Located in southwestern Montana, the community of Big Sky is popular with outdoor enthusiasts for its year-round activities and proximity to Yellowstone National Park.
Montana is known as the “Treasure State,” and one visit to Big Sky will show you why. This awesome community is a treasure — filled with outdoor activities, family friendly adventures, amazing restaurants, resorts, waterfalls, sports, and so much more.
Home to the second largest ski resort in the United States, this resort village is popular in the winter, but also is filled with fun activities in the summer too, making it the perfect destination all year long. Visit the Big Sky Town Center, where you’ll find restaurants, lodging, shopping, and activities — like ice skating in the winter, and a farmers market in the summer.
Ready to start exploring Big Sky? Here are 9 awesome things to do in Big Sky Montana that we know you’ll love.
BIG SKY RESORT IN SUMMER
Big Sky Resort is a popular destination in Big Sky, MT, and it offers activities and excitement to its visitors year-round.
We’re going to talk about wintertime at this resort below, but when it comes to Big Sky Resort in summer, the popularity of this location skyrockets. Big Sky is a popular destination when it comes to summer activities and exploration, because of its location in the Greater Yellowstone Region. Looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of life? This is a great choice, filled with awesome mountain adventures.
In the summer, popular activities at this resort include exploring the hiking trails, mountain biking, enjoying the golf courses, zipline tours with aerial views of places like Lone Peak, rock climbing, or taking a scenic lift ride. Adventure Mountain in Mountain Village has great activities for kids, too!
At Big Sky Resort, you’ll find hotels and condos, cabins (some with private hot tubs,) restaurants, shopping, activities, rentals, and so much more. Once you’re here, you’ll never have to leave! (And you probably won’t want to.)
Book It: Huntley Lodge at Big Sky Resort
BIG SKY RESORT IN WINTER
Now that we’ve gone over all the Big Sky Resort has to offer in the summer, it’s time to discuss its charms in the winter. Once the snow has fallen, it’s time for all the snowy fun you can handle at one of the best ski resorts in the United States.
One of the most popular wintertime activities at Big Sky Resort is Nordic skiing. With lifts taking you to miles of cross country ski trails, and amazing views all around, it’s no wonder this is the place to be in Big Sky. Dog sledding, snow coach tours, and sleigh rides are also popular activities this time of year.
The big draw at Big Sky Resort is the amazing Lone Peak. Take the Lone Peak Tram to 11,166 feet above sea level for skiing, and views of three states and two national parks!
With 5,850 acres of skiable terrain — and 2,300 of those acres are beginner and intermediate trails — you’ll love skiing at Big Sky Resort.
In the center of Big Sky, Ousel Falls exists to tempt locals and tourists with its beauty and mind-blowing existence. The Ousel Falls Trail is known as a trail in the middle of Big Sky, and this trail is less than two miles round trip. It is an extremely easy trail, and you’ll find that you experience an elevation gain of about 400 feet.
Located inside the Gallatin National Forest, Ousel Falls is a phenomenal hike that stretches alongside the West and South Forks of the Gallatin River and leads to the Ousel Falls waterfall. Once you get to the waterfall, you’ll discover a pool and picnic area, where you and your family can take a break before making the return trek down the path.
This hike is a nice one if you’re experiencing hot weather (because the foliage, altitude, and waterfall tend to keep the path cool), or if you’re going when there’s snow – just make sure to bring your snow boots!
No matter when you go during the year, Ousel Falls is a stunning locale to visit. When it comes to things to do in Big Sky, Montana, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Ousel Falls.
BEEHIVE BASIN TRAIL
When it comes to backpacking, biking, running, or camping, you can’t go wrong with the Beehive Basin Trail. This is a famous trail in Big Sky, and it’s heavily trafficked by hikers who count themselves to be moderately skilled and who want to be challenged while they’re in Big Sky.
This out and back trail will lead you to a lake and some of the most stunning vistas that Big Sky has to offer, at a much lower elevation than the Big Sky Resort. Realize that you can camp, go backpacking, hike, or run along the trail, and you may find some other people on the trek as you go.
Keep in mind that this path works best if it’s used between May and October (when the weather is the best in Montana), and it’s pet friendly, too!
GALLATIN RIVER RAFTING
Montana is a place that is all about the outdoors. As such, one of the most popular activities in Montana is whitewater rafting. When it comes to Gallatin River rafting, there is only one location that will help you get outfitted for your whitewater rafting adventure, and that’s Geyser Whitewater.
If you can’t make it to Yellowstone or Bozeman, this location is the best one for river rafting escapades. You’ll be presented with a stellar, exemplary, and knowledgeable crew, and they will help you experience the whitewater rafting paths on the Gallatin River.
If you’re worried about safety or professionalism, there’s no need to be. Eric and his family have been running Geyser Whitewater for the last 30 years, and they know what they are doing. The family has also used some of the profits from their earnings to found many charitable organizations that are meant to help protect the environment and enrich children’s lives.
When you decide to go river rafting on the Gallatin River, realize that by working with Geyser Whitewater, you’ll be working with respectable and reputable people. No matter how nervous you are from the get-go, you’ll find yourself loving the experience and wanting to go back, almost as soon as the ride is done.
LONE MOUNTAIN RANCH
One of the most famous dude ranches in Big Sky, Montana is the Lone Mountain Ranch. If you’re looking for a place with a lot of history and an extensive record of happy customers, Lone Mountain Ranch is the best place to look,
Lone Mountain Ranch has been around – in various configurations – for over 100 years, and to many, it’s considered a sign or an emblem of the American West. The goals of the Lone Mountain Ranch hosts are to make sure that all guests who pass their doors feel welcome, well-treated, and that they’ll want to come back.
As part of the all-inclusive part of a “dude ranch,” Lone Mountain Ranch offers amazing amenities so that you can have your vacation in comfort. They also offer activities to keep you entertained, such as sending you on horseback rides. The ranch is situated on the 4-mile plot of land that makes up Lone Mountain Ranch, and it strives to give off a rustic vibe without having you feel like you’re missing modern conveniences.
You can also go fly fishing, skiing, or try your hand at yoga. For those looking to relax, massages are offered here, or perhaps you could spend your time in the claw-foot tubs or in front of the fireplace.
Lone Mountain Ranch will begin to feel like a home away from home, and you’re going to want to never leave.
Book It: Lone Mountain Ranch
For a truly fun and exciting Montana experience, you’ve got to try dog sledding! Dog sledding provides such a unique way to explore the area, and you get to make new four-legged friends.
Spirit of the North provides a premier dog sledding experience. An experienced guide will help you lead the dogs on the journey, and then once you’ve begun to settle in, the guides will give you tips, tricks, and hands-on instruction to take the reins yourself!
Don’t worry, they won’t leave you until you’re ready. The guides – and Spirit of the North as a company – want you to be as comfortable as possible, so they’ll only give you the reins if you tell them you feel comfortable trying.
DAY TRIP TO YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
One of the great things about Big Sky, Montana is its proximity to other stunning places that you might want to visit. One of those places is likely to be Yellowstone National Park.
If you’ve been curious about Yellowstone National Park, visiting from Big Sky, Montana is easy. You can make a day trip of it, or if your family is truly interested in the national park, you can take the scenic drive from Big Sky to West Yellowstone. See all the wonder and beauty that place has to offer before setting up camp at the national park.
Considering that Big Sky and Yellowstone National Park are only 50 miles away, you could easily go visit if you have some free time.
DAY TRIP TO BOZEMAN
Unlike Yellowstone National Park, Bozeman is only 40 miles away from Big Sky, Montana, so puttering over there on a day that you have free time might prove to be one of the most fun things to do while visiting Big Sky.
Bozeman is a city in Montana that is near the Rocky Mountains. It has amazing attractions such as the Siebel Dinosaur Complex, special history exhibitions, a stunning collection of T-rex fossils, the Museum of the Rockies, and it also has a planetarium.
If you want to spend your time outdoors, check out the Spanish Peaks (south) and Bridger Range (north). It’s perfect for hiking, biking, and/or skiing (dependent on the weather, of course).
Read More: 12 AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN BOZEMAN MT
BIG SKY FAQ
What do people do in Big Sky, Montana?
Big Sky, Montana is an outdoor lover’s paradise! It’s home to one of the largest ski resorts in the country, Big Sky Resort. In addition to snow fun, there’s also amazing waterfalls, whitewater rafting, and so much more.
How many days should you spend in Big Sky?
How many days you spend in Big Sky kind of depends on what you’re going there to do, but generally speaking, you can hit the main attractions in about three days.
What is the best time of year to go to Big Sky, Montana?
Any time is a great time to visit Big Sky! Big Sky is especially popular during the winter months, due to its amazing skiing and winter sports activities. In the spring and summer when the snow melts though, you’ll see even more of this beautiful area and can enjoy even more outdoor activities like hiking, whitewater rafting, and more.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO MONTANA
- YOUR MONTANA VACATION
- MISSOULA: 19 Amazing Things To Do In Missoula, Montana
- SKI RESORTS: 15 Of The Best Montana Ski Resorts To Visit This Winter
- BILLINGS: 15 Awesome Things To Do In Billings MT (Including SE Montana Day Trips)
- HOT SPRINGS: 21 Most Amazing Hot Springs Montana Has To Offer
VACATION RENTALS IN BIG SKY MONTANA
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