Explore the beauty of Big Sky, Montana, and spend the day exploring towering mountains, fly-fishing and checking out an outdoor concert.
Tucked away in the Rocky Mountains in the Western U.S. state of Montana, Big Sky is a resort getaway known for its skiing, hiking trails and blue-ribbon fisheries. Only a short drive to Yellowstone National Park and surrounded by valleys and rambling rivers, this vacation destination is a must-visit for outdoors enthusiasts.
Whether you’re new to fly-fishing or experienced with casting a line, Big Sky offers outings for all skill levels year-round. On rivers, creeks and sparkling lakes, visitors can enjoy a day seeking the perfect catch against a breathtaking mountain backdrop. Travelers should start their expedition at one of Big Sky’s fly-fishing shops that provide guide services, fishing licenses and water access points. Local experts are ready to match your skill level with recommend fishing locations and tailored instruction. Don’t miss out on Big Sky’s blue-ribbon trout fisheries that include the Madison, Gallatin and Yellowstone rivers. Some of these fishing hot spots have even been featured in Hollywood films, for example, “A River Runs Through It.” Want more time on the water? Canyon trips via horseback and numerous campsites are available to make for a full weekend of fishing.
A peaceful morning for fly-fishing on the Gallatin River
Explore the Uplands Trail
Offering stunning panoramic views of Big Sky, the Uplands Trail offers outdoor thrills for travelers just a short distance from the town center. Hike the winding trail and snap photos at the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff, a 2.1-million-year-old volcanic rock that resulted from the Yellowstone Caldera’s eruption. Marvel at expansive aspen groves, meadows dotted with colorful wildflowers and rolling fields known for chirping crickets and vibrant sage plants. The trail covers 3.2 kilometers round trip and is considered a moderately difficult dirt-covered trail that’s great for year-round hiking (during the winter, snowshoes are recommended). While you’re exploring Big Sky’s great outdoors, another easily accessible hike is the Ousel Falls Trail. This 2.6-kilometer moderate hike along the Gallatin River crosses three bridges before reaching gorgeous Ousel waterfall. Take a photo at the base, enjoy lunch at the picnic area or dip your toes in the natural pool.
The Uplands Trail, an ideal spot for a hike or run paired with mountain views
Music in the Mountains and More
Visitors and locals flock to the Big Sky Town Center, a walking village known for its family-friendly activities, shopping, dining and evening entertainment. Seek out fresh produce at the Farmers Markets held in the summer and fall, and enjoy other fun events throughout the year. Over the past decade, Big Sky has especially become known for Music in the Mountains, its free outdoor concert series that features up-and-coming musicians as well as established artists every June through September. Popular events during this festive occasion include the annual Fourth of July Concert, Bravo! Big Sky Music Festival and free performances from Montana Shakespeare in the Park. At Center Stage, free music concerts take place every Thursday from June through August. Of course, the nearby mountains provide a stunning backdrop for enjoying music, food, drinks and good company.
Crowds gathered to enjoy a live band during Music in the Mountains
More experiences nearby