It’s Part 3 of our Ultimate Ski Guide, where we explore all that Big Sky, Montana, and Sun Valley, Idaho, have to offer! Your ski level doesn’t matter—from beginner to pro—we share the ins and outs of these two incredible ski destinations. If you missed Part 1, click here to learn more about Summit County, or read Part 2 to learn about Lake Tahoe and Park City.


Experience the thrill of headlamp night skiiing. Experience the thrill of headlamp night skiing—an unforgettable guided adventure for skilled skiers!
Explore over 50 miles of scenic trails, perfect for snowshoeing. Discover over 50 miles of scenic trails in Big Sky, perfect for snowshoeing in the Winter or hiking in the Summer.


The Big Sky Resort is located atop Lone Mountain—where you can see Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, and Idaho on a clear day! And new to the Winter ski season is the completely updated Lone Peak Tram! At the top terminal, step out (if you dare) into all-glass viewing platforms with glass floors! Explore more than 5,800 acres of skiable terrain and unwind in the delightful Mountain Village.

Conveniently located 50 miles north of Yellowstone National Park, this popular destination has incredible views of alpine terrain, wide-open bowls, and stunning big skies (as the name implies). Surrounded by four mountains, this town is considered the gateway to Yellowstone and provides unparalleled access to wildlife, outdoor recreation, and stunning natural beauty.


Big Sky is a destination teeming with fun things to see and do year-round, but the most popular time to visit is Winter—when skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and ice skating top the day's must-do list. Manage your plans with this helpful resource for timely activities in and around Big Sky.


Big Sky Resort is one of the largest ski resorts in America, spanning 5,850 acres with 4,350 feet of vertical drops and a top elevation of 11,166 feet! There are more than 250 ski runs and 38 different lifts to take you to the top.

The Mountain Sports School offers ski and snowboard lessons taught in various ways. Take a private class, group, or family class, or sign up for a multi-day ski clinic!

Adaptive Skiing

This is pretty great. Big Sky has partnered with Eagle Mount to share the joy of skiing and snowboarding with children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities. Lessons are individualized—AND FUN—to help meet the needs of the student. A multi-week program is also available.

Go Night Skiing in Big Sky

If you’re comfortable on skis, book an unforgettable Headlamp Night Skiing guided experience! You’ll be talking about this night out for years! The comfortable Ramcharger8 Lift—heated seats and a weatherproof bubble—whisks you up Andesite Mountain. Here, you and your party will don a headlamp and follow your guide as you navigate dark, silent slopes.

Practice Skills in a Terrain Park

What’s a terrain park? Think of it as a practice area for various snow sports. A terrain park is a safe area to try out snowboarding, work on your ski run, or trudge along on snowshoes for the first time. The Cowpoke and Explore terrain parks give beginners gentle runs to gain courage on. Mid-level runs can be found at Cache, and serious skiers and snowboarders can find large jumps and combo rails in Swift.

Earn a PEEP Pass

New to skiing and unsure of trail etiquette? Not to worry! Big Sky offers a fun Park Etiquette and Education Program to teach newbies everything they need to know. Taught in the terrain park, PEEPs will help keep you safe while having fun.


  • Try Snowshoeing: For those who want to explore the great outdoors without hitting the slopes, Big Sky offers plenty of snowshoeing (and hiking) trails. The resort has more than 50 miles of trails, many offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Take a tour or venture out on your own!

  • Take a Spin Around the Ice Skating Rink: Ice skating is the perfect activity for families. The learning curve isn’t steep, and a sudden slip is usually accompanied by laughter. Big Sky has several excellent ice skating options, including an outdoor rink at Town Center and an indoor rink at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds.

  • Explore the Enchanted Forest: While it’s not a sport, the Enchanted Forest is one of those beautiful wintertime experiences that’s hard to duplicate. A kaleidoscope of twinkling lights transforms the alpine forest. Before ending the night with loved ones, walk along a snow-covered trail and warm up by a crackling fire (and maybe roast a few marshmallows). Kids will love the lights reflected against the snow.

  • Ride the Lone Peak Tram: An exciting addition to the Big Sky experience for the Winter 2023 season are the new Lone Peak Tram cabins. Two enclosed—and heated—cabins carry up to 75 passengers each. The Lone Peak Tram travels at a brisk pace of 22 mph to an elevation of 11,166 feet. Once at the top terminal, you can step out onto an all-glass viewing platform and soak in views of three different states and two national parks! It’s absolutely spectacular!

  • Visit Big Sky Mountain Village: At the base of Lone Peak is the Mountain Village. Here, you’ll find the gear you need and a wide range of restaurants, coffee shops, breweries, bakeries, delis, and more. Hungry yet?


Experience the magic of the enchanted forest. Experience the magic of the enchanted forest in the breathtaking wilderness of Big Sky.
Discover the Umbrella Bar with spectacular 360-degree views of lone peak. Discover the Umbrella Bar with spectacular 360-degree views of Lone Peak.



  • Everett’s 8800: Known for its incredible location atop Lone Peak Mountain, Everett's 8800 enjoys views from an elevation of 8,800 feet. You'll enjoy the thrilling lift ride to the top to reach the restaurant! Diners rave about the sights, a cozy bar, and a lunch and dinner menu that features local fare.
  • The Umbrella Bar in Big Sky Resort: Talk about the ideal spot to après ski! Sit in warmth and comfort inside an all-glass enclosure with 360-degree views of Lone Peak. Adorably situated in the Mountain Village Plaza, skiers can warm up with the help of a butter Schnapps cocoa, bourbon sours, ciders, handcrafted beers, and more.
  • Beehive Basin Brewery: Beehive Basin is a new microbrewery located in the heart of Big Sky that operates on a 7-barrel brewing system. Since variety is the spice of life, they also have a rotating beer list that includes rye beers, scotch ale, and more. Grab a pint or fill up a growler, and BYO food!
  • MAP Brewing Company: Located in Bozeman, MAP focuses on creating fresh, local, high-quality beer, from IPAs to lagers, served in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere—it’s kid-friendly too!



Natural Retreats offers Big Sky vacation rentals to suit every vacation style, from mountain chic slopeside homes to grand hilltop chalets with amenities like private theaters and wine cellars. Modern condos at the Mountain and Meadow Villages are accommodations for those who want to be steps from restaurants, bars, and shops with free shuttle access to the resort.

Enjoy Big Sky year-round, book now>>>

CALLING ALL ADRENALINE JUNKIES AND ADVANCED SKIERS FOR A HELICOPTER SKIING ADVENTURE IN SUN VALLEY! Calling all adrenaline junkies and advanced skiers for a helicopter skiing adventure in Sun Valley!
ENJOY AN INCREDIBLE DINING EXPERIENCE AT THE ROUNDHOUSE RESTAURANT, LOCATED RIGHT ON TOP OF THE ROUNDHOUSE EXPRESS GONDOLA. Enjoy an incredible dining experience at the Roundhouse Restaurant, located right on top of the Roundhouse Express Gondola.


There’s a reason why the love has never waned for Sun Valley. Considered America’s first “destination ski resort,” skiers and admirers of the mountain have been flocking to Sun Valley since it opened in 1936. In addition to being one of the best places to ski, Sun Valley is considered to have some of the best stargazing in the world!


Founded as a mining town in the 1800s, this ski resort hit its glamour days with Hollywood elites, including Clark Gable, Katharine Hepburn, and Ernest Hemingway, spending time on the mountain.

Today, guests can explore 2,154 acres of skiable terrain and more than 250 days of sunshine (hence the name). The nearby town of Ketchum adds to the charm of this area with its welcoming Western hospitality and quaint mountain atmosphere.

Go Heli Skiing

Ready to try something different? Like, really different? Give helicopter skiing a try. It’s precisely what you might be imagining—very James Bond. You will arrive atop pristine ski runs via helicopter, where you and an experienced guide can traverse ski runs varying from 1,500 to 3,000 feet long. Sun Valley Heli Ski offers a range that spans three mountains with runs for intermediate and expert skiers.

And if you really want an unforgettable experience—book an overnight stay in the Smoky Mountain Lodge, a remote fly-in heli-ski lodge! How fun does that sound?!

Nordic Skiing

Step off the beaten path and delve into the exhilarating world of Nordic skiing! Experience the absolute serenity of the trails and the pure joy that comes from gliding effortlessly across the pristine snow. Discover why Nordic skiing has become a cherished and time-honored tradition in Sun Valley.



  • Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve: This vast 750,000-acre preserve boasts a diverse range of volcanic features, including cinder cones, shield volcanoes, and lava tube caves. Take a hike through the rugged terrain, marvel at the expansive vistas, and immerse yourself in this unique, awe-inspiring landscape. Craters of the Moon is remarkable!
  • Hot Springs: Take a break from your adventures and treat yourself to the healing waters of a Wood River Valley. Known for their soothing properties, these hot springs are perfect after a strenuous hike or long day of skiing. Enjoy a quick dip or plan to spend your afternoon in a spa-like oasis. With plenty of springs to choose from, be sure to do your research to ensure you adhere to local regulations—and, of course, follow the golden rule: leave no trace.
  • Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides: Sleigh rides are a unique way to experience the magic of Winter in Sun Valley. Gliding through the snow-capped mountains on a horse-drawn sleigh, you can take in the stunning scenery and even do some stargazing. Sleigh rides are perfect for romantic evening outings or fun, family-friendly activities that will take your breath away.
  • Ernest Hemingway Tour: This free audio-walking tour entitled, “Hemingway in Idaho’s High Desert” guides listeners through 12 Hemingway-related stops in Ketchum and Sun Valley, like the Hemingway Memorial as well as his final resting place. Learn about Hemingway’s time in Idaho as he penned novels, enjoyed the great outdoors, and became a regular at various restaurants and bars.


  • Cookbook Restaurant: Originally built in 1932 as a church, this now quaint eatery features locally- and globally-inspired comfort food with a twist. The Cookbook Restaurant is the perfect spot for any occasion, as the menu changes seasonally to reflect the freshest ingredients available. Ideal for both a quick bite and a leisurely meal.
  • The Roundhouse: Perched atop the Roundhouse Express gondola is The Roundhouse, a beloved Sun Valley Resort restaurant that has been serving guests and offering jaw-dropping views since 1939. Take in views of Bald Mountain while you dine!
  • Lefty’s Bar and Grill: Located in town, Lefty's is everyone’s favorite off-mountain après ski destination. Serving up classic pub fare with a notable edge, it’s renowned for mouth-watering burgers and crowd-pleasing shareable plates, like the local favorite “monkey fries.” Whether you want to watch the big game, play a game of pool, or drink on the patio, Lefty’s has something for everyone.
  • The Cellar Pub: A local favorite! This pub is known for its great food, draft beers, and casual atmosphere. The Cellar also has video games, shuffleboard, TVs, and an outdoor patio—a great place to hang out with friends for a good time.



Our range of Sun Valley rentals offers everything from stylish condos to grand lakeside estates with private river access and luxury amenities. Pick from modern condos a short stroll from downtown, upscale townhouses with golf course views and clubhouse amenities, or those seeking the ultimate luxury stay, check out Sun Valley's famous Mid Valley area, home to some of the most stunning private residences around. Natural Retreats has you covered!

Enjoy Sun Valley year-round, book now>>>


Ready to hit the slopes? We are too! Experience the magic of the Rockies with unmatched skiing (and snowboarding) in Big Sky and Sun Valley. Don't miss out on your chance to create the ultimate Winter adventure! Call today and let us help plan your ultimate Winter adventure. Travel on.