Content Produced in Partnership with Visit Big Sky
The Greater Yellowstone region holds some of the most remote backcountry trail systems in the Lower 48 — and Big Sky, Montana lies right in the thick of it. Situated amongst the Spanish Peaks, Madison Range and the Gallatin Mountain Ranges, Big Sky is a mountain playground with seemingly limitless possibilities for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you wish to hike to a waterfall, summit a mountain peak, or fly high above the forest canopy by zip line, there’s a place — and a big adventure — waiting for you in Big Sky.
Considered one of the most popular hikes within Big Sky, Ousel Falls is an easy, family-friendly hike that follows the West Fork of the Gallatin River for dynamic views of one of the most powerful waterfalls in the area. The 1.5-mile roundtrip hike is easy to access from downtown, giving Big Sky visitors few excuses not to see this local gem. Named for the small black birds that nest in the cracks and crevices of the rocky waterfall, Ousel Falls is also a haven for wildlife viewing throughout the year — so keep the camera ready.
Storm Castle, that is. Easily recognizable northbound along Highway 191, Storm Castle is a challenging yet vastly rewarding five-mile round trip hike with 1,900-foot elevation gain. Once at the summit, hikers will be able to take in the Madison and Gallatin Mountain ranges as well as the Gallatin River. Don’t be surprised if some of the scenery looks familiar either. The Hollywood classic A River Runs Through It was filmed here.
Take on a world favorite hike
Known for its alpine lakes and scenery, the world’s leading travel experts consistently rank Beehive Basin as one of the world’s top hikes year after year. Who are we to argue? Known for its alpine lakes, stunning rock formations, and deep valleys, the 6.6-mile roundtrip hike is well worth the effort — and the ranking. Those that make the hike will be rewarded with wildflower-studded valleys and spectacular views of Big Sky Valley and Lone Peak.
Visit America’s first national park
Big Sky is located less than an hour’s drive away from the western entrance of Yellowstone National Park, giving you ample opportunity to explore one of America’s finest national parks. Because of its close proximity to the park and the big-name attractions (Old Faithful, anyone), many visitors make their base camp in Big Sky for easy access in and out of the park each day. If you only have one day to visit the park, check out this guide for what to do.
Soar above the canopy
Ziplining is quickly becoming a favorite pastime for American travelers, especially for families. With four different tour operators throughout the area, it’s safe to say Big Sky is firmly behind the adventure trend. Whether you wish to zoom over the rushing Gallatin River or past the mountain peaks, there’s no doubt that zip lining is one of the best ways to take in the thrilling beauty of Big Sky Country.