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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 the Biggest Skiing in America?

Imagine 5,800 acres of Big Sky Resort's terrain on Lone Peak and 85 kilometers of Nordic skiing at Lone Mountain Ranch. With no crowds, all an hour from Bozeman International Airport and Yellowstone National Park. Relax at your slopeside cabin, hit the spa after a day on the slopes, and indulge in Big Sky, Montana's laid-back mountain culture.

What if I've never skied before?

Never strapped on a pair of skis or snowboard? No problem! Big Sky Resort provides ample beginner terrain, complimented with a world-class Mountain Sports program and performance rentals. Fill your rest days with plenty of off-mountain activities, shopping, and dining, true to the Montana mountain experience.

Find out more about rentals and lessons

What are my transportation options in Big Sky?

With multiple neighborhoods across the Big Sky area, it's good to choose accommodations based on your transportation abilities. The Mountain Village and Meadow Village offer shops, dining, and activities at your doorstep. If you prefer a remote stay experience, we recommend renting a car, but there are shuttle, bus, and taxi services available for less frequent trips.

More transportation info

Is Big Sky family-friendly?

Big Sky is the perfect family getaway! Big Sky Resort's terrain is perfect from first-time-on-snow toddlers to little rippers exploring every inch of the woods. Off-mountain, take advantage of plenty of family-friendly activities, dining, and a nightly jump in the hot tub.

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 visit Big Sky?

Winter conditions in Montana are incredibly reliable with an average annual snowfall of over 400". Big Sky Resort opens Thanksgiving Day and closes mid-late April. Some of the best snowfall occurs in February and March, but the spring skiing late March and April is full of sunshine and fun. 

Take advantage of the beautiful Montana summers between June and September. With hiking, biking, golfing, and all sorts of exploratory activities just an hour away from Yellowstone National Park, summer in Big Sky should not be missed.

How do I dress for Montana winter?

It's all about the layers. For walking around town, embrace Montana mountain casual with a cozy sweater or base layer topped with a warm coat and a beanie. Make sure you have grippy, waterproof footwear for walking in the snow.

On the mountain, layer with an activewear base layer, a fleece or light puffy, and a waterproof outer shell or coat. Wool ski socks are a must for making sure you feet stay warm in your boots. A pair of thick leggings or long underwear work best under waterproof snow pants. Avoid cotton-based materials and opt for wool or synthetic clothes that don't hold moisture. Top it off with a helmet, goggles, and insulated waterproof gloves or mittens and you're ready to go!

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?

Take advantage of all that Montana summers have to offer. Explore the area by foot, bike, zipline, horseback, or even one of our many rivers. With golf, scenic lift rides, miles of hikes for every level, and so much more within an hour of Yellowstone National Park, there's endless opportunities for a summer adventure in Big Sky.

See all summer activities

What kind of winter activities does Big Sky offer?

Big Sky is home to some of the best skiing in North America, but there are still plenty of other activities to do on your rest days. Explore the area on nordic skis, snowshoes, or horseback, or experience the thrill of dog sledding, ziplining, and snowmobiling, and finish off the evening with a peaceful 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, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country 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.