a plush king bed with pillowtop views, wall-mounted TV, intimate fireplace, private balcony, and a luxury spa-inspired bathroom with a freestanding soaking tub and dual head steam shower. 

Eagle’s Perch Chalet


4 Bedroom – Moonlight Basin – Ski-in/Ski-out

Perched on the mountain above Ulerys Lake, this 4 bedroom designer-owned Big Sky chalet sets the tone for a boutique spa experience with 360-degree views of the treetops, lake waters, and the awe-inspiring Lone Peak. Named after the resident eagle’s nest, this stunning modern mountain home is steps from the Big Sky ski slopes and offers all you need to indulge in a luxury spa day in Big Sky. 

The lower level guest suites, family room and private den (with an enticing bar!) open up to the private hot undercover hot tub for a soothing outdoor spa soak with views of Lone Peak, and the occasional eagle nesting nearby. When it’s time to channel your Zen, the master sanctuary is stunning with streamed Sonos sound, a leather king bed, contemporary fireplace, and sumptuous bathroom with heated bathroom floors, ambient lighting, a glass walk-in shower, and an oval bathtub with wooded views.

Buckaroo Ridge


5 Bedroom – Mountain Village

Forget a spa day … you could indulge in a luxury wellness retreat at Buckaroo Ridge! Set secluded atop a ridge above Big Sky Mountain Village, Buckaroo Ridge boasts 5,000 square feet of beautiful Montana mountain décor, multiple outdoor decks with panoramic views, 380-acres of nature and wildlife for activities right in your backyard, and five luxurious guest suites, each with an ensuite bathroom for a private spa session. 

Setting the tone for your wellness retreat is a gourmet kitchen (local chef’s available), several gathering spaces, a pool table, card table, wet bar, big screen TVs, Sonos sound system, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, outdoor fire pit, and a perfectly placed hot tub with the best sunset views of Lone Peak in Big Sky, MT! Bask in the beauty of Big Sky with a luxury spa escape at Buckaroo Ridge.

Robins Nest


5 Bedroom – Moonlight Basin – Ski-in/Ski-out

Equally as beautiful as Buckaroo Ridge, Robins Nest is a 5-bedroom custom Big Sky cabin set high on the slopes of Moonlight Basin with views of the Spanish Peaks and ski slopes. Robins Nest is a fabulous Big Sky rental for a family or friends getaway with plenty to keep kids of all ages occupied while you self-soothe in style! Between the cool bunk room and den there’s PlayStation, poker, foosball, arcade games, and epic Big Sky activities from home, but it’s the master suite that’s a spa day standout! You’re welcomed by a roaring fireplace, sherpa rug, classic Morris chair to get comfy, pillow top views, and options for a full day of spa treatments in Big Sky …. an oval soaking tub with views, walk in shower, and French doors out to the hot tub. You’ll want to soak all day long at Robin’s Nest! 

Begin your Big Sky spa escape with Big Sky Vacation Rentals. Download our Big Sky Vacation Guide app, organize catering or private chefs, book your at-home massage and spa treatments, and find the perfect retreat for a spa escape in Big Sky. Give our team a call anytime … We Live Here, We Play Here, We Know Big Sky!


Big Sky’s Best Ski In Ski Out Homes


With 5,850 skiable acres of diverse terrain and 400+ inches of snow, there’s always a chance to find snowy slopes in Big Sky! Our vacation homes, cabins and condos offer incredible ski-in/ski-out access to the slopes of both Moonlight Basin and Big Sky Resort. Is ski access the most important amenity during your search for the perfect rental? With over 100 ski-in ski-out homes available, we understand that the decision to find the perfect home can be daunting and therefore we have selected the best ski-in ski-out homes below.

Big Sky offers an exceptional winter experience for all levels of skiers and snowboarders, but the one thing we cannot predict is the snowfall. During the early season some of the ski-in ski-out access may be closed as not all lifts will not be running yet, and the lift start dates vary. Call our team at +1-888-915-2787 and we’ll be happy to give you more details and help you pick the perfect vacation home for your specific Big Sky vacation dates.


ML Grey Moose Lodge

Grey Moose Lodge is a stylish ski-in/ski-out Big Sky mountain lodge situated high atop the Moonlight slopes with dramatic views of the towering Spanish Peaks. This 5 Bedroom 4 Bathroom Big Sky retreat is ski-in/ski-out to both Big Sky and Moonlight Basin Resorts. This home is designed to comfortably entertain with ample indoor and outdoor living space. The Lodge is luxurious and exquisitely furnished throughout with timeless, classic interiors with a touch of rustic for a high-end alpine feel.

ML Moonshadow Lodge

Step off your deck and into your skis when you stay at this stylish ski-in/ski-out mountain retreat. From 360-degree mountain views in the unique observation room all the way down to the lower bonus room, this 4,800 sq ft Big Sky rental home impresses on every level. Star gaze, relax by a roaring fire or sip wine and soak your tired ski bones in the private hot tub. A gourmet kitchen, grand dining table, jacuzzi tub, sauna, hot tub and an outdoor fireplace makes for great home entertainment. Even though the hub of Big Sky is nearby, you may never want to leave home.

Silvertip Cabin 4 Silver Peaks

The beauty of Big Sky is captured perfectly from this stunning modern cabin in the woods, perched high on Moonlight Mountain with ski-in/ski-out access to America’s biggest skiing. Soaring ceilings and exceptional views of the Spanish Peaks welcome you into this efficiently modern home. A balance of contemporary furnishings, rustic fittings, a glowing fire, warm tones of nature, and hues of blue make this a calming and tranquil space. Entertainment comes easy in this home from the open concept kitchen and breakfast nook to outdoor living on the deck. Enjoy home-cooked meals, charades in front of the fire, and après ski in the hot tub with staggering views of the peaks as Big Sky memories are made right here.

MVC Bear’s Lair

Gain a fresh perspective of Big Sky from this exquisite ski-in/ski-out vacation home offering incredible views of the “Biggest Skiing in America”. Bear’s Lair is modern and contemporary with a touch of mountain warmth and from the moment you arrive, you can’t escape the views! High vaulted ceilings and full-height windows welcome you to a bright and sunny open plan living area with views of the slopes from every angle. The newly updated kitchen boasts modern amenities and the plush ten-seater dining room table sets the tone for many memorable meals.

Lakeview Chalet 7 Treeline

Escape the ordinary in this spectacular Ulerys Lake rental home. “Eagle’s Perch Chalet” seeps with sumptuous finishes and exquisite design touches. Designed to serve as a “4-Season Base Camp”, this home sits on the mountain, aside Ulerys Lake, with easy access to all of Big Sky’s many outdoor adventures. For active adventurers and busy families, there simply is no better location in Big Sky. Use the Jayhawk chairlift located steps from the front door for direct ski access.


The Finest Big Sky Homes

We proudly boast Big Sky’s largest selection of vacation rentals that offer ski-in ski-out access, 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 info@bookbigsky.com to inquire, or simply browse through our available properties below.


What to Expect at Big Sky Resort Winter 2022-23


Big Sky Resort has a goal to be the best ski experience, the best hospitality experience, and the best community experience in the North American ski industry and they are on track! 

As the Big Sky 2025 vision unfolds, each winter season at Montana’s Big Sky Resort gets bigger and better. Whether you’re a valued guest returning for an annual ski trip or Big Sky is dominating your ski destination searches and newsfeed and you’re coming to see what all the fuss is about – we’ve got the scoop on what’s new and what to expect at Big Sky Resort for the 2022-23 winter season ahead.


Opening Day at Big Sky Resort

Big Sky Resort opens for the 2022-23 winter season on Thursday November 24, 2022, just in time for a Thanksgiving getaway and early season ski trip! Snow comes early to the Northern Rockies and with Big Sky Resort’s expansive terrain (and advanced snowmaking facilities), the early season conditions make for a fun day on the slopes. The estimated closing date is April 23, 2023. Follow our Big Sky Vacation Blog for updates on Big Sky Resort opening day festivities – it’s always a blast!

Big Sky Resort Upgrades

The 2021-2022 Big Sky season opened with the introduction of the state-of-the-art Swift Current 6, Big Sky’s newest 6 person high-speed, heated chairlift and the fastest six-person chairlift in North America. In addition, Big Sky Resort installed new and advanced snowmaking equipment at the top of the Explorer Lift from Mountain Village base area, including two of the seven terrain parks, Swifty Park and The Cache.

Spectacular Terrain for All Abilities

Big Sky Resort boasts the “Biggest Skiing in America” with 5,850 acres of skiable terrain over four mountains, 300 named ski runs, 7 terrain parks, and 39 ski lifts (including the most technologically advanced lift network in North America). Stay within your limits on the wide beginner or intermediate groomers or, for steeps, deeps and unmatched expert inbound terrain, ride the Lone Peak Tram to the summit at a breathtaking 11,166 feet. 

Forget the long lift lines and cold winter chills – Big Sky Resort has a total of 1,800 chairs with an hourly uphill capacity of 42,000 skiers including four enclosed Big Sky Blue Bubbles with head rests and luxurious heated seats to warm up for your next run. Don’t let the expanse of Big Sky intimidate you – there is terrain for every level of skier and snowboarder at Big Sky.

Big Sky Mountain Stats

  • Beginner: 23%
  • Intermediate: 25%
  • Advanced: 34%
  • Expert: 13%
  • Extreme: 5%

Better Connections

Big Sky, Montana ranks as one of the best-served mountain destinations in the US! There are over 40 non-stop flights from the east and west coast daily into Bozeman during the ski season with convenient car rental agencies and transportation services directly from Bozeman to Big Sky, MT. Arrange slopeside ski-in ski-out lodging and you can vacation in Big Sky without a car!

Book your Lift Tickets & Ski Days

To ensure an enhanced ski experience and maintain a reputation of fewer lift lines and uncrowded slopes, lift ticket availability may be limited on certain peak dates. Big Sky Resort encourages skiers and snowboards to buy lift tickets in advance for the best rates and availability. New to winter 2022-2023, Ikon and Mountain Collective pass holders will be required to reserve their ski days in advance. 

Lone Peak Tram Access

Aside from the unlimited Big Sky Resort Gold Season Pass, Lone Peak tram access is no longer included in Big Sky Resort lift tickets and needs to be purchased separately. Riding the Lone Peak Tram is a bucket-list experience so be sure to add tram access to your lift ticket to avoid disappointment. If you can ski a groomed blue run, you can ride the Lone Peak Tram! Stay connected for updates on the transformed tram experience coming to Big Sky Resort in Winter 2023-24.

Big Sky Resort Activities & Programs

Big Sky Mountain Sports School offers private and group lessons with world-class ski and snowboard instructions, kids camps for ages 3 and up, and experienced tram guides to maximize (and enhance) your time spent discovering the best inbound terrain and biggest skiing in America off Lone Peak! Be sure to book your Big Sky lessons and guided experiences well in advance.  

Unique Alpine Experiences Off the Slopes

Big Sky’s beauty is not limited to thousands of acres of terrain off Lone Peak. When planning your ski trip to Big Sky, be sure to adventure beyond the slopes into the wilderness of the Montana mountains. From thrilling snowmobile and dog-sled adventures to ice-skating, family sleigh rides or winter fly-fishing expeditions on the world-famous Gallatin River, unique alpine experiences await in Big Sky, MT. For more bucket-list adventures, include a winter tour of Yellowstone National Park in your Big Sky itinerary.

Luxury Big Sky Resort Lodging

As Big Sky gains recognition as a top-notch ski and snowboard destination and Montana’s ultimate year-round escape, demand for resort lodging is on the rise! With over 130 vacation condos, cabins, custom lodges and ski chalets, Big Sky Vacation Rentals represent one of the largest collections of luxury vacation rentals in Big Sky and continue to hand-pick the best ski homes in Big Sky to meet the demand.

Booking with Big Sky Vacation Rentals ensures a hassle-free Big Sky vacation and a luxurious place to stay – secluded in the wilderness or slopeside at Big Sky Resort for easy early season ski access! Our luxury guest amenities ensure quality time off the slopes – gourmet kitchens, games rooms, indoor and outdoor entertainment areas, cozy fireplaces and outdoor fire pits, and private hot tubs overlooking Lone Peak. 

We partner with local reputable companies to offer our guests easy transportation to and from Bozeman International Airport, ski and snowboard rental and delivery, shipping services, grocery delivery to your vacation home prior to arrival, and elevated in-house dining options

Browse our selection of Big Sky luxury vacation rentals, download our Big Sky Vacation Guide for easy trip planning, or call our local team at +1-888-915-2787 to start planning your ski trip to Big Sky for winter 2022-23.


A Romantic Retreat in Big Sky, MT


A romantic retreat in Big Sky, Montana offers a dreamy mountain getaway to foster love and reconnection between you and your special someone. With Big Sky Vacation Rentals, you can enjoy all the seclusion of a mountain retreat, charming amenities right from home, and fun activities just outside your luxurious vacation rental!

Big Sky is the ideal location whether you’re looking for ideas to celebrate Valentine’s Day, a special occasion, an anniversary, a proposal, or for a honeymoon. With 125 luxury rentals to choose from, Big Sky Vacation Rentals is sure to make your next romantic retreat a dream come true.


Moonlight Luxury Suites 1

2 BED | 2 BATH

Inside this luxury Moonlight Basin home, you’ll find incredible views from every room and the perfect cozy space to spend a vacation with your loved one. This home is located close to the base of Moonlight Basin and ski access, perfect for taking on new adventures together. The combined living room, dining room, and kitchen create an expansive great room where special memories can be made. Enjoy the warmth of the fireplace while watching snow fall or sit outside on your balcony overlooking the ski run. 

ROMANTIC FEATURES


  • Master bedroom with king size bed
  • Warm fireplace to cozy up together
  • Private balcony overlooking the slopes
  • Propane BBQ grill to make dinner together
  • En suite full private bathroom with soaking tub

Moonlight Mountain Home 5 Derringer

2 BED | 3 BATH

Experience mountain living at its finest in this Big Sky home situated atop Cowboy Heaven on the Moonlight side of Lone Mountain. Big Sky Resort ski access doesn’t get better than this with America’s Biggest Skiing right off your back deck! This exceptional chalet-style home is stylish and sophisticated with a high-end alpine feel.

Connect with your significant other and nature at the same time as you embrace breathtaking views of the Spanish Peaks from the living area. Warm up by the wood-burning fire, taking in your special time together. Sit outside on the large wrap-around deck and take in the views together, enjoy a meal from the BBQ grill, or soak in the private hot tub!

ROMANTIC FEATURES


  • King size master bedroom
  • En suite full bathroom with soaking tub
  • Wood-burning fireplace for a cozy evening
  • Private hot tub overlooking the mountains
  • Multiple private outdoor decks with stunning views

Mountain Lake 402C

2 BED | 3 BATH

Take in all the grandeur of Big Sky Resort right from your front deck! Overlook Lake Levinsky and Lone Mountain from this top floor property with amazing views alongside your special someone. Inside you will find modern finishes and comfortable accouterments. The large kitchen provides ample room to cook and prepare a meal together. The adjacent farm table and living room create an amazing space to enjoy the fireplace. This entire room is lit up by the floor to ceiling views of Lone Peak. The private outdoor deck is the perfect place to watch a romantic sunset that you’ll never forget.

ROMANTIC FEATURES


  • King bedroom with full en suite bathroom
  • Fireplace to keep warm together
  • Private balcony with unmatched views

Cowboy Heaven Cabin 11 Derringer

2 BED | 2 BATH

Ski onto the trails from your front deck in this traditional mountain log cabin perched high on Lone Mountain with sweeping 360-degree mountain views from your private hot tub! Cozy up with your lover in the spacious living area with views from every angle and warmth from the gas fireplace nestled in the corner. You’ll find all the comforts of home here, from kitchen amenities and board games to plush linens and upscale bathrooms. The wooden deck perched at the front of the home is the perfect spot to watch the sunrise, warm your hands by the fire, or soak in the hot tub together.

ROMANTIC FEATURES


  • Master bedroom with king bed
  • Private hot tub with exceptional views
  • Gas fireplace to nestle up together
  • Board games for quality time
  • Private outdoor deck to watch the sunrise

Cowboy Heaven Cabin 13 Derringer

2 BED | 2 BATH

A charming Cowboy Heaven Cabin nestled on the slopes of Lone Mountain in Moonlight Basin. This cozy retreat boasts a private deck and hot tub, panoramic Big Sky views and incredible ski-in/ski-out access, perfect for any romantic getaway. Cozy around the fireplace after skiing or exploring Big Sky, and lay on the couch with the flat screen TV for entertainment. Step outside to a private deck whether you sip champagne and plan your next day of Big Sky adventures, or relax in the private hot tub.

ROMANTIC FEATURES


  • Queen size master bedroom
  • Private outdoor deck 
  • Hot tub for special night sipping champagne
  • Panoramic views to wake up to
  • Cozy fireplace for cold nights

Cowboy Heaven Cabin 15 Derringer

2 BED | 2 BATH

Free-standing mountain cabin nestled beside the Powder River Run, high on the Moonlight Basin side of Lone Mountain. Step out your front door and onto the slopes for the perfect day of adventures with your loved one. This refined and elegant cabin boasts beautiful furnishings, a stone fireplace, and custom wood that makes for an unforgettable romantic retreat. Year-round Big Sky adventures abound under a galaxy of stars soaking in your private hot tub with unimaginable views of the Spanish Peaks.

ROMANTIC FEATURES


  • King size bedroom and private bath
  • Stone fireplace for cozy movie nights
  • Private hot tub with amazing mountain views
  • BBQ grill to make dinner together

Cowboy Heaven Cabin 7 Cowboy

2 BED | 2 BATH

Perched slope side atop Cowboy Heaven, this charming log cabin has the ambience of a cozy European ski cabin. The living area boasts all the comforts of home with a toasty fireplace, comfy couches and a modern well equipped kitchen for home cooked meals. This 880 sq ft cabin is an ideal romantic retreat with seclusion and extensive views from the outdoor deck with breathtaking views. Soak in the private hot tub beneath a canopy of stars, sip sundowners in front of the fire, and make Big Sky memories with your special someone.

ROMANTIC FEATURES


  • Master bedroom with king size bed
  • Toasty fireplace for cozy nights
  • Outdoor deck with expansive views
  • Private hot tub beneath the stars
  • Firepitt for sipping sundowners

Cowboy Heaven Cabin 13 Bandit

2 BED | 2.5 BATH

Charming cabin nestled on the slopes of Lone Mountain in Moonlight Basin, boasting a private deck and hot tub, panoramic Big Sky views, and incredible ski-in/ski-out access. The open plan living area welcomes you home with a gas fireplace to cozy around after skiing, and a flat screen TV awaits for romantic dinner and movie nights.

Step outside onto the private deck with some of the best views in Big Sky where you will find the hot tub. Whether you’re sipping wine in the hot tub as the sun sets, or simply soaking up the panoramic alpine views, this cozy cabin is an unbeatable and exceptionally scenic romantic retreat.

ROMANTIC FEATURES


  • King size primary bedroom
  • Private deck with hot tub
  • Fireplace to cozy around after skiing
  • Flat screen TV for at-home date nights

Cowboy Heaven Cabin 7 Rustic Ridge

2 BED | 2 BATH

Nestled in the pines on the Moonlight Basin side of Lone Mountain with direct ski-in/ski-out access to Big Sky’s slopes, this free-standing cabin offers comfort and convenience in an awesome location! An ideal Big Sky base for endless alpine adventures with your significant other. This 880 sq ft cabin is perfect for mountain-lovers and unwinding is inevitable from the deck of this wooded cabin. From BBQ date nights out on the deck and soothing dips in the hot tub, this cabin is the perfect romantic retreat for your Big Sky vacation.

ROMANTIC FEATURES


  • Cozy queen size bedroom
  • Private deck under the stars
  • Soothing hot tub
  • BBQ grill for at-home date nights

Cowboy Heaven Cabin 15 Rustic Ridge

2 BED | 2 BATH

A true ski-in/ski-out and pet-friendly cabin nestled on the slopes of Powder River Run. Simply drop in and go from your porch or take a plunge in your private hot tub! At 1,000 sq feet, this cabin is a spacious romantic retreat with plenty of room for you, your partner, and your pet. The open plan living area offers ample space to reconnect by the fire, cook up a romantic meal, or stay in for movie night. The front deck features a private hot tub, BBQ grill, and recliners in front of the firepit. Whatever the weather, it’s a stunning place to relax, unwind and reconnect with your loved one and nature.   

ROMANTIC FEATURES


  • Master bedroom with king size bed
  • Firepit with recliners for talking and reconnecting
  • Private hot tub to relax and unwind

Big Sky Vacation Rentals represents Big Sky and Moonlight Basin’s top 125 luxury mountain retreats. With secluded properties, unmatched mountain views, top amenities, and action-packed adventures, Big Sky Vacation Rentals is the perfect romantic retreat for you and your partner!


Luxury Hot Tub Rentals on the Slopes of Big Sky Resort


Whether you’re hiking the summer trails, leaf-peeping in Beehive Basin, or shredding the epic ski slopes of Big Sky Resort – nothing is more relaxing than slipping into a bubbling mountainside hot tub after a day exploring Big Sky’s iconic Lone Peak and the vast Montana wilderness that surrounds. 

Our collection of Big Sky vacation rentals with hot tubs offer guests an elevated level of comfort and a perfect (and private) place to unwind, soothe your muscles, and savor expansive mountain views of the slopes and valleys. With over 110 Big Sky hot tub rentals to choose from, we’ve picked some of our favorite Big Sky hot tub homes – those on the slopes of Big Sky Resort with BSVR Platinum Perks! 

Our Big Sky Platinum Properties are carefully vetted and hand-picked for a personalized and exceptional vacation experience. BSVR platinum perks include high-end vacation amenities like luxury spa robes, indoor entertainment and gaming systems, sound systems and Smart TVs, gourmet kitchens, and so much more!


BIG SKY MOUNTAIN VILLAGE

Situated at the base of Lone Mountain, Mountain Village is Big Sky Resort’s central base village with year-round resort activities, shopping, dining, and slopeside lodging with the best ski access to Big Sky Resort. When you stay slopeside in Mountain Village there’s no need for a car – the free Skyline shuttle runs during the summer and winter seasons with service to Big Sky’s top activities and attractions.

Bear’s Lair


4 Bedroom, 4.5 Bathroom, Sleeps 12

Bear’s Lair is a luxury Platinum collection custom home with high end amenities, modern comforts, a sun drenched deck for aprés ski on bluebird days, and a private outdoor hot tub surrounded by pines and peaks. Situated slopeside yet slightly off the beaten path, Bear’s Lair offers direct ski-in/ski-out access to Big Sky Resort for intermediate skiers, and the best vacation rental views in Big Sky, MT!

Homestead Chalets


5-6 Bedroom Ski Chalets

Our platinum collection of luxury Homestead Chalets includes 5-6 bedroom ski chalets to accommodate groups of up to 16 guests (or book a few for a large group getaway to Big Sky!). Situated in Big Sky’s newest ski-in/sky-out neighborhood above Powder Ridge, these slopeside Big Sky chalets boast elegant interiors, high-end guest amenities, and luxury outdoor living with relaxing hot tubs to soak up the Big Sky scenery.

Powder Ridge Cabins


3-5 Bedroom Luxury Log Cabins

Powder Ridge cabins are classic hand-crafted Montana cabins in Big Sky Mountain Village with prime ski-in/ski-out access to Big Sky Resort. These slopeside cabins feature designer interiors, flexible sleeping arrangements for large groups, and breathtaking outdoor decks with fire pits, gorgeous alpine views, and heavenly hot tubs steps from the biggest skiing in America!

Black Eagle Townhomes


4 Bedroom, 4 Bathroom, Sleeps 14

Black Eagle Townhomes are spacious 3 story townhomes situated slopeside at Big Sky Resort near the base of the Bear Back Poma ski lift. This superb ski-in/ski-out Big Sky lodging is unbeatable for families and travel groups seeking luxury rentals near the activities, endless ski slopes, and excellent ski school at Big Sky Resort.

Beaverhead Condominiums


3 Bedroom, 3 Bathroom, Sleeps 11

If you’re planning a vacation without a vehicle, our platinum collection Beaverhead Condos are situated slopeside at Big Sky Resort with prime ski access for all levels. Boasting high-end boutique interiors, an undercover patio with views of Big Sky’s slopes, and private hot tubs for soothing ski season soaks, Beaverhead condos offer guests the best of Big Sky.


MOONLIGHT BASIN

The Moonlight Basin neighborhood is situated in the north basin of Big Sky’s iconic Lone Mountain near the Madison Base ski area. Perched on the ski slopes, many of our Moonlight Basin luxury custom homes, cabins, and condos offer exceptional ski access to both Madison Base and Big Sky Resort with magnificent mountain views and the best hot tubs in Big Sky!  

Robins Nest


5 Bedroom, 6 Bathroom, Sleeps 17

Tucked in the trees on the slopes of Moonlight Mountain, this luxury Big Sky custom lodge is nothing short of spectacular. Step outside your heated ski room onto the slopes and return to luxury guest amenities, modern comforts, and the ultimate in luxury living. Robins Nest features a gourmet kitchen, games room, and private deck complete with a fire pit, hot tub and unhindered mountain views of Big Sky Country.

Ulerys Lake Cabins


3 Bedroom, 3 Bathroom, Sleeps 8

Our platinum collection Ulerys Lake cabins are nestled in a lakeside setting among the lodgepole pines near the Madison Base area. These contemporary modern mountain cabins feature cozy wood burning fireplaces and large hot tubs overlooking the peaks of Big Sky Resort. Intermediate level skiers can practically ski the slopes from the hot tub!

Moonlight Luxury Suites


4 Bedroom, 4.5 Bathroom, Sleeps 8

Situated in a tranquil forested setting directly on Stacey’s Way ski trail, Moonlight Luxury Suites offer guests the epitome of slopeside luxury. Put your skis on right at your private hot tub and return for a mid-day muscle soak or slopeside aprés ski with sunsets over the majestic Spanish Peaks.

Cowboy Heaven Luxury Suites


3-4 Bedroom Luxury Suites

Perched on the upper slopes of Moonlight Basin, Cowboy Heaven Luxury Suites are stylish, sophisticated, and steps to the groomed ski slopes of Big Sky Resort. These lofty retreats feature classic modern mountain interiors, luxury guest amenities, and expansive covered decks with outdoor fireplaces, BBQ grills and perfectly placed private hot tubs overlooking Big Sky’s vast mountain views.

Silvertip Cabins


3-6 Bedroom Modern Mountain Cabins

Silvertip is an exclusive development in Moonlight Basin with effortless ski-in/ski-out access to Big Sky Resort’s Madison Base Area. These modern mountain retreats offer guests contemporary comforts, luxury guest amenities, and expansive decks with private hot tubs and dramatic views of the Spanish Peaks and Montana wilderness. 


All that’s left is to start planning your luxury slopeside vacation in Big Sky! Our team at Big Sky Vacation Rentals live here, work here and play here – we know Big Sky! 

Browse our Big Sky Vacation Blog for inspiration, download our Big Sky Vacation Guide for all the local information in one place, and book your stay with BSVR for a customized vacation experience and long lasting memories!


Come Play in Big Sky this Winter


It’s no secret that Big Sky, Montana is booming! In 2016, Big Sky Resort unveiled Big Sky 2025, a 10-year plan to invest $150-million and transform the resort and town of Big Sky into one of the top luxury alpine destinations in the US – “from the moment you touch ground in Montana to the top of Lone Peak”. 

As the final chapter of Big Sky 2025 unfolds, visitors to Big Sky Resort are welcomed with a world-class alpine experience, some of the most advanced chairlifts in the world, luxury on-mountain dining, and the soul and hospitality of a charming Montana mountain town community. 

SKI Mag has named Big Sky Resort one of the “Best Ski Resorts in the West 2021”. Big Sky boasts the perfect blend of epic skiing and snowboarding (the Biggest in America!), outdoor activities beyond the slopes, vibey restaurants and aprés ski, and close proximity to Yellowstone National Park for bucket-list winter tours and experiences.


PICK YOUR DATES

If you’re planning your trip around a ski vacation, Big Sky Resort opens on Thanksgiving and celebrates the last day of the ski season mid-April. Snowfall is unpredictable but with Big Sky’s snowmaking expansion in Summer 2021, you’re always guaranteed a snowy slope! Our guide to the Best Time to Ski in Big Sky will help you find the perfect conditions to suit your ski style. 

If you’re visiting Big Sky to experience the outdoor activities beyond the slopes, Big Sky’s guided alpine activities and experiences and winter tours to Yellowstone operate from December to March.


ARRANGE YOUR TRAVELS

Whether you’re planning a family road trip or fly-drive vacation, it’s easy to get to Big Sky. Big Sky ranks as one of the most connected mountain destinations in the US with 40+ non-stop flights from over 30 destinations on the east and west coast. Reserve your car rental well in advance (demand is high!) or arrange ground transportation from Bozeman to Big Sky – and book a central Big Sky rental that doesn’t require a car. 

Our guide to Getting To & Around Big Sky will give you all the information you need to plan your  transportation to and around Big Sky.


PLAN YOUR BIG SKY TOURS & ACTIVITIES

The team at Big Sky Vacation Rentals are local and know the best places to stay and play in Big Sky! Download our Big Sky Vacation Guide for the most up to date local area resources and information, choose from our 3-Day and 5-Day winter itineraries, or customize your own Big Sky winter vacation bucket-list.

Big Sky Resort

With 5,850 acres of terrain over four mountains, seven snow parks with over 100 features, and the most technologically advanced lift network in North America, Big Sky Resort is unbeatable for skiing and snowboarding. The Big Sky ski school offers group and private lessons for all abilities, guided on-mountain experiences with a pro, and kids camps for little rippers as young as three. 

When you’re not riding the slopes, there’s endless options for on-mountain dining and vibey slopeside aprés ski (with plenty family-friendly options too!). Save time and reserve lift tickets early, arrange gear rentals delivered for delivery (or ship your own gear), and find a luxury vacation rental near Big Sky Resort with Big Sky Vacation Rentals.  

Off Slope Winter Activities

Whether you’re a non-skier or balancing your vacation time between the slopes and the wilderness of the Montana mountains, Big Sky has outdoor adventures for every type of traveler. Snowshoe the peaceful winter trails, fly fish for winter trout on the Gallatin River, snowmobile or dog-sled the canyons and mountain peaks, or plan a classic, western style sleigh ride dinner at Lone Mountain Ranch. Off slope winter activities abound for all ages and adventure levels in Big Sky.

Big Sky Town Center

Big Sky Town Center is the heart and soul of the Big Sky community. Situated near the Big Sky Nordic Center in Meadow Village, Town Center has the biggest selection of restaurants, breweries and festive aprés ski bars in Big Sky with daily happy hours, live music, and award-wining cuisine. For family fun (or a romantic swirl), the outdoor ice rink is open daily during the winter season. 

Yellowstone National Park

A vacation to Big Sky is not complete without a winter tour of Yellowstone National Park. Located only 50 miles from the West Entrance to Yellowstone, Big Sky is the ideal base camp for winter exploration of America’s oldest and most visited national park. Whether you plan to sightsee from the comfort of a heated snowcoach or on a thrilling snowmobile tour of Yellowstone, visitors are spoilt for choice for winter tours of Yellowstone departing directly from Big Sky. 


CHOOSE YOUR BIG SKY NEIGHBORHOOD

Now you have your bucket-list of Big Sky activities, it’s time to choose a neighborhood to match your needs. Stay walking distance to Big Sky Resort in Mountain Village, near Big Sky Town Center in Meadow Village or slopeside overlooking the Spanish Peaks in Moonlight Basin. View our Big Sky Neighborhood Guide to find the neighborhood that fits your needs the best.


BOOK YOUR STAY WITH BIG SKY VACATION RENTALS

Come play in Big Sky this winter – but don’t leave your trip planning to the last minute! From cozy Cowboy Heaven cabins for two to luxury ski-in/ski-out mountain lodges with unparalleled platinum perks, Big Sky Vacation Rentals represent the top luxury properties in Big Sky and Moonlight Basin with exceptional guest services from a local team. 

For a personal pick of the best ski rentals in Big Sky and to secure the Montana mountain home of your dreams, book your winter vacation with Big Sky Vacation Rentals. We live here, we play here, we know Big Sky!


Planning a Fall Trip to Yellowstone National Park


Yellowstone National Park is the world’s first and most famous national park! Yellowstone spans over 2 million acres and across three states (Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana), has five entrances and visitor centers, and welcomes nearly 5 million visitors annually. 

The summer months account for over half of the annual visitors to Yellowstone National Park, with more than 1 million visitors in July alone. The best way to escape the crowds at Yellowstone is to visit in the off season. Fall is the perfect time to avoid the masses of tourists, reconnect and recreate in nature, and witness some of the most spectacular geothermal features in the world surrounded by the beauty of fall colors and Yellowstone’s local wildlife preparing for winter. 

Here’s our guide to the best time to visit Yellowstone for fall foliage, activities and attractions to include in your itinerary, and where to stay to experience the beauty of Yellowstone National Park in fall.


Pick Your Dates for Prime Fall Foliage

The first signs of fall appear in late August – there’s a cooler nip in the air, layers of sunrise frost blanket the valleys, and the higher elevations above 7,000 feet begin to turn to glorious shades of gold. From mid-September to mid-October the fall foliage cascades from the upper elevations down to the lower valleys with hues of golden yellows, burnt oranges and brilliant reds adding contrast to Yellowstone’s captivating landscapes.

September

Low 30oF – High 64oF

Fall colors above 7,000 feet

September is still a popular time to visit Yellowstone so be prepared for potential crowds of tourists (far fewer than summer!) and traffic lines of enthusiastic leaf peepers and wildlife viewers. September highlights include the famous elk rut near Mammoth Hot Springs, the fascinating raptor migration in the Hayden Valley, and a higher chance of incredible bear sightings as the black bears and grizzly bears prepare for winter hibernation foraging for berries, nuts and roots in the valleys and roadside meadows.

October

Low 22oF – High 51oF

Fall colors below 7,000 feet

By October the fall foliage in the lower elevations is vibrant, the crowds have dissipated, the roads are quieter, and the chance of wildlife sightings is climbing! The Yellowstone Park restaurants, services and facilities begin to close down mid-October, and the weather is unpredictable! Light snowfalls can begin as early as October in Yellowstone so pack your layers and be prepared for potential dangerous winter driving conditions and road closures – or take a guided Yellowstone tour!

November

Low 12oF – High 34oF

Fall colors fading

By November the fall colors have faded, the peaks are blanketed with snow, and most of the roads within Yellowstone National Park are closed. The Visitor Center at the West Entrance remains open year round, however entrance to the park is limited. Yellowstone winter tours begin early November with amazing private and group experiences from wolf watching and wildlife tours to snowshoe tours, snowmobile expeditions and unique backcountry experiences.


Plan Your Fall Attractions & Activities

For the ultimate fall trip to Yellowstone National Park, we highly recommend booking a guided Yellowstone tour with a local tour company. An experienced local guide has an in-depth knowledge of Yellowstone’s diverse ecosystems and natural wonders, wonderful stories to share, and will ensure you visit the top sightseeing spots during fall. 

Scenic Drives: Firehole Canyon Drive and Firehole Lake Drive.

Natural Hot Springs: Firehole River near Madison Junction.

Waterfalls: Fairy Falls and Firehole Falls.

Geological Wonders: Grand Prismatic Spring, Old Faithful, Artists Paintpots, Norris Geyser, Mammoth Hot Springs

Wildlife Viewing: Hayden Valley, Mammoth Hot Springs, Lamar Valley.

Fall Fly Fishing: The Madison River is a hot spot for fall flying fishing.


Expand Your Exploration Beyond Yellowstone

Situated only 50 miles north of the West Entrance, Big, Sky Montana is the ideal base camp for a trip to Yellowstone -and is fast becoming one of the top travel spots in the western USA worthy of every vacation bucket-list. 

In 2021, Big Sky was voted one of the “Best Ski Resorts in the West”, one of the “Best Mountain Towns to Visit in the USA”, and one of “The Coolest Towns in America to Visit in 2021”. Big Sky was also ranked as an extraordinary destination to explore in “The World’s Greatest Places of 2021” by Time USA.

Expand your exploration out of the park and stay in Big Sky, MT. Tours of Yellowstone National Park depart right from the heart of Big Sky (or from your front door if you choose a private trip!). After your fall trip to Yellowstone, you can join in end of season golfing and summer activities at Big Sky Resort, hike or bike through vibrant fall foliage on Big Sky’s epic network of trails, flyfish the Gallatin River, horseback ride, or simply stay home, soak up the views, and stargaze from your private hot tub!


Stay with Big Sky Vacation Rentals

Whether you choose to stay minutes from the action in Mountain Village or Big Sky Town Center or in a secluded setting for stargazing and wildlife viewing from home, our collection of luxury Big Sky rentals is sure to include a private mountain cabin near Yellowstone National Park, perfect for you!

Mountain Village

Browse our selection of 70+ custom vacation homes, cabins and ski condos in the heart of Big Sky Resort’s Mountain Village at the base of Lone Peak. Our convenient Big Sky Resort lodging ranges from 2 bedroom contemporary condos overlooking Lake Levinsky to rare 7 bedroom modern mountain chalets for a family reunion near Yellowstone.

Meadow Village

Our collection of 4 to 6 bedroom Meadow Village condos and custom lodges are conveniently situated close to shopping, dining and world-class golf in Big Sky Town Center. Meadow Village is an easy 7-mile drive or free shuttle ride to Big Sky Resort Mountain Village.

Moonlight Basin

Moonlight Basin is a Big Sky neighborhood perched high on ski runs and trails of Lone Mountain. Whether you’re seeking a secluded and cozy mountain cabin or an exclusive mountain lodge for a large group getaway, even the most distinguished guests will find their luxury Yellowstone retreat in Moonlight Basin.

Start planning your fall visit to Yellowstone with Big Sky Vacation Rentals. Browse our collection of vacation rentals near Yellowstone, download our Big Sky Vacation Guide for trip planning, or call our team of local experts who are happy to help with tour suggestions for Yellowstone, local Big Sky recommendations, and find you a Yellowstone vacation rental to match your needs. 


History of Big Sky, Montana


Big Sky, MT is tucked midway down the Gallatin River Canyon, halfway between historic Bozeman and the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Traveling to Big Sky on Highway 191 (“The Scenic Yellowstone Corridor”), you wind your way along the raging Gallatin River, surrounded by dramatic Rocky Mountain landscapes, miles of secluded wilderness, free roaming bears, moose and bighorn (often on the road), and the grandeur of Montana’s big skies. 

But, where did it all begin, who forged these original trails through the mountains, and what led to the success of Big Sky Resort, a world-class ski destination that gets bigger and better each year? Big Sky’s journey dates back thousands of years to Native American hunter-gathers, notorious mountain men, gold miners, homesteaders, and humble beginnings as a purpose built ski town inspired by the dream of one man.


Native American Hunter-Gatherers

The Gallatin Canyon was first explored by Native American hunter-gathers that regularly trekked along the Gallatin Crest. The tribes set up camp on the banks of the Gallatin River, foraging for plant food and hunting for deer, elk and bison that frequented the lush high alpine meadows. While the Gallatin Valley was never claimed by any specific Native American tribes, archaeological studies show many tribes passed through the Big Sky region including Blackfeet, Nez Perce, Crow, Flathead, Sioux, and Shoshone Indian tribes.


Lewis & Clark

In 1804, explorers Captain Meriweather Lewis & Lieutenant William Clark set out to discover new land acquired in the Louisiana Purchase, a voyage that covered more than 8,000 miles and four time zones. Lewis & Clark reached the three forks of the Missouri River in Montana in July 1805, naming the three tributaries – the Gallatin River after Secretary of Treasury Albert Gallatin, the Madison River, in honor of Secretary of State James Madison, and the Jefferson River after President Thomas Jefferson.


The Fur Trade & Gold Rush

Following in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark, next came the European fur-trappers, mountain men, and gold prospectors searching for wealth in the 1862 Montana Gold Rush. Fur trading prospered until 1840, but the trappers and colorful mountain men were only passing through and did not settle in the Gallatin Valley. The gold prospectors did not find their riches in the Gallatin Valley and moved west to Virginia City and Bannack, the site of Montana’s first major gold discovery.  


The First Homesteaders

With the expansion of the Northern Pacific Railroad into Bozeman in 1883, rough logging roads were cut through the canyon to transport pine trees to build the railroad. This created a trail for ranchers to drive herds of sheep, cattle and horses over the pass into the Gallatin Canyon. With the 1862 Homestead Act in place, ranchers began staking out their 160 acre homesteads in the meadows along the banks of the Gallatin River, building cabins, and settling in the Gallatin Canyon. 

One of these ranchers was Augustus Franklin Crail, the first homesteader in Big Sky. In December 1901, Crail purchased a 160-acre homestead with a small cabin (only $1 per acre), which over the years expanded to a 960-acre working ranch. Today, the ranch land is home to the Big Sky Golf Course, and the beautifully preserved historic Crail Ranch buildings are a local treasure, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The grounds are open for walking tours and visitors can take a guided or self-guided tour of the homestead museum with original artifacts, photographs and furniture from the Crail family.


Yellowstone Brings Tourism to Gallatin Valley

Tourism in the Gallatin Valley began as early as the late 1800s. Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872 and local ranchers saw an opportunity, encouraging visitors to Yellowstone to extend their vacation and stay on an authentic Montana dude ranch! Only $12 to stay a week + $6 for a horse. 

In 1898, Pete Karst homesteaded just north of Big Sky, setting up Karst Camp, an inn for visitors to Yellowstone with home brewed liquor sneakily served during the prohibition. The historic remains of Karst Camp still stand today with a few original buildings and a short hiking trail leading to an old asbestos mine. 

In 1915, Big Sky’s Lone Mountain Ranch was homesteaded as a working cattle and horse ranch and sold twelve years later as a dude ranch for vacationers. Today, visitors to Big Sky can experience a taste of the old wild west with unique experiences at Lone Mountain Ranch, including dog-sledding, Nordic skiing, old-western sleigh ride dinners in the winter, and horseback rides, fly-fishing, hiking, and biking in the summer months. 


Montana Skiing Arrives at Big Sky Resort

Chet Huntley, newscaster of NBC’s nightly “Huntley-Brinkley Report”, had a dream to return to his Montana roots, develop a small mountain ski village and golf course, and promote the tourism industry in Montana. At this time, only a handful or ranchers had permanently settled along the West Fork of the Gallatin River

In 1970, Chet Huntley retired from NBC, purchased Crail Ranch and began to fulfill his dream of building a ski resort in the Rocky Mountains. The historic Crail Ranch buildings were used to house the workers building the resort, the ranch land was transformed to the classic links-style Big Sky Golf Course by Arnold Palmer, and the original Huntley Lodge was built at the base of Big Sky’s iconic Lone Peak. Stop by Chet’s Bar at the Huntley Lodge for a toast when you’re in town! 

In September 1973, Ski Magazine made a grand announcement “Montana skiing has arrived!” and in December, Big Sky Resort opened for its first winter ski season with four ski lifts. Sadly, Chet Huntley died of lung cancer shortly after on March 20, 1974, just three days before the grand opening of Big Sky Resort. Here’s a blast from the past – the first promotional video for Big Sky Resort.


Boyne Resorts Acquires Big Sky Resort

In 1976, Everett Kircher, honored as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Skiers of All Time”, purchased Big Sky Resort expanding Boyne Resorts portfolio of premier mountain and golf resorts. There was a gravel road from Highway 191 to the resort base and one flight to Bozeman, from Billings! 

Led by Everett Kircher, Boyne Resorts invented the Boyne Snowmaker and pioneered the design of snow grooming equipment, a technology still used today. In 1981, Boyne Resort’s state of the art snowmaking system was installed at Big Sky Resort guaranteeing good snow conditions all season long. The installation of the Challenger lift in 1988 opened up access to some of the most epic expert terrain in the US, putting Big Sky Resort on the radar of every die hard skier and snowboarder. 

In 1995, the construction of the Lone Peak Tram took Big Sky Resort expert skiing to higher altitudes, 11,166 feet at the summit of Lone Peak. The tram increased the vertical drop at Big Sky Resort to 4,350 feet, one of the biggest vertical drops in North America. Dropping into the Big Couloir, a 1,400 ft chute with a 50-degree slope straight from the summit, became a big bucket-list experience for expert rippers and shredders.


Moonlight Basin Ski Resort

In December 2003, Moonlight Basin Ski Resort opened on the northern face of Lone Mountain with 1,900 acres of terrain ranging from gentle cruisers to steep chutes. The development struggled and in 2013, Big Sky Resort acquired Moonlight Basin becoming the “Biggest Skiing in America” with over 5,850 acres of diverse terrain, epic ski runs for all abilities, and uncrowded slopes.


Big Sky 2025 – A Vision for the Future of Big Sky Resorts

In 2016, Big Sky Resort unveiled Big Sky 2025: A Vision for the Future of Big Sky Resorts.

“Big Sky 2025 is an ambitious 10-year vision transforming the Big Sky experience from the moment you touch ground in Montana to the top of Lone Peak.”

To date, completed projects include the installation of the brand-new Challenger 3 chairlift, Powder Seeker 6 (the first state-of-the-art Big Sky Blue Bubble with heated seats), Ramcharger 8 (the first 8-seat chairlift in North America), Swift Current high-speed quad, and new magic carpets in the learning areas (including a Big Sky Blue Bubble magic carpet dome). In 2021, Big Sky Resort completed snowmaking expansion and extensive renovations to the Summit Hotel and Huntley Lodge. Future Big Sky 2025 projects include enhancements to Big Sky Mountain Village, the replacement of the Lone Peak Tram, a new tram terminal with a glass viewing platform at the summit of Lone Peak, a two-stage gondola, and unique on-mountain dining experiences.


As Big Sky Resort continues to add amenities to enhance the overall experience, Big Sky Vacation Rentals are continually increasing our portfolio of hand-picked vacation homes to enhance your stay. Spend your vacation in Meadow Village, the original Crail ranch and homestead, slopeside in Big Sky’s Mountain Village, or in the seclusion of the Spanish Peaks in Moonlight Basin

Big Sky Vacation Rentals have been welcoming guests to Big Sky for 15 years. We represent the top 125 luxury vacation rentals in Big Sky with exclusive platinum perks, high-end vacation amenities, and exceptional guest services from our local team. We look forward to welcoming you to Big Sky!


Big Sky Town Center

A Destination for Family Fun, Fab Festivals & Farmers Markets


Summer is the best season to plan a getaway to Big Sky! Escape the mundane and explore miles of wilderness for hiking, biking, horseback riding, ATV adventures, ziplining, river rafting and famous blue-ribbon fly fishing. Big Sky Resort opens up their world-famous ski slopes for classic summer alpine adventures and the town is abuzz with locals and tourists soaking up the sunshine, swimming and boating on Lake Levinsky, dining on outdoor patios, and living the laid-back mountain life.  

Situated in Meadow Village, Big Sky Town Center is a year-round destination for family fun, fab festivals, summer farmers markets, and world-class golfing. Big Sky Town Center is the heart and soul of the Big Sky community, the best place to shop, dine and sip local craft beer, and a hangout for locals and visitors alike. You’ll find everything from pizza to fine dining, cocktails bars and breweries, grocery stores and unique Old West boutiques, and classic movies and music at The Independent.   

Throughout the summer Big Sky Town Center is the central hub for some of the biggest events in Big Sky and free festivals! Nothing beats browsing vibrant mountain markets, live music in an iconic outdoor arena with top touring bands, and free fun for the whole family. Here’s what to expect at Big Sky Town Center this summer.


Big Sky Farmers Market

Every Wednesday – June to September

Big Sky Town Center

Every Wednesday from June to September, the Big Sky Farmers Market comes to Big Sky Town Center, and it’s one of our favorite events of the year! The Big Sky Farmers Market features 90+ vendors ranging from regional farmers with fresh local produce to eclectic craftsmen with creative arts, crafts, and one-of-a-kind treasures found only at Big Sky Farmers Market. The market is family-friendly with fun activities for the kids, the setting is spectacular with Lone Peak looming in the background, and the small town charm of Big Sky is evident at every stall!


Music in the mountains

Every Thursday – June to September

Center Stage in Len Hill Park, Big Sky Town Center

Thursday evenings, rain or shine, you’ll find an amazing line up of talented artists at Music in the Mountains, Montana’s finest free outdoor concert hosted by the Arts Council of Big Sky. The Music in the Mountain series includes 12 weeks of free family-friendly concerts, the Bravo! Big Sky Music Festival (formerly the Big Sky Classical Music Festival) on Friday August 5th, and a special free performance from Montana Shakespeare in the Parks on Monday August 8th.


Big Sky PBR Rodeo

Thursday July 21 to Saturday July 23, 2022

Big Sky Events Arena

There’s still time to book your vacation condo or cabin for Big Sky’s biggest week of the year, the award-winning PBR Rodeo. The PBR event includes three nights of Touring Pro Division professional bull riding events, mutton bustin’ for the little buckaroos, and fun nightly after party concerts with live music. The PBR event is sold out with a waiting list, however you can still get tickets for the nightly music events!


2022 Wildlands Festival

Friday August 12 & Saturday August 13, 2022

Big Sky Events Arena

Produced by Outlaw Partners, the Wildlands Festival is one of the biggest music events of the summer! The outdoor music festival celebrates a mutual love for music and Big Sky’s wild and scenic landscapes and features a two-day star-studded line up with four Grammy-winning artists taking center stage at the Big Sky Events Arena. 

Friday, August 12th:

  • Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit
  • Lukas Nelson and POTR

Saturday, August 13:

  • Indigo Girls
  • Brandi Carlile – Beyond These Silent Days Tour 

Tickets to the Wildlands Festival sell fast and availability is limited! A percentage of all ticket sales for Wildlands Festival are donated to local nonprofits for preservation and protection of the wildlands of Big Sky.


Where to Stay near Big Sky Town Center

Big Sky has three main neighborhoods: Mountain Village at Big Sky Resort, Moonlight Basin on the slopes of Lone Mountain, and Meadow Village, the nearest neighborhood to Big Sky Town Center. 

Big Sky Vacation Rentals offers a selection of luxury vacation homes and condos walking distance to Big Sky Town Center, the Big Sky Golf Course, and some of the top trailheads in Big Sky! Our vacation homes are fully-equipped with modern comforts, luxury amenities and all the bells and whistles for a memorable Big Sky vacation. 

Whether you’re planning a golf getaway, romantic escape or family reunion in Big Sky, Big Sky Town Center is a destination for endless summer fun and the team at Big Sky Vacation Rentals are ready to help you plan your trip and find your dream vacation home in the Montana mountains! 

Find more vacation inspiration in our Big Sky vacation blog and download our Big Sky Vacation Guide app so you don’t miss a thing that Big Sky has to offer, year-round!