A summer vacation in Big Sky can be overwhelming, as there are sooo many activities to do and plans that need to be made in order to spend time efficiently. Visitors are always asking us how to plan their trips and looking for recommendations.
Here’s an ideal 6-day summer vacation in Big Sky:
Day 1: Yellowstone Lower Loop
Big Sky is the perfect vantage point to explore Yellowstone National Park. Located only 45 minutes north of the west entrance to the park, it is an easy commute to get into the park. We recommend splitting up Yellowstone into two days of your vacation because it’s so big.
Breakfast: Grab coffee and breakfast at Caliber Coffe, they make great breakfast burritos to go and roast excellent coffee.
Yellowstone Lower Loop: Yellowstone’s lower loop includes some great sights including
- Old Faithful
- Norris Hot Spring
- The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
- Yellowstone Lake
Lunch: Old Faithful has a good cafe for lunch
Dinner: After a long day in the car exploring Yellowstone, stop at The River House for a big BBQ dinner next to the Gallatin River.
Day 2: Fly Fishing and Hiking Ousel Falls
Morning: Big Sky is well known for its fly fishing on the Gallatin River. Grizzly Outfitters provides rental gear as well as amazing guides. Make sure to spend a half-day of your trip exploring the Gallatin River and catching brown trout.
Lunch: The town of Big Sky has many quick lunch options, check out the Wrap Shack or the Blue Moon Bakery.
Afternoon: 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 to take pictures.
Beehive Brewing: After a long day exploring the area, stop by Beehive Brewing for some locally brewed beer and outdoor seating.
Day 3: Lone Peak Expedition and Lake Levinsky
Morning: Big Sky is home to the famous Big Sky Resort on Lone Peak. During the summer in Big Sky, they offer an expedition trip where you ride the Lone Peak Tram to the top of the mountain. From the top, there are 360-degree views and on a clear day, you can even see the Grand Teton. We recommend going mid-morning before the clouds roll in and after it has warmed up a bit.
Lunch: The Hungry Moose is a great lunch place at the base of Big Sky, they have a deli that makes hot and cold sandwiches.
Afternoon: Lake Levinsky Marina is located less than 2 miles from all of the properties on this site at the entrance to the Big Sky Mountain Village. Enjoy Pedal Boats, Canoes, Kayaks, and Paddleboard rentals.
Dinner: Try out the Lotus Pad for dinner, rated as the best dinner in Big Sky, their Thai food is amazing. We recommend making a reservation because of its popularity.
Day 4: Yellowstone Upper Loop
The upper loop of Yellowstone National Park is famous for its wildlife and breathtaking natural features. You should budget an entire day to do the loop and have time to explore the region. The upper loop includes:
- The Lamar Valley
- Mammoth Hot Springs
- Mount Washburn
PSA For 2020 Summer: The road from Chittenden Road to Roosevelt is CLOSED for the Summer. When traveling to see the Northern part of the park this summer, go in through West Yellowstone, North at the Madison Junction, through Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower-Roosevelt, and continue through the Lamar Valley. After the Lamar Valley, turn around and come back the same way and out through West Yellowstone or exit from the North Entrance in Gardiner and go through Bozeman for dinner.
Lunch: The Hungry Moose also makes packed lunches. Call and order lunch for the whole family and bring it to the park.
Dinner: After a long day exploring the park, head to dinner at Ousel And Spur. They serve pizza, salads, and pasta in a cozy environment along with beer, wine, and cocktails. Reservations are accepted.
Day 5: Beehive Basin and Ziplining
Morning: The Beehive Basin trail is ranked as one of the best hikes in North America. This hike is rated as an intermediate hike and is great for families.
Afternoon: Big Sky Resort has two zipline tours that they offer, both are great for an afternoon activity.
Dinner: The Blue Buddha Sushi Lounge is new to Big Sky and serves great sushi. Enjoy a variety of traditional and infused menu options, creative craft cocktails, and a well-rounded serving of local craft and domestic/import beers. Their lounge offers a variety of games including pool and they often host live music and DJs.
Or if you’re looking for something more upscale, you may enjoy Olive B’s or Michaelangelo’s.
Day 6: Whitewater Rafting and Golf or Horseback Riding
Morning: The Gallatin River has some of the most exciting whitewater rafting in the state. Geyser Whitewater has the best guides, customer service, and the most experience on the Gallatin River. They offer rafting trips for all ages. Contact them today and explain the type of trip you are searching for and they will provide the perfect fit.
Lunch: Geyser serves lunch at their location. Get done with rafting and grab a sandwich with your raft guide. Or, if you are looking for a great burger and a cold beer, check out the Lone Peak Brewery in the Big Sky Meadow Village.
Afternoon: For an afternoon activity, we recommend either golf or horseback riding.
- Golf: Fun fact, at 6000 feet when you drive a golf ball it goes about 16.25 yards further. Try out your golf game at the Big Sky Golf Course and see if the elevation helps your golf game. This Arnold Palmer designed course is open to the public and offers stunning mountain views.
- Horseback Riding: See how people traveled before cars and go on a trail ride with Jake’s Horses in Big Sky. The ride brings you through the stunning mountains of Big Sky.
Let us know if you make it to all of these activities! Enjoy your stay this summer 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 vacation rental company around, offering beautiful 2, 3, and 4 bedroom cabins, condos, and homes. They have some great deals on summer rentals right now.