September 10th, 2021

How to Ski Big Sky on a Budget

It’s a classic story. A group of college kids loads into the car, drives all night, and shows up at dawn to fresh snow and blue skies. They ski all day, stopping only to chow lunches packed the day before in Rapid City or Bismark or Moorhead.

And then there’s the family who buys season passes during a late-winter sale, drives up every Friday night from Helena, fills the bunks in their shared rental condo, and skis their brains out.  

The trails and vistas at Big Sky don’t know you’re on a budget. This place is still ultra-beautiful, regardless of what you spend. Here are some tips for making it happen.

1. Purchase Lift Tickets and Lodging in Advance

Booking your plane tickets in advance of your trip? Reserve your lodging and take advantage of our Stay & Save program while you’re at it. When you book your lodging with Big Sky Central Reservations, you save 10% on lift tickets.

You’ll get the best deals and have more options before things fill up. Spring is a great time to book for next winter, says Zander Fogg, Revenue and Lodging Manager with our Reservations Office. “I always tell people if you’re going up to the lift ticket window the day you’re going skiing, you’ve made a terrible mistake,” Fogg said. For the best prices, go for a multi-day lift ticket and check out our lodging packages and promotions

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2. Time Your Visit

The ski industry has dynamic pricing based on peak times during the seasons. This means hotel rooms, lift tickets, lessons—pretty much everything. Our best rates are in early December, late January, early February, or any time in April. (Read: avoid Christmas, New Year's, and long weekends including Martin Luther King Day or Presidents Weekend).

3. Take Ground Transportation from the Airport to Big Sky

Flying into Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport? Instead of renting a car, catch a ride from a number of local transportation companies. Once you’re in Big Sky, you can take the free Skyline Bus pretty much anywhere you want to go around the Big Sky Meadow and Mountain Village, as well as all the way down to Bozeman.  

4. Cook Meals

Buy groceries ahead of time and cook, versus going out on the town for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Roxy’s, Country Market, and the Hungry Moose are the local big sky grocers, or if you’re driving up from Bozeman or Belgrade, you’ll have more than 10 grocery stores to choose from (there’s a Costco, plus the locally-owned Town & Country chain often has good deals and a wide selection).

5. Go for a Season Pass 

If you’re a loyal Big Sky skier, it’s worth doing the math. With our multitude of pass offerings, buying a pass might very well be cheaper for you.