Snow Reporting FAQs

Measuring snowfall at Big Sky Resort is particularly challenging due to the massive size of skiable terrain and dynamic weather conditions. Snow quality and depth often vary from one zone of the mountain to another on the same day with the many microclimates and varying aspects throughout the 300 degrees of skiing off of Lone Peak. As a result, Big Sky Ski Patrol and Snow Reporters use a variety of resources to report the most accurate depiction of snowfall at the Resort on any given day.

  • Big Sky Resort references data from five weather stations to report on snowfall across our large and dynamic terrain. Data from four of the stations is publicly available:

    To give the best information in our morning snow reports, we also reference other snow measurement sites and weather stations located around the resort, including our Headwaters and Andesite snow stakes.

    Additional weather and snow information can be found for the following from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center at

  • Our new snow totals are calculated hourly starting when the resort closes at 4 p.m. As snow falls overnight and through the next day, the new snow total is updated until it is cleared again at 4 p.m.

    Our 1-day total is calculated from 7 a.m. - 7 a.m.. 2-day, 3-day, and 7-day totals are a summation of the 1-day totals over the respective days.

  • Thanks to our new mapped snow report, where data from all five weather stations and areas of the resort can be viewed, we are able to provide our guests with a more comprehensive overview of snow data on any given day.

    From the highest new snow numbers (1- 2-, and 3-day) across the five data points, we derive one report in the daily email and app to best represent the ski experience at the resort.

    By clicking on the full report, guests can toggle between the different areas of the mountain to see specific snowfall.

  • Our storm total snow stakes are left to accumulate snow once it starts falling until 24 hours have passed with no new snowfall.

  • Big Sky Resort covers many different kinds of terrain. Elevation, wind, sun, storm flow direction, and other weather variables affect different zones of the mountain in unique ways throughout each day.

  • Big Sky Resort ski patrol manages the Lobo, Lookout Ridge, Bavaria, and Liberty Bowl stations. The Andesite station is managed by the Yellowstone Club. They are manually cleared on a daily basis, and the ski patrol team calibrates measurement instruments.

  • Season to date snowfall is the total measurement of freshly-fallen snow at the resort. Snow settles over time, so the season-to-date snowfall is an overestimate of the depth of snow on the mountain. Big Sky instead reports our base depth. This measurement is the height of the settled snow from the ground up and fluctuates with snowfall and temperature changes, but this provides a more accurate understanding of our skiable snowpack. The steep and high elevation terrain found on Lone Mountain causes great variability in snow depth, so we report our base depth at both of our snow stake locations to give more context about the conditions across the mountain.