Your Ultimate Guide to the Mountains: Big Sky & Park City | Part 1

To help you and your family embark on an unforgettable journey, we’ve crafted the ultimate guide to our breathtaking mountain locations across the country—Big Sky and Park City. With insider knowledge, you and your family can enjoy an effortless stay while immersing yourself in the local flavor, discovering new attractions, and relaxing in our luxurious accommodations. But most of all, we hope you make a lifetime of memories! Travel on.

Ride the Swift Current Lift to the top of Lone Mountain, which towers over Big Sky.

Big Sky is conveniently located 50 miles north of Yellowstone National Park.



  1. Despite its large size, Big Sky has a small-town feel, with a population of just over 3,000 people.

  2. Located in the Gallatin National Forest, it has over 5,800 acres of skiable terrain.

  3. On a clear day at the top of Lone Mountain, you can see three states (Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana) and two national parks (Yellowstone and Tetons).


Big Sky is a beautiful year-round mountain destination renowned for its skiing, fly fishing, and abundance of outdoor activities. Conveniently located 50 miles north of Yellowstone National Park, this popular destination is uniquely positioned to enjoy panoramic views of versatile 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 and outdoor recreation—including hiking trails, fishing streams, and so much more. Winter or summer, Big Sky is a place you will quickly fall in love with.

Discover Scenic Drives in Big Sky

  • The Beartooth Highway: One of the most scenic drives in the United States, and it’s located just a short drive from Big Sky. The highway winds its way through the Beartooth Mountains, providing stunning views of alpine lakes, glaciers, and peaks. Open from Memorial Day to Columbus Day, it’s a popular destination for hikers, cyclists, and photographers.

  • The Chief Joseph Scenic Byway: Located in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, this remote byway winds through forest and Yellowstone National Parks. Open from mid-June to mid-September, it’s a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts.

  • Big Sky Restaurants

  • Lotus Pad: This vibrant eatery serves delicious and authentic Thai and Vietnamese-inspired cuisine, using local and organic ingredients as much as possible in unique dishes, great appetizers, and fantastic cocktails. A 6-time winner of “Best Restaurant” in Big Sky!

  • Ousel & Sour Pizza Co.: Indulge in a variety of gourmet pizzas made with delicious homemade sauces, hand-tossed crust, and fresh veggies from locally sourced Montana farms. Try the elk sausage, it’s a local favorite! If you’re not interested in pizza, choose from authentic Italian pasta dishes and delectable appetizers to incredible desserts and coffees.

  • Beehive Basin Brewery: 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—that’s kid-friendly too.

  • Not only does Big Sky boast the biggest vertical drop in the U.S., it has 5,800 acres of skiable terrain.

    “Big Sky’s Biggest Week”—an annual event with three nights of bull riding.


    Take in the Sights and Attractions

  • Yellowstone National Park: An American treasure and an adventurer's paradise—from towering geysers and bubbling mud pots to diverse wildlife and stunning waterfalls, Yellowstone is a perfect place to experience the wonders of nature. As the world's first national park, Yellowstone remains one of the most visited parks in the U.S., drawing millions of tourists every year to see popular attractions like the Old Faithful geyser. With Yellowstone Luxury Tours, enjoy the flexibility of making your own plans while experienced, professionals provide guidance and knowledge on your customized, private tour.

  • Ousel Falls Park Trail: This beautiful trail is family-friendly and easy to navigate as it is a 1-mile out-and-back trail near Gallatin River. This heavily trafficked trail guides hikers through the forest and across 3 bridges before reaching the waterfall with 4 picnic tables nearby. Dogs are welcome. Need help getting around? Shuttle to Big Sky offers luxury rides to Boseman Airport, Big Sky Resort, West Yellowstone, and surrounding areas of Montana with door-to-door service.

  • Big Sky PBR (Professional Bull Riders): Live music, exciting events, and Western hospitality await you at “Big Sky’s Biggest Week”—an annual event held in July with three nights full of bull riding and fundraiser events, and vendor village visits—there's something in store at every turn.

  • Outdoor Recreation

    Summer Adventures

  • Whitewater Rafting: This bucket list adventure in the Yellowstone region, made famous by the movie “A River Runs Through It,” is a thrilling ride that will have you laughing and screaming for more. Depending on the class of rapids, this can be a thrill-seeking adventure or a fun day with the family. Consider Geyser Whitewater Expeditions for a trip down Gallatin River—with over 30 years of experience—they’ve hosted both the First Family of the United States on a trip downriver.

  • Rock Climbing: Tie in and prepare for a vertical adventure unlike any other. Whether you’re a novice or well-seasoned climber, rock climbing offers an exciting challenge that will take you to new heights. Local experts can provide proper equipment, safety protocol, and instruction for beginners, while experienced climbers can flex their skills and lead climb with their group.

  • Archery: Whether you're a beginner or looking to improve your skills, the archery course at Ramcharger 8 is the perfect activity to add to your vacation agenda. With Lone Peak towering majestically in the background, the breathtaking views alone make it worth the trip. Shoot at four targets with a Genesis compound bow, and with the targets set 15 yards away, it's a great range for all experience levels. Plus, ages 8+ can participate!

  • Winter Playground

  • Skiing and Snowboarding: Big Sky Resort is one of the largest ski resorts in the U.S., spanning 5,800 acres with 4,350 feet of vertical drops. Big Sky Resort is also home to the Biggest Skiing in America lift, which has a capacity of 12,000 skiers per hour. Want more information? Stay tuned for Natural Retreat’s upcoming Ultimate Ski Guide, set to come out in June 2023.

  • 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 over 50 miles of trails, many of which offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Take a tour or venture out on your own!

  • Ice Skating: Ice skating is the perfect activity for families who are looking for a way to stay active and engaged during the winter months. The learning curve isn’t that steep, so ice skating can be enjoyed by all ages and skill levels. Big Sky has several great ice skating options, including an outdoor rink at Town Center and an indoor rink at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds.

  • Natural Retreats offers Big Sky vacation rentals to suit every style—check out this old Fire Lookout Station.

    Nestled high in mountain meadows, there are plenty of scenic places to stay in Big Sky.


    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>>>

    Park City's Mirror Lake Highway stretches 42 miles along state Route 150.

    Even though Park City has less than 10,000 residents, there are more than 150 restaurants, bars, and clubs.



    1. This popular tourist destination receives over 3 million visitors each year.

    2. It was the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics.

    3. This city is home to the annual Sundance Film Festival—the largest independent film festival in the United States.


    Located in Summit County, Utah, this city was once one of the most sought-after mining towns in the late 1800s, but has since progressed into a year-round, world-class resort destination. Renowned for its natural beauty, Park City is surrounded by the Wasatch Mountain Range—known for the best skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and mountain biking in the world today. This well-preserved historic town is now full of culture and art, as well as fine dining and stylish boutiques. Perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and visitors just wanting to get away.

    Explore Scenic Drives in Park City

  • Mirror Lake Byway: Take in incredible views of rocky peaks—and possible wildlife sightings of mountain goats and moose—while traveling down this winding mountainous route. This byway offers picturesque stops including majestic alpine forests and glistening lakes, perfect for a quick hike or afternoon stroll.

  • Guardsman Pass Scenic Backway: With unrivaled views of stunning rock formations and tranquil lakes, this pass is perfect for discovering serene meadows dotted with wildflowers and majestic mountains standing sentry over sweeping alpine valleys.

  • Where to Eat in Park City

  • Purple Sage: Known for its bold and rustic flavors of the American West, this local fare is modern with a sophisticated twist. Enjoy American Western cuisine in an intimate atmosphere. Make sure to try the Chicken Tamale Pancakes!

  • High West Distillery: Always on the “best of après ski” lists, this is the world’s only ski-in gastro distillery! Located just off Main Street at the base of Park City Mountain’s Quittin’ Time Trail, it’s convenient and easy to find. Cheers!

  • Fulfill your bucket list with an exciting hot air balloon ride near Park City.

    Park City is home to the largest independent film festival in the U.S.


    Take in the Sights and Attractions

  • Historic Main Street: No trip to Park City would be complete without walking down Main Street—the main thoroughfare of "Old Town." Park City gives you upscale culture, but Main Street gives you old-timey charm. Enjoy some of the most well-preserved mining homes and architecture, along with posh restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries.

  • Utah Olympic Park: Built for the 2002 Winter Olympics, this state-of-the-art facility now offers a wide range of activities, including skiing, snowboarding, zip lining, bobsledding, and more. A must-visit destination for anyone who loves winter sports!

  • Sundance Film Festival: Park City is home to the largest independent film festival in the U.S. and one of the most prestigious independent film events in the world. Every January, this event offers movie lovers the opportunity to see around 200 new films celebrating independent filmmaking, directors, and storytelling. It’s the ultimate gathering for cinephiles!

  • Park City Alpine Coast: Get ready to experience over a mile of exhilarating loops and curves while reaching speeds up to 25 mph on Utah’s largest alpine coaster.

  • Jordanelle State Park: A few miles outside Park City is a hidden gem of epic proportions. The beautiful views will take center stage while you and your family snack at an incredible picnic spot, take off on a boating excursion to see some of Utah’s stunning waterways, or simply set up a camp chair and fish next to the water.

    Outdoor Recreation

    Summer Adventures

  • Hiking: A refreshing and invigorating way to immerse yourself in the great outdoors, consider Armstrong Trail next time you’re in Park City. This 3.3-mile intermediate trail loops around evergreen forests, passing Utah's vibrantly colored wildflowers and old mining relics. The best time to visit this trail is April through September.

  • Mountain Biking: More than just challenging climbs and fast-paced descents, mountain biking is a great way to spend time with loved ones. With a gentle slope and wide trails, Round Valley is the perfect place for beginners. Kids will love the easy ride up and exciting trip back down. And with endless combinations of loops, you'll never get bored!

  • Zipling: From a leisurely experience to a heart-pounding ride, there's a zipline adventure for everyone. At Park City Mountain Village, pick from two different zip line experiences, including a 2-person seated zip line called the “Flying Eagle” and the more adventurous “Ziprider,” which soars 110 feet above the ground at roughly 45 miles per hour.

  • Hot Air Balloon Rides: There’s something about soaring high above the beautiful mountain communities below that makes you feel like all your dreams have come true—even if it's just for a few minutes before landing back on earth again. The Skywalker Balloon Company will take any thrill-seeker high into the sky on a hot air balloon ride where they'll see astounding shades of blue and fluffy white clouds below. The year-round sunshine makes this an incredible adventure for any season, but particularly summertime.

  • Winter Playground

  • Sleigh Rides: Gliding through the snow-capped mountains on a horse-drawn sleigh is a truly unique way to experience the magic of winter. With Snowed Inn Sleigh Co., each horse-drawn sleigh ride passes through the snowy ski slopes and ends at a western-style lodge where a gourmet dinner and live entertainment await each guest. Perfect for all ages.

  • Hot Springs: Take a break from your adventures and treat yourself to the healing waters of a local hot spring. Known for its soothing properties, Utah Crater at Homestead Farm offers an hourglass-shaped geothermal hot spring with inviting waters averaging 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim, soak, snorkel, or scuba dive in hot springs!

  • Skiing and Snowboarding: These favorite wintertime activities are synonymous with mountain culture. It's the perfect way to soak up the sun while surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Check out Park City Mountain, Deer Valley, Solitude Mountain, Brighton, Alta, and Snowbasin for world-class skiing in or around Park City, Utah. Want more information? Stay tuned for Natural Retreat’s upcoming Ultimate Ski Guide, set to come out in June 2023.

    Need help now? Check out our travel blog for inspiration and information.

    Our Park City homes are hand-selected for prime mountain access and high-end amenities.

    Enjoy services like in-home ski rental fitting, grocery delivery, and luggage shipment in Park City.


    Handpicked for prime mountain access and high-end amenities, our Park City vacation rentals include private homes nestled on the slopes of Deer Valley Resort, luxury lodge condos at Silver Star, and ski-in/ski-out estates in gated communities at both Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort. To make your stay seamless, we offer services like in-home ski rental fitting, grocery delivery, and luggage shipment.

    Enjoy Park City year-round, book now>>>

    The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 3,000 miles over 6 states—and even divides North America.

    The high peaks and plains of the Rockies are home to many indigenous people, including Blackfoot, Apache, and more.


    Whether you’re a first-time visitor or simply looking to revisit a beloved destination, the mountains provide endless opportunities to reconnect with nature, soak up the breathtaking views, and have unforgettable experiences—and so much more! With each Rocky Mountain destination offering something unique, from winding trails and mountain peaks that speak to your sense of adventure to vibrant cultural flavors that contribute to true local experience, these mountain destinations have it all! So, don’t wait! Get out into nature and explore all there is to experience amidst America’s largest and most majestic mountain range. Book now and make a lifetime of memories!