Located roughly halfway between Bozeman and Yellowstone, Big Sky is a popular year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts. However, I think winter in the region might be the best time to visit, especially if you are a skier or snowboarder. Big Sky is known to have some of the best powder conditions in the US. With 5,850 skiable acres and 4,350 vertical feet, on an average day, there is more than an acre of terrain for every skier. Furthermore, over the past decade, a lot of investment has been poured into both the resort and the main town with new shops, restaurants, and activities popping up every year. It is easy to spend anywhere from a long weekend to a couple of weeks in the region! Below is a 4-day winter itinerary that can be used as a long weekend getaway or in conjunction with a longer Yellowstone, Bozeman, or Jackson Hole itinerary - all three regions are within driving distance from Big Sky.

4 DAY ITINERARY

DAY 1

  • Drive to Big Sky from Bozeman. Head to Lone Mountain Ranch for lunch at Horn & Cantle. After lunch, hit the trails with some snowshoeing or Nordic skiing. See below for additional information on the different activities the ranch offers.
  • Spend some time exploring the up-and-coming town as well. There are several boutiques, restaurants, breweries, and art galleries that have popped up in recent years.
  • If you are staying in an Airbnb or condominium (this is what we did), be sure to get groceries if you did not already pick it up from Bozeman. See below for where to shop.

DAYS 2 & 3

  • Spend the day skiing at Big Sky Resort, the largest ski resort in the US. If you are staying in the resort area (also known as the mountain village), your accommodations will likely provide you with parking instructions. If not, then there is a free skier parking lot on Sitting Bull Road that you can park your car at for the day.
  • After hitting the slopes, enjoy some of the remaining daylight hours (and sunset) in a hot tub. We stayed in the Shoshone Condominium Hotel which included access to the Big Sky Resort pools, hot tubs, and saunas.
  • In the evening, freshen up and explore the resort for a couple hours. We found Lone Peak Logo and J P Woolies to have the best selection of souvenirs and apparel. Note that it is nearly impossible to find Big Sky branded gear outside of the resort. There is one store in the Meadow Village (town) called East Slope Outdoors that had Big Sky gear. Restaurants and shops in the resort close relatively early.

DAY 4

  • If you have time, spend another half or full day out on the slopes or spend the day exploring the village if you did not get a chance to during the other ski days.
  • Drive to Bozeman in the afternoon. It is slightly over an hour away. Feel free to stop at the Bozeman Hot Springs located directly on the drive. This has several indoor and outdoor pools, natural hot springs, and saunas. Single admission entrance fees as of February 2021 range from $17-$21 depending on when you visit.
  • If you have time, explore downtown Bozeman before heading to the airport to fly out. There are several boutiques, cafes, and restaurants in this part of town. Montana Gift Corral and Heyday are good places to shop for souvenirs and gifts.

LOGISTICS

GETTING AROUND

The best way to get around the region is by car. If you are flying into Bozeman, rent a car at the airport. In the winter, it is important that your car have 4WD or AWD (and perhaps even access to snow chains) as the road conditions can be unpredictable. If you hope to save costs on transportation, you may consider checking with your accommodation provider to see if they have shuttles from the airport and mountain village.

WHERE TO STAY

If you are skiing, I recommend staying in the Big Sky Mountain Village. It is pretty convenient to get around by foot. Shoshone Condominium Hotel, Huntley Lodge, Summit at Big Sky, and Big Sky Resort are very centrally located. There are also several rental homes available in the village that would make great options for larger groups or families. If you choose to stay in the Meadow Village (town), Lone Mountain Ranch and the Wilson Hotel are great options. I believe both of these places offer a shuttle service to the resort about 15 minutes away.

GROCERY STORES

If staying in an Airbnb, rental home, or condominium, you will likely be doing some cooking. I recommend getting groceries in Bozeman, since it will have a much larger selection than Big Sky. We probably went to every grocery store in Big Sky to find what we were looking for (my friends had requested I make them a special meal). Below is my take on the three grocery stores in the region.

  • Hungry Moose Market & Deli - This is more of a grab and go kind of place but has basic groceries. This was our first stop, but we could not find everything we were looking for. Out of the three grocery stores listed, this was our least favorite. There are two locations - one in the mountain village and one in the meadow village (town).
  • The Country Market of Big Sky - This is more similar to Hungry Moose than Roxy's, but has a wider range of products. I recommend coming here or going to Roxy's first.
  • Roxy's - The biggest and best grocery store in Big Sky. Prices are definitely on the expensive side. This is your best bet for finding whatever you are looking for with a lot more meats and produce than the other stores. I wish we had gone here first!

FOOD & DRINK OPTIONS

If you do not plan on cooking all meals, below you will find some good café, bar, and restaurant options in both the town and in the resort. You can find a list of more dining options on Big Sky Resort's website, including hours of operations and the ability to make advance reservations if necessary.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

BIG SKY SKI TRAIL MAP

Big Sky's trail maps, including winter ski runs, can be found here. Our group consisted of pretty solid intermediate skiers that can comfortable ski all blues and some (to most) blacks. Our favorite runs included Freemont's Forest, Ambush Glades, Congo (through the trees), Big Horn (long cruiser) off of the Ramcharger chairlift and The Bowl and Steep & Deep off of the Powder Seeker chairlift. We spent a lot of time on Powder Seeker as the conditions were great that day. If you are up for you, you should also try the blacks (and double/triple blacks) off of Lone Peak Tram.

LONE MOUNTAIN RANCH - WINTER ACTIVITIES

If you not a big skier or snowboarder, or are looking for other winter activities, Lone Mountain Ranch is a great place to check out and even stay. The ranch offers several winter activities like snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, and winter fly fishing, Yellowstone day tours, and dogsledding. Some of these activities require you to be staying at the ranch. You can book many of them through independent operators as well (i.e. dogsledding through Spirit of the North). Horn & Cantle is a restaurant located at Lone Mountain Ranch and is a great option for lunch, saloon (happy hour), or dinner. In the winter, they offer a sleigh ride dinner package that seems to be pretty popular.

BACK TO TOP