1. Snowshoeing in Big Sky
Snowshoeing is the perfect way to enjoy the serenity of winter... and get in a good workout in the process. Big Sky's most popular trail is Ousel Falls, which is an easy, 1.6 mile out-and-back featuring a waterfall. For more of a challenge, try Uplands trail, a two mile hike that steadily climbs to an overlook of Big Sky. Looking for a longer hike? Beehive Basin trail is a 7.1 mile out and back located near Big Sky Resort. This trail is rated between moderate and strenuous, but you'll be rewarded with an alpine lake at the top. If you want to venture out of Big Sky, the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park is about an hour away.
2. Dog Sledding in Big Sky
That's right, dog sledding. More rustic than snowmobiling and with livelier chauffeurs than a sleigh ride, taking a dog sled for a spin is just plain fun for any age. Spirit of the North and Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures are two popular organizations that you can go through to explore trails on a sled pulled by energetic Huskies. This is truly a unique winter experience to try!
3. Cross Country Skiing in Big Sky
With just over 50 miles of groomed, Nordic skiing trails, Lone Mountain Ranch is the destination for cross-country skiing in Big Sky. Non-guests can purchase a day pass for $20*. If you need gear, the ranch has a rental shop. The west entrance to Yellowstone National Park is about an hour south of Big Sky for those who want to check out the park on Nordic skis or snowshoes. Freeheel and Wheel is one organization you can check out to find groomed trails near the park.
4. Yurts or Cabins in Big Sky
Staying in a yurt or a cabin is a fun and rustic alternative to a hotel. Cowboy Heaven and Lone Mountain Ranch are two options when it comes to finding that perfect cabin in Big Sky. While yurts for lodging aren't available in the area, Big Sky's ski resort features a popular restaurant called the Montana Dinner Yurt. This restaurant is an intimate yurt located in Montana's backcountry that offers a unique candlelit dinner experience. The restaurant is a bit pricey and books up quickly, but it offers a fun experience for those interested in trying something new.
5. Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding
Big Sky is best known for its miles and miles of downhill skiing and snowboarding. With four mountains, 300 named runs, seven terrain parks and 5,800 acres of powdery goodness, this park is paradise for skiers and snowboarders. The resort, which refers to itself as the biggest skiing in America, is typically open late November through mid-April.
*Price based on 2016 rates.
Flickr photos courtesy Brent and Adam Walker