Big Sky, Montana is having a moment. Montage Resorts opened a property in 2021, One&Only is currently building a luxury resort, and thanks to the popularity of Yellowstone, everyone wants to experience that Montana lifestyle. So, what’s so special about Big Sky? The mountain is vast, and it has excellent snow, several heated and covered lifts, and terrain that’s perfect for beginners and daredevils. Our luxury travel guide for Big Sky gives you all the tips you need to have the best trip, and our four-day itinerary will help you make the most of your visit.
The Perfect Itinerary for Big Sky, Montana
Before You Go
Here is your short to-do list before heading to Big Sky:
Buy Your Pass and Make Reservations
Big Sky Resort accepts the Icon Pass and Mountain Collective, but you must make advance reservations online in order to use your pass to access the slopes. If you don’t have these passes, you can purchase lift tickets online.
Pack (or Buy) Cold-weather Gear
Big Sky can be extremely cold, especially in the morning. Thinks lows of 0F (or below) and highs of 25F. While the mountain does have some heated and covered chair lifts, you’ll want to be sure you have warm enough base layers so you can make the most of your time on the mountain. If you tend to have cold toes and fingers, investing in heated socks and gloves is a smart idea.
Book or Rent a Car at the Airport
Bozeman does not have taxis, Ubers, or Lyfts, so you need to rent a car or book a car service before arriving. Snow Country Limousine is the provider of choice for many luxury resorts.
Make a Reservation at Everett’s 8800
You’ll want to have lunch at Everett’s 8800 one – or more! – days to enjoy stunning views of Lone Peak and elevated alpine cuisine. The space is small and books quickly, so make reservations 30 days in advance of your trip.
Getting to Big Sky can be an all-day affair, so you won’t get much done on your first day. On your agenda: get to your hotel, unpack or rent your gear, and have a delicious dinner.
How to Get to Big Sky
In order to get to Big Sky, you’ll need to fly into Bozeman, Montana. Be sure to check flights before deciding on dates for your trip. Many airlines fly nonstop to Bozeman, but there aren’t direct flights to every destination every day. Speaking from experience, if you don’t have a direct flight, it could take you as long as 12 hours to get there from the East Coast.
After you arrive in Bozeman, it’s a 1 to 1.5 hour drive to Big Sky, depending on traffic and road conditions. The easiest way to get to Big Sky is to hire a car service. I recommend Snow Country Limousine, which has a fleet of luxury vehicles and friendly drivers. Please note: there are no taxis, Ubers, or Lyfts at the airport, so you absolutely need to book a car service or rent a car. If you plan on hanging around Big Sky, you can take advantage of Montage Big Sky’s Cadillac partnership, which offers guests complimentary local transportation. If you want to explore the region, you should rent a car at the airport.
Store or Rent Your Gear
If you need to rent ski or snowboarding equipment, head to the on-property shop, Compass Sports. The warm and knowledgeable staff will equip you with everything you need, and store it for the duration of your stay.
If you brought your own ski or snowboarding equipment, Compass Sports will store it for you so you’ll be ready to hit the slopes first thing in the morning. Each morning, the staff will set up your skis or board in front of the chairlift, so you can easily hit the slopes. They’ll also help you get in and out of your ski boots, which is a huge help at the end of a long day.
Dine on Property
Montage Big Sky has several excellent restaurants to choose from. If you want something casual after a long travel day, head to Beartooth Pub & Rec. The low-key restaurant is kid-friendly but still has delicious food and a fun vibe. Menu highlights include the skillet-roasted mac & cheese, Yellowstone chili, and pizzas baked in a brick oven. Be sure to end your meal with the milk chocolate pizcookie, a gooey skillet cookie, which is big enough to share. After your meal, you can play a game of darts or even bowl at the in-house bowling alley.
Looking for a more elegant experience? Cortina was recently voted the best restaurant in all of Big Sky, and it offers an elevated take on Northern Italian cuisine with a Montana twist. The meat-heavy menu highlights local producers, and there’s plenty of game if you’re a fan. The Agnolotti dal Plin is divine, as is the duck breast and foraged mushroom conserva. Cortina has an excellent wine list, so be sure to speak with the sommelier to find a special bottle.
The hotel has two options for breakfast: a sit-down meal at Cortina or grab-and-go at Wildflower Market. (There’s seating nearby.) Cortina offers a decadent buffet as well as à la carte items. Both are great, and Cortina can also be a quick meal if you’re eager to hit the slopes.
Hit the Mountain
Grab your gear from Compass Sports and head over to the nearby lift. If you’ve never been to Big Sky before, definitely book a guide from Mountain Sports School. The mountain is massive, and your guide can show you where the best snow is that day, where to ski based on your ability level, and recommend local spots to check out.
Have lunch at Shedhorn Grill, a casual spot on the mountain. If you’re up for it, it’s a great reward for skiing after the tram. If you’re not tram-level, it’s the perfect place to watch the action in the Dictator shoots. On a warm day, you can sit outside and luxuriate in the sun on the deck. The restaurant offers low-key fare, including burgers, bratwursts, and chili. It has a fun, local vibe.
Enjoy an Early Après-Ski at Montage Big Sky
You don’t want to overdo your skiing on the first day of your trip, so head back to the Montage for its signature après-ski offering, La Grande Après. The collaboration with Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame offers an elegant experience with fabulous Champagne and delicious bites. Read our full review here.
Head Into Town for Dinner
Big Sky has many great restaurants, and it’s not all mountain cuisine. You can find many different cuisines, and casual spots alongside fine-dining restaurants. Some favorites are Peak Chophouse, Riverhouse BBQ, Lotus Pad, Blue Buddha, and Olive B’s. After dinner, catch a movie or grab a cocktail at The Independent, a cinema with a great bar, or party with locals at Tips Up.
Explore the Slopes
Big Sky has 5,850 skiable acres, so you definitely won’t hit them all on your first day. Check out a different part of the mountain with your guide or on your own. Stop for a leisurely lunch at Everett’s 8800. It’s one of the most elegant on-mountain restaurants in the US. The cabin has immense glass windows that showcase gorgeous views of Lone Peak. It’s located at the top of Ramcharger 8, one of the heated lifts, so even non-skiers can join, but they must buy an Everett’s 8800 lift ticket to access it.
Après-ski in Town
Ski down to the village to check out the après-ski scene. Three restaurants at the base almost turn into one giant party. Umbrella Bar is the chicest, and it has live music on weekends.
Try a Local Spot or Venture to Lone Mountain Ranch
There are plenty of places to explore in Big Sky, but if you want a unique experience that children will adore, head to Lone Mountain Ranch for a sleigh ride dinner. Pile into a horse-drawn sleigh for a chilly ride on the property to the North Fork Cabin for a casual, cowboy-inspired dinner complete with country music and singalongs.
Staying in town? Have a nightcap at Alpenglow, the Montage’s stunning bar. It has a great list of inventive cocktails that are perfect for enjoying by the fire, and it frequently has live music in the evenings.
If you’re just in town for a long weekend, it’s time to pack your bags and head to the airport. Be sure to book a car to take you there well in advance, just in case there is any traffic. You don’t want to risk missing your flight.
If you’re staying for an extended trip, be sure to check out the spa at Montage Big Sky. The 11,000-sq-ft spa has 12 treatment rooms, a large indoor pool, heated plunge pools, and steam rooms. The massages are divine.