Hiking in Big Sky Montana

Hiking in Big Sky

Hiking is a great way to get outdoors and experience all the beauty Big Sky has to offer. From easy interpretive trails to strenuous mountain climbs, you'll find a trail suited for you. Pair your hike with a Scenic Lift Ticket to ride the lifts up or down.


Group on a guided hike in Big Sky

Guided Hikes

First time exploring the trails of Big Sky? Adventure out on one of Big Sky Resort's amazing hikes with the expertise of our Basecamp Guides.

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Last Updated: Saturday, 04:32 PM

Hiking Trail Status

  • Open Open
  • Closed Closed
  • Open
    Gallatin's Dream
    Beginner
    Open
    Southside Trail
    Beginner
    Open
    Lake Trail
    Beginner
    Open
    Otter Way
    Intermediate
    Open
    Coolridge
    Intermediate
    Open
    Madison Loop
    Intermediate
    Open
    Madison Village Connector
    Intermediate
    Open
    Enivel Dreams / Lodge Loop
    Intermediate
    Open
    Otter Connector XC
    Intermediate
    Open
    Elkhorn Trail
    Intermediate
  • Closed
    21K Connector
    Intermediate
    Open
    Moose Tracks
    Intermediate
    Open
    Huckleberry
    Intermediate
    Open
    Thimbleberry
    Intermediate
    Closed
    Dreamweaver
    Advanced
    Open
    Shedhorn Out-and-Back
    Advanced
    Closed
    Summit Out-and-Back
    Expert

Hiking Best Practices


Be prepared before venturing out on a hike.

Plan Ahead: Research the trail, weather conditions, and terrain before setting out on your hike. If you're unsure of your route, we recommend taking a Guided Hike with one of our Basecamp Guides.

Carry the Essentials: Bring gear such as water, food, a map or navigation device, a first aid kit, appropriate clothing layers, and sun protection. Always wear sturdy, close-toed footwear.

Wildlife Safety: We share our environment with many wild animals. Grizzly and black bears, mountain lions, moose, elk, and mountain goats are commonly seen in the area. For your safety and the animals', always view wildlife from a distance, make noise to alert animals to your presence, and carry bear spray. Bear spray is a high-powered pepper spray used to deter aggressive bears or mountain lions. Be sure to acquaint yourself with the product (you spray it at the bear, not on yourself) by reading the instructions and watching how-to videos. Bear spray can be purchased at Big Sky Sports.

Be Aware of Weather: Mountain weather can change rapidly and cool drastically. Check forecasts before and during your hike. Bring layers and be prepared for sudden changes in temperature, wind, and precipitation. Snow can be present in high elevations year-round.

Safety First: Know your limits and turn back if conditions become unsafe. Carry a communication device like a cell phone or satellite messenger and inform someone of your itinerary. If hiking in a group, stay together and watch out for one another. Note that some parts of the Resort and the region do not have cell service. Contact patrol at (406) 995-5880 in case of an on-mountain emergency.

Leave No Trace: Respect nature by staying on designated trails, packing out all trash, and minimizing your impact on the environment. Follow the principles of Leave No Trace to preserve the wilderness for others.

Big Sky Hiking Trails

Family on a hike at Big Sky Resort

Resort Hiking Trails


Huckleberry
| 2.4 miles round-trip | 680 vertical feet | Easy

The Huckleberry trail is an easy route that goes from the base area to the top of the Explorer lift. Take on the 3-mile loop from Mountain Village or ride the Explorer chair to the top and walk down. Please note that Explorer can only be ridden uphill.

Thimbleberry | 3 miles round-trip | 1,000 vertical feet | Intermediate

Thimbleberry begins on Moose Tracks and breaks off, climbing through pine and spruce forest to the top of Ramcharger 8. This hike can be done as an out-and-back or a one-way hike paired with a scenic lift ride on Ramcharger 8.

Andesite Summit | 0.2 miles round-trip | 50 vertical feet | Intermediate

Enjoy this short walk to the top of Andesite Mountain for scenic views of the Gallatin Range, Lone Mountain, and Beehive Basin. Start from the top of Ramcharger 8, or an extra workout, hike from the Mountain Village up the Thimbleberry trail.

Moose Tracks | 6 miles round-trip | 1,700 vertical feet | Intermediate

Moose Tracks follows a stream through the forest and then through open meadows, service roads, and pine forests. Hike from the Mountain Village up to the top of Swift Current 6. This hike can also be hiked down after riding up Swift Current 6.

Dreamweaver | 2.5 miles point-to-point | 1,550 vertical feet | Advanced

The Dreamweaver trail takes you from the top of Explorer up the steep slopes of Challenger. It then traverses the Bowl and ends at the top of Swift Current. This rocky climb features great views of Lone Peak and Fan Mountain, and the Spanish Peaks range.

Summit Out-and-Back hike

Shedhorn Out-and-Back | 3 miles round-trip | 400 vertical feet | Advanced

From the top of Swift Current 6, this trail takes you out to the southern exposure of Lone Mountain and the Shedhorn lift. The trail follows a road that is loose and rocky in sections.

Summit Out-and-Back
From Mountain Village: 10.4 miles round-trip | 3,700 vertical feet | Expert
From Swift Current 6: 3 miles round-trip | 2,000 vertical feet | Expert

Take on the challenge of hiking to the top of Lone Mountain. This strenuous out-and-back hike takes you through the forest on the Moose Tracks trail and then up rocky avalanche paths to the top of Lone Peak. The alpine section of the trail involves 3-point scrambles and steep ridgeline hiking. This trail should only be attempted by expert hikers with adequate equipment and knowledge. It is recommended to start this hike in the early morning on days with clear weather.

Resort Multi-Use Trails

There are a number of other trails available to hikers on the mountain. These trails are best utilized by those familiar with the area. If you plan to hike on these trails, be aware of mountain biking traffic.

Trail Name Length Description
Gallatin's Dream 1.5 miles - 330 vertical feet Easy trail in both directions, Gallatin’s Dream connects Otter Way with the Lodge Loop trail.
Otter Way 1.9 miles - 620 vertical feet Intermediate trail in both directions. From Mountain Village, gain access to the Lodge Loop and Elkhorn trails from Otter Way. Bikers can enjoy Otter Slide on the return route to Mountain Village.
Elkhorn Trail 1.9 miles - 950 vertical feet Intermediate trail in both directions. A combination of open wildflower meadows and shaded forest with a few bridged creek crossings.
Madison Loop 4.5 miles - 915 vertical feet Intermediate trail in both directions. The trail leaves Mountain Village and crosses Elk Park Ridge and Bighorn ski runs on its way to Flat Iron Mountain. A mix of shaded forest and wildflower meadows.
Coolridge 4.5 miles - 1,200 vertical feet Intermediate trail in both directions. The trail leaves Mountain Village and crosses Elk Park Ridge and Bighorn ski runs on its way to Flat Iron mountain. A mix of shaded forest and wildflower meadows.
Beehive Basin Hiking Trail in Big Sky Montana

Big Sky Area Trails


Ousel Falls
| 1.7 miles round-trip | 240 vertical feet | Easy

Ousel Falls is a must-see trail in Big Sky's Town Center, leading to a beautiful waterfall. The trail borders two forks of the Gallatin River and is graded to make it easy for folks of all ages. It is also accessible for strollers and wheelchairs. Located in a tree-shaded canyon, this is a great trek to do on a hot summer day. Do it around lunchtime and take advantage of the picnic areas along the route. Only park in designated parking areas; no street parking is allowed.

Beehive Basin | 7 miles round-trip | 1,630 vertical feet | Intermediate

Beehive Basin is a popular trail featuring alpine lakes, wildflowers, and spectacular mountain views. Travelling through National Forest, this Beehive Basin is best hiked in July and August when the snow has fully melted. Beehive is known for an amazing variety of wildflowers—but please don't pick them and let other hikers enjoy them in full.

Storm Castle Hike near Big Sky, Montana

Lava Lake | 5.4 miles round-trip | 1,650 vertical feet | Intermediate

Located on Highway 191, the Lava Lake hike climbs steadily along a creek until you reach the top. It’s worth the moderate effort as the trail ends at a beautiful alpine lake. Fishermen might want to tote their rods as rainbow trout are plentiful in the lake. Plan on arriving at the trailhead early as the parking lot fills quickly.

Storm Castle | 5.2 miles round-trip | 1,860 vertical feet | Advanced

Situated off Highway 191, Storm Castle takes its name from the rocky outcrop at the top that looks like a fortress. The switchback-heavy trail climbs steadily through the forest and meadows. Those who make it to the top will be rewarded with views of the Gallatin River, pristine pine forests, and surrounding mountains. Near the top is a rock feature with a hole in it that perfectly frames the view.