Plan a winter weekend in Big Sky

Fresh powder and no lift lines are two reasons to check out this Montana mountain town

A snowboarder fresh off a run in Big Sky, MT
Photo: Audrey Hall

You know you're in Big Sky, Montana, when:

1 You have the slopes to yourself Big Sky may not share the glory of the glitzy resort towns in Colorado and Utah, but with more snow and open space, this undersung skiing nirvana can rest on its own laurels.

From the top of 11,166-foot Lone Peak Mountain, there’s nothing below you but wide-open slopes and powder bowls with sweeping views across Montana and Wyoming.

Between the town’s two ski resorts―Big Sky and Moonlight Basin―there are three mountains used by an average of only 2,500 skiers per day ... it works out to 2 acres per skier.

That means long, floating runs and nonexistent lift lines.

2 You’ve never seen so much powder Low humidity and moderate temperatures give Big Sky its characteristic “cold smoke” powder (it’s also the name of a local microbrew).

On top of that, the area gets dumped with 400 inches of this light, fluffy stuff annually. Compare that with 350 in Park City, 309 in Telluride, and 300 in Aspen.

Mammoth Mountain in Southern California gets as much snow, but with three times the crowds.

3 The après-ski scene has a Wild West twist

Cowboy boots, horseshoes over doorways, antler coatracks, and drinks with names like Moose Drool and Range Rider Red―Big Sky’s restaurants don’t let you forget you’re in cowboy country.

Dig into T-bones the size of a Stetson at the Corral Bar & Steakhouse, a 1946 log restaurant with wagon-wheel chandeliers.

Another favorite is Buck’s T-4 Lodge and Restaurant, with its stone fireplace, smoked-trout appetizers, pan-seared deer sirloin, and yes, more wagon-wheel chandeliers.

Next: The wild side

 

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