Big Sky Montana is world-renowned for being an amazing place to visit in the wintertime. With Big Sky Resort and Yellowstone National Park so close, there are countless winter activities in Big Sky! Here is an ideal 6 day trip to Big Sky country during the winter season.
Before we start talking about winter activities, we need to begin planning your trip. Here are a few key details to start with:
- Lodging: Big Sky has many hotel and condo lodging options. We recommend staying in a cabin, home, or condo managed by Saddle Ridge Rentals/Moonlight Rentals in Moonlight Basin. They have excellent customer service, all of their properties are ski-in/ski-out with private outdoor hot tubs, great views, and are impeccably clean.
- Rental car: Big Sky is an hour away from Bozeman International Airport, and the town of Big Sky is quite spread out. There is a free local shuttle in Big Sky, however, it only hits each stop once an hour. For the convenience of being able to get around easily during your vacation, we recommend renting a car in Bozeman. With a car, you will be able to drive to dinner, drop kids off at ski school, and get around to various activities on your own schedule. It is also important to rent a 4WD. Big Sky is a snowy mountain town and 4WD is a necessity.
- Lift Tickets: Once you have your lodging secured, go ahead and purchase your Big Sky lift tickets. Big Sky offers advanced ticket sales online and once you have a ticket for a specific day, that guarantees your spot on the mountain for that day, which is especially important for Winter 2020/2021 due to COVID19 and potential limiting of last-minute ticket sales. Also, the sooner you purchase your ticket, the better pricing you will receive.
- Groceries: Big Sky has 1 large grocery store (Roxy’s) and 3 smaller ones. Roxy’s is the best local store with wonderful organics, beef, and fish + a great wine selection. Since Big Sky’s grocery stores are located in a mountain town, they are on the pricier side. If you prefer to buy in bulk or keep your grocery bill down, we recommend buying most of your food in Bozeman. There is a Costco, Super Walmart, Albertsons, and Rosaurs (great organics) in Bozeman, but if you shop in Big Sky, Roxy’s Market is your best option.
- Ski/Snowboard Rentals: Get your Ski/Snowboard Rentals knocked out on the night of your arrival, if possible. We recommend Grizzly Outfitters in the Big Sky Town Center, or Black Tie Skis, if you prefer to have your skis delivered to your door. Ask Saddle Ridge Rentals/Moonlight Rentals about ski rental discounts when you rent your property from them.
Day 1: Skiing and Dinner at the Mountain
- Morning: Take your first morning to rent your ski gear for the week. We recommend renting from Grizzly Outfitters or Black Tie Ski Rentals. Grizzly has a location in the town of Big Sky and Black Tie actually delivers skis to your location.
- Afternoon: Now that you have your ski gear for the week, go out for your first day of skiing. Big Sky is a HUGE mountain and will take your entire trip to explore. For some help, see our blog post about the Best Ski Runs At Big Sky Resort.
- Hot Tub: Leave time each afternoon to relax in your own private outdoor hot tub. This is a great time to enjoy a beer or glass of wine and rejuvenate for the evening and next day of skiing.
- Dinner/Apres-Ski: After a long afternoon of exploring the mountain, head over to Montana Jacks for some beer and food, or enjoy an upscale meal at The Cabin Bar and Grill. Montana Jacks is located at the base of Big Sky Resort and is a happening place after the lifts close.
Day 2: Skiing and Montana BBQ
- Morning: Saddle up your ski gear for a full day of skiing at Big Sky. If you’re looking for some groomers try Andesite Mountain. And if you’re looking to explore and find some powder head to the Moonlight Side of the mountain, where there are fewer people and more snow.
- Lunch: Instead of going back to your condo for lunch, head over to Vista Hall. The Hall offers a variety of food ranging from sushi to pizza. Due to COVID-19, all restaurants in Vista Hall offer grab and go food.
- Dinner: Head over to the Riverhouse for dinner, they have great BBQ and nightlife. On weekends they even feature live music from some of Big Sky’s most talented artists.
Day 3: The Lone Peak Tram
- Ski All-Day: Head out for another beautiful day of skiing in Big Sky Montana. If you have the ability to ski black diamonds, we recommend an adventure up the Lone Peak Tram. Liberty Bowl is a black diamond run that goes off the backside of Lone Peak. The peak alone offers amazing views from all directions.
- Lunch: After skiing Liberty Bowl (black diamond skiers only), visit the Shedhorn Grill. Located on the southern side of Lone Peak, this yurt restaurant serves great burgers and beer. And you can eat outside, looking back up at the run you just came down.
- Night: For dinner head to the Big Sky Town Center. Blue Buddha is a great sushi restaurant with a large menu. Copper is an American cuisine steakhouse, and they are also known for their whiskey selections and cocktails.
Day 4: Snowmobiling and Yellowstone or Spa Day
- Day: Take a break from skiing for the day and try your hand at snowmobiling. We recommend two snowmobile rental/tour companies:
- Canyon Adventures: This company is located in Big Sky and rents snowmobiles to ride in the surrounding mountains.
- Yellowstone Fun: This company operates out of West Yellowstone and rents snowmobiles to ride in Yellowstone National Park. (They also offer snowcoach tours for those who want to stay warm and cozy.)
- Spa/Massage: If you aren’t interested in snowmobiling or Yellowstone, take the day to visit one of Big Sky’s luxurious Spa’s.
- Apres: When you’re done with snowmobiling, check out the Beehive Basin Brewery. They have great locally brewed beer.
- Dinner: After a long day outside, grab some food to go on your way back to your vacation rental. Pick up a pizza from the Blue Moon Bakery or Thai Food from the Lotus Pad. Both restaurants offer takeout food.
Day 5: Ziplines and Great Food
- Morning: Take the morning to ski at Big Sky.
- Afternoon: In the afternoon, trade your ski gear out for a harness and go Ziplining at Big Sky Resort. Big Sky offers year-round ziplining and has 2 whole courses for guests.
- Dinner: Treat yourself to a great meal at Michaelangelo’s or Olive B’s located in the Big Sky Meadow Village. Michaelangelo’s offers delicious Northern Italian cuisine, Olive B’s specializes in game and seafood. (Reservations are recommended for both of these options).
Day 6: Full Ski Day
- First Tracks: Spend your last morning in paradise getting first tracks on Andesite Mountain. This exclusive, guided experience starts at 7:45 am and lets guests ride the mountain for an hour before it is open to the public. After, guests eat breakfast at Everetts 8800.
- All Day: After breakfast, hit the slopes for a big day of skiing.
- After Skiing: After skiing go to apres with the locals at Sissorbills Saloon or Montana Jacks. Both are located at the base of Big Sky. Or spend your last afternoon relaxing in your own private hot tub.
- Dinner: For the last night in town it would be best to cook dinner. You probably have an early flight and its a long drive to the airport. If you don’t feel like cooking, but don’t want to go out, purchase a prepared meal from the Hungry Moose or the Gourmet Gals.
Let us know if you make it to all of these activities! Enjoy your stay your winter 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/Moonlight Rentals, the best vacation rental company around, offering beautiful 2, 3, and 4 bedroom cabins, condos, and homes. They have some great deals on winter and summer rentals right now.