Big Sky Montana Winter Adventure Guide

Big Sky Winter Adventure Weekend Itinerary

Updated December 2020

In this Big Sky winter adventure guide, you will find things to do, what to wear in winter, & where to stay. Big Sky is located in the state of Montana in the United States. The community is within the southern Rocky Mountains about halfway between Yellowstone & the city of Bozeman. Big Sky is called a community, as there is no official local government and is primarily supported by locals and tourism, especially during the winter months. Tourists flock from around the world to Lone Mountain. This Big Sky itinerary will help guide you in your planning the perfect winter getaway to Big Sky Montana!

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This is the BEST Big Sky Winter Adventure Guide!

Big Sky Montana is known for the some of the best ski slope mountains in the rockies! Offering tons of winter activities such as hiking trails to frozen waterfalls, snowshoeing up a mountain, and sledding! The mountain community offers something for everyone, making it a great place for a weekend getaway.

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Getting to Big Sky

The nearest airport to Big Sky Montana is Bozeman Yellowstone International airport (BZN). The quaint airport is warm and welcoming with beautiful stone fireplaces and wood accents throughout the halls. To get to Big Sky from Bozeman airport you can either take a shuttle, or rent a car to reach the mountain village if you plan on exploring outside the Town Center. Bozeman is the largest city near Big Sky so fill up on groceries, gas, and any other essentials you may need.




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Where to Stay in Big Sky Montana

Where to Stay in Big Sky During Winter

If you are worried about where to stay, don’t be! Big Sky has plenty of places to stay and call home during your trip. Including epic ski resorts, a historic dude ranch, and incredible outdoor adventures. All bringing plenty of excitement to this friendly community year round. The Town Center is centrally located and very walkable. The Center is surrounded by vistas of snow covered mountains and offers shopping, restaurants, a small grocery store and medical facilities. The mountains provide coverage from brisk winds giving the village a mild climate. The center is just 7 miles below Lone Mountain and where trailheads to Ousel Falls and Lone Mountain Trail are located.

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Cabins in Big Sky Montana

LONE MOUNTAIN RANCH

Quaint Cabins

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Big Sky Resort Village

BIG SKY RESORT VILLAGE

Slopeside Village Center

Rating: 4 out of 5.

BUCK’S LODGE

Budget Friendly

Rating: 3 out of 5.
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Things to do & Winter Adventures

You won’t be lacking things to do this winter when you are on your winter adventure. During my visit I set out to explore the community and its surrounding area with some girlfriends. We spent the perfect weekend exploring the high summits and beautiful surrounding nature. Here’s my tips and recommendations for things to do for the perfect Big Sky winter adventure!

The adventure guide to Big Sky Montana in the winter. | herlifeadventures.blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #bigsky #montana #adventureguide #winteractivities #wintertravel
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The adventure guide to Big Sky Montana in the winter. | herlifeadventures.blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #bigsky #montana #adventureguide #winteractivities #wintertravel

Ski or Snowboard Down Lone Mountain

One of the most popular things to do is to ski or snowboard down the famous Lone Mountain. Snowboards and ski are both available for rent at rental shops in Town Center or Resort Village. If you are staying at the Moonlight or Big Sky resorts, you can skip the lines and have your equipment delivered right to your door upon arrival with Black Tie Skis.

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Holiday Sale

Winter Clothing to Wear in Big Sky

Dressing properly is essential to enjoy your winter adventure. As you ascend the mountain the temperatures drop dramatically and winds pick up making the climate more hostile than the Town Center. If you are not wearing the right winter clothing your ski day may be cut short. LAYERS are the key to regulate your temperature during winter adventures.

First Layer: Shirts to Wear in Winter

Prana Winter Shirts

Second Layer: Vest & Sweatshirts

Pants & Leggings:

You will want to wear soft and flexible cotton or leggings under your snow pants *not jeans*

Winter Jackets:

I recommend bringing a 3-in-1 winter jacket like my Marmot. My Marmot Women’s Featherless Component Jacket is a 3-in-1 jacket system that makes it easy to adapt to changing weather. The outer shell features MemBrain waterproof breathable fabric for protection against heavy snow and spring showers. The insulated jacket underneath is filled with synthetic 3M featherless insulation designed to mimic goose down while providing improved performance in wet weather.

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Winter Adventure Guide to Big Sky Montana including things to do, where to stay, and how to dress for winter conditions.

Snow Pants:

The bib style snow pants are my favorite type of snow pants because they don’t fall down everytime I do! 🙂 They may not be as fashionable but they are very practical. When you fall skiing or boarding, depending on how you land, your pants can slide down uncomfortably. Pulling your snow pants up with gloves on is not something you want to try, trust me.

Winter Adventure Guide to Big Sky Montana including things to do, where to stay, and how to dress for winter conditions.

Hats & Gloves

When choosing your winter gloves you want to get a pair the best suits your planned activities. The first pair below is great for snowshoeing and hiking because it offers better dexterity. The second & third pair are good for snowboarding and skiing.

The cuffs tighten and go over your jacket to keep the snow from getting in your gloves. They’re padded and insulated to keep your hands warm and dry. Depending on your mobility preference there are mitts or gloves – I always pack two pairs of gloves because after a day on the mountain they might get wet and not dry in time.

PRO TIP: put your snow gear on a heating vent back at your hotel room to get them extra toasty and dry for the next day!

Just keep fire safety in mind!

Winter Adventure Guide to Big Sky Montana including things to do, where to stay, and how to dress for winter conditions.
Winter Adventure Guide to Big Sky Montana including things to do, where to stay, and how to dress for winter conditions.

Safety Helmet:

In many situations, falling on the mountain is unavoidable. Catching an edge on your snowboard you don’t know if you’ll fall forward or backwards. People often get concussions from hitting their head as they fall back onto the icy snow (like I did once). There is also the possibility of crashing into a tree, pole, or another person on your way down. Wearing a safety helmet when skiing is highly encouraged and sometimes required.

Safety gear helmet for your Winter Adventure to Big Sky Montana including things to do, where to stay, and how to dress for winter conditions.

Snow Goggles:

Trust me when I say THESE ARE IMPORTANT TO HAVE. When you are riding down the mountain snow will be blown into your face and visibility can be limited. The snow also reflects the sun making it bright and difficult to see where you are going. Goggles will help remedy both of those situations.

Snow googles are a must for your winter weekend getaway to Big Sky Montana including things to do, where to stay, and how to dress for winter conditions.

Avalanche Safety Gear:

If you plan on entering any ski hills or hiking trails that are in avalanche territory, don’t go unprepared. Avalanches happen quickly with little time to respond and nowhere to go. Prepare for the worst and keep yourself safe with an ultralight pack for avalanche safety. Don’t weigh yourself down when headed into avalanche country, but you still have to stay safe with the proper gear. The Alpride 2.0 cartridge system in the Black Diamond pack is lighter than a single system and its travel-friendly. The cartridges are NOT included, but you can pick them up separately. The pack features 26 liters of space, which allows you to hang onto probe, shovel, water, food, extra layers and more. All the essentials for a full day on the mountain.

Safety gear for your Winter Adventure to Big Sky Montana including things to do, where to stay, and how to dress for winter conditions.

Boots & Snow Shoes:

Ski and snowboard boots can be rented with the other gear, helmets are also available for rent. Ski and boarding boots are very different than regular snow boots, providing ankle support and stability. For snowshoeing or hiking, you will want a pair of boots like these from Sorel. They are waterproof, warm, and keep the snow out of your boots! These are the boots I wore for snowshoeing and they worked wonderfully.

The Best Winter Hiking Boots - Sorel
Shop now at SOREL.com!
Winter Adventure Guide to Big Sky Montana including things to do, where to stay, and how to dress for winter conditions.
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Go Snowshoeing

Another fun thing to do in winter besides snowboarding or skiing , is snowshoeing! Snowshoes and poles are available for rent at rental shops in Town Center or Resort Village. Bringing your own equipment will help keep your budget low – here are some good options to choose from.

Winter Adventure Guide to Big Sky Montana including things to do, where to stay, and how to dress for winter conditions.
Safety gear for your Winter Adventure to Big Sky Montana including things to do, where to stay, and how to dress for winter conditions.

Trail Information

Ousel Falls Trail

Great trail for snowshoeing or hiking!

Location: Gallatin Gateway Resort Hiking Loop 1

Length: 1.6 miles

Duration: 20 minutes – 4 hours depending on trail

Trail Difficulty: Easy, Beginner

Scenery: gorgeous snow covered forest views ending at a beautiful blue frozen waterfall

Tours from Big Sky to Yellowstone

Trail Information

Moose Tracks Snowshoe Trail

Location: Custer Gallatin National Forest

Length: 2.3 miles

Duration: 1.15 hours

Trail Difficulty: Easy, Beginner

Scenery: gorgeous snow covered forest views ending at a beautiful blue frozen waterfall

Winter hiking trails to explore during winter in Big Sky Montana.
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Winter Hiking Trails in Big Sky Montana

Trails

  • Ousel Falls
  • Beehive Basin trail No. 40: Moderate – 7.1 miles – 4 hours
  • Yellowmule Loop: Moderate – 18.9 miles – 9.5 hours
  • The Reflector Loop: Moderate – 4.1 miles – 2.15 hours
Frozen Waterfall rock wall The adventure guide to Big Sky Montana in the winter. | herlifeadventures.blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #bigsky #montana #adventureguide #winteractivities #wintertravel
Ousel Falls; Her Life Adventures

If you run out of water, just eat icicles like Lenka.

Custer Gallatin National Forest

Hiking Trails

  • Porcupine Creek – Easy, 3.5 miles, 1.5 hours
  • Ophir School – Easy, 5.3 miles, 2.14 hours
  • Crail Ranch Trail – Easy, 2.8 miles, 1 hour
  • North Fork – Moderate, 5.8 miles, 2.5 hours
  • Elk Park – Moderate, 5 miles, 2.4 hours
  • Buck Ridge – Moderate, 12 miles, 6.5 hours
  • Lemon Knob Loop – Moderate, 3.5 miles, 2.10 hours
  • Bear Basin: Moderate, 12 miles, 6 hours
  • Big Sky Ski Resort Hiking Loop – Hard, 5.3 miles, 3.7 hours
  • Summit Lake: Hard, 15.9 miles, 7.5 hours
  • Gallatin Peak: Hard, 18.2 miles, 10.5 hours

Snow Shoe Bridge Big Sky Montana Winter The adventure guide to Big Sky Montana in the winter. | herlifeadventures.blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #bigsky #montana #adventureguide #winteractivities #wintertravel
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Visit Yellowstone National Park

Half day tour to Yellowstone National Park from Big Sky Montana

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44 thoughts on “Big Sky Montana Winter Adventure Guide

  1. This trip sure does look like an adventure! I wish I knew how to do more winter sports – I am only able to ice skate!

  2. Looks like so much fun! Being on the East Coast…We are limited to the Poconos, Catskills, or Adirondacks. But, I look forward to visiting the Rocky’s one day in the future. Thanks for sharing!

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