Big by name, big by nature! Big Sky is the biggest ski area in Montana and one of the biggest in the USA. One of the newest ski areas on the planet, Big Sky was the brainchild of NBC news anchor Chet Huntly and first opened a mere 30 years ago in 1973. Since then the resort has expanded year on year both on and off the slopes and most recently merged with Moonlight Basin in October 2013. Nestled in the south-west corner of Montana, Big Sky is accessed via the nearby Bozeman airport. Not the easiest to get to, but Big Sky rewards you once you arrive with more than 5,500 acres of skiable terrain and barely another soul to share it with. To make the journey worthwhile, the resort also makes a fantastic twin centre destination, teamed with Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in the Grand Teton Range.
Big Sky is famous for being uncrowded, you can endlessly cruise the fast, empty pistes… there are more acres of skiable terrain than there are skiers and boarders here, now that’s a stat we like! The skiing here can be extreme, the lone peak tram takes 15 people at a time to the top of theLone Peak which rises over 3000m! At the top, you can admire all of Yellowstone National Park and even see as far as the Grand Teton range and Jackson Hole, over 80 miles away! You step out of the tram with just 14 others (on a busy day!) and more vertical descent than anywhere else in the USA at your feet. Chutes, steeps and powder lie ahead and it is exciting, however if that is not your thing you can stick to the lower slopes, beautifully groomed corduroy and endless gentle beginner and intermediate terrain to cruise on.
The resort itself is purpose built and features a variety of handy slopeside accommodation at the Mountain Village and Meadow Village as well as additional lodgings at the Canyon which is 9 miles away and accessed with the free resort shuttle. The base villages have a selection of bars and restaurants but if wild après is your scene then Big Sky will not be the place for you, it is quiet resort where most people turn in early, ready for the first lifts!