Big Sky Trail Map from 1976

March 21, 2024

50 Years of Big Sky Trail Maps

Discover the evolution of Big Sky Resort over the past 50 years as shown through the changes depicted in our winter trail maps.

Big Sky Resort opened in 1973 with four lifts and twelve trails. Today, Big Sky Resort stretches across 5,850 acres of skiable terrain, accessed by 38 lifts and over 300 named trails. Explore our major lift and terrain expansion milestones over the last fifty years through a trail map retrospective. Today, you can experience just how far we’ve come with our new Ski the Sky Loop, a self-guided signature route that highlights Big Sky’s most iconic terrain and viewpoints.

Big Sky Trail Map from 1973

Big Sky Resort opened for its first winter season in 1973. The Huntley Lodge and Mountain Mall served skiers looking to explore its four lifts: Andesite, Explorer, Lone Peak, and the first Gondola.

Big Sky Trail map from 1976

After Chet Huntley's passing, Everett Kircher purchased Big Sky Resort in 1976, adding to the Boyne Resorts family-owned properties. As a visionary entrepreneur, Everett had a profound influence on skiing across all of North America.

Big Sky Trail Map from 1978

In 1978, the Mad Wolf double chairlift was installed on Andesite Mountain. Mad Wolf substantially increased total skiable acres, as well as enhanced the intermediate and expert terrain offered at Big Sky Resort.

Big Sky Trail Map from 1984

In 1984, Gondola II opened, providing additional access up Lone Mountain from Mountain Village.

Big Sky Trail Map From 1998

The installation of the Challenger lift in 1988 put Big Sky Resort on the map for its expert terrain and challenging steeps.

Big Sky Trail Map from 1991

Installed in 1991, the Southern Comfort lift created access to over 225 acres of terrain on Andesite Mountain. At the same time, the Ramcharger High Speed Quad replaced Rams Horn.

Big Sky Trail Map from 1994

The addition of the Iron Horse quad chairlift in 1994 added four new runs and expanded the original terrain boundary of the mountain. Today, Iron Horse serves around 100 acres of terrain and connects the North and East faces of Lone Mountain.

Big Sky Trail Map from 1995

A feat of engineering, the Lone Peak Tram was built in 1995. The extreme terrain challenged the entire ski industry’s idea of what was considered resort skiing. The Shedhorn double was also installed, adding a huge expanse of terrain as the first chairlift on the south side of Lone Mountain. The following year, in 1996, the Swift Current high-speed quad replaced Gondola II, further increasing the capacity out of Mountain Village.

Big Sky Trail Map from 2007

In 2007, the Dakota Triple added new streamlined access to the Dakota Terrain on the south side of Lone Peak. Previously accessible by the Lone Peak Tram, the new lift created a self-contained area with some of the mountain’s best glades and powder fields.

Big Sky Trail Map from 2013

In October 2013, Boyne Resorts purchased Moonlight Basin Resort and its associated terrain. This acquisition also included the ski terrain of Spanish Peaks and brought the total acreage of Big Sky Resort to over 5,850 acres.

Big Sky Trail Map from 2014

In 2014, legendary ski map artist James Niehues painted Big Sky Resort’s trail map for the first time, bringing us into the current era of Big Sky’s trail maps. An excerpt from his website reads “Lone Peak, the home of Big Sky Resort is striking no matter where you’re approaching it from. It’s a statuesque mountain framed by smaller peaks, with intimidating summit chutes that gently roll over into acre upon acre of crisp groomers and well-spaced trees. It’s no wonder that this stunning peak has come to symbolize some of the best of Montana’s skiing.”

Big Sky's Ski The Sky Loop Map

In honor of Big Sky’s 50th winter season, we introduced the Ski the Sky Loop to help our guests explore the best of Big Sky Resort. This signature route takes skiers and snowboarders across the resort to see new sights and dive into the nooks and crannies that make this mountain special. Featuring 27 individual runs and 11 individual lifts, Ski the Sky Loop touches over 17 miles of trail, totaling nearly 16,000 feet of vertical.