From the ski slopes of Big Sky Resort to the colourful geysers of Yellowstone National Park – if you’re a fan of the great outdoors you’ll find plenty of things to do in Big Sky, Montana.
The clue is in the name: Big Sky is one of the most spectacular parts of southwest Montana. It’s home to expansive mountain views, green slopes and valleys, and some of the best possibilities for star-gazing in the United States!
Stretching over 120 square miles, and nestled in the mountains of the Madison Range, this picturesque town is the ideal base for all kinds of outdoor activities.
With hiking, mountain biking and rafting on offer in the summer, and skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing in the winter, you’ll never be short of fun things to do in Big Sky, Montana.
As well as offering plenty of activities for outdoor adventurers, Big Sky is perfectly located for visiting one of the United States’ top attractions, Yellowstone National Park. On the other hand, if you simply feel like curling up and admiring the view, you’ll find well-equipped resorts with plenty of luxury facilities.
Thinking of planning your next outdoor adventure? It’s time to share some of the best things to do in Big Sky, Montana.
Weather in Big Sky, Montana
Big Sky experiences some fairly extreme weather, particularly in the winter months. While the summers are dry, warm and pleasant, with average temperatures of 22 degrees Celsius (71 Fahrenheit), it gets seriously cold in the winter months.
The winter temperatures tend to hover around -16 degrees Celsius (3 Fahrenheit). While this offers fantastic conditions for the ski slopes, you’ll need to wrap up warm and come prepared for chilly weather!
Things to Do In Big Sky, Montana
Visit Yellowstone National Park
One of the most iconic national parks in the US, Yellowstone is best known for its remarkable geothermal features, including bubbling mud pots and vibrant geysers.
A visit to this remarkable region is top of the list of places to visit in Big Sky, and there are plenty of options for exploring the park on foot. Hiking through the steaming fumaroles and mud pots is an experience you’ll never forget, and without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Montana. You might even spot some wildlife native to the park…
Go Thrill-Seeking at Big Sky Resort
While you may be tempted to head further afield, there are plenty of fantastic attractions at Big Sky Resort, the main ski resort in the region. As well as offering access to the slopes, and some of the best accommodation, lodges and vacation rentals in the region, Big Sky Resort has plenty of outdoor entertainment options too.
In summer, try your hand at zip lining, trampolining, archery, fishing, rock climbing and even a trip up to the summit (via the ski lift) as part of the Lone Mountain Expedition. It goes without saying that skiing and snowboarding the most popular things to do in Big Sky in winter. This fabulous resort is the epicentre of Big Sky, and there’s enough to do here to keep you occupied for weeks on end.
Head Out For A Hike
Big Sky offers some stellar hiking. Whatever your experience or fitness level, you’re guaranteed to find a trail that suits you. A favourite family hike is the Ousel Falls Trail, which passes through lightly undulating terrain to a stunning waterfall.
For something more strenuous, head along the iconic Beehive Basin Trail, for breathtaking views of a stunning glacial cirque and crystalline lake, overlooking Lone Peak. At Big Sky, it’s easy to lose yourself in the epic Custer Gallatin National Forest, a vast wilderness area that covers over three million acres! The incredible hiking trails there are second-to-none – simply take a picnic and enjoy the fine weather.
Enjoy a Slap-Up Meal at the Gallatin Riverhouse Grill
With so many outdoor adventures on offer, it’s easy to work up an appetite in Big Sky! I’d recommend heading to the (deservedly) popular Gallatin Riverside Grill, to enjoy some fabulous food and a warm, friendly ambience.
With sweeping views over the Gallatin River and the lovely region around Porcupine Creek, there’s no better setting to enjoy locally sourced produce and authentic BBQ dishes.
Go Horseback Riding
Horse riding is big business in Montana, and whether you’re a complete novice or a total pro, there’s no better way to explore this magnificent region. Horses are an important part of Montana’s culture and heritage, and a stay at a ranch is a good opportunity to learn a little more about the local area.
Most importantly, you’ll make plenty of new four-legged friends. It’s no wonder horse riding is one of the most popular things to do in Montana.
Do A Little Star Gazing
Although there are lots of things to do in Big Sky by day, one of the most amazing activities starts after dark. The region is known for its expansive skies, and they offer some of the best stargazing you’ll find anywhere in the United States.
While you can just look up and enjoy a pretty mesmerising display, it’s even better when you know what you’re looking at. Thankfully, Big Sky is home to lots of expert guides who will introduce you to a little astronomy. With very little light pollution you’ll get views of the night sky as you’ve never seen it before. What an incredible experience – definitely one of the most memorable things to do in Big Sky, Montana.
Go Rafting on the Gallatin River
Snaking through the heart of the Gallatin National Forest is the Gallatin River – the ideal spot for water-based adventures in Montana. Whether you fancy canoeing, tubing or white-water rafting, there are lots of options, plus several top-rated tour companies who will supply all the gear you need.
With towering cliffs and epic scenery all around you, as well as the opportunity to spot a bald eagle or a grizzly bear on the shoreline, an adventure on the river is a fabulous way to experience Big Sky’s amazing landscapes.
Take A Spa Day
Although Big Sky is an adventure sports capital, there’s no rule to say you can’t kick back with a cocktail and simply relax! There are a number of top-quality spas that offer massage, relaxation and whole range of treatments to soothe your aching limbs after a hard day of walking or skiing.
Solace Spa and Salon is a popular choice, and a wonderful spot for some pampering. Try a hot stone massage or a Big Sky Brightening Facial and you’ll leave feeling rejuvenated and perfectly relaxed.
Where To Stay In Big Sky, Montana
The Summit Hotel at Big Sky resort is one of the best-known places to stay in Big Sky. It’s in the perfect location to enjoy the best of the region, whether you’re planning a summer or a winter adventure. You’ll find all the facilities you’d expect from a top mountain resort, plus friendly staff, and plenty of options for food and drink.
Take to the hills to enjoy skiing, hiking, or mountain biking, or simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the view from the hot tub. It’s easy to see why the Summit Hotel is one of the top places to stay in Big Sky.
If you’re looking for classic luxury, look no further than the Wilson Hotel, in the newly developed centre of town. Part of the Marriott group, this popular Big Sky hotel has a classy vibe, and is ideally located close to Lone Mountain as well as being a short drive from Yellowstone National Park.
With an excellent gym and pool, sumptuous furnishings and a top-notch restaurant, you’ll have everything here to make your trip a perfect success.
Offering rustic comfort and charm in abundance, Lone Mountain Ranch is the perfect spot to enjoy the magnificent Montana landscapes. The real draw here is the panoramic view from the resort, with the forested slopes and peaks that Big Sky is known for.
The rooms are comfortable, and it’s a particularly good spot for families, with large suites and a children’s playground. Lone Mountain Ranch is a wonderful place to curl up after a long day exploring Montana’s epic landscapes.
There are so many fun and exciting things to do in Montana. What will you choose to do on your trip? Have an amazing time, whatever you decide to do in Big Sky.
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