3 Reasons Why You Can't Beat a Summer Vacation to Big Sky Resort
Nestled in the southwest corner of Montana between the city of Bozeman and the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park sits Big Sky: a small mountain town with a Montana sized heart. While known as one of the country’s top ski resort destinations, the charming yet lively town blossoms into a summer resort with so many activities at your fingertips, it would be nearly impossible to check them all off in just one visit.
Big Sky is easily accessed via the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport and a short 50 minute drive through stunning Gallatin Canyon. The setting for the movie A River Runs Through It, Gallatin Canyon offers a beautiful and scenic setting to take in as you navigate your way down highway 191 along the banks of the Gallatin River.
While the scenic drive alone would sell most on a visit, here are three key reasons why Big Sky needs to be at the top of your list of must do summer vacations.
Basecamp to Yellowstone Park: If you want to make your summer vacation feel more like Family Summer Camp, look no further than Basecamp. Conveniently located in the Resort’s Mountain Village, it serves up an extensive activities menu that ranges on the adventure scale from easy going to full on adrenaline rush for the entire family. With activities geared specifically for little ones, teens, adults or all the above, there’s something for everyone.
The guided Lone Peak Expedition ($79/person) whisks you to the top 11,166 ft. Lone Peak via chairlift, Mountain Safari Truck and Lone Peak Tram. From the top take in the 360 degree views that overlook 3 states, 2 national parks, and mountain ranges as far as the eye can see. On your way to the summit, one of Big Sky’s friendly and knowledgeable Basecamp guides will point out different geological features along with specific peaks that begin to emerge on the horizon.
Lone Peak Expedition too mellow? Harness up for the Adventure Zipline Tour ($79/person) to pick up the pace and really get the blood flowing. Coupled with heart pounding speed, multiple spans and gorgeous mountain vistas, it’ll put a whole new spin on the wild wild west. Don’t worry though if the adventure part is a bit intimidating, the Nature Zipline Tour ($59/person) offers an option for those looking for a more scenic and less adrenaline driven option. With height and weight requirements of only 3ft. and 45lbs. respectively, there’s nearly no barrier for a family to part in this fun-filled activity.
For a full list of Big Sky’s Basecamp offerings, visit www.bigskyresort.com/basecamp.
Close vicinity to Yellowstone: With geysers, mud pots, western wildlife, and an awe-inspiring backdrop a short and scenic 45 minute drive away, Big Sky’s closeness to Yellowstone National Park (YNP) is no doubt one of the top reasons to visit in the summer.
Known as the world’s first national park, Yellowstone offers more than enough elbow room for you and any in-laws. Spanning an area of 3,468.4 square miles, half of the world’s geothermal features (geysers, mud pots, hot springs, etc.) call YNP home making it one of the most visually stunning parks in the world. A few of the notable attractions that make for a memorable Yellowstone experience include Old Faithful, Yellowstone Falls, Grand Prismatic Spring, and the Fountain Paint Mud Pots but only comprise 4 of over 10,000 total geothermal features within the park’s gates.
If the colors and showmanship of the geothermal features aren’t enough, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is one of the last remaining large and nearly intact ecosystems in the northern temperate zone. Hundreds of species of birds, mammals, fish, and reptiles make it their home here including grizzly bears, wolves, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk. Following the roads that lead you through the park, it’s easy to view of these animals in their natural habitat from the safety of your car or from a distance at one of the many viewing pullouts along the way.
Think of it as an American Safari from the safety and comfort of your car that’s taken at your own pace. For more park information visit: www.yellowstone.visitmt.gov.
Family Friendly: Remember the good old days when parents allowed their children to roam freely without a worry about their wellbeing? Guess what, at Big Sky they still do.
With a centrally located mountain village, the resort features a layout with every activity, meal, or lodging option only a few steps away. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed the inviting mountain plaza that sort of acts as the hub within the resort which offers picnic tables, a free putt-putt course and Lone Peak as the backdrop. From here you can easily access Basecamp, stores in the Mountain Mall, or simply bask in the sunshine while catching up with friends and family.
Adding to the safe, tight knit feeling of the village, the friendly resort staff polishes things off with their warm Montana Hospitality and desire to ensure your stay is the best it can be. So unleash the kids, kick back, and rest assured that as long as they’re not trying to pet the wildlife, they’re probably not getting into trouble.
Whether you’re checking off items on your bucket list, heading out for a quick hike around the base area, or lounging by one of the resort pools, Big Sky has the ingredients for an unforgettable summer vacation. So load up Aunt Edna and the old family Truckster because Lone Peak and the Big Sky state are beckoning.
A scenic lift ride gets you half way to the top and just above the tree line
Lower Tram Dock and the Mountain Safari truck
The view from the atop 11,166 ft. Lone Peak
One of the many natural hot springs
Bull Elk bedding down in the tall grass
YNP's most common foot hoof traffic
One of the views from the Nature Zipline Tour
The mountain plaza
Smoke Jumper Giant Swing located in the Mountain Village