Itineraries & Trip Ideas
Once you arrive in Big Sky and get settled into your lodging accommodation, spend the rest of the day exploring Big Sky’s Town Center and relaxing after your long travel journey to Big Sky.
Start the day with a hearty breakfast and head to Big Sky Resort for a day of skiing and snowboarding. Big Sky Resort offers over 5,800 acres of skiable terrain, so there’s something for all ability levels. After a fun morning of skiing, stop into Everett’s 8800 (make sure to have a reservation) for lunch with a beautiful view. After the day of skiing, unwind with a massage or facial at Santosha Wellness Center. Stop at Olive B’s or Michaelangelo's in the Meadow Village for dinner.
Wake up early and drive over to Yellowstone National Park, about an hour south of Big Sky. Enjoy a fun day exploring Yellowstone on a snow coach or snowmobile tour. Yellowstone National Park offers spectacular geysers, hot springs, waterfalls, and wildlife views. After your day of exploring the park, return to Big Sky for dinner at another local restaurant, Block 3 is a premier Montana Chophouse located in the Wilson Hotel in Town Center.
Take the morning and head back to the resort for a ½ day of skiing. After working up an appetite, head down to Montana Jack’s for a filling burger and a local beer. Enjoy the afternoon on the back of a sled being pulled by a pack of dogs with Spirit of the North Sled Dog Adventures or Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures. End the night at Lotus Pad for dinner, and stop by Tips Up for some live music and cocktails.
Once you arrive in Big Sky, get settled into your lodging accommodation in the morning. Hit the river for some fly-fishing with a local guide from Gallatin River Guides or Wild Trout Outfitters. After being on the river for the afternoon, head over to the Riverhouse BBQ, and enjoy their authentic Texa barbecue Montana style. The Riverhouse sits right on the Gallatin River. Enjoy live music on their patio after you’re done fueling up from dinner.
Fuel up for your whitewater rafting and hiking day by stopping at Cafe 191 (located in the Canyon) for breakfast. After breakfast, head to your rafting guide’s office or specified meeting palace, either Geyser Whitewater or Montana Whitewater. There are three classes of rafting found near Big Sky on the Scenic (I-II), Upper Whitewater (II-III), and Lower Whitewater (III-IV)—the latter reserved for the most advanced. Enjoy the morning hitting the rapids and the beautiful scenery as you float down the Gallatin River. After leaving the river, make your way back to Big Sky to grab lunch at the Rock’s Tasting Room in Town Center and get ready for your short hike to the Ousel Falls Waterfall. The Ousel Falls hike is about a 1.5 miles round trip, and the view at the end is extraordinary.
Remember to be BearAware and have your bear spray. Even though many people hike this trail, we always suggest carrying bear spray because we are in bear country, and it's better to be safe than sorry!
After a busy day, have a relaxing dinner at Bucks T-4. Buck’s offers a dining experience with a wide variety of expertly prepared and local meats. Whether it’s classic steak or a burger, you’ll find delicious beef prepared in various styles. After dinner, head back to your lodging accommodation and get some rest for your early morning.
Today you’ll want to wake up early to beat the crowds in Yellowstone National Park. Insider tip, the West entrance gate gets very busy. Avoid entering between 8 am and 10 am, or you may be stuck waiting for a couple of hours. Yellowstone can easily be explored through the Lower or Upper loop, which creates a figure-eight shape. If you only have one day to enjoy the park and want to see some of the park’s most famous landmarks, be sure to drive the Lower Loop. Before heading into the park, check the Yellowstone National Park app to see the estimated time that Old Faithful will next erupt, typically every 90 minutes, so that you can plan your arrival at Old Faithful accordingly. From Big Sky, you’ll use the west entrance to enter the park. Once you get to Madison Junction, turn right and make your first stop at Fountain Paint Pots. View the Grand Prismatic from the Springs Overlook to really get a feel for the size of the springs. Next stop: Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin. Head south over the Continental Divide, where water flows to the Gulf of Mexico on one side of the divide and to the Pacific Ocean on the other. Watch water flow from West Thumb Geyser Basin into Yellowstone Lake. Check out the lake’s hydrothermal features and the Absaroka Range from its boardwalk. View some of the most acidic hydrothermal features in the park at Mud Volcano, then drive through the Hayden Valley, a great place to view wildlife. Finally, don’t miss the scenic views of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, a canyon formed by the erosion of the Yellowstone River.
Today’s your last day in Big Sky, and you’ll be going horseback riding! After breakfast, make your way to the outfitter, who’ll be bringing you on a half-day guided ride. Some outfitters to look into are Jake’s Horses or Cache Creek Outfitters. Both of these outfitters take all ability levels, so don’t worry if you’ve only been on a horse a time or two!
After your amazing morning of horseback riding, take the afternoon to shop around town and pick up those last-minute souvenirs for yourself or your family and friends back home! For dinner tonight, you have dinner reservations at Horn and Cantle, located just up the street from Town Center. You’ll drive to Lone Mountain Ranch. If you arrive early, say hi to some of their ranch animals, like miniature goats or horses!