Big Sky Skiing at a Glance
Summit: 11,166′ Lone Peak
Acres 5,800 acres with 300 named trails, 110 miles on three separate mountains.
Lifts 34, including a Summit Tram
We don’t toss around “favorite ski resort” lightly, but Big Sky is our big fave. We love Big Sky for the magnificent 11,000’ mountain, extraordinary big sky scenery, and tremendous varied terrain – 5,800 acres of it. Big Sky is relatively easy to reach, an hour from the beautiful Bozeman airport up scenic canyon road along the fly-fishing mecca Gallatin River. Big Sky is among the biggest skiing in America with over 5,800 acres and 34 lifts, 4,350’ vertical, on seven unique faces, truly terrain for everyone, including some very edgy chutes steeps and bowls of the Lone Peak Tram from 11,166’.
Big Sky has more terrain than Vail at 5,512-acres, over 300 trails, maybe not as much as Park City’ at 7,300 acres since Vail’s acquisition merger with Canyons, or Whistler Blackcomb at 8,171. But another thing Big Sky doesn’t have are big crowds. You often find your #selfie skiing down the long Elk Park Ridge, Challenger’s steep pitches, or Moonlight’s great groomers of the Six-Shooter six-pack chair.
Skiing off 11,166’ Lone Peak, served by a 15-passenger Tram, you will be wowed by the Grand Teton views and the steep off-piste terrain. John Kircher of Boyne proposed this bold lift placement in 1993, he helicopter skied off Big Sky and envisioned a tram to the top, which opened to raves in 1995, accessing expert ski terrain unlike anything anywhere. Skiing Big Sky’s Lone Peak is like heli skiing without the price tag or skiing off-piste in the Alps.
The bold and beautiful vision of Big Sky started with Chet Huntley, NBC anchor, in the 1973 – this was his luxury ski playground. Today it is a Boyne resort, expanded with the purchase of neighboring Moonlight Basin, and Spanish Peaks which Boyne with Yellowstone Club’s owner – CrossHarbor Capital. Oh, did we mention Big Sky abuts the billionaires’ private ski club Yellowstone Club? Cool neighbors.
Big Sky is big on families, kids 10 and under ski and stay free, and après ski activities are bustling at Base Camp. Kids can tube, snowshoe, bungie jump, zorb or zipline while parents sip adult après ski at the cowboy style Carabiner Bar with live local music. For a day off the slopes (not a bad idea with such big mountain, high elevation skiing), tour Yellowstone National Park by snowcoach or snowmobile to see bison and beautiful geysers in snow – magical.
Stay at Big Sky’s Summit Hotel – its four-star, slopeside, with sumptuous western décor and an outdoor heated pool and spa, steps from Big Sky village and the ski lifts. For luxury on mountain living Montana style, stay in chalet or private luxury ski home at Moonlight Basin, for a regal rocky mountain setting, wildlife spotting and fresh snow at your doorstep for ski in ski out daily freshies.
Big Sky’s nightlife isn’t off the hook – Montana fly fishing pun. But you go to Big Sky for the snow, the skiing, the views, a spa and a nice bison steak, at The Summit, The Cabin, or Bucks T-4 down the mountain road. Don’t miss the magnificent Moonlight Lodge for a scenic ski in ski out lunch or après ski drink at the bar.
So there is your luxury ski vacation recommendation in Montana, all mapped out. If you are looking for the most luxury private ski club, see our review of the exclusive members-only Yellowstone Club next door to Big Sky. Let’s not tell anyone else about the Big Sky – big skiing state.