It’s that time of year again. The winter holidays are behind you, the fresh powder on the ground is calling, and you can’t resist the urge to hit the slopes. Whether you’re an experienced skier or a beginner, there’s something out there to take your fancy. However, before you hit the slopes, it’s important to know when big sky opens for skiing.
Like most parts of the country, Big Sky, located in the north-eastern corner of Montana, is blessed with a truly magnificent winter. The combination of plenty of snow and a relatively warm climate gives rise to some fantastic skiing opportunities. If you’re unfamiliar, Big Sky is the second-largest ski resort in North America, only behind Whistler Blackcomb in Canada. So if you happen to be in the neighbourhood, you’d best get yourself down there.
The first couple of weeks of December are certainly the best time to be in Big Sky. The resorts’ snow-making machines kick into action, and the combination of untracked powder and warm sunshine makes for some great skiing. The downside is that this is also the time when the snow tends to disappear quickly, meaning you’ll have to be quick to catch the best runs. Midweek crowds are also a common sight, especially in the morning, so you might need to queue for a coffee and a bite to eat. The good news is that this is also the time when most of the hotels and restaurants in Big Sky open up, so you can look forward to some great food and fantastic views of the slopes.
The resorts’ season really kicks off in the last week of December and continues through to early March. While some of the nearby towns, such as Kalispell, have banned street parking during the winter months, finding a space in a garage or a parking lot is acceptable. Additionally, the last couple of weeks of December and the entire winter holidays are the best time to hit the resorts in Big Sky. The crowds can be spectacular, especially around Christmas and New Year. It’s not only about having fun, but the season’s final days are also the best indicator of what’s left of the snow, meaning there’s less danger of hurtling down a mountain on a snowy day.
Season Passes And Lift Tickets
If you’re looking to make the most of your winter holiday in Big Sky, the best option is to purchase a season pass. These are available at most resorts, and allow you to ski or snowboard any number of days throughout the season. Not only that, but you can also access all the resorts’ amenities, such as the shops, restaurants, and bars. While day passes are cheaper than a season pass, they don’t offer the same level of access, with some restrictions on the number of lifts you can use and the number of people you can bring along with you. If you have a few days off and don’t want to waste any time travelling back and forth to the resort, then buying a season pass is the way to go.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Big Sky?
Considering that Big Sky is located in the north-eastern corner of Montana, away from the very southern parts of the state, the best ski season is somewhat different to that of the southern resorts. Typically, the best time to visit is in the spring or fall, or even in the summer, if you can find a way to beat the heat.
The best time to visit Big Sky is in the spring or fall, and especially during the off-season, which runs from mid-June through August. During these months, you’ll enjoy some great skiing, with incredible views of the mountains and plenty of powder on the ground. The downside is that the resort’s accommodation and shopping options are limited, with just a couple of restaurants and bars open for business. Tourist numbers are also relatively low, with weekend breaks in the middle of summer a thing of the past.
In the summer, the southern resorts, particularly in Montana, are the place to be. The temperatures are a little high, but the bright sunshine and lack of rain makes for some fantastic skiing. If you can get a deal on one of the multiday packages in the off-season, the crowds are lighter too, and you can enjoy some real beginner skiers’ paradise experiences. If you’re looking for someplace quieter, the southern resorts are the place to be in the summer too, as you’ll mostly find fewer people and less noise pollution. If you have the chance to travel in the summer, then take it!
The best information about Big Sky’s opening hours and resort map can be found on the resort’s website, where you’ll also find details about the resort’s ski history and details about the nearby Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. Additionally, if you’re looking for a unique and breathtaking experience, you could rent a snowmobile and explore the backcountry, or even join a ski club and engage in night skiing.