The 5 Best Runs at Big Sky Resort


As its name implies, Big Sky is, well, big. We're talking 5,800 skiable acres, 4,350 vertical feet, and a top elevation of 11,166 feet. But that's not where the fun stops. With a typical density of two acres per skier, Big Sky is also famously uncrowded, all that widespread terrain distributing the mountain's visitors, so they have plenty of elbow room. And you have 300 named runs on the map, meaning that choosing where to start can seem like an impossible task. Don't worry, we've got your back. We've broken down the mountain by ability level and given our vote for best run in each category. Here's where to point your skis or board when you first get off the lift.

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Beginner: Explorer

We're going to say this a lot, but there's just too much terrain at Big Sky to pick one best run. For anyone skiing or riding in the beginner category, you have to check out the Explorer chair. You can get the separate Explorer pass to cruise these long, rolling green runs. We think you might like Porcupine or Chet's Knob.

Intermediate: Andesite Mountain

What, did you think we could pick just one intermediate run? Andesite Mountain's terrain has a good mix of blue runs and a few more advanced thrown in if you're ready for a challenge. Thunderwolf and Ramcharger are the lifts for you, with runs like Ambush and Elk Park that you'll get excited about.

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Advanced: Liberty Bowl to Mountain Mall

As the longest run at Big Sky, this six-miler is worth the ride. This is the easiest way down off Lone Peak, and it's a leg-burner for the ages. Liberty Bowl is an advanced run, so you definitely need to be upper intermediate to advanced to take this route on. Make a detour to the Dakota Territory, where you can get excited about 212 acres of steep and deep terrain with chutes, bowls, and glades that will keep advanced skiers and riders occupied for ages. The Dakota chairlift has you covered on the south face, with varied terrain to keep you entertained. When you're ready to continue on your way, catch the traverse over to Screaming Left and head down the long stretch to the Mountain Mall.

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Experts Only: Big Couloir

With Big Sky's designation of triple black diamond, meaning high exposure, you know this run is gnarly. Take the Lone Peak tram up the resort's signature peak and get ready to shred. You know everyone riding the tram is going to be rating your style. If your legs aren't on fire at the bottom, you're not doing it right! And you still have to pick which run will take you all the way back to the base.

Bonus Run: Broken Heart, Moonlight Basin

This one is for all you powder hounds out there... Once its own resort and now a big reason that Big Sky is known as the biggest skiing in America, Moonlight Basin is a must-ski – especially this run. According to Ski Magazine, Broken Heart is one of the top five runs in the state. Untouched pillows of powder are waiting for you as you hop off the Lone Tree lift. If you love tree skiing, these trunks were spaced just for you, keeping the snow soft and deep.