For many visitors to Montana, the prospect of skiing some of the best terrains in North America is only bettered by the availability of a great ski town experience. Ski resort areas in Montana are comparable to resorts in Colorado, Utah, and California. They feature numerous lodging options, slope-side restaurants, shopping, and nightlife.
If this is the ski and boarding adventure that you have in mind, Big Sky Resort will not disappoint. Set in the Spanish peaks, Big Sky Resort has all of the luxuries of a great resort area – slope side lodging, gourmet restaurants, world-class shopping, and plenty of entertainment options for the whole family.
When we travel to Montana, Big Sky Resort gives us a little extra comfort but also doesn’t skimp on the great ski and ride option. The mountain has ample runs for every level of skier and boarder. Not to mention a world-class terrain park, a great ski school, and plenty of on-mountain lodges to feed and warm the weary skier.
Big Sky Ski Resort Statistics
- Summit Maximum Elevation: 11,166 feet
- Number of Trails: 300 name runs
- Number of Lifts: 36 (1 gondola, 1 eight lift, 2 high-speed sixes, 5 high-speed quads, 3 quad lifts, 7 triple lifts, 5 double lifts, 12 surface lift)
- Season: Fall/Winter/Spring (Nov – April)
- Trail Difficulty: Beginner (22%), Intermediate (25%), Advanced/Expert (53%)
Tickets and Passes at Big Sky Ski Resort
Big Sky Ski Resort has a number of options for lift tickets, passes, and ski and stay packages. Big Sky offers everything from single day passes, to multi-day, season passes, ski school passes, and Nordic ski passes.
The prices vary by age, season, and number of days. The more days you ski the bigger the value. It is good for us to note that like most ski resorts, with all of the amenities comes a higher price tag.
- Full-day Lift Ticket – $200 (adult 15-69), $115 (Junior 7-14), $1 (kids 6 and under), $140 (Seniors over 70)
- Half-day – $58
- 5–Pack Pass – $775 (adult 15-69), $425 (Junior 7-14), $5 (kids 6 and under), $575 (Seniors over 70)
- 3–Pack Pass – $575 (adult 15-69), $300 (Junior 7-14), $3 (kids 6 and under), $400 (Seniors over 70)
- Season Pass – $1,549 (Adult 26-64), $1,309 (Young Adult 18-25), $919 (Junior 13-17), $719 (Kids 7-12), $1,479 (Senior 65-79), $719 (Legend 80+)
Accommodations at Big Sky Ski Resort
Big Sky Resort has plenty of lodging options for every need. Whether you are looking for a luxury hotel complete with restaurants and spas or a slope-side condo that will accommodate your whole family, Big Sky Resort has it all.
The best way to get good deals including ski and stay packages is to book your rooms with the Big Sky Resort central reservation system. Through this system you can discover all of the lodging options within your price range, the number of people, and the number of days you’re planning on skiing.
Booking your stay, lift tickets, and equipment rentals through the central reservation system gives you at least a 10% discount on tickets and services.
Big Sky Resort has four hotels in the Mountain Village and one hotel located away from the slopes along Highway 191. The Mountain Village and resort area also has plenty of vacation rental options including condos, cabins, and homes.
Trail Routes at Big Sky Ski Resort
Big Sky Resort has plenty of trail options. Every level of skier or boarder will find runs to make the perfect day on the mountain. With ample lift connections, you can easily move around the mountain without spending too much time on lifts or traversing shallow roads.
Spirit Mountain is home to two of the most exclusive lodging areas in Big Sky.
This small section of runs is family-friendly and perfect for beginners. From the Montage Resort, the Lewis & Clark takes you to the summit of Spirit Mountain where you can enjoy fun beginner runs, or head to the Southern Comfort lift which takes you to the top of Andesite Mountain.
This area has no expert runs and only two intermediate runs that are fun for all levels of skier or rider.
Andesite Mountain has enough runs to satisfy your whole family, and with a wide variety of runs, you may want to spend all day exploring this part of the mountain.
Andesite Mountain is a bit quieter than the Lone Peak and Mountain Village areas. It is serviced by four lifts (2 high-speed quads, a high speed eight, and a triple), and the top of the mountain has plenty of beginner and intermediate runs, while the face is full of challenging runs for more advanced intermediate skiers and riders.
Off the Thunder Wolf lift, you’ll find two expert runs hidden in the trees (Bear’s Lair and Snake Pit). These runs are dotted with trees and are not for the faint of heart. Beginners need to watch trail signs carefully on Andesite Mountain, so they don’t end up on a run they cannot manage.
The bulk of the runs at Big Sky Resort is on Lone Peak. This massive hill rises from the valley floor to an elevation of over 11,000 feet. Lone Peak is home to the Mountain Village, Moonlight Lodge area, Madison Base and The Bowl.
Each of these areas suits a different type of rider or skier. From Mountain Village take the Swift Current high speed 6 lift to the base of the bowl. Here you can jump on fun beginner runs like Jay Walk and Mr. K. For the more adventurous skiers and riders, runs with plenty of steeps, and bumps include Bacon Rind, Stum Farm, and Lobo.
From Moonlight Lodge ride the Iron Horse quad to mid-mountain and hop on the wide, easy rider Cinnabar, or try your skills on Iron Maiden. The Moonlight Lodge area has plenty of ski-in lodging options. From Lazy Jack and Cinnabar, head down to the Madison Base.
Madison Base is the favorite of intermediate to expert riders. The Six Shooter high speed 6 lift takes you to mid-mountain where you can jump right into Stillwater Bowl. From here, you’ll find nothing but blues and blacks to get your blood pumping.
Pick up the Lone Tree quad in the bowl to access some of the resort’s most extreme terrain. If you love bowl skiing and riding, Madison Base takes you to the Stillwater Bowl and Horseshoe Bowl. Neither bowl is 100% accessible by lift, so for those big wall runs, you’ll have to hike in. Also, it’s recommended that skiers and riders in these bowls carry avalanche beacons, as a safety precaution.
The Bowl is Big Sky’s biggest bowl skiing and riding area. There aren’t many groomed runs in the bowl, but there are some fun designated lines that you’ll want to check out if you’re an advanced to expert skier or rider.
Access The Bowl from the top of the Swift Current high speed 6 chair. Use Jay Walk to drop down to the Powder Seeker high speed 6 chair, which carries you to the middle of the bowl. From here, you can enjoy wide-open terrain, wicked steeps, and some great chute rides.
If you don’t want to hike ridges to get to the chutes, consider purchasing a daily pass for the Lone Peak Tram. This will take you to the very top of Lone Peak. From here, you can see for miles around and hit some great chutes in The Bowl or drop into the Southern Exposure.
Southern Exposure is the backside of Lone Peak. Getting here is not for the faint of heart. While the bottom of the hill has some fun intermediate runs, to get there you’ll first have to make it down Liberty Bowl or expert runs like Marx, the Dictator Chutes or Hanging Valley. Southern Exposure has two lifts, and plenty of terrains that advanced riders will find hard to leave at the end of the day.
Big Sky Resort has 7 terrain parks that riders of all levels will enjoy. Cowpoke and Explorer parks are small and made for beginners. If you’re looking to catch big air and really challenge your riding skills, Swifty is the largest terrain park on the mountain and has enough terrain to keep you busy all day long.
Events at Big Sky Ski Resort
Big Sky Resort has plenty of events and activities all winter long. Even if you aren’t into skiing or riding, you’ll find plenty of ways to stay busy while the rest of your crew is hitting the slopes. And, if your travels bring you to Big Sky Resort in the summer, there are plenty of activities to keep the whole family busy, no matter how long you stay.
Alpine skiing and boarding aren’t the only winter activity options at Big Sky Resort. The resort caters to all sorts of wintertime fun. Some of our favorite highlights include Big Sky’s two ziplines, which run year-round and are just as fun in the winter as they are in the summer.
The Adventure zipline is the longest in the Yellowstone region, while the Nature zipline is more moderate and family-friendly.
If ziplines aren’t your thing, check out the Nordic center where you can cross-country ski or snowshoe. You’ll also find unique activities like dog sledding, snow coach tours, and wintertime fly-fishing tours.
Of course, there are tons of things to do at Big Sky Resort in the summer. Summer activity offerings include 18-holes of golf at Big Sky Resort golf course, or a round of disc golf at the base of Mountain Village.
For the thrill-seekers, summertime means trading your skis for a mountain bike and exploring the miles of ski runs on a different mode of transportation. Mountain Village is also home to a number of adventure activities during the summer like bungee trampolines and a giant swing.
There are also typical summer mountain activities like hiking, wildlife viewing, and fishing.
During the winter, Big Sky Resort is host to several fun events.
The first week of January opens the Town Race Series, which runs for six weeks through the beginning of March. This race series gives community members a chance to test their skills and speed on a standard slalom course.
MLK Weekend is all about reliving the 80s. During this weekend, enjoy all things 1980s, including your favorite 80s music around the mountain, big hair, loud ski gear, and plenty of prizes and giveaways. The weekend is sponsored by Dogfish Head Brewing
Finally, the Resort plays host to the Shedhorn Skimo – Pan American ski mountaineering championship race.