Big Sky in Montana is heaven for adventure freaks. It offers you numerous things to do in Big Sky, Mt. It has some epic ski trips and the best mountain gateways covered in snow.
Though these adventures are common, Big Sky is also the best summer destination. In summer, the snow melts so you don’t have to worry about traveling by bike.
If you plan to visit Big Sky in the off-season, you will realize it was worth the time with its horseback riding to the Gallatin River, iconic white water, and neck-craning waterfalls.
Things to Do in Big Sky
It is sure that if you spend your summer vacation in Big Sky Montana, you will not want to leave.
But, if you can’t come back here to this place, you can also enjoy a road trip to Montana. This road trip will cover the areas of Yellowstone National Park, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Also, the natives of this place say that if you love this place even during the off-season like summer, you will definitely come back in the season time, which is winter.
Now let’s look at what makes people crazy about visiting this place so frequently and what amazing things you can do in Big Sky.
1. Horseback Riding at Big Sky
Riding on horseback in Big Sky is the best way to engage yourself in Montana. This place with horseback riding is perfect for people who love to explore areas in close-up.
Several outfitters offer year-round horseback riding in the winter season, making it a special activity in Big Sky.
The Lone Mountain Ranch has also been an addition to its place for over a century now. The Jakes Horses are also an option for you to ride the horses. Hiring time ranges from one hour’s drive to a full day trip.
You can get the sleigh rides from the Lone Mountain Ranch and 320 Guest Ranch. They offer their sleighs in both afternoon and evening time. Along with that, you can treat yourself to some hot chocolate, popcorn, and warm cookies to complete the trip.
2. Ski at Big Sky Resort
Skiing in this place is the only thing more than half of the tourists do. The Big Sky is centered around Lone Peak, covering more than 5,800 acres of land. Due to its vast landscape and perfect fitting for skiing, this resort earns its reputation. This resort is known to be the best resort in Big Sky, Montana.
The most attractive part of this resort is that the Big Sky resort accumulates more than 400 inches of snow each year. It provides powder stashes galore. Thousands of skiers come in the winter season to enjoy the snow.
Besides enjoying the snow, you can take up the signature ride up the mountain on Ramcharger 8, where eight people lift heated seats and weatherproof bubbles. The Loan Peak Tram is another wonderful skiing trip where the Doppelmayr lift transports 15 skiers simultaneously to the top of Lone Peak. This Loen Peak is at an elevation of 11,166 feet.
Now when you are at the summit, you can choose to take a black-diamond route that goes down the mountain. However, if you are just interested in a 360-degree view, you can take a quick ride back down.
3. Hiking Trails at Big Sky Montana
The Upland Trail, Ousel Falls Trail, and Beehive Basin Trail are a few popular hiking trails in Big Sky resort. The trail rides are available all year round, so, you can experience them anytime you want, and also it is accessible from the town.
In the Ousel Falls trail, the path runs parallel to the Gallatin River and also features a footbridge in some spots. This trail is only 1.6 miles long, and you can enjoy this round trip with your family. However, the high alpine Montana elevation will give you a hard time maintaining your energy.
When hiking on these trails in the winter season, it is crucial that you get dressed warmly. Since the high elevation of this place drops the temperature. You should always wear wool socks, and it would be best if you wear winter hiking boots.
Also, keeping a pair of crampons in your backpack is a smart move during your hiking trails. When going for hiking trails, snowshoeing is also the best thing that you can do in Big Sky Montana, both in the winter and spring seasons.
4. Enjoy Fly Fishing
Not all U.S. states have permission for Ribbon fisheries. Luckily Montana state is an officially designated place for Blue Ribbon fisheries. The Blue Ribbon means the fish and water are of high quality here. Their levels of purity are on different levels. You will find Madison, Gallatin river, and Yellowstone Rivers. For Fly Fishing, these rivers are the best option for you in the entire Big Sky Montana.
Fly fishing is a type of activity mostly associated with the summertime. This activity is not only a favorite among tourists, but even the locals here at Big Sky love to do fly fishing.
Western Montana is a great place for doing tons of amazing things, but this place is also a true untamed wilderness. If you are not careful and don’t have any guidance from the locals, you may fall into trouble. Take a fly fishing guide, regardless of the season.
So, it becomes crucial for you to dress properly and get yourself covered with waders and neoprene socks. If you do not know how to try this, you can get local help from places like Grizzy Guides or Gallatin Outfitters.
5. Hike on The Beehive Basin Trail
The hiking trails are accessible from the Big Sky, Montana, and these trails are much longer than you expect. All big or small adventures come from the Custer Gallatin National Forest community. The 6.6 miles long round trip to Beehive Basin is the most iconic and popular among tourists and locals.
You can see big mountain views on your way to the Beehive Basin trail. This trailhead is close to the Big Sky Mountain Village and is extremely popular on weekends. It is a one-way route that covers over three miles and has over 1500 feet of elevation gain along the way.
The mountain meadow paradise is another popular place during this trail. You should stop at the spot and take pictures to make things memorable. You will find a beautiful glacier cirque at the end of the Beehive Basin Trail. The water left is crystal clear, and it comes from the melted glacier and the upright mountains that offer classic Montana scenery.
The winter temperatures in this area are very scarce and can be dangerous if you’re not physically fit. The best time for you to make it into the hike is in the summer months. At this time, the snow melts from higher elevations, and the wildflowers fully bloom, giving an additional beauty.
6. Mountain Biking
Big Sky mountain biking is as popular as skiing in Big Sky. Mountain biking at this spot is world-renowned since this is the destination for mountain biking during the summer season.
Have you ever tried biking on snow and ice? It is a very strenuous job, and it is not recommended. But mountain biking at Big Sky is different. They offer fat bikes, which look like any regular mountain bike on steroids.
This bike’s tires are oversized and filled with low air pressure. It helps bikers to get better traction during biking in any terrain. They are more like ATVs. With this fat bike, you can easily ride in the mountains, and thus this is the best thing to do at Big Sky Montana.
It does not matter if you visit this place during the summertime or wintertime; you will get to ride your bike in the total provided area. You can take your bikes for rent from Big Sky Resort, or if you wish to get the fat bikes from somewhere else, you can get them from some locally-owned Gallatin Alpine Sports.
7. Spending a Day at Lone Mountain Ranch
The Lone Mountain Ranch is a gem of Big Sky Montana. Spending a day here at Lone Mountain Ranch can be the best thing you do on your trip to Big Sky. You will find many horses wandering in the fields and the hillsides.
The stables and pens are also well-managed in this place. At the Lone Mountain Ranch, it also offers Nordic skiing and sleigh ride dinners.
In addition, if you are going with your family and the kids in your group cannot withstand long trials, they can take cowpoke rides, which are smaller and simple rides on the simple trails on Lone Mountain Ranch. Even for adults who are not used to horseback riding, these rides will help them get used to horseback riding.
8. Visit Yellowstone
Big Sky is the best option if you want to explore Yellowstone National Park in the best way possible. The base camp in Big Sky will give you the perfect ambiance for exploring the entire Yellowstone National Park. If you take a ride to the West Entrance of this park, it will take only an hour to drive, and also, it is a scenic drive.
Considering the total area covered by Big Sky, they also allow you to experience multi-night adventures and make many memories. The day trips to this nation’s first national park are also amazing.
This national park of America successfully draws the attention of millions of visitors, especially from May to September each year. Yellowstone National Park looks amazing in the winter season and is only 50 miles from the Big Sky.
The winter temperatures of this place bring magnificent wildlife to the lower elevations. During its time, you can get a chance to spot some bison, elk, moose, and bighorn sheep.
However, in the winter season, there is a chance that you may find yourself alone in famous places like Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic spring.
Hiring some local drivers is better since driving alone can be dangerous. In Big Sky, you will get several guided sightseeing tips from Yellowstone National Park. They also include day trip options from the Big Sky Resort.
9. White Water Raft on The Gallatin River
The Gallatin River of Montana passes by Big Sky and starts its journey through a rocky canyon. However, the major section of this river can be found near Big Sky. It has challenging rapids, which include House Rocks and Mad Mile. These rivers have been designated as the best rivers for whitewater rafting.
If you want to enjoy rafting in the white water, you can take the trip plans from the outfitters. They offer both half-day and full day-trips on the famous Gallatin River. There are two major parts of this river. The lower section of this river provides many bigger rapids, which are hard to paddle through.
Besides the rafting adventure, you can take some scenic floats through Gallatin’s upper canyon. Here, the chances of seeing wildlife are very high. You can reach the Geyser Whitewater Expeditions on the Gallatin river to get excellent guidance from a professional agency. This agency has some exciting packages which combine white water excursions.
It also includes guided horseback rides and zipline adventures. However, if you do not like the packages of this agency, Montana Whitewater is also available for service.
10. Visit the Big Sky, Montana Market
Besides horseback riding, rafting on the Gallatin river, or visiting Yellowstone national park, you can go shopping at Big Sky. This is also the best thing to do in Big Sky Montana during winter. There are many gear shops in the market and some fabulous and unique art galleries.
However, you will not find many locally-owned shops in the Big Sky market. But, it will not affect your shopping much, since everything is well-maintained here, and whatever you search for is of the best quality.
Besides shopping, you can sit back at some of the best breweries in Big Sky and enjoy the local drinks available. A glass of beer in the winter months will be a great addition to your daily adventures.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Long Will You Need to Spend in Big Sky, Montana?
In all honesty, I believe that a journey to Big Sky requires at least three days to be worthwhile. Even though you may see a lot of amazing stuff at Big Sky in a single day, you’ll probably regret not staying longer.
2. Can Beginners Ski in Big Sky?
It has 870 acres of beginning terrain which I s more skiable than several whole ski resorts. One of the best places in the world to learn to ski is Big Sky, which has much less visitors and more than 400 inches of powdery snow each year.
3. Is Big Sky Suitable for Families?
With a variety of activities and services geared at families and children, Big Sky offers an adventure for people of all ages and stages of life. This is a family holiday that your children will never forget, with everything from childcare to ski programmes to sleigh rides to zip lines.
Planning for your winter trip to Montana? You must add Big Sky to your list and spend as much time as possible. You will discover many amazing things to do in Big Sky Mt.
You can visit some of the best restaurants in Big Sky for your folding. Riverhouse BBQ and Events, Horn and Cantle, and Montana Dinner Yurt are some of the best restaurants that you will find in Big Sky Montana.
Also, you can book your stay at the Big Sky Resort Village Center in the Mountain Village for your stay in Big Sky. You will get an outstanding look from your room, and the distance from this resort to the hiking trails is very small.
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