A well-established resort, in the heart of Montana, with snow-sure slopes and a great infrastructure, Big Sky is easily able to compete with the best that other North Americas resorts can offer.
The funny thing is that whilst it is able to compete, the fact is that it doesn’t see anywhere near the visitor numbers of, say, Whistler-Blackcomb. So those who do choose Big Sky for a week’s trip, get crowd-free slopes, great tree skiing, a good choice of bars and restaurants, pistes up to six miles long and deep bowls, all buried in over 400+ inches of annual average snowfall - that’s over 10 metres.
Being only an hour south of the very cool university town of Bozeman (the closest airport), Big Sky does see visitor numbers increase on the weekend, but the 5,750 skiable acres easily eats up all the skiers/snowboarders.
There really is something for everyone here. Starting at the very top of the resort you have Lone Peak, at 3,403 metres. From the top, it’s true alpine skiing, being well above the treeline. You can ski 360 degrees of Lone Peak, ranging from steep, yet wide-open powder fields, to the Big Couloir, known locally as the Big C, a very steep and long rocksides chute - once in there’s no way out other than down. Lone Peak is accessed by a cable car and this is the one spot on the mountain where you will most likely need to queue.
The tree skiing is truly world class, especially on Andesite Mountain, with the double black diamond run called Snake Pit being the pick of areas. The Andesite Mountain area sees little traffic, as most visitors head for Lone Peak, leaving it untracked for the locals.
The many groomed green and blue pistes make Big Sky perfect for beginners and intermediates, as does the modern chair lift system. It’s also simply brilliant for those who want to learn to ski or snowboard powder, as it snows so much here that even the bashed pistes are often knee deep in fresh snow - allowing for powder skiing but safe in the knowledge that no surprises, such as fallen trees, lie beneath the snow.
Off the slopes and apres ski
Big Sky has a large base station area and a good choice of eateries and beds. Big Sky doesn’t have too much on offer in the way of accommodation outside of resort, or ‘Big Sky village’, so your only real choice is to book through central reservations. They have a full range on offer, from hotel rooms to large cabins and condominiums. The other option is to stay in Bozeman and drive an hour each way to ski: the Bozeman Backpacker’s Hostel is a cheap option.
With regards to eating, the Andiamo Italian is very good and not too pricey, whereas those on a budget can always grab a pizza at the Pizzaworks or check out either the Bugaboo Café or the Wrap Shack.
For a pint head for Choppers Grub and Pud, which boasts over 100 beers.
Bars and clubs
North Slope Deli