10 Best Ways To Spend An Autumn Day In Big Sky


Fall is Montana’s most breathtakingly beautiful season. With brilliant colors that paint the landscapes, active wildlife preparing for winter, and crisp air with sunny skies, it easy to see why both tourists and locals alike love the auumn season. Plus, 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. 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! 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 ski season. 


1. 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!

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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!

6. 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!

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.


What’s Up With The New Tram At Big Sky Resort?


A Transformed Tram Experience at Big Sky Resort!

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! 

Imagine being perched on the edge of the Montana mountains, surrounded by breathtaking vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see. That’s the exhilaration you’ll experience when you step aboard the state-of-the-art Lone Peak Tram at Big Sky Resort, opening for Winter 2023-2024! 

Rising to the summit of Lone Peak at an astounding 11,166 feet, this high-alpine feat of engineering whisks you to the highest scenic overlook in Montana at a speed of 22mph in only four minutes, granting you unparalleled year-round access to the best skiing, snowboarding, and sightseeing that Montana has to offer. The long-awaited transformation of the Lone Peak Tram stands as one of the most highly anticipated ski lift projects in the world! Chinook helicopters soared the skies hauling equipment and materials, including over 250,000 pounds of steel and 300 cubic yards of concrete used to create the sole 100-foot tower, two 75-passenger cabins traveled more than 5,000 miles from Olten, Switzerland, and specialists from around the globe collaborated to achieve a major milestone in the Big Sky 2025 vision.

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 winter season ahead.


The Lone Peak Tram Experience

The Lone Peak Tram is more than an engineering marvel and mode of transport – it’s a journey that encapsulates the rugged beauty, awe-inspiring vistas, and endless adventures that define the Big Sky experience. The transformation of the Lone Peak Tram stands as a true testament to Big Sky Resort’s continued commitment to providing world-class experiences for its visitors.

Added Convenience

Big Sky Resort opened in 1973 with only four lifts! Today, Big Sky Resort boasts the fastest and most technologically advanced ski lifts in North America and an out-of-base capacity of approximately 10,000 skiers per hour. At Big Sky Resort, you can skip the lift lines, warm up on heated seats in the weatherproof Big Sky Blue Bubbles, and now ride the Lone Peak Tram at an unrivaled speed of 22 miles per hour to the most exhilarating terrain in North America, including the legendary Big Couloir. 

In the final chapter of Big Sky 2025, the Explorer chair in Mountain Village will be replaced by a two-stage gondola creating a seamless base-to-summit lift network at Big Sky Resort. This new gondola and tram connectivity will allow for ADA-accessible pedestrian access to the summit of Lone Mountain for the first time ever, both in winter and summer.

Enhanced Comfort

With blue weatherproof bubbles, ergonomically shaped heated seats, individual headrests and footrests, and whisper-quiet operations, Big Sky Resort’s ski lifts are meticulously designed for maximum comfort – and panoramic vistas! The Lone Peak tram passenger cabins are equally impressive! Imported from Olten, Switzerland, the customized 75-passenger cabins include seating for up to 12, speakers for music, and glass floor panels for summer visitors to soak up the views. 

Your comfort doesn’t end on the ski lifts! Big Sky Resort enhances your comfort both on and off the slopes. The Big Sky 2025 project includes enhanced on-mountain dining experiences featuring everything from family-friendly eateries and fireside fine dining to European-style après ski spots and live music. The final chapter of Big Sky 2025 features a new food and beverage hub at the connection terminal between the two-stage gondola top terminal and the Lone Peak tram, offering skiers, snowboarders, and pedestrian traffic endless options to refuel before adventuring to the summit of Lone Peak.   

Winter Access to Lone Peak Tram

To preserve the Big Sky ski experience, access to the tram during the winter season will be carefully regulated, taking into account the available open terrain, mountain conditions, and prevailing weather conditions. The allocation of tram riders will be assessed and adjusted daily by our dedicated ski patrol team, ensuring the safety and enjoyment of all guests at Big Sky Resort. The Lone Peak Tram opens in mid-December and will operate through the end of the season. This unique experience will be the highlight of your winter activities in Big Sky.

Summer Access to Lone Peak Tram

During the summer season, the Lone Peak Tram will operate at a full capacity of 75 passengers per cabin, with ADA access to ensure all visitors can enjoy the Lone Peak Tram experience to the highest scenic overlook in Montana. The summer tram experience will include an all-glass viewing platform with panoramic views of the Montana peaks and down the fall line of Big Sky Resort’s most challenging terrain. The mid-station terminal of the new gondola (coming Summer 2024) will serve as an adventure hub for summer activities in Big Sky – including mountain biking, hiking, and ziplining.

Lone Peak Tram Pricing

For the 2023-24 winter season, pricing for the Lone Peak tram will change from a daily rate to a per-ride fee. Most Big Sky lift tickets will not include scenic rides or ski/snowboard rides on the tram! For those wanting to ride the tram frequently, the Gold + Ikon Base and Gold Season passes provide unlimited tram access, or the Double Black Pass includes 25 skier/snowboarder rides and 10 scenic rides for the season. 

All other riders must enable Tram Autocharge with a credit card on their Big Sky Account to ride the tram. With the new per-ride dynamic pricing structure, rates will be set on a daily basis fluctuating between $10 in off-peak periods to $40+ in peak. The Autocharge account will be charged prior to each ride on the Lone Peak Tram. Create a Big Sky Account HERE to start planning your Lone Peak Tram experience!

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. 

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.

Stay Near the Lone Peak Tram with Big Sky Vacation Rentals

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.

Enhance your vacation by choosing a Big Sky vacation rental conveniently located near Big Sky Resort’s Mountain Village base area. Wake up to stunning mountain views, enjoy effortless access to the Lone Peak Tram, and return to all the comforts of home, and more! Big Sky Vacation Rentals is your gateway to a seamless, professional, and engaging mountain experience. We live here, we work here, we know Big Sky.

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!


How To Plan A Big Sky Vacation This Winter


It’s no secret that Big Sky, Montana is booming! 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”. 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.


1. 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 efforts, 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.


2. 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.


3. 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 easy 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. 


4. 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.


5. 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!


Tips To Plan A Fall Trip To Yellowstone National Park


Yellowstone National Park is the world’s first and most famous National Park! Yellowstone is huge, and spans over 2 million acres and across three states (Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana), it has five entrances and just as many visitor centers, and welcomes nearly 5 million visitors annually. With those types of stats, it’s easy to see why everyone loves this national treasure!

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.


1. 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.


2. 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.


3. 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!


4. 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!


10 Must See Summer Attractions in Big Sky, MT

Big Sky is one of Montana’s best small mountain towns nestled high in the Madison Range of Southwest Montana. Big Sky is a world-class winter destination renowned for its expanse of ski slopes at Big Sky Resort, a vast and remote wilderness in the backcountry, and a convenient and scenic base camp for winter tours of Yellowstone. 

Big Sky is not only a winter destination – visitors can experience four seasons of adventures in Big Sky and summertime is our best kept secret! Whether you’re seeking rest, relaxation and solitude in the mountains, secluded adventures in the great outdoors, or days of action packed summer fun with activities for the whole family – you’ll find it all right here in our 10 must see and do attractions for a summer vacation in Big Sky, MT.


1. Summer Activities at Big Sky Resort

Big Sky Resort is known for epic skiing and snowboarding trips, exhilarating winter activities and bucket-list expeditions into the backcountry. In the summer months, Big Sky Resort doesn’t slow down – visitors have access to endless summer alpine activities and experiences including award-winning golf at Big Sky Golf Course, and ziplining, archery, bungee trampolines and great kid-friendly fun at Big Sky Basecamp. 

One of the top summer activities at Big Sky Resort is the scenic chairlift ride to miles of mountain biking and hiking trails, fields of wildflowers, and breathtaking Big Sky views.


2. Watersports on Lake Levinsky

Lake Levinsky is one of Big Sky’s top summer attractions, nestled beneath the towering peaks of Lone Mountain near Big Sky Resort Mountain Village. The 10-acre lake is a hub of activity in the summer months with vacationers (and locals!) dipping in the refreshing water, paddleboarding, kayaking or pedal boating around the lake. Boat rentals are available through the summer months from Geyser Whitewater Expeditions at the Lake Levinsky Marina. 

Check out our guide to the “Best Places to Swim and Boat in Big Sky” for more secluded swimming holes, alpine lakes for boating, and remote hot springs for a quintessential Montana experience. 


3. Climb Big Sky’s Iconic Lone Mountain

The iconic peak of Lone Mountain towers above Big Sky at an elevation 11,166 ft with a vertical drop of 4,350 ft to the base area. Located in the heart of the Madison Mountain Range, Lone Peak is the highest overlook in Montana with 360-degree panoramic views of Big Sky, the Montana mountains and as far as Yellowstone National Park. For a challenging and highly rewarding alpine experience, follow the hiking trails from the base area at Big Sky Mountain Village to the summit of Lone Mountain

Big Sky 2025 is an exciting 10-year plan to revitalize Big Sky Resort. The final chapter of Big Sky 2025 includes a brand new base to summit tram from Big Sky Mountain Village to the summit of Big Sky’s iconic Lone Peak with construction beginning this summer!


4. World-Famous Blue Ribbon Waters

Southwest Montana is home to five blue-ribbon trout streams – the Madison River, Yellowstone River, Missouri River, Big Hole and the mighty Gallatin River near Big Sky, MT. The Gallatin River is one of the best whitewater rafting rivers in Montana with Class I to IV rapids, and a legendary destination for world-class fly fishing with trophy sized trout. 

Whether you’re taking a scenic family float to escape the summer heat, riding the raging Mad Mile or House Rock Rapids, or fly fishing along the river banks – Big Sky’s blue ribbon waters are a top attraction and one of the top spots for wildlife viewing near Big Sky.


5. Wide-Open & Secluded Backcountry

Big Sky is a utopia for lovers of the great outdoors with miles of wilderness and untouched terrain in Big Sky’s vast backcountry. Families traveling with kids to Big Sky can take an easy stroll along the Gallatin River to Ousel Falls, plan a picnic among the wildflowers in the Beehive Basin, horseback ride through the Lee Metcalf Wilderness, and fish in secluded alpine lakes. 

For more exhilarating summer adventures in Big Sky’s backcountry, hike to the summit of Beehive Peak, Gallatin Peak or Wilson Peak, or head deep into the Gallatin Canyon for rock climbing and mountaineering.


6. Montana’s Natural Hot Springs

The Montana mountains are home to over 60 natural hot springs, with several only a short, scenic drive from your Big Sky vacation home. Visitors to Big Sky can choose from soothing soaks in the natural hot springs at Yellowstone or family-friendly hot springs resorts with indoor and outdoor pools, on-site restaurants, live music and summer fun for the whole family.


7. Summertime Patios & Live Music

Discover the charm of the Montana mountains this summer in Big Sky! Lazy afternoons and warm summer evenings are best spent enjoying the best of Big Sky’s outdoor patio dining, listening to the tunes of local Big Sky bands, sipping craft cocktails, or cold brews, and savoring flavors from Montana (and around the world!) at Big Sky’s ever-growing selection of restaurants, cafes and breweries. 

The vibey après ski culture of our world-class ski resort continues on into the summer months in Big Sky!


8. Fabulous (& Free) Summer Events

Big Sky’s summer events attract travelers of all types. The Summer Farmers Market in Fire Pit Park is a favorite with our Big Sky Vacation Rentals guests, the Big Sky PBR is “Big Sky’s Biggest Week”, Music in the Mountains brings the best well-known artists to Big Sky Town Center for live music under the stars, and there are fabulous, free events for the whole family throughout the summer months. 

Download our Big Sky Vacation Guide app to stay up to date with local events happening in Big Sky this summer.


9. Explore Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is the #1 national park in the US and less than an hour from Big Sky. Whether you’re planning a solo expedition or a scenic guided tour of Yellowstone, Big Sky’s the ultimate base camp to experience one of the most iconic parks in the US. 

Yellowstone features as one of the “7 Natural Wonders of North America” with over 10,000 geothermal features, 60+ species of wildlife, awe-inspiring landscapes, and bucket-list experiences for sightseeing, wildlife viewing and reconnecting with nature.


10. Attractive Big Sky Vacation Rentals

Our selection of luxury Big Sky vacation rentals are as much an attraction as the destination! Stay walking distance to the summer activities at Big Sky Resort in Mountain Village, near the summer events and markets in Big Sky Town Center or find seclusion in a Moonlight mountain cabin with wilderness trails on your doorstep and wildlife viewing from the hot tub! 

From cozy mountain cabins to majestic mountain lodges – our portfolio includes inviting Big Sky rentals for groups of all sizes, luxury amenities to enhance your stay, exceptional guest services for easy planning, and a welcoming space to call home for your summer vacation in Big Sky, MT.


Big Sky Artists Collective


The Big Sky Artists Collective is a community of visual artists located in Big Sky and was created out of the group of artists that participated in the First Annual Big Sky Open Studio Tour in December of 2019. That initial event motivated the artists to work as a group to promote local artists.

The mission of the Big Sky Artists Collective is to support, inspire and promote local artists in the community by building a community of artists who live and/or work in the Big Sky, MT area.

Their vision is that by working together with the Arts Council and the Chamber of Commerce of Big Sky, along with local businesses they can build a more vibrant visual arts community that celebrates local artists, and provides art and educational resources for both the residents and visitors of Big Sky.

The Artists Collective will be participating in the 2022 Big Sky Artisans Festival and hosting Art For Everyone. In addition they are offering classes and workshops in conjunction with the Arts Council at the BASE Art Studio so visit their website for more information.


Maria S Westland is inspired by her love and affinity for the countryside and she creates her artwork using oil on canvas or board to share the beauty of creation, the blessings and intensity of the life she experiences in nature.


Maggie Shane is an artist and life-long creative soul. Painting has become her passion, a place to reflect, relax and release the inner artist. She utilizes a water-based medium on canvas and paper to produce representational landscapes and florals.


Heather Rapp is a local Big Sky artist who paints abstract landscapes and wildlife. Her style is attributed to the roughness of a palette knife, the use of a spray bottle in dripping & layering vibrant saturated colors, and mixed media & mark making.


Jake Mosher is a full-time nature photographer living in Bozeman, MT. His work has appeared across the globe and he believes that in nature nothing is ordinary. “The world,” he says, “particularly off the beaten path, is still a wonderful thing to see.”


Annie McCoy is a home-grown Appalachian mountain girl who relishes her time in the wild. She considers herself a traditional plain air artist but not an alla prima painter.  She prefers to return day after day to the same location, sometimes taking weeks to complete a painting.


Michelle Kristula-Green creates contemporary mosaics that capture the beauty, austerity and ruggedness of the natural world, using hand cut stone, flint, marble and Italian smalti. Many of her pieces focus on the Yellowstone ecosystem and the wildlife within it.


Kim Eggemeyer paints to capture the play of light and shadow, the reaction of color against color, the beauty of form, and to simplify nature’s complexities. Recording her emotional response to fleeting moments can be elusive, but is an endless source of inspiration and pleasure.


Paul Brourman toggles between his studios in both Evanston, IL and Big Sky, Montana. He draws immense joy pursuing storytelling through the medium of oils in settings such as these. His subjects include portraiture, landscapes, western narratives and abstract works.


Patty Bauchman moved to Big Sky to be surrounded by amazing wildlife and natural beauty. Her main goal with wildlife photography is to observe and catch animal behavior without her presence affecting their actions and to capture a moment that tells a story.


Paul Barmore was fortunate to be mentored by a successful Montana bronze-casting artist as a young welder, which helped solidify his ambition of combining art and welding. From fly-fishing the Gallatin river as a child, to exploring new mountaintops as an adult, he creates art with nature and Montana-inspired themes that any outdoor enthusiast will relate to.


Carol Barmore has been a Montana artist for 32 years. Her love of the outdoors and animals is translated onto the canvas. Carol’s sensitivity to color relationships and love of impressionism has given her paintings a unique style.


Georgia Baker enjoys being outdoors, plein aire painting which creates in her a state of awe. Habitat loss can be devastating for species that are already endangered, but it is a serious threat for countless others as well. She hopes that her work inspires others to help preserve and restore our wild spaces for future generations. 


Big Sky offers so much beauty in the natural landscape of the mountains and rivers, all of which is captured by local artists and what better way to see it than to start planning your magical mountain getaway with Big Sky Vacation Rentals. Immerse yourself in the majestic wonders of our Montana mountain town and find inspiration all around you.


Big Sky 4th of July Celebrations 2024


One of the biggest perks of traveling in the summer is enjoying the summer holiday events with family and friends. This Fourth of July in Big Sky is going to be one for the record books, with exciting events and concerts the whole family can enjoy. For many of our guests, the community events are one of the most important aspects of their trip.

Whether you’re traveling with friends, small kids or planning a large (and long overdue!) family reunion with the extended clan – here’s a list of all Fourth of July happenings in Big Sky, MT and use this guide to help maximize your time, and fun!


BIG SKY 4TH OF JULY FIREWORKS 2024

THURSDAY, JULY 4

EDITORS NOTE: THIS EVENT IS ON HOLD, AND MAY BE CANCELLED IN SUMMER 2024.

Experience the beauty of Big Sky’s skyline during a mesmerizing 4th Of July Fireworks display. Watch the night sky light up with vibrant colors over popular locations around Big Sky. The fireworks are launched from various locations and synchronized to music, creating a stunning visual and auditory experience. Whether you’re a local or visiting, don’t miss the chance to witness Big Sky’s the spectacular fireworks display. Discover some of the Best Fourth Of July Fireworks display 2024 happening in Big Sky.


SAVOR BIG SKY | FOOD, WINE & SPIRITS FESTIVAL

THURSDAY JUNE 27 – JUNE 30

Calling all food, wine, spirits, outdoor, brunch, and party enthusiasts: we are thrilled to announce Savor Big Sky, a food, wine, and spirits festival happening with the stunning alpine backdrop of Lone Mountain.

Check out more HERE!


FARMER’S MARKET

WEDNESDAY, JULY 3

DATE: Wednesday, July 3, 2024

TIME: 5PM – 8PM

Explore the best of Big Sky’s farmers and artists at the Farmers Market in Town Center all summer long


4TH OF JULY 5K

THURSDAY, JULY 4

DATE: Thursday, July 4, 2024

TIME: 12PM

Kick off your 4th of July Celebration with a 5k starting in Big Sky Town Center


FIRECRACKER OPEN

THURSDAY, JULY 4

DATE: Thursday, July 4, 2024 

TIME: 10:00 AM

$5 of every entry fee goes to support the Folds of Honor Foundation. $125/player, entry fee includes 18 holes, cart, practice balls, lunch during golfing, flag prizes & awards, & player gift.

  • Team skins pot: $20/team (optional)
  • Format: 4 person – Red/White/Blue scramble
  • Payout will include 30% of the field in both the Gross and Net divisions


Call the golf shop at (406) 995-5780 to register.


RESORT ACTIVITIES

THURSDAY, JULY 4

Celebrate July 4th weekend at the resort with family crafts, face painting, summer treats, and live music 12 – 3 p.m.


MUSIC IN THE MOUNTAINS

THURSDAY, JULY 4

A special 4th of July edition of Music in the Mountains.

Len Hill Park
285 Simkins Drive

6:00pm – 10:30pm | FREE


4TH OF JULY BBQ

THURSDAY, JULY 4

DATE: Thursday, July 4, 2024

TIME: 12PM – 4PM

WHERE: Lake Lodge at Moonlight Basin



GETTING TO BIG SKY

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.


The Finest Big Sky Homes

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 info@bookbigsky.com to inquire, or simply browse through our available properties

How To Easily Get To Big Sky, Montana?


Big Sky, MT is a booming destination growing in popularity each and every season. Tucked in the scenic Montana mountains halfway between the bustling town of Bozeman and West Yellowstone, the charming mountain town of Big Sky is an off the beaten path destination yet ranks as one of the most connected mountain destinations in the US! 

Getting to & from, and around Big Sky is easy! Whether you’re road tripping with the family, planning a fly-drive vacation, or looking for a luxury personal chauffeur for your mountain escape, Big Sky is an easy drive-to destination with daily flights from most major airports, and convenient transportation services with door-to-door service to your Big Sky vacation home.

Flying into Big Sky


Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport has seen an 82% increase in passengers over the past five years and welcomed over 2 million visitors last year. With over 40 non-stop flights from over 30 east and west coast destinations, Big Sky Resort is one the most connected mountain resort destinations in the US. 

On arrival at Bozeman, guests have the option of car rentals, group shuttles or private luxury transportation to make the scenic 45 mile journey along the Gallatin River to Big Sky, MT.

Big Sky Airport Shuttles


There are various local Bozeman and Big Sky companies that offer public and private transportation from Bozeman International Airport, to and around Big Sky, and beyond!

Skyline Link Express

1-406-995-6287

The Skyline Bus has a Link Express service offering easy and reliable transportation from Bozeman International Airport to Big Sky, MT. The service runs seven days a week and is an affordable option for airport transportation to and from Big Sky, MT. 

** NOTE: As of Dec. 2023, Skyline does not provide airport shuttle service. However, they are still offering transport services around Big Sky.

Karst Stage

1-800-845-2778

Karst Stage offers year-round shuttle services from the Bozeman Airport to Big Sky, as well as private car services to get you wherever you need to go. Karst Stage offers transportation services for all travelers ranging from group minivans to your nearest Big Sky bus stop to private charter services including luxury SUVs and luxury motorcoaches for your large group getaway or family reunion in Big Sky.

Big Sky Shuttle Inc.

1-866-661-6836

Big Sky Shuttle offers a Bozeman to Big Sky airport shuttle along with private car services, charters around Big Sky, and luxury touring coaches for groups of up to 40 to discover the beauty of Big Sky and nearby Yellowstone National Park, in style and comfort.

Classic Limo

1-406-585-5466

Classic Limo have been chauffeuring visitors to and around Big Sky for over 30 years, with chauffeured limo services in Big Sky and across all of southwest Montana. From airport meet and greet services to leisure and recreation, their selection of SUVs, super-stretch SUVs and elegant stretch limos offer visitors a luxury option for transportation to and around Big Sky.

Black Bird Limousine

1-406-624-8600

Travel in luxury in Black Bird Limousine’s fleet of chauffeur driven black on black, full-size SUVs with private transportation services from Bozeman International Airport to Big Sky and West Yellowstone, and chauffeur services in and around Big Sky.

Montana Chauffeur

1-406-595-1459

Montana Chauffeur offers luxury private airport rides from BZN, full chauffeur services, multi-day private drivers to chauffeur you around during your stay, and luxury transportation for a special occasion or destination wedding in Big Sky.

Montana Canyon & Cab Co.

1-406-551-3553

Mountain and Canyon Cab Co. is Big Sky’s premiere on-call taxi service. Their services include on-call taxis between all of Big Sky’s neighborhoods (must be booked in advance for 12am-8am), out of area rides, and a loyalty program with points that never expire.

Shuttle To Big Sky

1-406-995-4895

Shuttle to Big Sky specializes in transportation to and around Big Sky and have been servicing Big Sky and surrounding areas for over 35 years. They offer a safe and reliable service in a luxury fleet with private door to door transportation from Bozeman, shared airport shuttle rides, specialty charters for groups, and transportation for Big Sky events.

Big Sky Bound LLC Shuttle & Transportation

1-406-539-3828

Big Sky Bound operates 24/7 with private and group transportation between Big Sky and Bozeman International Airport. If you’re Big Sky bound without a car, they offer a “rent me by the hour” service for a night out on the town, grocery shopping, or even a private trip to Yellowstone National Park.

Rental Cars in Big Sky


For full flexibility to discover the abundance of attractions and activities in and around Big Sky at your own pace, we highly recommend booking a rental car well in advance for your Big Sky vacation. Having a car in Big Sky gives you the opportunity to explore the surrounding areas, visit the local Montana hot springs, head off the beaten path, and discover the beauty of Yellowstone National Park without a tour. 

Unless you’re exploring the 4X4 trails, a four-wheel drive is not essential, but an AWD, snow tires or chains are required for safe winter travel in and around Big Sky. The Big Sky car rental agencies available at Bozeman International Airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, Thrifty and National.

Journey Rent-A-Car

1-406-551-2277

Journey Rent A Car is located a few miles from Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport and will have you on the road in no time. They pick up from the airport, transport you to your vehicle with vans and SUVs available for large groups, and offer exceptional hospitality with an additional 5% discount for Big Sky Vacation Rental guests.

Rocky Mountain Expeditions

1-406-530-5337

Is a 4X4 Jeep more your style? Rocky Mountain Expeditions offers private door to door transportation services between Bozeman, Big Sky and Yellowstone and Big Sky Jeep Wrangler rentals for an adventurous vacation in the rugged landscapes of Montana.

Getting Around Big Sky


Once in Big Sky there are several private transportation companies and on-call taxis and the Skyline Bus offers a free shuttle service with multiple stops around Big Sky including the Canyon, Meadow Village, Mountain Village, Moonlight Basin and Big Sky Town Center.

Our selection of luxury Big Sky vacation rentals are situated in the best neighborhoods in Big Sky, MT. Whether you’re searching for Big Sky rentals that don’t require a car or complete seclusion on the slopes of Moonlight Mountain, you’ll find the perfect mountain escape with Big Sky Vacation Rentals

Download our Big Sky Travel App and you’re one step closer to a memorable vacation and personalized guest experience with Big Sky Vacation Rentals.

2024 Big Sky Summer Events Calendar


Big Sky is an outdoor paradise with adventures for everyone. Spend your days exploring the majestic mountains while hiking, biking, ziplining, white water rafting, or horseback riding, among many more summer activities. Our summer events include live outdoor music, festivals, bull riding, a summer farmers market, and lots more – so plan your magical mountain getaway so you can truly enjoy all that Big Sky has to offer.

16th ANNUAL BIG SKY FARMERS MARKET


The 2024 Big Sky Farmers Market will take place every Wednesday from 5-8pm, June 5th-September 25th in Big Sky Town Center (Market stretches from Town Center Plaza, along Town Center Ave. and over to Fire Pit Park). Please note that for the month of September the Fall Markets will downsize to a smaller venue tentatively at the Town Center Plaza. The market features 90+ vendors including farmers with fresh produce, professional artists, entrepreneurs, and so much more! Come out and support our local community this summer at the Big Sky Farmers Market.

DATE: Wednesdays – June 5 to September 25, 2024 

LOCATION: Big Sky Town Center, 33 Lone Peak Drive, Big Sky

TIME: 5 PM to 8 PM

ADMISSION: FREE!

16th ANNUAL MUSIC IN THE MOUNTAINS


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.

DATE: Thursdays – June 20 to September 5, 2024

LOCATION: Big Sky Town Center, 33 Lone Peak Drive, Big Sky

TIME: Park opens at 6 PM and music starts at 7 PM

ADMISSION: FREE!

FAMILY-FRIENDLY: YES!

2024 Music Line Up: For a full guide to Music in the Mountains 2024, click HERE

SAVOR BIG SKY – Food, Wine + Spirits Festival


The Savor Big Sky Festival is a weekend-long celebration of food, wine, spirits, and the stunning landscapes of Big Sky, Montana. Indulge in fine dining, wine, and spirit tastings, live music, and epic outdoor adventures in the Montana mountains. Savor Big Sky is the ultimate adventure weekend for foodies.

DATE: Thursday, June 27 – Sunday June 30, 2024

LOCATION: Various locations at Big Sky Resort 

TICKETS: Buy tickets HERE

WHAT: Check out the full schedule of events HERE!

TRAMPLED BY TURTLES CONCERT


DATE: Tuesday 9 July, 5:00 PM

LOCATION: Big Sky Events Arena, Gallatin Gateway

On Tuesday, July 9, 2024, Trampled by Turtles, American bluegrass-influenced folk band from Duluth, Minnesota will be making their debut at the Big Sky Events Arena for a concert under Lone Mountain. General admission tickets are first come, first serve floor or seated bleacher access. Food and beverage available to purchase on site. Restrooms available on site. Children ages 2 and under accompanied by an adult ticketholder do not need a ticket and their entry is free. Gates open at 5:00 p.m.

Secure your tickets today!

Buy tickets

BIG SKY COMMUNITY RODEO

BeginJuly 12, 2024 at 7:30 pm
EndJuly 12, 2024 at 9:30 pm
LocationBig Sky Events Arena
Address450 Aspen Leaf Dr. Big Sky, MT 59730

Tickets on sale June 4th at 10AM MDT.

Presented by Yellowstone Club, the Big Sky Rodeo features some of Montana State University’s finest up-and-coming rodeo athletes as they entertain with a variety of rodeo disciplines including Bareback Riding, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Tie-Down Roping, Breakaway Roping, Barrel Racing and Bull Riding.

Mutton bustin’ and an additional special feature of 406 Rodeo miniature bucking stock ridden by junior roughstock kids will highlight the evening. Professional PBR and Western sports announcer Matt West will be announcing the event.

Ticket holders can enjoy food and drink options at the venue including food trucks and bar service.

COMMUNITY STREET DANCE

BeginJuly 12, 2024 at 9:30 pm
EndJuly 12, 2024 at 11:00 pm
LocationTBD
AddressBig Sky, MT

Join us in celebrating Big Sky PBR as the 10x Event of the Year! The Community Street Dance is a free concert following the Big Sky Community Rodeo to help us kickoff Big Sky’s Biggest Week. Grab your friends and family and enjoy FREE live country and rock music from Tony Marques Band.

The Tony Marques Band (TMB) (pronounced: “Mar-cus”) ranks at the top when it comes to Las Vegas’s premier country/rock bands. The attention this four-piece band has received came rather quickly since being established in early 2013. The incredible musicianship, smooth three-part harmonies, and energetic, audience-interactive shows have people talking, venues calling, and crowds wanting more. These key ingredients come together to create the perfect blend of today’s country/rock music.

Heading up the band, Tony Marques has been deeply rooted in the country music scene since he started performing over twenty-five years ago. Without question, his rich tenor vocals lend themselves to the country genre perfectly.

Tony has opened for some of today’s biggest country stars including Big & Rich, Toby Keith, Jason Aldean, Billy Currington, Gary Allan, Charlie Daniels, and Diamond Rio, just to name a few. Fellow band members Tommy Cameron (Lead Guitar & Vocals), Mike Tucker (Drums, Percussion & Vocals), and Mike Riojas (Bass & Vocals), come from diverse musical backgrounds consisting of country, rock, pop, and R&B. This adds the edge you hear in the band’s live shows.

FREE COMMUNITY DAY & MUTTON BUSTIN’

BeginJuly 16, 2024 at 2:00 pm
EndJuly 16, 2024 at 10:00 pm
LocationBig Sky Events Arena
Address450 Aspen Leaf Dr. Big Sky, MT 59730

This year’s Community Day & Mutton Bustin’ will include an array of family-friendly activities including a petting zoo, carnival games and prizes, food trucks, and sheep riding through the arena for the highest score. We will have spots available starting March 4th.

MUTTON BUSTIN’

Mutton Bustin will include three rounds of 10 participants based on a first come first served reservation basis. Buckaroos must be 3-6 years old, weigh less than 60lbs. Reservations are now open.

SIGN UP NOW

DICK ALLGOOD COMMUNITY BINGO NIGHT

BeginJuly 16, 2024 at 6:00 pm
EndJuly 16, 2024 at 9:00 pm
LocationBig Sky Events Arena
Address450 Aspen Leaf Dr. Big Sky, MT 59730

BINGO! Everyone is familiar with the rush of adrenaline when you’re the first to get a row of perfectly inked stamps on your BINGO card. Join us for the 4th Annual Dick Allgood Community BINGO Night benefiting a local nonprofit. Events include a 50/50 raffle, silent auction, food and beverages, BINGO prizes and the chance to be the BINGO champion.

Entry into the tent is included with your 10-pack of bingo cards purchase. Must be 18+ to play unless accompanied by an adult.

Tickets on sale June 4th at 10AM MDT.

BIG SKY PBR


Big Sky PBR has grown into “Big Sky’s Biggest Week” – a week of community events including three nights of action-packed Touring Pro Division PBR bull riding, fundraisers, vendor village, and more. It’s a great week to book a trip to Big Sky but tickets sell out first! Reserve your PBR tickets and Big Sky lodging soon.

DATE: July 18 to July 20, 2024

LOCATION: Big Sky Town Center, 33 Lone Peak Drive, Big Sky

Bull Riding Night 1
DATE: July 18, 2024
TIME: 6:00PM
LOCATION: BIG SKY EVENTS ARENA

Bull Riding Night 2
DATE: July 19, 2024
TIME: 7:00PM
LOCATION: BIG SKY EVENTS ARENA

Friday Night After Party
DATE: July 19, 2024
TIME: 9:15PM
LOCATION: BIG SKY EVENTS ARENA STAGE

Bull Riding Night 3
DATE: July, 20, 2024
TIME: 7:00PM
LOCATION: BIG SKY EVENTS ARENA

Saturday Night After Party
DATE: July, 20, 2024
TIME: 9:15PM
LOCATION: BIG SKY EVENTS ARENA STAGE

BIG SKY ARTISAN FESTIVAL


Big Sky’s biggest week also includes the Big Sky Artisan Festival at Big Sky Town Center. The festival is a true celebration of local arts and crafts featuring a wide variety of stunning artwork and one-of-a-kind souvenirs to take home with local food and drink vendors to make a day of it!

DATE: TBD

LOCATION: Big Sky Town Center, 33 Lone Peak Drive, Big Sky

TIME: TBD

ADMISSION: FREE!

FREE ADMISSION TO YELLOWSTONE


Come celebrate 150+ years of Yellowstone National Park! National parks are America’s best idea, and there are more than 400 parks available to everyone, every day. The fee-free days provide a great opportunity to visit a new place or an old favorite. On five days in 2024, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone, these dates TBD.

3RD ANNUAL WILDLANDS FESTIVAL


The Wildlands Festival, produced by Outlaw Partners, returns for a second year to celebrate music in the wide open spaces of Montana. The festival features a two-night line-up of iconic artists and food and drink vendors, come rain or shine. Relive Wildlands Festival 2022 HERE.

DATE: August 2 to August 3, 2024

LOCATION: Big Sky Town Center, 33 Lone Peak Drive, Big Sky

TIME: Gates open at 5 PM, opening acts at 5:30 PM, headliners at 8:45 PM

LINE-UP:
– DIERKS BENTLEY – READ BIO
– MAREN MORRIS – READ BIO
– LUKAS NELSON – READ BIO
– WYATT FLORES – READ BIO

TICKETS

Tickets for Wildlands Festival 2024 are ON SALE NOW. Act fast for the best chance to secure your tickets.

THE BIG SKY BIGGIE




Big Sky’s favorite cross-country bike races return for another season! The Biggie offers three different course lengths and is guaranteed to test your skills. Register now!

DATE: Saturday, August 17, 2024

The Big Sky Biggie is one heck of a mountain bike race in the heart of Big Sky, Montana!  Choose from three distances – 60 miles, 30 miles, 15 miles. Starting in Big Sky’s Town Center and climbing into the beautifully distracting views from Lone Peak and Buck Ridge, riders will connect on some of the area’s most exhilarating (and challenging) pieces of single-track, double-track, gravel roads and the occasional paved segment. This is a true community event celebrating the joy of riding mountain bikes at any skill level. Proceeds benefit the Big Sky Community Organization and SWMMBA Big Sky Chapter.


THE RUT


DATE: Friday, September 13 – Sunday, September 15, 2024

The Rut is a three-day mountain running festival bringing together athletes from all over the world. Designed to test all athletes, these races include several different courses – Vertical Challenge (VK), 11k, 20K, 28k, and 50k – all on the majestic Lone Mountain. ​

Due to tram construction, courses will not cover the summit of Lone Peak. Please check specific distance routes for more information. 

The 2024 Rut is SOLD OUT! There will be no waitlist. Kids 1K Runt Run is still open.

Event Schedule

Friday, September 13

  • 8 – 10:45 a.m.: VK/20K/Trifecta packet pick-up, Vista Hall
  • 11:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.: Runt Run/11k/28K/50k packet pick-up, Vista Hall
  • 10 a.m.VK start, start line in Mountain Village
  • 11 a.m.20K start, start line in Mountain Village
  • 3 p.m.VK Awards, Mountain Village Plaza
  • 4 p.m.20k Awards, Mountain Village Plaza
  • 5 p.m.: North Face Athlete “shake-out” run, Mountain Village. All are welcome!

Saturday, September 14

  • 6:30 – 7:45 a.m.: 28k packet pick-up, Vista Hall
  • 9:15 a.m.: Swift Current open to the public for spectators (scenic ticket required)
  • 8 a.m.28K start, start line in Mountain Village
  • 9 a.m.: Ramcharger open to the public for spectators (scenic ticket required)
  • 10 a.m.: North Face Athlete “shake-out” run, Mountain Village. All are welcome!
  • 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Runt Run, 11k, 50k packet pick-up, Vista Hall
  • 4:45 p.m.Runt Run start, start line in Mountain Village
  • 5:20 p.m.: 28K Awards, Mountain Village Plaza

Sunday, September 15

  • 5 – 5:45 a.m.: 50k and 11K packet pick-up, Vista Hall
  • 6 a.m.50k start, start line in Mountain Village
  • 7:30 a.m.11K start, start line in Mountain Village
  • 8:15 a.m.: Swift Current open to the public for spectators (scenic ticket required)
  • 9:30 a.m.: Ramcharger open to the public for spectators (scenic ticket required)
  • 10 a.m.11k Awards, Mountain Village Plaza
  • 6:30 p.m.50K and Trifecta Awards, Mountain Village Plaza
  • 7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.: Rut After Party

BIG SKY RESORT SUMMER ACTIVITIES


Big Sky is a home base for mountain travelers in search of adventure and exhilaration, scenic views, wellness and relaxation, guided hikes, and more. Take advantage of the many activities and experiences that make Big Sky an ideal summer destination.

SUMMER 2024 OPENING DATE 

Big Sky Golf Course – May 17 to September 29, 2024

Resort Activities – June 8 to September 15, 2024

2024 METAL IN THE MOUNTAINS



DATE: September 12, 2024

TIME: The park opens at 6 p.m., and music starts at 6:30 p.m. or 7 p.m.

MUSIC: Blistered Earth with emerging artist Scavenger.

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 in the country as well as established, well-known artists. Our state-of-the-art venue (Center Stage at Town Center Park) provides the perfect backdrop for locals and visitors to come together and enjoy incredible live music under the Big Sky.

NO DOGS OR GLASS CONTAINERS ARE ALLOWED IN THE PARK.

TOBACCO USE IS PROHIBITED IN THE CONCERT AREA.


Find the best lodging in Big Sky with Big Sky Vacation Rentals. Our selection of 120+ Big Sky properties includes rentals near the summer events in Big Sky Resort and Big Sky Town Center, or set away from the crowds on the slopes of Big Sky! Take a tour of the Big Sky neighborhoods or call our vacation planners at (888) 915-2787 to get started on the trip of a lifetime to Big Sky, MT.