Winter is one of the most stunning times to visit Big Sky. Between the soaring mountain peaks and sparkling Alpine lakes, Big Sky is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. So, if you’re looking for fun and adventurous activities, then you’ve come to the right place.
What Are the Best Things to Do in Big Sky During Winter?
The best activity in Big Sky during the winter is skiing. With over 5,800 acres of skiable mountain slopes, Big Sky is considered the “Biggest Skiing in America.”
However, there are plenty of other non-ski activities you can also participate in during your visit. Snowmobiling, dog sledding, snowshoeing, and fly fishing are just a handful of other fun things to do in Big Sky during winter.
Big Sky is the ultimate destination for skiers. There are two main resorts in town – Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin. Together, they contain 38 different lifts and more than 4,350 vertical feet of pure white powder to explore.
And best of all, Big Sky sees more than 400 inches of snow each year, which means it has one of the longest ski seasons in the country (Thanksgiving to mid-April).
Almost half the trails are reserved for beginner and intermediate skiers. However, more advanced skiers can also enjoy a run down one of the black diamond slopes. Castro’s, Otter Slide, and Headwaters are some of the more challenging trails to ride.
If you need to rent skis during your trip, we recommend Ski Butlers. Instead of waiting in line at the shop, Ski Butlers will deliver and fit your ski equipment from the comfort of your hotel or vacation rental.
With a snowmobile, you can explore some of the most beautiful and hardest-to-reach places in Big Sky. Cruise past glacial meadows, race through the snow-capped forests, and soak in the sweeping views of mountains and valleys during your journey.
Canyon Adventures is one of the most reliable snowmobiling tour companies in the area. The tour takes you through Gallatin Canyon, which is located approximately one hour south of the Big Sky entrance.
3. Dog Sledding
Dog sledding is one of the more popular (and more unique) activities to do in Big Sky during the winter. Surrounded by the snow white landscape, you and your experienced sled dog team will race through the mountains, making this a memorable experience you won’t soon forget.
During your tour, you’ll enjoy jaw-dropping views of some of Big Sky’s most breathtaking landscapes, including Lone Mountain, the Spanish Peaks, the Gallatin Range. Despite being a thrilling adventure, dog sledding is a family-friendly activity and perfectly safe for children of all ages.
Tours are only available from December to April, so it’s best to book your trip in advance.
Big Sky is also a great place to explore on foot (or by snowshoe in this case). There are numerous places in Big Sky suitable for snowshoeing. A tour of the Moose Tracks Gulley at Big Sky Resort is a popular trail for first time or even experience snowshoers.
If you’d rather explore on your own, then you can also choose a groomed trail like Community Park Loop, Little Willow Way, or the Lone Peak Trail. For a more off-the-beaten-track adventure, try one of the ungroomed trails instead. The moderate-level Hummocks Trail and Ousel Falls are good options for advanced snowshoers.
5. Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing is a popular year-round sport in Big Sky. While most people come to fly fish during the warmer months, winter offers a quieter and more peaceful experience out on the river. At this time, you can expect to catch Rainbow Trout, Yellowstone Trout, Brown Trout, and Mountain Whitefish.
The best place to go fly fishing is the Gallatin River, which is located just a few miles from the main Big Sky ski area. Madison River, Paradise Valley Spring Creeks, and the Missouri River are also popular fly fishing destinations.
Keep in mind that the river can be extremely cold, so make sure to dress for low temperatures.
6. Horseback Riding
While most people think of horseback riding as a summer activity, it’s actually something you can do year-round in Big Sky. This is your chance to see the spectacular winter up close.
Trekking along the snow-packed trails is exceptionally peaceful. If you’re lucky, you might spot other wildlife along the way, including bison, elk, and deer.
When the weather is too stormy, you can always take your riding skills indoors. Many ranches have covered arenas where you can still enjoy an afternoon on horseback.
Get your adrenaline pumping with an exhilarating ride through the forest on a zipline tour of Big Sky. With the wind blowing through your hair, you’ll soar like a bird down the side of a mountain, admiring the picturesque views of the Spanish Peaks as you ride.
Some of the lines are 1,500 feet long and over 150 feet high. Because of the cold weather, it’s important to dress warmly during your tour.
Rides are available for kids, although little ones younger than 14 must have adult supervision.
8. Ride the Lone Peak Tram
For one of the best views over Big Sky, take a journey on the Lone Peak Tram. You’ll be whisked up 1,450 feet in just a matter of minutes, giving you panoramic views over Lone Mountain and the surrounding mountain peaks.
The tram is mostly ridden by skiers and snowboarders. The trail back down from the mountain is a groomed blue run, so it’s suitable for beginners. And while there is an extra cost (a ride is not included in your lift pass), it’s worth every penny once you see the breathtaking scenery.
Is Big Sky good for beginners?
When it comes to skiing, Big Sky is an excellent destination for beginners. Not only do they have acres of beginner-friendly slopes (over 2,000 acres to be exact), but they also receive over 400 inches of soft, powdery snow each year. And even on busy days, Big Sky is rarely crowded, so you have plenty of room to practice.
How many days do you need in Big Sky?
With so many different outdoor activities, you could easily spend weeks in Big Sky and still not see everything it has to offer. But if you’re just in town for skiing, then a weekend is more than enough time to hit the slopes.
What is Big Sky like in the summer?
Big Sky is a year-round destination. While the ski season usually ends in April, you can still participate in many different activities once the weather warms up. Hiking, fishing, white water rafting, and mountain biking are just a few things that you can do in Big Sky in the summer.
Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Big Sky is easily one of the most stunning places in all of Montana, especially during winter. During your visit, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to outdoor activities. Ski down the slopes, go dog sledding, or simply enjoy the breathtaking scenery this region is known for.