Who doesn’t love a day spent in the Great Outdoors? Tucked away in the expansive Madison Range sits the charming mountain town of Big Sky. This little slice of mountain paradise is surrounded by miles upon miles of untouched wilderness home to some of the most epic four-season hiking trails in all of Montana.
Montana is truly wild and the beauty of the mountain trails in Big Sky Country can be enjoyed year-round. Some locals say the best hiking only starts at the first snowfall! Whether you’re planning an easy nature stroll with the kids, a challenging summit climb to the peak of Lone Mountain, a winter snowshoe hike through Big Sky’s scenic snowy landscapes, or trails right from home – you’ll find it in Big Sky, MT.
Trailhead: Ousel Falls Road, Big Sky
Hiking & Snowshoeing
Easy: 1.6-mile Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 242 ft
The Ousel Falls trail is a must-do hike during your stay in Big Sky. Centrally located near Big Sky Town Center, the 1.6-mile dog-friendly trail to Ousel Falls offers big rewards with little effort and is an easy and exciting hike for the kids.
The forested trail crosses a ravine and follows the scenic Gallatin River to a 100-foot waterfall plunging into a natural swimming hole. This Big Sky hike is beautiful in every season abounding in wildlife, fall foliage, and the breathtaking beauty of a frozen waterfall in winter.
Uplands & Hummocks
Trailhead: Aspen Leaf Drive, Big Sky
Hiking & Snowshoeing
Moderate: 2.2-mile or 3-mile Loop Trail
Elevation Gain: 460 ft
The trailhead to the Uplands & Hummocks Big Sky community trails is located less than a mile from Big Sky Town Center, making this a great dog-friendly and close-to-town hike in Big Sky! Both trails are intermediate with forest canopies and aspen groves for shade, meadows of wildflowers in spring, regular wildlife sightings of moose, elk, and bears, and birds-eye views of Big Sky! These are popular trails for mountain bikers and horseback riders so be prepared to share the trails.
Trailhead: Beehive Basin Road, Big Sky
Hiking & Snowshoeing
Moderate: 7.1-mile Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 1,650 ft
The Beehive Basin Trail near Big Sky Mountain Village is ranked one of the “Best Hikes in the World” and is a must for every vacation itinerary in Big Sky – it’s a long hike but you can turn around at any time! The well-groomed trail winds along a creek to a stunning amphitheater-like alpine cirque with a small but spectacular glacial lake. Beehive Basin is a top spot for trout fishing, wildflower and wildlife watching, vibrant fall foliage, and challenging snowshoe hikes through a winter wonderland
Summit Climb to the Top of Lone Peak
Trailhead: Big Sky Resort
Elevation Gain: 3,677 ft
Now for Big Sky’s bucket-list hike – the summit climb to the iconic peak of Lone Mountain at a literally breathtaking elevation of 11,166 feet above sea level! Begin your Lone Peak summit hike on the mellow trails at the base of Big Sky Mountain Village, or from the top of the Swift Current chairlift for a shorter hike.
From the base of the Bone Crusher ski run, it’s a steep 1.4-mile, 2,015-foot elevation climb to the summit of Lone Peak with panoramic views all the way to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming on a clear day! Solid hiking boots and ski poles are essential.
Lava Lake & Cascade Creek
Trailhead: 35MPH Bridge on Hwy 191, Big Sky
Hiking & Snowshoeing
Moderate: 4.9-mile Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 1,620 ft
The Lava Lake (Cascade Creek) trailhead is situated a short drive north of Big Sky on Scenic Hwy 191, and well worth the adventure. The wooded trail follows Cascade Creek with a slow and steady climb and a couple of steep switchbacks to an awe-inspiring alpine lake framed by the Lee Metcalf Wilderness mountain peaks. The trail is relatively easy however there are lots of rocky sections so good grip shoes and walking poles are highly recommended.
You can walk the lake’s entire shoreline, fly fish for rainbow trout, take cooling summer dips, or continue on for a strenuous climb to the summit of Table Mountain in the Spanish Peaks. This dog-friendly Big Sky trail is popular for hiking, horseback riding, and winter snowshoeing.
Guided Hikes in Big Sky Country
Guided hikes in Big Sky, Montana offer a unique and rewarding experience, providing insight into the diverse flora and fauna of the unique Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the natural beauty of the wilderness surrounding Big Sky. Led by knowledgeable and experienced local naturalist guides, your hiking experience is tailored to match your interests and skill level and is a great way to safely and confidently explore Big Sky, and beyond!
Big Sky Resort: Big Sky Resort offers private 1-hour and 2-hour guided summer hikes with a naturalist for groups of up to 8 on the lift-served hiking trails at Big Sky Resort. Big Sky Resort’s guided hikes are customized for your ability and fitness level making it a great option for a family hike on the ski slopes. In the winter months, Big Sky Resort offers guided snowshoe tours through Moose Tracks Gully near the base area of Mountain Village.
Lone Mountain Ranch: Lone Mountain Ranch is a top destination for year-round outdoor activities in Big Sky. From May to October, you can venture through the National Forest wilderness with a naturalist and, as the snow falls, there are 30km of snowshoe trails to explore, self-guided or with a Lone Mountain Ranch guide.
Yellowstone National Park: Big Sky is a basecamp for year-round adventures in Yellowstone National Park. Whether you’re visiting in the summer season, wildlife watching in spring, chasing fall foliage or experiencing the beauty of a Yellowstone winter, you’ll find tailored tours of Yellowstone National Park from Big Sky in all four seasons.
Hike from Home with Big Sky Vacation Rentals
The beauty of Big Sky, Montana – you’re surrounded by wilderness and don’t need to find a trailhead to hit the trails! In our collection of 120+ Big Sky vacation rental homes and cabins, you’ll find everything from mountain modern for a luxury stay in Big Sky to quintessential mountain cabins with easy access to the trails, or even the best Big Sky hiking trails on your doorstep!
We live here, we play here, and we know the best places to hike in Big Sky, in any season.