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Three Perfect Days in Big Sky

Three Perfect Days in Big Sky

Big Sky is one of those idyllic mountain destinations that’s on nearly everyone’s bucket list — as it should be. Nestled within the Madison Range of southwest Montana, surrounded by thousands of acres of protected forest, towering mountain peaks, and the scenic Gallatin River, it’s the perfect family-friendly vacation spot for both laid-back nature enthusiasts and outdoor thrill-seekers. 

Though best known for its amazing skiing, sledding, and snowmobiling, the fun in Big Sky doesn’t end when the snow does. Warmer months see grassy meadows blooming with wildflowers and miles of hiking and biking trails leading up and around the mountain terrain. The Big Sky Resort offers year-round indoor and outdoor activities for all ages, including 18 holes of classic, link-style golf. Fly-fishing opportunities attract anglers looking for calm days on the river, casting in for native whitefish and the abundant rainbow, brown, and brook trout found in the Gallatin’s cool, clear water.  

Off the slopes, visitors can relax and unwind in Big Sky’s Mountain Village, Meadow Village, or popular Town Center, enjoying the wide variety of boutique shops, restaurants, spas, and live entertainment options offered there. 

With so much to see and do in every season, Big Sky is a fantastic getaway destination for skiers and non-skiers alike. 

We recently asked our Big Sky Residence Manager to share her ideas for the perfect three days in this cool mountain town. The itinerary hits all the Big Sky highlights as well as some lesser-known gems. Enjoy! 

DAY 1: Explore the Mountain and Village

Start day one with a quick breakfast in your Equity Estates home or pick up a warm and delicious grab-and-go breakfast burrito from the Moonlight Basin Lake Lodge before lacing up your hiking boots or strapping on your skis. 

From Moonlight Basin, you can easily access the user-friendly trail system radiating out from the community or drive just a few minutes to the private Madison Base. Guests staying in the Lone Mountain home can use the White Otter lift to get partway up the mountain or continue to Mountain Village for other lift options. 

Big Sky lifts will take you up for hiking and biking trails, skiing, and other on-mountain activities. On your ascent, soak in unbelievable views of the surrounding peaks and scenic canyon-land below. 

During ski season, take advantage of the resort’s ski school for private or group lessons, explore the wide variety of trails, or experience the thrill (and panoramic views) of Lone Peak with a tram ride to the top.  

In summer months, explore over 50 miles of biking trails, take a self-guided nature walk across dozens of marked mountain paths that wind through lush green meadows and shaded woodland, or kick-up the adventure with an exhilarating zipline experience. Big Sky is truly an outdoor playground, with mountain activities to suit just about every interest. 

After your morning on the mountain, head back down to the village for lunch at Montana Jack, where you can refuel with fried pickle chips or onion rings, the customizable (and delicious) Jack Burger, and one of their local craft beers. Follow that with a fun stroll through the village and some shopping at Huntley Trading Post or any of the other resort-area boutiques. Both establishments are located in the Big Sky Resort. 

Later, relax in your home’s private hot tub and enjoy a glass of wine on the patio or by the fireplace, before going out for dinner. We’ll have reservations for you at Michaelangelo’s, a romantic Italian restaurant (and James Beard Award Semi-Finalist) serving up an incredible wild mushroom risotto and pistachio-encrusted elk chops. At the family-friendly Horn & Cantle, you can enjoy farm-to-table favorites like fried chicken with potatoes and gravy or the popular Montana steelhead trout. 

DAY 2: Summer Season Yellowstone Excursion

On day two, you’ll be picked up bright and early for a private guided tour of Yellowstone National Park. Our Big Sky homes are only about an hour’s drive from Yellowstone’s West Entrance, making it an ideal destination for a full-day outdoor excursion. 

Sit back and enjoy the ride while your expert guide shares some of the interesting stories and history of the area. Once inside the park, you’ll drive Yellowstone’s scenic roads, past wild landscapes, to some of its most iconic landmarks, stopping for photos along the way. Walk the park’s historic boardwalks, hike forest or riverside trails (keeping an eye open for wildlife), and see Old Faithful, the technicolor Grand Prismatic Spring, and roaring waterfalls up close and in person. 

During the summer months, pack up a picnic or grab sandwiches from the Bear Paw Deli at Old Faithful Inn for lunch outdoors, or try the al pastor and beef barbacoa tacos at the Grant Village Lake House Restaurant Once you’ve fueled up, continue your guided sightseeing and hiking throughout the afternoon. 

On the drive back to Big Sky, stop by world-famous Riverhouse BBQ to pick up a family-size order of mouth-watering Texas-style ribs, pulled pork, and homemade sides to share back in the comfort of your Equity Estates home.

DAY 3: Outdoor Adventure

Wrap up your Big Sky trip with another day of epic outdoor adventuring. Regardless of season, there are plenty of half-day and full-day excursions to choose from, and your Residence Manager is happy to make all arrangements for you.  

In winter months, bundle up and go snowshoeing on Moose Tracks Trail or any of the easy-access community trails around town. In warmer weather, take a morning hike to Beehive Basin where you’ll find some of Big Sky’s most beautiful views. There, the six-mile roundtrip basin trail is nestled within a picturesque glacial cirque, complete with lovely alpine meadows, green forests, and meandering creeks. A few miles in, you’ll come to a small crystal-clear lake reflecting the grassy basin and rocky hills that surround it. It’s a spectacular sight, so be sure to have your camera with you! 

For lunch, stop in at the family-owned Blue Moon Bakery for one of their out-of-this-world gourmet pizzas. “The Orion”, topped with generous helpings of ham, salami, pepperoni, and Italian sausage, is a meat-lover’s dream. The “Northern Lights” pie is sure to please any vegetarians in your group. 

That afternoon, take a whitewater rafting trip on the Gallatin River (in summer), enjoy an adrenaline-pumping snowmobile outing (during the winter months), or get out on the water for a guided fly-fishing adventure (year-round). 

If you’ve ever watched A River Runs Through It and dreamed of immersing yourself in the film’s dramatic backdrop, then this is an outing you won’t want to miss. Equal parts thrilling and relaxing, and perfect for anglers of all skill levels, a half-day of fly-fishing in Big Sky is a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re slowly floating along a quiet stretch of river or wading into the cool, clear water, you’re sure to land the perfect catch of wild trout and enjoy time in the natural beauty of your surroundings.  

That night, you’ll celebrate three amazing days in Big Sky with reservations that we have made for you at the cozy Moonlight Tavern. Toast your vacation with one of the ten beers on tap, a glass of wine, or a classic cocktail.  You’ll savor the elevated, tavern-inspired comfort foods the restaurant is known for; the homemade chicken pot pie and hearty bison ribeye are longtime favorites.

At Home in Big Sky with Equity Estates

We have three stunning homes in Big Sky, each one conveniently located for outdoor fun and access to local shops, restaurants, and bars. 

Moonlight Basin I is a five-bedroom slopeside beauty featuring a contemporary, open-floor plan design and modern finishes. It’s nestled within the tall pines at Moonlight Basin, one of Big Sky’s most exclusive communities, and offers access to outstanding amenities such as a 60,000 square foot private clubhouse with pool, fitness center, and more. The home itself features an expansive deck, large picture windows, luxurious spa-like bathrooms, a private hot tub, and a sleek gourmet kitchen overlooking a cozy living room with fireplace. It’s an ideal place to relax and unwind after a day outdoors. 

The five-bedroom, six-bath Moonlight Basin II features the same high-end touches and contemporary design as Moonlight Basin I, as well as access to the community’s private clubhouse and amenities. With warm living spaces, luxurious bedrooms and bathrooms, a fully stocked gourmet kitchen, expansive deck, and private hot tub, it’s another fabulous Equity Estates home in the heart of Big Sky. 

Our more rural, five-bedroom Lone Mountain residence is a true, ski-in/ski-out gem, perched on the slopes of Big Sky Resort at the base of Lone Mountain. Featuring a large gourmet kitchen, relaxing living space, a separate media room, and a private hot tub, this chic mountain chalet is the perfect spot for your next Big Sky adventure. Best of all, you can hop on the slopes right from side of the home the, watch skiers zoom by from the comfort of your kitchen, or simply relax on one of the home’s spacious patios. 

Your Residence Manager will work with you to plan your itinerary before you arrive and make sure your stay is effortless. Leave the details to us and arrive to a fully stocked kitchen and bar with groceries of your choice. With Equity Estates, comfort and luxury are yours.  

Travel with Equity Estates for a unique and memorable experience. If you would like more information about investing with Equity Estates, please reach out to our Investor Relations team at 404.445.8501 or click to schedule a call. Your unforgettable Big Sky getaway awaits!