A single, massive mountain – Lone Peak – dominating the horizon.
Two total acres of skiable space, per person.
Days upon days of non-existent lift lines.
Entire runs skied solo, top-to-bottom.
This. Is. Big. Sky.
Brought to you by Ikon Pass
Less than an hour from easy-to-fly-into Bozeman, Montana’s Big Sky Mountain Resort resembles a meeting place of heritage, geography, legendary lore, and a well-planned future. As such, it’s the next North American ski scene that should be on your ever-growing roster of bucket list Ikon Pass destinations.
You know the scale of a place is big when you can stand at the top of a mid-mountain lift and gaze upon the rise of its namesake peak, only to have it feel impossibly far away. Upon cresting the top of the Ramcharger lift, visitors to Big Sky have had this experience often. It’s a moment that reflects all that there is to explore. Yes, that – waaaay over there – is, in fact, the same resort. Now, let’s go see it. And when you do make that journey, through bumps and side-cut glades, across stretches of groomer or pockets of pillowy perfection, the vastness starts to soak in.
To take it up a notch and head for the top, all the way to Lone Peak 11,166-foot summit. Upon stepping off of the tram, it’s easy to look out with oversized amazement upon views of three entire states and two massive National Parks, not to mention 300 degrees of available skiing, including some of the wildest chutes and couloirs around.
Big mountain skiing at its best, this is perhaps the closest you can get to experiencing the Alps while still keeping it stateside. And up on the summit, you’ll find a landscape filled with rare triple black diamonds. Best when found in near-perfect conditions, these options are for truly advanced, experienced skiers. Up here, it’s not the time to test your abilities. Rather, you should know before you go. If a slightly easier route to the bottom is in your summit forecast, not to fret. Simply cut on over to the single black, Liberty bowl, where you can connect trail-to-trail all the way down, snaking out 6 miles of smiles and two tired legs on the way back to the village base.
With that marathon pilgrimage from peak to village plaza in the bag, it’s time to explore the bigtime après found on and around Big Sky Resort. From Uncle Dan’s on-mountain cookie huts to Montana Jack’s burgers and beers, from Everett’s 8800 elevated dining or Horn & Cantle Saloon at Lone Mountain Ranch, the offerings are as big as the terrain.
Simple and straight to the point, replenish your sugar levels with cookies and Rice Krispie treats at one of Uncle Dan’s two lift-based locations. There’s even an option of the latter that comes laced with kettle chips and pretzels, the perfect blend of salty and sweet.
Offering over 100 beers with up to 24 on tap, Montana Jack specializes in craft burgers to pair with a wide selection of craft beers. Located in the Mountain Mall at Big Sky’s Mountain Village – directly at the base of Ramcharger & Swift Current – Montana Jack is as close as you can get to the slopes without hopping on a chairlift. Featuring big screen TV’s and sweeping mountain views, it’s one of the most accessible places to enjoy the Big Sky après scene.
Found at the top of Ramcharger, the après scene at Everett’s is an elevated experience, both literally and figuratively. Pair alpine-inspired dishes with an expansive wine list, European beers, or an updated revisioning of cocktail classics. Plan ahead and make a reservation to arrive just before sunset and treat yourself to a spectacular visual scene.
Lone Mountain Ranch – Horn & Cantle Saloon
Homesteaded in 1915, this 160-acre ranch is always rustic, often riotous, and forever overflowing with après charm thanks to the Horn & Cantle Saloon. Situated a short 12-minute drive from the base village, get things started with the locally-sourced Huckleberry Fizz or the soul-warming Mezacallin while working through a serving of the Korean Chicken Wings. Then, sit back and enjoy a set of local live music while watching the night unfold.
With additional après selections always in the works, the growing list of options reflects the overall growth happening at Big Sky Mountain Resort. With an eye on the future, from the new addition of world-class lifts – like Ramcharger, America’s first eight-seat, D-line lift featuring heated seats and a weather-proof bubble – to the groundbreaking on world-class hotels with names like Montage and One&Only, the already incredible experience at Big Sky is about to get bigger yet.
And it all sits at the base of a single, massive mountain – Lone Peak – dominating the horizon.