Big Sky Ski Resort has a name that makes you want to ski, even if you don’t know how. Away from the crowds and offering ultra-challenging ski runs inside in-bound ski areas, Big Sky is big skiing with plenty to offer all level riders. From bunny hills to arduous gullies and chutes, a Big Sky ski vacation presents opportunities for every skill range via 150 ski runs and more than 4,000 feet in summit elevation. Plenty of vertical drops, loads of natural jumps, and shorter wait times come together for one of the best ski vacations available in the United States.
Three hotels serve the need for lodging within Mountain Village, Big Sky Ski Resort’s central after-ski area. Summit offers luxury ski vacations in a ten-story, 200-plus room hotel. Mid-range lodging is offered at the Mountain Inn, which is within walking distance of the ski lifts. Shoshone condo suites and Huntley Lodge together offer more onsite lodging choices, including townhouses and cabins. Laced with Native American artwork, roaring fires, and many impressive amenities, staying onsite is key to getting in as much skiing as possible. The apres-ski possibilities are more for unwinding rather than getting wound up. Lodges and casual pubs are available as well as restaurants which also feature a festive mood ideal for a few afternoon cocktails.
A mountain-top restaurant on Andesite Mountain and a base-level dining area are the only choices for eating on the mountain. Heading to Mountain Village, skiers will find there are plentiful dining and lodging options. Big Sky Village comprises Meadow Village, Mountain Village (the resort’s core), and the Canyon, and free shuttle transportation connects it all. Eating and shopping are possible throughout the Mountain Mall and the exit offers immediate access to many of the main lifts.
Years ago, intermediate skiers and snowboarders considered a Big Sky ski vacation ideal for their abilities, but in 1995, the alpine tram was incorporated into Lone Mountain peak—the highest of all. With this, Big Sky transformed into a destination ski resort for pros from all over itching to ride the newly accessed landscape and experience new challenges to fine tune skills. Mid-range levels still relish in terrain equating to a quarter of all acreage. Andesite Mountain is an intermediate level skiers paradise and the Elk Park and Big Horn runs are the icing on the cake during a Big Sky ski vacation. Groomed and opened right up for great access, the moderately experienced can take it easy or double-up on challenges to improve on skills.
Liberty Bowl is the only black diamond run on Lone Mountain, the place that seems like an obvious hit with pros. Yet it’s Andesite Mountain, the second of two main mountains, that’s home to the truly challenging terrain, filled with bump runs, endless powder, and loads of natural jumps. Big Couloir is a more than 1,400-foot drop down an edgy escarpment at Lone Peak. These areas require special ski equipment and are monitored closely by ski patrol. Some new, advanced-level terrain has been added in recent years, including Bonecrusher, Elvis, and Graceland, and there are plenty of other double black diamonds to get your thrills from. Cat-skiing tours on the northside make up for the lack of backcountry and out-of-bounds skiing Big Sky lacks. Some Big Sky ski packages can be arranged with heli-skiing included. Check with local tour operators for rates.
Snowboard, telemark, and ski lessons are all available between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. as is guiding around the mountain. Mini-camps and ski programs vary for levels and ages. Two terrain parks and a half pipe are provided for freestyle riders; Swiftcurrent is the lower level park and Ambush Meadows has more than fifteen features for freestyle skiers and boarders. As usual, there are always some people on a family vacations that, despite lessons, don’t take to skiing or snowboarding. Alternatives at Big Sky Ski Resort include horseback riding, dog sledding, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling. Some of these activities can be included in Big Sky ski packages.