Elevation: 6240 FT
County: Gallatin & Madison
Named for Montana’s signature big sky, this scenic, mountain resort town lives up to its name. Big sky, big snow, and big adventures, Big Sky, is nestled high in the Rocky Mountains, surrounded by timberland, the Spanish Peaks Primitive Area and the Gallatin National Forest. Majestic 11,166-foot Lone Mountain towers over this paradise between West Yellowstone and Bozeman.
This resort town is a year-round playground for outdoor recreationists, home to the Biggest Skiing in America® at Big Sky Resort. With 5,800 acres of terrain and 4,350 feet of vertical served by more than 30 lifts, runs up to 6 miles long, a 2,000 vertical foot, powder-filled bowl beneath Lone Mountain, challenging chutes and a view of three states, two national parks and numerous mountain ranges, you’ll understand just what “big” means.
In addition to downhill, Big Sky boasts one of the largest Nordic trail systems in the nation, at Lone Mountain Guest Ranch, which has over 85 kilometers of groomed trails. You’ll also find golf, tennis, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, downhill and Nordic skiing, sleigh rides and snowmobiling and more, right outside your door.
Imagine living in a super cool mountain town like this all year long. Here’s how to pretend like you do: Hit up the Big Sky Farmers Market on a Wednesday evening, grab a breakfast sammie at Blue Moon Bakery, enjoy craft beer from a local brewery like Beehive Basin or Lone Peak, or stop by the Big Sky Town Center on summer Thursday evening for Music in the Mountains—the magic of a summer evening played out with live music against the backdrop of stunning mountain peaks makes for some serious R&R. This free outdoor concert series of family-friendly shows features live jazz, bluegrass, rock, country and funk, and the series includes the annual Fourth of July concert followed by a fireworks celebration. This is just one of the many way Big Sky
Here in the Gallatin Canyon, bighorn sheep tend to come down from the mountains to lick the salt off the road during the winter months.
For an exquisitely breathtaking view of Lone Mountain, stop by Soldier's Chapel, in Big Sky’s Meadow Village. Built in 1955, Soldier's Chapel is a small church made of native stone and logs and was constructed as a memorial to the fallen soldiers of World War II, and to serve the spiritual needs of the ranchers and families living in the Gallatin Canyon, as well as their many summer visitors.
Live Like a Local
Hike Ousel Falls! Hit the trailhead for this popular 1.6-mile round-trip hike. The falls itself is the main event, but the trek to the falls is pretty notable, as well with sheer cliffs, towering rock formations deep green river pools and a variety of cascades. Tip: there are picnic tables in several places along the Ousel Falls trail. I think this might be the best spot to enjoy a lunch in the woods in all of the Big Sky area.