The Greater Yellowstone area is home to some of the best hikes in North America, Big Sky is no different. The Big Sky Area has over 20 hikes ranging from a couple of miles to over 10 miles! We’ve narrowed that down to the 5 best hikes in Big Sky.

1. Beehive Basin: Intermediate

  • Voted one of the best day hikes in North America, Beehive Basin is truly the best hike in Big Sky. This 3.3-mile (6.6 round trip) trek brings you through some of Montana’s most beautiful terrain. Follow the single track through sunflowers and pine trees through the first few miles of the trail. Next, trees slowly fall away and the stunning mountains are hard to look away from.
  • The trail ends when you get to the beautiful alpine lake at the top of the basin. If you bring a fishing rod you might even be able to catch one of the small Cutthroat Trout that lives in the clear water. If you want to venture further up to Beehive Peak (ele. 10,742′) it’s a half-mile scramble to the top, where you will be rewarded with some of the best views in the area.
    • P.S.- Since the parking lot is pretty small it tends to fill up quickly during the busy weeks of the summer.

Beehive Basin

2.  Lava Lake: Intermediate

  • Located in between Big Sky and Bozeman, Lava Lake is another amazing hike outside Big Sky. Park down in the valley by the Gallatin River, there are often rafters and kayakers going right past the parking lot.
  • The trail quickly gains elevation, taking you up from the river into the mountains, the grade is steep but easy to walk. Travel 3 miles and you will find Lava Lake in the heart of the mountains.
  • Lava Lake is great for a hot summer day, the water is deep enough for swimming and even some cliff jumping. There are also plenty of great places for a scenic lunch.

Lava Lake

3. Ousel Falls: Easy

  • Ousel Falls is the easiest hike on this list, and for good reason as the hike is only 1.6 miles round trip. The trailhead for Ousel Falls is just outside of the Big Sky Town Center on Ousel Falls Road.
  • The trail takes you along the South Fork of the Gallatin River, winding through a canyon made thousands of years ago. The Ousel Falls trail is a family favorite, because of the wide trail, short distance and amazing waterfall at the end of the hike.       

Ousel Falls

4. Hidden Lakes: Intermediate

  • Looking for a hike more off the beaten path? Search no further than the trail to Hidden Lakes outside Big Sky. This hike is 6 miles round trip and brings you to a conglomerate of lakes hidden in the trees (see how many lakes you can find).
  • Hidden Lakes is a great location for overnight backpacking trips or day hiking. Make sure to bring a 4×4 car, the road is pretty bumpy. Also, remember to bring bug spray and bear spray.

Hidden Lakes

5. Lone Peak: Difficult

  • Lone Peak is the iconic mountain which Big Sky Resort calls home. Although you can take a series of lifts and cars to the top of Lone Peak (ele. 11,166′), we recommend you walk it on foot.
  • Take the Swift Current ski lift up the first part of the mountain. From there, follow the Bone Crusher trail which follows the ridge up to Lone Peak. The trail is difficult because of the steep trail and loose rocks. The views from the top of Lone Peak area amazing, and on a clear day you can even see the Grand Teton!

Lone Peak

Let us know if you make it to all these trails! Enjoy your stay in Big Sky! And stay safe out there!

For more information about Big Sky see our other blog posts at The Best of Big Sky Blog.

Looking for lodging in the Big Sky/Yellowstone area? Check out Saddle Ridge Rentals, the best property management company around.    


3 Comments

A Beginners Guide To Summer In Big Sky | Big Sky Adventures · June 3, 2020 at 2:44 am

[…] Big Sky is home to some great, family-friendly hikes and Ousel Falls is one of the best. This quick 1.6-mile round trip hike brings you to a beautiful waterfall and has many great places […]

How To Stay Cool On A Hot Day In Big Sky | Floating The Madison · July 7, 2020 at 7:07 am

[…] Lava Lake is a great adventure on a hot day in Big Sky. The hike takes you into the mountains where Lava Lake is hidden. This secluded lake has plenty of great shoreline where you can lounge out and eat a picnic lunch. Activities include: […]

Best Mountain Biking Around Big Sky | Bike Trails In The Big Sky Area · July 20, 2020 at 4:04 pm

[…] and easy ride. Additionally, there are multiple trails connected to the Hummocks Trail such as the Uplands Trail and Ralphs Pass […]

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