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Here's the bottom line about Big Sky: every time we visit I end up looking at property there. There are a lot of reasons why Big Sky Resort is getting more popular in the past decade. The parent company is investing a ton of money in the on-mountain experience, the aprés scene is growing and Montana is one of the most awesome off the grid places that are completely family friendly. I'm sharing some ideas on where to stay at Big Sky Resort on your next Montana ski vacation

Trip Planning to Big Sky

Trip Planning to Big Sky

I love sending families to Big Sky because they have REALLY reliable snow. With a minimum of 400 inches of powder fall on 5,800+ skiable acres it's a haven for folks like me who hate crowded hills (sorry Northern Vermont, but it's true). 

This is one of my favorite ski superlatives in the industry: Ski Big Sky offers an average of two acres per skier. And from personal experience I can tell you, Big Sky’s lift lines are small to non-existent. I was thrilled to get to bring two of my BFFs from the industry to this special place. 

We flew in from NYC and San Francisco and it was pretty seamless. The Bozeman airport is a smooth running operation and it's an easy drive the resort after you land. We packed all this fun into three days, but give yourself more time!

Since it's a pretty good haul from NYC, I recommend at least 5 days for your Big Sky Trip. A week is even better. With a week, you can make huge progress with your skiing AND take a day off to head to Lone Mountain Ranch for Nordic Skiing or do a snowmobile tour of Yellowstone (which I have yet to's on the list).

Stillwater condo

Lodging Options at Big Sky Resort

On my numerous visits to Big Sky I’ve tested out an assortment of lodging. My kids love the cute log cabin in Cowboy Haven, I like the ski-in/ski-out access at the Summit Lodge. But I think we could all agree on a Stillwater condo. This location is a short walk from the village and it’s easy to start your day on skis from the Bear Back Poma.

Stillwater Condos

For many families, cooking a few meals while at the resort cuts down on costs and makes life less stressful. Stillwater is the perfect pace for families of 2,3,4,5 and even 6 (though it might be a squeeze). They've all got fully-outfitted kitchens, plenty of storage space and are a short walk to ski school, the lifts and the mountain village. We had a fireplace and a small deck off our kitchen. The girls slept in a loft area and we all shared a bathroom. The kitchen was on an open plan and had plenty of chef accessories. Upside: Affordable family option, located in the heart of Big Sky. Downside: Schlepping in ski boots to the base, and carrying skis back and forth each day (there is a ski valet at the base--$6 per pair of skis per day).

The Stillwater condos have plenty of parking and gorgeous mountain views. They are also outfitted with large kitchens and living spaces and have private balconies. There's nothing like a soak in your secluded hot tub to melt away stress and prep your body for the next day on the slopes. With the combination of location and space, I highly recommend these condos to visitors. 

Village Center

With studios and suites that accommodate up to ten people, Village Center is a great option for groups, families, couples, and singles. My spacious and well-appointed studio boasted a surprisingly comfortable murphy bed, a plush leather cowboy couch, cozy fireplace nook, convenient kitchenette, and patio with a view. Located along the main pedestrian walkway in Big Sky's Mountain Village, the Village Center offers the convenience of shopping and dining within steps of your front door.

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Summit Lodge

The Summit Lodge has been renovated and sits right at the base of the Ramcharger lift. It's a great home base for families that don't need a full home set up.

Huntley Lodge

Huntley Lodge is some of the oldest housing stock at Big Sky, and likley the most affordable. The Huntley hosts movie nights and is home to an epic daily breakfast buffet. It's also where the mountain spa is located--take note, after a few epic days of skiing, you're going to need a 50-minute Swedish massage. (Mine was phenomenal!)

Cowboy Heaven Cabins

For a fancier experience, we booked three nights at the Cowboy Heaven Cabins. Cowboy Heaven is located in the Moonlight Basin area. These Montana-style log cabins have lovely views, decks and private hot tubs. Yes, the family hot tub was a HUGE hit. Like the condos, the cabins had a fully decked out kitchen. Ours also had two bedrooms, a washer/dryer (though it was oddly located in the middle of the living room), two bathrooms, and a wood-burning stove. We were able to ski home off the Powder Ridge run (a Green Run) and then ski off at the beginning of the day down to the Iron Horse lift. It couldn't get more convenient. Upside: Loads of charm, privacy, and convenient access to slopes. Downside: You'll need a car.


Montage Big Sky is a luxury resort framed by the Spanish Peaks mountain range. It's the newest property on site and offers 139 rooms and 39 residences within 45 minutes of Yellowstone. It's pricey, but comes with all the luxurious touches the mountain was lacking, like a really swank spa. Get more details here.

How to Maximize Your Trip to Big Sky

I am a big proponent of ski passes. Each year I start pitching families to get a pass. At Big Sky you can ski with an Ikon or Mountain Collective Pass.  Family friendly ski travel: Children 6 and under always ski free. Children 12 and under ski free with a lesson.

Getting to Montana is getting easier and easier.  JetBlue is now offering air service to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) from Long Beach. United Airlines has added more frequent daily service to BZN from Houston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Daily service to BZN from Portland, Oregon is offered year-round on Alaska Airlines. Since we are a Delta family, we tend to connect through Minneapolis (it's pretty easy). 

The great news is, with all the new carriers coming in and the expanded flight options, rates are getting cheaper to Big Sky.



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Reasons Why Big Sky is Getting More Popular

This Reasons Why Big Sky Resort Is Getting More Popular In The Past Decade feature is sponsored by Visit Montana and Big Ski Resort.

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