Fabulous February - Winter is in Full Swing!
Happy February! Happy Groundhog Day! Happy Snow Sports Heaven!
While Punxsutawney Phil confirmed 6 more weeks of winter, those of us in Big Sky country already knew this to be a definitive prediction. We are well underway with a great winter season. Virtually all terrain, lifts, and trails are open at Big Sky Resort and Bridger Bowl. Ski conditions are great, and weather forecasts show continued snow through the next week to enhance an already well established base. If you don’t already have a winter trip planned to visit Southwest Montana, there is still time to book - and February is the time to be here! With great on-snow experiences and terrific special events, we celebrate winter in the best way possible. We hope to see you soon!
This weekend at Big Sky Resort - Dummy Jump 2018 - enjoy the creative, crafty, crazy event and then get some ski runs in before the big game on Sunday.
Big Sky Resort Vine & Dine Winter Dinner Series - Feb 7 - https://bigskyresort.com/things-to-do/events-calendar/2018/february/vine-and-dine-winter-dinner-series#sm.0000ia4j7xheqflbwmd1ltf45sn7i
Big Sky Big Grass - Feb 8 - 11 - the 12th Annual Blue Grass festival is one of the largest winter bluegrass gatherings in the Northwest and showcases some of the world’s best musical talent in intimate settings and full stage productions. Regardless of your music preference, this is a great musical weekend! Tickets are going fast, so book today! https://bigskyresort.com/things-to-do/events-calendar/2018/february/big-sky-big-grass-2018#sm.0000ia4j7xheqflbwmd1ltf45sn7i
Smokin’ Aces Tour - Big Sky Resort Feb 10 - this tour brings the best skier and snowboarder slope style tricks to our Northern Rockies destination.
BSF & USASA Slopestyle/Rail Jam - Big Sky Resort Feb 17-18 - Bridger Ski Foundation and the USASA are at Big Sky Resort for a weekend of action packed ski and snowboard competition. Fun to watch (or compete!).
Learn new park tricks at Bridger Bowl’s Freestyle Camp - Feb 17 & 18 - https://bridgerbowl.com/lessons/workshops
Also enjoy regular live music performances throughout the resort along with Warren Miller Performing Arts Center venues. Pick up tickets to a live stage production of Dirty Dancing, Feb 13, presented by Broadway in Bozeman at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse, Enjoy Voices of Broadway - The Phat Pack - three professional Broadway actors/singers portraying a variety of roles at the Ellen Theatre on Feb 16. Your options for apres entertainment are endless….
From your Stay Montana team - See you on the slopes!
lonemountainescapes.com and montanavacation.com are pleased to announce our merger and new name of Stay Montana! You will find all of our great vacation rental properties and regional information combined and available at staymontana.com. Your quintessential Montana experience starts here!
The holidays are here! Amid the hustle and bustle of travel, cooking, shopping, and get-togethers with family and friends – here are a few ideas to create new memories and make the season extra special this year.
- Warren Miller Performing Arts Center, Big Sky: Dec 27 & 28 – Concert for America - Superstar Vanessa Williams and six-time Tony Winner Audra McDonald join stars of film, television, music, comedy, and Broadway in a concert to raise funds for five national charities; Jan 6 - Mark Nizer – A combination of original comedy, world class juggling, movement, music and technology promises a spellbinding evening for all ages. Special earlier performance for young families. For tickets and more information: warrenmillerpac.org
- Bridger Ski Foundation Hyalite Tour, Bozeman: Dec 30 - A free, casual, and family friendly Nordic ski event at Hyalite reservoir. For details: https://www.bridgerskifoundation.org/events/hyalite-tour
- Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman: Planetarium shows featuring ‘Season of Light’ and ‘Escher’s Universe’, along with the Dinosaur Complex, and Exhibition of Memory on Glass: D.F. Barry on Standing Rock, Children’s Discovery Center, plus an amazing gift shop! For hours and show times: https://museumoftherockies.org/
- Big Sky Town Center, Ice Skating - Rent skates at nearby Grizzly Outfitters, or bring your own and have a blast with the whole family at the ice rink. More info available at: http://bssha.org/rink-schedule/
- Yellowstone National Park Snowcoach Tours – Don’t miss Old Faithful in the winter! https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/snowmobiles-snowcoaches.htm
- Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, West Yellowstone – Explore animals and learn about their behaviors and habitat https://www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.org/
- Winter Farmers’ Market, Emerson Cultural Center, Bozeman – Dec 23 - http://www.theemerson.org/
- Big Sky Resort Torchlight Parade – Dec 24
- Bridger Bowl Torchlight Parade & Fireworks – Dec 30
- Big Sky Resort Fireworks – Dec 31
From our family to yours, we wish you a joyous holiday season, and new year filled with peace, good health, hope, and happiness!
2017/2018 Winter Planning Guide
Our favorites! Places & Events not to miss when planning a trip to Big Sky!
[11.12.17] Thanksgiving is next week, a perfect time to be with friends and family, share memories, and while you have the group together – finalize plans for your winter vacation! Making arrangements now will ensure you get the best locations and accommodations, so don’t wait! Additionally, experiencing the culture and cuisine is one of the best parts of travel. Be sure to include plans to enjoy some of our favorite spots while you are here.
Stay Montana & Lone Mountain Escapes Top 5 Dinner spots in Big Sky:
- Gallatin Riverhouse Grill - gallatinriverhousegrill.com – Amazing BBQ in an old west saloon setting on the Gallatin River. This family friendly restaurant is fun, affordable, and open seven days a week. Get there early, if you don’t want to wait…or take out works too if feeding a hungry crowd.
- Olive B’s Big Sky Bistro - olivebsbigsky.com – Looking for a Montana fine dining experience – look no further! Chef Warren “Bibber” and Jennie Bibbins treat us to a fantastic meal every time we visit. Growing up in New England, their love for fresh seafood shows in many of their delectable entrees. The chefs’ specials are always delightful, particularly the halibut. Our favorite dish is the Rocky Mountain Elk!
- Ousel & Spur Pizza Co. - ouselandspurpizza.com – Great hand tossed pizzas with fresh sauces and ingredients from Montana farms. They also have a nice selection of Italian pasta dishes and their spaghetti & meatballs are a staff favorite.
- Lotus Pad - lotuspadbigsky.com – If you like Thai, this is your place in Big Sky. Fun, fresh, fusion of flavors using organic ingredients whenever possible, this restaurant has been a Big Sky favorite for years.
- Buck’s T4 - buckst4.com – For some authentic Montanan cuisine, this place has been doing it right for more than 50 years. Starting as a roadhouse lodge, Buck’s has built a reputation for great dining in a rustic Montana setting. Chef & Co-Owner Chuck Schommer has refined the Big Sky dining experience and is an established leader in the community. The culinary creations here are complemented by an extensive wine list. If you’ve never tried wild game, this is the place to do it! ...cast iron seared red deer with duck bacon risotto and Montana wild berry reduction…yum! And while it will be very difficult to do….always save room for dessert!
If your stay expands beyond 5 nights, you might also want to try: Horn & Cantle, By Word of Mouth, Peaks, Andiamo Italian Grille, Moonlight Tavern, and Everett’s 8800. For hearty on-the-go breakfast sandwiches and pastries: Blue Moon Bakery and Hungry Moose Market.
Two great adventure dining experiences not to be missed in Big Sky:
- Montana Dinner Yurt - bigskyyurt.com – It was a long desire of mine to ride a snowcat. To fall asleep mountainside watching their lights glow on the trails as they create pristine skiing conditions for the next day, to their unique hum in the morning as they return to base after a full night’s work – I was always mesmerized by the dreams of what it must be like to ride a snowcat. Thus, I originally booked a reservation with the Montana Dinner Yurt – just so I could ride a snowcat! However, I was pleasantly surprised by the amazing food in a really cool yurt atmosphere in a hidden backcountry location. Don’t miss this fun dinner adventure - and you too can check ‘snowcat ride’ off your bucket list!
- Lone Mountain Ranch Sleigh Ride Dinner - lonemountainranch.com/sleigh-ride-dinner This dining experience is magical! Riding a horse drawn sleigh through the snow-covered woods to a candlelit cabin for dinner is something right out of a movie. And it is something you will talk about for years to come. BTW, the food is great, too.
For the adults in the group, après is the perfect way to end a phenomenal ski day. Some of our favorites include:
- The Carabiner Lounge – ski right to the Carabiner, park your skis outside the door, and enjoy an after-ski beverage in a beautiful setting.
- Lone Peak Brewery & Tap House – in Meadow Village – Big Sky’s first microbrewery offers a wide selection of seasonal and award-winning brews
- Beehive Basin Brewery – a new addition to Big Sky Town Center offering hand crafted beers
- Chopper’s Pub – over 100 beers available in Big Sky Town Center
- Moonlight Tavern – ski to the tavern bar in Moonlight Lodge for a perfect ending to a perfect day
Stocking the Pantry:
If you prefer to express your creativity and showcase your culinary skills hosting dinners in the comfort of your vacation home, these two grocery shops can help you take the hassle out of sourcing ingredients and stocking the kitchen.
- Hungry Moose Market – hungrymoose.com – A great little market in Big Sky Town Center that also provides online shopping and delivery to your vacation property for stocking the kitchen before you arrive. This market has nearly everything you will need to make your favorite culinary creation! Plus, they have a great wine selection too.
- Roxy’s Market – the newest grocery store addition to Big Sky, Roxy’s offers a wide selection of items to feed a hungry crowd.
Big Sky & Bozeman Events
For an extra special vacation experience, be sure to book your vacation home lodging during these favorite events. Put these dates on your calendar now!
Nov 23 – Big Sky Resort Planned Opening Day
Nov 24 – Bridger Bowl Planned Opening Day – early this year due to snowfall!
Dec 2 – Bozeman Christmas Stroll
Dec 9 – Big Sky Christmas Stroll
Dec 24 – Big Sky Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade
Dec 30 – Bridger Bowl Torchlight Parade & Fireworks Display
Dec 31 – Big Sky New Years’ Eve Fireworks
Feb 8 – Big Sky Big Grass – Blue Grass Festival Feb 8th – 11th
Apr 1 – Sunrise Easter Service & Projected Closing Day at Bridger Bowl
Apr 21 – Big Sky Pond Skim 2018
Apr 22 – Big Sky Resort Closing Day
So you don’t ski? Now what!!
Do not fret! Pack your bags and come enjoy a great winter vacation experience! There is plenty to do here that does not involve strapping boards to your feet and flying downhill. So don’t miss out on all the other family or group fun just because you don’t ski or snowboard! Here are some fun things to do – solo or as a group – while you are in Big Sky country.
- Yellowstone Snowcoach & Snowmobile tours https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/snowmobiles-snowcoaches.htm – This is a great way to experience Yellowstone National Park to see wildlife, Old Faithful, and the beautiful geysers in YNP.
- Snowshoeing – you can rent snowshoes and poles at man y of the local sporting goods shops
- Dog sledding - huskypower.com Spirit of the North Sled Dog Adventures or yellowstonedogsledadventures.com
- Ice Skating in Big Sky Town Center – rent skates at nearby Grizzly Outfitters grizzlyoutfitters.com
- Nordic skiing – lonemountainranch.com in Big Sky; bridgerskifoundation.org or crosscutmt.org (formerly Bohart Ranch) in Bozeman
- Spa Day – treat yourself to a well earned day at the spa, with many options to choose from in Big Sky and Bozeman including: Solace Spa, Ozssage Spa, Canyon River Spa
- Museum of the Rockies - museumoftherockies.org – treat yourself to a fun day of exploration, and a great gift shop for the little scientist in all of us.
- Shopping – Here are some of our favorites in Big Sky: Provisions in Summit hotel; JP Woolies and Big Sky Sports in Big Sky mountain mall; Horse of a Different Color and Willow Boutique in Meadow Village Center
- Art Galleries – so many choices! – but don’t miss Creighton Block Gallery, Ryan Turner Photography in Big Sky; and Old Main Gallery, Sun Dog Fine Art, and Thomas Nygard in Bozeman
- Downtown Bozeman – take a stroll on Main Street downtown between Grand and Rouse and enjoy shopping for clothing, sporting goods, jewelry, art, books, wine, and more! Also enjoy some of our favorite lunch and beverage places: Ted's Montana Grill, Jam!, Plonk, Wild Joe's Coffee, Rockford Coffee, Sweet Chili's, Starky's Deli, Cateye Cafe, The Nova Cafe, Main Street Overeasy
- Respite – perhaps life has been stressful, and you might enjoy a day to yourself to sit by the fire and lose yourself in that novel you’ve been wanting to read…. Enjoy!
And, if you feel the lure of the mountain calling, and you decide to try skiing or boarding for the first time….we recommend renting gear and hiring a pro for lessons. It is worth it - trust us! The new gear styles and methods of teaching have improved greatly since we were kids. It is much easier than you might think! And there are plenty of easy/green trails for learning. Have fun out there!
[11.11.17] Big Sky Resort reports 6-12" overnight...
Winter Season 2017/2018 has begun!
[11.09.17] The past week brought many signs of winter's arrival. The annual ski swap brings excitement as thousands of the valley's residents gather for the informal kickoff of ski season. Friends, neighbors, and ski enthusiasts gather the first weekend in November to swap skis, gear, and stories as we anticipate the arrival of the winter season. We go through our gear and remember the fun times it has brought us. Oh, the memories... We size up the kids, and are amazed that they need new skis! My how they've grown this year!
Yellowstone National Park has now closed most roads to get ready for the winter season. The snow coaches will soon be running!
And the sure tell sign that winter has arrived was the grand entrance of SNOW! The skies opened and graced us with double digit snowfall across the valley last weekend. The landscape is now a beautiful white with colder temperatures to protect the base accumulation. Big Sky Resort reports a 24" base at mid mountain, with more snow forecast in the upcoming week ahead. Opening day for the winter season is Nov 23.
Snow tires are on the vehicles. Skis, boards, and gear are ready to load. Boots are packed. We have found the gloves, hats, goggles, and poles. Ski team practice starts in two weeks. The kids are excited! We are ready! Are you? If you haven't booked your lodging or travel arrangements yet, now is the time! It's going to be a great year for skiing, boarding, and trekking. Be sure to schedule some mountain fun this winter...and create memories for a life time. See you on the ski hill!
It has been a beautiful autumn here in Big Sky - crisp mornings, sunny afternoons, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. This is a special quiet time in our region, and having a vacation home is a great way to enjoy the splendor of this time of year when other lodging options are closed. If you haven't yet experienced the fall season in Montana, be sure to book a vacation home next year as it is a great time to visit! The elk and deer are abundant and there are many events (formal and informal) not to be missed such as the elk bugling in Yellowstone National Park, and the Bridger Raptor Festival [bridgerraptorfest.org]. If you have the opportunity to escape to Montana during our glorious autumn season, you might want to savor your experience with a permanent reminder that forever captures the awe of our vistas. One of my favorite art forms is photography, and I have found it to be a great souvenir of my travels. While I love to capture my own images and experiences, it is hard to represent the breadth and depth of our majestic mountains and rivers that professional artists are able to create through their lens. One of our favorites is Ryan Turner Photography. His work captures the best of our region and is featured at Big Sky Resort, Bozeman Health Big Sky Medical Center, and many other homes, businesses, and lodges. I recommend you visit his studio next time you are in Big Sky to add a piece of what you love about Southwest Montana to your home or office decor. You can also follow his work at: ryanturnerphotography.com or
Autumn is my favorite time of the year, as Mother Nature paints the landscape with beauty and color and each year brings new surprises. Living in Southwest Montana, I like to say that Mother Nature flips a switch and all of a sudden it is a new season. That was ever so true this year, as we were enjoying 80 degree days with warm breezes through mid-September and as the first day of autumn arrived, Mother Nature graced us with an abundance of snow throughout the region. While we hadn’t quite put away the sandals yet, it was quite fun to go scurrying through the closets for jackets and hats. The snowcapped peaks provide the perfect backdrop to the golden hues of the aspen and birch along the rivers that showcase the natural beauty that surrounds us each day. We are forever grateful for the peace and serenity that our landscape provides. Here in Big Sky country, the early snow brings hope for a wonderful season ahead.
As autumn beauty unfolds, it serves as a time of gratitude for nature’s bounty and all that life brings us. The wheat fields have all been cut, and the deer and elk are enjoying the remnants of the harvest. Bears and their young cubs are foraging about, increasing their body weight in preparation for winter. I am grateful for being able to enjoy this wonderful part of Montana. I am grateful for family. I am grateful for the wonderful memories we have been able to create together. We are currently planning our time together for Thanksgiving. It is a great time to be in Big Sky! Opening day for the ski hill is November 23 – Thanksgiving Day. We have vacation homes that will accommodate large family gatherings with plenty of kitchen space to cook the turkey. We hope you are making plans for the season to gather with your favorite people. Great memories are made with a mountain getaway. Our best family stories come from ski trips through the years. Last year we dusted off the skis, and had some fun runs on opening weekend! We also enjoyed sitting around the fire for a bit of well-earned rest and respite enjoying the majestic view of our favorite mountain. With the new fallen snow Lone Mountain is ready to welcome us back for another fun filled year. We hope to see you soon!
Thanksgiving opening weekend Big Sky Resort 2016