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FAQ & Tips

There is a lot to know about Big Sky, Montana before you come. Find out information on weather, activities, national parks, elevation, population, and more!

Click below to explore some of the most frequently asked questions about visiting Big Sky, Montana.

What is Biggest Skiing in America?

Imagine 5,800 acres of skiable terrain (downhill), and 85 km of Nordic skiing (at Lone mountain Ranch), and no crowds - all less than one hour from both Bozeman International Airport and Yellowstone National Park. Relax at your slope-side cabin, hit the spa or the slopes, and enjoy Big Sky, Montana's laid-back mountain culture. More info

What if I've never skied before?

Never strapped on a pair of skis or a snowboard? No problem! Big Sky Resort offers equipment rentals and lessons. Receive private personal ski or snowboard instruction, or join in on a group lesson, both offered daily.

Find out more about rentals and lessons

What are my transportation options in Big Sky?

Although there are plenty of dining and activity options located on the mountain, transportation is available for off-the-mountain adventures. If you want complete control over your schedule, we would suggest renting a car. However, shuttles, buses, and taxis are also available.

More transportation info

Are the resorts family-friendly?

Big Sky Resort was named the #3 Best Family Ski Resort by The amenities, kids ski programs and lessons, childcare options, and endless kid-friendly activities create an experience that your entire family will enjoy.

See more on Family Fun

Should I bring my own gear or can I rent?

If you are planning on flying to Montana, we would recommend renting gear from one of our ski shops, as checking ski luggage tends to be expensive. However, if you plan to drive, bringing your own ski gear is a great option. On-the-mountain cabins, lodges, and condos all offer free (and safe) equipment storage. View rental information.

When should I ski Big Sky?

The skiing is always great, but when you visit Big Sky from December - February, you can expect fluffy powder skiing (average annual snowfall of 400'') with the average temperature at 21 degrees Fahrenheit.

For those of you looking for warm sunshine, we'd recommend visiting Big Sky from March - April. Spring skiing in Montana means bluebird days, warmer temps (average = 43 degrees Fahrenheit), and soft snow.

What do I wear?

It's all about the layers. Here are the essentials:

  • Base layer
  • Wool ski socks
  • Snow pants
  • Hat or better yet, a helmet
  • Ski goggles
  • Fleece or sweatshirt for colder days (not cotton as it tends to hold sweat)
  • Winter/ski jacket
  • Warm, waterproof gloves or mittens

For a printable list of clothing recommendations, click here.

*For more tips and how-tos, check out the BSIA blog.

What the heck is in Montana?

Not everything you see in the movies is true… but some of it is. Here are three Montana myths debunked.

Myth #1: Montana transportation = horses
Fact: Yes, Montana has a lot of horses and yes, you can ride them. In fact, we offer horseback rides and sleigh rides, so you can get your "western" on. However, if horses aren't your thing, you can hop in a car, take the shuttle bus, enjoy a snow coach tour in Yellowstone National Park, and even go dog sledding.

Myth #2: All Montanans are hunters
Fact: Many Montanans are hunters. There are plenty of guided fishing and hunting trips available in Big Sky for you to bring out your inner hunter. Or, skip the stalk and give your tastebuds some wild game at one of Big Sky's fine dining establishments. Vegetarian options are also available.

Myth #3: Montana is behind the times
Fact: We're not called "the last best place" for nothing - without the crowds, smog, and skyscrapers, Montana has everything a busy city has plus some. Enjoy gorgeous, slope side cabins with top-notch amenities, two luxury spas, fine dining, word class skiing, and endless mountain views.

What type of lodging options are available?

Ski-in/ski-out cabins, slopeside lodges and condos, on-the-mountain hotels, and guest ranches are all available for you and your friends and family. Whether you're planning a family vacation, a romantic couple's escape, a guys trip, or a girls getaway - we've got the perfect Montana ski haven for you.

View lodging options

How far is Big Sky from Yellowstone National Park?

Big Sky is located 15 miles north of the YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK boundary and is less than 50 miles north of Yellowstone’s West Entrance. Big Sky is the second closest town to Old Faithful and is an easy two hour drive, but can take longer depending on traffic.

What is the population of Big Sky?

The year round population of Big Sky is about 2,500 people, but during the summer and winter months, that can rise by about 3,000 – 4,000 people.

What is the elevation in Big Sky?

The elevation in the Meadow Village/Town Center area of Big Sky is about 6,200 ft., while the base of Lone Mountain is 7,500 ft., and the summit of Lone Mountain sits at 11,166 ft.

What kind of summer activities does Big Sky offer?

Although Big Sky is known primarily for its skiing, there are a ton of great summer activities as well. As Big Sky is surrounded by the Custer Gallatin National Forest and is in such close proximity to Yellowstone National Park, the trails to explore by foot, bike, or horseback are endless! Big Sky is also a great location to fish, whitewater raft, rock climb, golf, and much more!

See all summer activities

What other kinds of winter activities are there to do in Big Sky besides downhill skiing?

Although Big Sky is home to the BIGGEST SKIING IN AMERICA®, there are still plenty of other activities to do if downhill skiing or snowboarding is not your greatest interest. There are 85km of phenomenal cross-country skiing trails and over 50km of snowshoeing trails in Big Sky. In addition, you can experience dog sledding, snowmobiling, horseback riding, fly fishing and even a sleigh ride dinner!

See all winter activities

What is Big Sky's average summer and winter temperature?

Big Sky summers start out cool with the average temperature in May staying at about 60 ºF and reaching mid 70s to upper 80s in July and August. Summer evenings cool off to about 60 ºF (sometimes cooler with the mountain air). The average daily temperature in the winter stays at about 25 ºF.

What kinds of amenities are available in Big Sky?

Big Sky has over 50 RESTAURANTS, BARS and EATERIES, and over 40 SHOPS retailing everything from art, clothing, jewelry, sporting goods, and more. There are full service SPAS to help you relax and rejuvenate in the finest of surroundings. Our hotels, cabins, guest ranches, lodges and vacation homes offer spectacular ACCOMMODATIONS and options for unparalleled cuisine.

What is the closest airport to Big Sky and what airlines service it?

The closest airport that services the Big Sky area is the BOZEMAN YELLOWSTONE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, located just 45 miles north of Big Sky. This airport is serviced by Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, and United with direct flights to a number of cities nationwide! For more information, visit HOW TO GET HERE.

What sorts of children’s activities are there to do in Big Sky?

While there are some age and weight restrictions for guided activities like whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and ziplining, there is still plenty to do to keep your young ones happy! Ski and summer camps are popular among kids of all ages, as is the ice skating rink, and Big Sky Resort’s Basecamp to Yellowstone activities – bungee trampoline, high ropes course, and scenic lift rides.

Big Sky also has a wonderful community park with a playground, soccer field, skate park and climbing walls. A trip to West Yellowstone’s GRIZZLY and WOLF DISCOVERY CENTER is always a favorite.

How far is Big Sky from Glacier National Park?

Glacier National Park is located in northwest Montana and is about a 6-hour drive from Big Sky to the West Entrance. The time varies depending on which entrance you’re driving to.