The Hidden Gem That Is Big Sky
Our family’s love of skiing began a few years back when we took Ryder and Siella on their first trip down the slopes. Jason and I were amazed at how well they had done, and now three years later, they literally blow me away when I watch them cruise down the mountain. There are so many mountains to visits, but Big Sky Montana has been at the top our list for quite sometime; so when I received the invite from Momtrends to attend a trip to Montana, I jumped at the offer. It was a solo trip, sans Jason and the kids, but I figured it would be a good opportunity to work my ski skills, since Ryder and Siella are pretty much better than me on the slopes. Well, at least that’s how I sold it, when they found out they weren’t invited. And seriously, this mama needed a solo trip, more than you know!
I was so excited on the day of the trip. Our flight connected through Minnesota, but nonstop flights are available if you fly out of Newark. The Big Sky Resort was only an hour from the airport. My condo style unit was complete with a kitchen and separate bedroom, and it was located right on the mountain called Village Center. We wasted no time getting fit for our skis, in preparation for the following day.
When we go skiing with the kids, I am typically focused on getting them a lesson or ski school. By the time we get them situated, the morning has passed me by, along with the chance to take my own lesson. Not the case while in Big Sky. Stephanie from City Moms Blog and I were both at the same level, so we scheduled a lesson together. Our ski instructor, Jim, coincidentally a town sheriff, lead us through a three hour morning lesson. By the time we finished, my confidence was soaring; so much so that we decided to take another lesson the following day too.
This is Everett’s 8800 at the top of Andesite Mountain!
With all that time on the mountain, we worked up quite an appetite. That evening, on the recommendation of multiple locals, we headed to Gallatin Riverhouse Grill for dinner. For a true Montana experience, I ordered Montana Mule (a first for me!), made from Huckleberry infused vodka. The Gallatin Riverhouse Grill is a full service BBQ, grill, and saloon, and easily accessible to Big Sky visitors, locals, and tourists traveling highway 191 to the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park.
The next day was pretty epic. Following our morning lesson, we decided to check out the tippy top of the mountain. At my beginner level, there was no way I would be able to ski down, but I still wanted to check ou the view. So after two chair lifts and a ride on the Lone Peak Tram, we made it to the summit of Lone Mountain. At 11,166 feet, you can see for miles, covering three states and two national parks. It was breath taking. Once my sightseeing expedition was over, I needed to figure out how to get down the mountain. I managed to take one chair lift down, but I had to toughen up and ski the remainder of the way. On one trail, I almost removed my skis and walked down, but eventually pushed through.
That evening, it was off to dinner, but not in a cab, or Uber. Instead, we rode a horse drawn sleigh ride at Lone Mountain Ranch. The sleigh ride pulled us to a cabin in the woods for a fun intimidate dinner and music. During dinner, we listened to live music, while enjoying a candle lit dinner. The entire time I kept thinking about how I would love to take Jason the kids back here. And as if our ride over and dinner weren’t enough, we walked out of the cabin to be greeted by the most incredible sky filled with stars, like nothing I’d ever seen before. I wish I could’ve captured it, but you’ll have to go and see for yourself. Truly magical!
The following day, we headed back to Lone Mountain Ranch for some snowshoeing. This was a first for me, and I was surprised at what a good workout it was. Along the way, I noticed the many nordic skiing trails. I would have loved to try it, but just I didn’t have the legs for it. Maybe one day.
For a different experience, we headed off the resort to Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures. I’ve dog sledded in the past, when we were in Utah last year, but this time, I was actually permitted to drive my own dog sled. It was the funniest, scariest, and the best experience ever. The dogs were all super sweet, easy to drive, and super fast as we sped through the trails. What a way to send the morning, before making our way back for an afternoon of skiing.
We’ve skied out West before, and powder is just incredible, much different than some of the East coast conditions. Some Big Sky trails were massive, and as a green skier, I loved the fact that I can ride at length, making less trips up the lift, as at other resorts. Big Sky has 5,800 acres, 300 runs on four connected mountain, and 24 lifts. There’ amazing skiing and snowboarding for everyone! Looking back, it completely blows me away to think about just how much we accomplished in one day. Big Sky is truly is a hidden gem, and I can’t wait to take my family back to ski in Montana next year!