Montana -

Big Sky, MT

By Caroline Samson, Special Contributor and GendronSki Group Leader

This particular ski resort is one of the world’s best-kept secrets. I never really understood why this amazing mountain remains so overlooked. The only plausible explanation seems to be the presence of another fabulous mountain on the outskirts of the area’s major metropolitan hub. Bridger Bowl Ski Area, located a few kilometres from Bozeman, seems to be the favourite among locals. So, while they flock to this closer resort to save themselves the longer drive, Big Sky is left to everyone else. Lucky us!

Photos of Big Sky typically feature Lone Peak which, as its name suggests, is a single isolated—and absolutely spectacular— mountain peak. As you approach this glorious structure, your legs will start to tingle with anticipation as you imagine yourself carving your way down its surface—and with good reason! At Moonlight Basin, the resort adjacent to Big Sky, you’ll have access to an unbelievable variety of runs, amazing turns, an insane vertical drop as well as acres upon acres of superb terrain and breathtaking views stretching as far as the eye can see (and, by the way—even if don’t plan on skiing Lone Peak, you should definitely make your way up to enjoy the view).

After the first few runs at Big Sky and Moonlight Basin, I was already quite taken with Lone Peak and its countless options of skiable terrain. There are marvellous green runs to start off the day on smooth corduroy, blues and blacks to get things moving and, of course, some fine steeps, glades, chutes and bowls that you’ll have almost all to yourself.

After winning me over with its great skiing, Big Sky conquered me with its quaint restaurants, both on the mountain and at the base. Take note: for a simple lunch on the slopes, the Shedhorn Grill is always a good bet—and a good place to run into some locals who might have a tip or two to share about the best spots to ski, and where you might find some fresh snow.

In fact, you’re sure to appreciate the friendly, warm ways of the locals pretty much anywhere you go in Big Sky: from the staff at the resort to hotels, bars, restaurants, shops, as well as the people and skiers of the place. I’ve never felt so welcome at a ski resort. It’s like the locals want you to share their love of the mountain, to appreciate it like they do. Clearly, it works, because I LOVE the place!

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Text from 2015-2016 ski magazine

larger than life!

By Paul Dubrûle, Ski Sales Director

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard Bernard Gendron mention how great Big Sky is—how it’s his absolute favourite place and the greatest ski resort in the States! Needless to say, after hearing him talk, curiosity eventually got the best of me and I set off to discover this Wild West mountain. It wasn’t long before I understood Bernard’s fascination, and instantly fell in love with this amazing ski area—one of the biggest in the U.S. since joining forces with Moonlight Basin.

It’s clear this place is all about the skiing. If you’re the type to take the first lift up in the morning and the last one down at 4:00, and get to bed early so you can rest up for the next day, then this is the place for you. However, if you’re into shopping and crazy après-ski parties, and love having a huge variety of restaurants and hotels to choose from, then I suggest you go elsewhere.

On this first trip to Big Sky, I took my good friend Mario Daniel along. What we both found the most impressive was the sheer size of the mountain and the incredible steepness of the terrain. As an added bonus, several north-facing slopes mean that skiers can enjoy lots of snow late into the season. Experts will love the Lone Peak bowl while more adventurous types can revel in the notorious Big Couloir. We personally headed to Headwaters Ridge, accessible on foot. The descents were certainly memorable, and many were actually pretty technical. Keep in mind that you’ll need some backcountry equipment essentials (shovel, AVD (avalanche victim detector) and probe) if you decide to venture out to certain sectors of the mountain. On the flip side, if you aren’t exactly the daredevil type, there are still lots of beginner and intermediate groomers for you to enjoy.

With Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole just a few hours’ drive away, Big Sky can also serve as your base for a ski safari adventure. And with Yellowstone National Park also just steps away, you’ll definitely want to explore all of the nature this larger-than-life area has to offer.

Fun fact: Big Sky is apparently one of U.S. President Barack Obama’s favourite resorts, and The Summit is generally his hotel of choice. Who knew?


Ski stations Accommodations Snow Conditions
Month Min. Max.
January -12 1
February -11 3
March -8 6
April -4 9
May 3 14
June 5 19
July 4 24
August 1 24
September -3 18
October -8 12
November -8 4
December -12 1