Perpetual blue skies. Millions of snowflakes fluttering to the beat of your heart. It's the details that move the mind and stir the soul. Details like 400 inches of annual snowfall or 3 mountains with lots of elbow room. Lift lines are basically non-existent here. The skiing and riding is the ultimate experience. Explore the backcountry on snowshoes or take a relaxing sleigh ride. Big Sky has 3,812 acres of lift accessed skiing and plenty of off-piste options. If long runs are your taste, Big Sky has one run that is 6 miles long dropping almost all of the resorts 4,250 vertical feet. Getting to Big Sky is easy from Bozeman's airport which is an hour away. With plenty of on-site lodging options ranging from hotel rooms, condos, to luxury homes, Big Sky has all your needs met in one place.
They don’t call it Big Sky country for nothing, it’s all larger here. The big blue sky, the endless skiing, deep snow, and vistas that rival those of European villages. When you turn off the road from the Gallatin Valley you enter Montana’s skiing mecca. There are three ski areas within sight of one another, and plenty of lodging and restaurants for every taste bud. The Big Sky Resort is one of America’s best keep secrets for the ultimate ski vacation.
When I stepped off the Lone Peak Tram my first thought was if you weren’t a serious skier you might be saying, “Can I please get a ride down?” But I personally had to contain myself from shouting in excitement at the vertical feet that awaited me. Then there’s the view from the top. It’s worth the time it takes to travel to Big Sky. The snow quality, ski patrol, and avalanche control are top quality with any resort around, which is necessary for a mountain of this caliber.
But one of the main draws about Big Sky is the variety of terrain, which for the ski snob that I am, is impressive. There is enough steep and challenging terrain to keep me smiling, but at the same time, the families and kids below were having a blast on the various terrain parks and easier groomed runs near the lodge. At the end of the day, when the snow had softened, my inner child told me to head to the terrain park. After two runs I understood why the younger generations spend all their time around these jumps and rails, it makes you smile each time you conquer a feature.
As any traveler knows, eating at resorts can either be painfully expensive or painfully gross. Big Sky’s restaurants in the village are neither. Actually I wish I had been with a date at Peaks restaurant for lunch rather than my sweaty ski partner, because the atmosphere and food were incredible, not to mention I even had enough left over for gas money home. We had a similar experience the night before eating Italian at Andiamo, where I enjoyed prosciutto wrapped salmon with a white bean salad. Not your typical mountain fare.
The many gladed tree runs and long bump runs left my legs feeling a little like pudding and drove me to the hot tub in no time. After a few drinks it was shut eye time. I pulled the down comforter over my head, and the next thing I knew the sun and another bluebird day greeted me.
Sometimes the best part of a ski trip is the storytelling that happens afterwards. After skiing Big Sky with our guide Dax, I will have stories to tell until I return to Big Sky, which could be sooner than I think.