Is Big Sky Montana on your travel destination bucket list? Big Sky Montana is ranked one of the “World’s Greatest Places” and is a destination worthy of every travel bucket list. Nestled in Montana’s Rocky Mountains between Bozeman and the West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park, Big Sky blends the charm of a small mountain town and rugged untamed wilderness with world-class ski resort activities, unique culinary experiences, warm hospitality, and big-time bucket-list adventures unique to Montana’s Big Sky Country.
Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall – Big Sky Montana has it all and Big Sky Vacation Rentals have a dreamy vacation home that’ll have you counting the sleeps to your next bucket-list adventure in Big Sky, MT!
1. Ski & Snowboard Big Sky Resort
Big Sky Resort boasts the “Biggest Skiing in America”, an excellent network of Nordic trails, and some of the top bucket-list ski runs in the US! Whether you’re looking for a fun first time on the ski slopes or dreaming of dropping into Big Sky’s iconic Big Couloir, skiing and snowboarding at Big Sky Resort is world-class.
2. Snowmobile through the Gallatin National Forest
Big Sky is surrounded by breathtaking backcountry terrain with 100+ miles of snowmobiling trails waiting to be explored. Snowmobile rentals are readily available locally or venture into the vast Montana wilderness on a private snowmobile tour with a local guide to navigate the canyons, peaks, and gorgeous Gallatin National Forest.
3. Mush Your Own Dog Sled Team
You don’t need to travel to Alaska to mush your own dog sled team! You can do it right here in Big Sky! Local companies, Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures and Spirit of the North, offer unique dog sledding and mushing adventures in Big Sky’s Moonlight Basin, led by teams of spirited Alaskan Huskies, the stars of the show! Another bucket-list adventure in Big Sky, MT.
4. Ice Skating in Big Sky Town Center
Find family fun under the stars on the ice rink at Big Sky Town Center. The Big Sky Ice Rink is open daily with free skate sessions during the day and by night under the star-studded skies of Big Sky Country. What a way to end a winter’s day playing in Big Sky. Skate rentals are available at Grizzly Outfitters and East Slope Anglers in Big Sky Town Center.
5. Big Sky Skijoring
February brings one of the fastest-growing winter sports to town, Big Sky Skijoring! Skijoring is a combination of horseriding and ski jumping with a rider and skier competing for speed on a snow-covered course. Big Sky Skijoring attracts 4,000+ visitors to Big Sky for a weekend of old-fashioned, western-style, winter fun!
6. Whitewater Rafting on the Gallatin River
The spring snowmelt brings some of the best whitewater rafting in Montana to the wild and scenic Gallatin River. From scenic family float trips on the upper Gallatin to wild whitewater rafting trips in the lower Gallatin River Canyon, there’s a whitewater rafting experience in Big Sky for every age and adventure level.
7. Wildlife Watching
As the snow melts and the days grow longer, the Montana mountains come alive with the sights and sounds of nature springing to life. Elk and moose graze in the Big Sky meadows, bighorn sheep trail the rocky ridges, and bears emerge from their dens with newborn cubs. Come spring season, wildlife watching is on everyone’s Big Sky bucket list!
8. Chase Waterfalls & Wildflowers
Wildlife, waterfalls, and wildflowers are top attractions during the spring season in Big Sky, MT. Waterfall and wildflower adventures include following the Gallatin River from Big Sky to the pools and cascading waterfall at Big Sky’s Ousel Falls and venturing through a dazzling display of wildflowers in Beehive Basin, ranked one of the world’s 10 greatest hikes!
9. Mountain Bike the Trails
Big Sky has miles of trails for horseriding, hiking, snowshoeing, and four seasons of biking! You may need to rent a fat bike (thanks to mud season)! Grizzly Loop and Lemondrop Loop are great mountain bike trails near Big Sky or the lift-served trails at Big Sky Resort open in June with 50+ miles of world-class mountain bike trails – and mind-bending alpine views to match!
10. Ride the Summer Chairlift at Big Sky Resort
Big Sky Resort’s scenic summer lift ride is breathtaking. The Explorer chairlift ride is uphill only for hiking, biking, or ziplining back down the mountain – or ride the Ramcharger 8 & Swift Current 6 to hone your archery skills, enjoy alpine-inspired on-mountain dining, and soak up sweeping views of Lone Mountain, the Spanish Peaks, and the Gallatin River Valley below.!
11. Climb Lone Mountain
Lone Mountain Trail is Big Sky’s bucket-list hike to the summit of the iconic Lone Peak that looms large over the town of Big Sky, MT. Trails lead from the base of Big Sky Mountain Village or from the top of Swift Current 6 chairlift to the 11,166-ft summit with panoramic views all the way to Wyoming’s Grand Tetons. Solid hiking boots, ski poles, and lots of hydration for a high-elevation hike are essential!
12. Paddle Lake Levinsky
Nestled at the base of Big Sky Mountain Village, Lake Levinsky is Big Sky’s summer destination for water activities or a refreshing dip in the lake! The lake is open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM with first come first serve boat rentals, or you can book a Family Adventure Card from Geyser Whitewater Expeditions for unlimited boat rentals during your stay in Big Sky.
13. Attend a PBR Event
The award-winning Big Sky PBR event in July is the biggest week of the year in Big Sky. Big Sky PBR tickets are on sale from March 1st and sell out fast (as does accommodation!). The event includes professional bull riding events, mutton bustin’ for the kids, a vendor village, and nightly music events to keep the party going!
14. Attend an Outdoor Music Festival
Our favorite thing about summer in Big Sky is the endless music festivals under the stars! Big Sky Town Center’s Music in the Mountains runs throughout summer with 12 weeks of free family-friendly outdoor music concerts, August brings the Bravo! Big Sky Music Festival, and Big Sky Town Center regularly host major big bands at the outdoor events arena. Sign up for our Big Sky newsletter to stay up to date with local events and festivals!
15. Book A Round of Alpine Golf
The award-winning Big Sky Golf Course in Meadow Village is open until early October, also prime time for fall foliage in Big Sky, MT! The course combines a classic links-style golf course and the natural beauty of Big Sky’s stunning landscapes with a pro shop, golf lessons for all abilities, and a bar and grill to end your game. Tee times are now available for Summer 2023.
16. Saddle Up for a Western Trail Ride
Another bucket-list fall foliage adventure is exploring Big Sky’s cowboy country on horseback. Saddling up for a western trail ride with a local cowboy on an authentic Montana dude ranch sure sounds bucket-list to us! Classic old-west horseback experiences are available for every age and adventure level in Big Sky, MT.
17. Fly-Fish the Gallatin River
Sit back and watch “A River Runs Through It” and flyfishing the blue-ribbon Gallatin River will soon be on your bucket list of skills to learn and fly fishing destinations! Grizzly Outfitters in Big Sky Town Center are your one-stop shop for fishing gear rentals and local tips, or reel in a trophy wild trout with a local Gallatin River guide leading the way.
18. Take a Trip to Yellowstone National Park
Tours of Yellowstone National Park are available year-round from Big Sky but in fall the crowds are thinner, wildlife is abundant, and vibrant fall foliage sets the steamy landscapes (and your heart!) on fire. The roads are open to take a self-guided tour or book a guided tour of Yellowstone National Park to tick America’s oldest national park and top natural wonder off your bucket-list.
19. Shop Local at Big Sky Town Center
Big Sky is a small mountain town with a tight-knit local community, unique stores and restaurants, and a seasonal summer farmer’s market that attracts our guests back to Big Sky each year! The Big Sky Farmers Market features 100+ local vendors, amazing food stalls, one-of-a-kind souvenirs, and live music in Fire Pit Park at Big Sky Town Center.
20. Eat at Local Restaurants
For a small mountain town, Big Sky has an amazing selection of coffee shops, breweries, bars and restaurants with culinary experiences unique to Big Sky! Savor Montana’s finest elk, bison, or wild trout at Lone Mountain Ranch, take a horse-drawn sleigh ride to dinner, ride a snowcat for a candlelit dinner in a backcountry yurt, or indulge in a private local chef for an intimate gathering at home.
21. Relax at a Spa
Every vacation bucket list deserves a little self-pampering! Revitalize your body and spirit at the Solace Spa at Huntley Lodge, soak in the rejuvenating natural hot springs surrounding Big Sky, or experience the ultimate self-pampering in our Platinum Collection of Big Sky vacation rentals with private outdoor hot tubs and spa-inspired bathrooms including all the luxe amenities for a pampering spa session at home.
22. Stay in a Classic Montana Mountain Cabin
Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple seeking romance, a fun-loving family, or a group of bucket-list adventurers, you’ll find a classic Montana mountain cabin with Big Sky Vacation Rentals. Our hand-picked collection of 125+ Big Sky vacation rentals includes everything from classic cowboy cabins with rustic charm to modern mountain marvels to accommodate even the most distinguished guests.