A Week at Big Sky - Your base camp to yellowstone
AM: Start your vacation off right with a hearty breakfast in Chet's Bar & Grill. After breakfast, pamper yourself on your first day of vacation with “Adjusting to Altitude” massage at Solace Spa. This treatment was designed specifically to help you adjust to our 7,500 ft elevation. A rejuvenating welcome massage focusing on the head and neck will help increase circulation, reducing the likelihood of any altitude inspired headaches. Midmorning, enjoy the ride on our scenic lift to 8,800 feet on the Andesite mountain. Take in the stunning views of the Mountain Village and the surrounding mountains. If you have sturdy hiking shoes and a disc, play our 18 hole Frisbee golf course that starts at the top of Andesite (rent a disc from Big Sky Sports before loading the lift), or hike our self-guided nature trail back down to the hotel. Riding the lift back down is also an option.
PM: Head down the mountain mid-afternoon and play 18 holes of golf on Big Sky's beautiful, Arnold Palmer designed course. Cap off your time on the course with a cold beverage at the Bunker.
EVENING: Take leisurely stroll along the banks of Lake Levinsky, or fine-tune your short game on the Mountain Village putting green. Then enjoy the excellent menu selections and extensive varieties of wine and beer available at Carabiner Lounge in the Summit Hotel.
Fortify yourself with a gourmet breakfast at the Carabiner in the Summit. Tour nearby Yellowstone National Park with an expert naturalist as your guide. A choice of two full day excursions are available. The Lower Loop tour focuses on the southern half of the park which is home to a great number of geysers, including the famous Old Faithful. The Lower Loop tour also visits Yellowstone Lake and the historic Lake Hotel, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and Firehole Canyon. The Upper Loop tour takes in the northern and more mountainous portion of the park. Highlights of the Upper Loop tour include wildlife viewing in the Lamar Valley, the vigorous thermal features at Norris geyser basin, lunch at Mammoth Hot Springs, and sweeping mountain views all along your route. Both tours feature the geothermal features unique to America's first national park, beautiful scenery, and plenty of wildlife. Bison, elk, antelope, moose, and coyotes are commonly seen. The lucky visitor may see a bear, a wolf, or a bald eagle. If you prefer to do your own driving, you should still plan to see just one loop of the park in one day. For hiking recommendations or to set up a horseback ride or fishing trip in the park, stop by Basecamp in the Plaza.
EVENING: Have a savory dinner at Whiskey Jack's in the Mountain Mall. Indulge in Southwestern faire paired with a local Montana Brew.
AM: Dress for adventure, today you will conquer the mountain! Start by getting your wings on the Big Sky Zipline, make sure to contact Basecamp (406-995-5769) in advance to reserve your spot.
PM: After stopping by local favorite Yeti Dogs in Snowcrest Lodge for lunch, head back out for a high ropes course challenge. It's a true test of your balance, strength and teamwork. Check out the photos from your adventures at the Crystal Images kiosk in the Mountain Mall and order a print for your office. bigskyphotos.com
EVENING: Take advantage of the long hours of summer, and play a few sets of tennis on the courts beside the Huntley Lodge (contact the concierge to arrange court times and rent tennis racquets). Next, have some legendary ribs or a steak at MR Hummers in the Mountain Mall.
AM: Spend the morning fishing the Gallatin River with a guide who will provide all of your equipment and instruction. Catch Brown, Rainbow, or Cutthroat trout in this world famous trout stream, featured as the stunnning setting for the movie A River Runs Through It. Whether you are angling for your first or your thousandth wild trout, your guide will provide you with a thrilling and memorable fly fishing experience! Check in with the on mountain fly shop East Slope Anglers to arrange for your guide. Also, sign up for weekly casting clinics available at the Mountain Village Lake Levinsky.
PM: Take a guided whitewater rafting trip through the class III and IV rapids of the Gallatin River with Geyser Whitewater. Or, if you prefer floating peacefully, take a tamer float trip. Professional photographers will be on the banks, ready to capture your magic moment.
EVENING: After your tour, take a dip in the pool, relax in the hot tub, or enjoy a relaxing Solace Spa sport massage body treatment after all this activity. Have dinner at The Cabin Bar & Grill, where you can sample some excellent wild game. For the less adventurous palate, The Cabin offers traditional fine dining from an extensive menu. Periodic musical and cultural events are held in the Meadow Village's outdoor pavilion. Ask for a schedule at the concierge desk.
AM: Take a two hour horseback ride up into the surrounding mountains with a wrangler from area stables. The mountain views are stunning, and there's a good chance of seeing some wildlife, so bring a camera!
PM: You may need a break after all this activity, but the younger set may still have energy to burn. You can relax in the plaza while they scramble up the climbing wall or jump like crazy on the bungee trampoline. Those who have an itchy trigger finger will want to try out paintball or laser tag for some high-powered fun, or participate in skeet shooting with instruction.
EVENING: On your way back to Big Sky, have dinner at Choppers, a local favorite. Located in the Big Sky Town Center, 6 miles down from the Mountain Village.
AM: Mornings are a perfect time to take a hike or a mountain bike ride. The wildflowers are fresh with dew and the wild life is just finishing their feeding. For suggestions, maps and even guided hikes, visit the Basecamp or the bike rental shop. Or, take a Yoga class offered by the Wellness Studio.
PM: As the day warms up, you'll want to paddle the quiet waters of Lake Levinsky. Canoe and paddle boat rentals are available on the shore. Relax and work on your tan.
EVENING: Enjoy a hearty Montana dinner at Chet's Bar & Grill along with the best selection of micro-brews around. Have a soak in the hot tub before taking the short walk to your room.
Spend a quiet morning unwinding before returning to real life. Relax at Solace Spa with a manicure and facial. Take time to collect your thoughts in one of the many peaceful chairs around the Mountain Village to reflect on your vacation in a journal, send some postcards, and buy some gifts and souvenirs. Clearly a week isn't long enough to spend at Big Sky.
As you head out of Big Sky toward Bozeman, here are some tips: First stop: The "Antique Trail" around Fours Corners near the intersection of Highway 191 and Huffine Lane, about 33 miles north of the Big Sky turnoff. There you'll find numerous antique shops and country malls with a sampling of the historic old West. While you're in the area, have a bite at the Kountry Korner Cafe or Mama Mac's.
Next, visit the Museum of the Rockies on the Montana State University campus in Bozeman. Famous for their dinosaur exhibits, you can also learn about the Native American, natural, and cultural history of Montana. Check out a show in their planetarium or walk through their "living farm." After the museum, head into downtown Bozeman. As you stroll the quaint streets of the old downtown district, you can do some souvenir shopping or just browse. Stop in one of the many coffee houses for an espresso or tea and be sure to visit the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture with its studios and galleries.
Finally, make your plans to return to beautiful Big Sky country!