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Mountain Adventures in Big Sky, Montana - Year-round Activities and Gateway to Yellowstone

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Famed for consistent snow and uncrowded slopes, Big Sky, Montana is one of the largest ski resorts in the U.S. The fun in this Rocky Mountain community doesn't stop when the temperature rises, either. Come summer, mountain bikers hurtle down bumpy trails, golfers tee off on an Arnold Palmer-designed course, and adrenaline hounds hunt for the perfect buzz. Plus, Yellowstone is a handy drive away.

Skiing and snowboarding

 

With more than 300 runs crisscrossing 4 mountains and a 4,350-feet vertical drop, Big Sky has thrills for every type of skier and rider. Experts can soar up Lone Peak Tram, then plunge into vertiginous chutes and powder-packed bowls. Tree-lined blue and green runs fan out over gentler terrain lower down Lone Mountain and across the smaller peaks. Seven terrain parks keep beginner and seasoned freestylers busy with more than 100 features. You can fly off natural rock and tree jumps in Freestyle Forest or teach your kids tricks in Explorer Park. Lone Mountain Sports rents out all the gear.

 

  • Big Sky Resort, 50 Big Sky Resort Road, Big Sky 59716; Tel: +1 800 548 4486; Website: Big Sky Resort
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  • Lone Mountain Sports, 39 Black Eagle Road, Big Sky 59716; Tel: +1 406 995 4471; Website: Lone Mountain Sports

Mountain biking

 

Melting snow means one thing on the slopes of Big Sky: mountain biking season. Chairlifts carry you and your bike uphill before you take your pick from 14 singletrack trails. Twisting routes lead you through dense forest, over humpbacked bridges, and zooming into the air if you dare. Different Spokes Bike Shop can set you up with rentals plus group or private coaching if you need a few pointers. Grizzly Outfitters also hires out top-of-the-range bikes.

 

  • Different Spokes Bike Shop, 50 Big Sky Resort Road, Big Sky 59716; Tel: +1 406 995 5849; Website: Different Spokes Bike Shop
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  • Grizzly Outfitters, 11 Lone Peak Drive, Suite 101, Big Sky 59716; Tel: +1 406 995 2939; Website: Grizzly Outfitters

 

Activities and adrenaline rushes

 

Beyond downhill action, Big Sky has a veritable A to Z of adventure activities, from archery to ziplining. You might meet a moose on your way round the par-72, 18-hole golf course. If Arnold Palmer's design proves challenging, pros offer group and individual instruction, while clinics focus on specific skills such as bunker play and putting. To get your heart pumping faster, you can combine a half-day white-water rafting trip through Gallatin Canyon's Class IV rapids with a 2-hour zipline tour, whizzing past Big Sky's treetops.

 

 

Yellowstone National Park

 

Day trips from Big Sky to Yellowstone National Park are easy. The West Entrance is less than an hour's drive away. The park's star attractions are its remarkable geological wonders and enormous array of wildlife. You're likely see bubbling mudpots, hissing steam vents, and brilliantly blue hot springs. Dotted across the park are more than 300 gushing geysers. Mountain lions, grizzlies, and wolves are among Yellowstone's resident beasts. In winter, you can spot snow-dappled bison as you cruise across the park by snowmobile or snowcoach. Backcountry Adventures runs both types of tours.

 

 

Big Sky dining

 

Pizza and pasta, wild game and Old West classics: Big Sky restaurants serve plenty of belly-warming cuisine. Perched atop Andesite Mountain, Everett's 8,800 is a 21st-century timber lodge where you can cozy up by the fireplace with French onion soup or tuck into bison steak frites on the outdoor deck. On winter weekends, the Ramcharger chairlift whisks diners up for sunset cocktails and a 3-course dinner followed by a sleigh ride back. Lone Peak Brewery might tempt your palate too, with fruity concoction Rasbeery Wheat or dark and malty Steep n Deep.

 

  • Everett's 8,800, 50 Big Sky Resort Road, Big Sky 59716; Tel: +1 406 995 8800; Website: Everett's 8,800
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  • Lone Peak Brewery, 48 Market Place, Big Sky 59716; Tel: +1 406 995 3939; Website: Lone Peak Brewery

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