Skill levels





When Moonlight Basin opened in 2003, the Big Sky & Moonlight Basin became the largest combined ski area in the United States. It's the newest ski area in America. Famous for its variety, Big Sky is known not only for its blue-squared long groomers but also its black diamond spine tinglers. It's a perfect introduction to the big mountains of the American West.

Click on the tabs at right to learn more about our trip to Big Sky.

Huntley Lodge

Our home for four nights is the plush and comfortable Huntley Lodge, a casual ski-in, ski-out hotel located right at the base of Big Sky Resort. Unwind in the outdoor heated pool or take a dip one of the huge outdoor jacuzzis. Lie back for a good night's sleep in the signature Boyne bed. The Huntley is just steps from the lifts and a village mall full of shops and eateries; it conveniently offers everything we'll need within a short distance.

Access to slopes:

Amenities include:

  • Complimentary daily hot breakfast buffet
  • Wet bar, coffee maker, refrigerator, TV, seating area
  • Outdoor heated swimming pool, 2 large outdoor jacuzzis, weight room, saunas
  • Room service, laundry, ice machines, vending
  • Complimentary WiFi throughout the property, and access to a shared business center with computers, printer, etc.

Roommates & single occupancy

If you've got a roommate in mind, you may sign up with another member and share a room. Or, SKI BUMS can easily match you up with someone. (About half of our trip participants sign up without a specific roommate in mind). Single occupancy rooms are also available; to inquire about the single occupancy upgrade, simply email us.

Lift tickets
  • 3-day combined ticket for use at both Big Sky and Moonlight Basin

Big Sky and Moonlight Basin stats

  • Combined skiiable acres: 5,512 acres*

  • Summit Elevation: 11,166’

  • Base Elevation: 7,000’

  • Mapped Trails, Bowls, Chutes, & Glades: More than 220

  • Vertical Descent: 4,350’
* The largest ski area in the United States. This place is huge.

On equipment

  • About half our participants will bring their own skis / snowboards. If you'd like to rent equipment, we have a discounted offer from a partner rental shop. Inquire about rental rates >

What you'll love about Big Sky / Moonlight Basin

Consistently ranked among the nation's top resorts, Ski Magazine says that it's perhaps the "most underrated ski resort in the country." Yet because Big Sky is off the beaten path of the Colorado, Utah and California resorts, it's never crowded. As the largest combined ski area in the United States, first-time visitors are consistently amazed, yet thankful that there's virtually no one there. It's most famous for the variety of its terrain, from expansive fields of intermediate runs -- and bowl skiing that's great for first-timers -- to spine-tingling steeps and chutes.

We've got three days of skiing and riding, and because we're staying right on the hill, there's plenty of time for you to get out and enjoy it.

Click on "Skill Levels" to learn more.

New for 2009,SKI BUMS is making specific recommendations for each trip, based on your skill level. We want to help you find the trips that you'll enjoy the most!

Beginner skiers and snowboarders who are looking for three uninterrupted days will enjoy the size and scope of Big Sky. Its uncrowded slopes will give you lots of room to stretch your limits with room for errors. If you're looking to improve your skills and you'd like to move toward more challenging terrain, this is our best Western trip for you. Plan on taking a lesson on day one; you can inquire about instructors here.

If you're an intermediate skier or snowboarder -- especially if you've never been skiing or riding in the West -- this is the 2009 SKI BUMS trip that we recommend most highly. Why? Because there's a HUGE amount of intermediate terrain. Big Sky is known as "blue heaven" for this reaason; they've got dozens and dozens of wide open, intermediate groomed runs -- those long, winding ones that make for a thrilling trip down the mountain. Very highly recommended for intermediates.

Advanced skiers and boarders will notice that there's a bit of a gap between intermediate terrain and very hard terrain. Translation: you'll be pushed to challenge yourself. The steeps at Big Sky are legendary, and their bowls are expansive and gorgeous. You'll love the fact that there are no lift lines, and you'll find yourself doing more laps here than most resorts could allow.

Expert skiers and snowboarders will go ga-ga at Big Sky. The Lone Peak Tram will carry you to some of the most famous double-black runs in America, and the steeps and chutes off The Gullies are notoriously thrilling. If you enjoy the terrain at Jackson Hole, Squaw, Taos or Snowbird, but you've never been to Big Sky, you should join us. You'll be in great company.

Skill level groupings

On every SKI BUMS trip, we begin by introducing you to other skiers and boarders who enjoy the same type of terrain that you do. For this trip, we expect a strong number of intermediate, advanced and expert skiers and boarders, with a few adventuresome beginners along for the fun. You'll get to meet them at our Meet & Greet, on the first night of our arrival.


SKI BUMS trips do not include air transportation (except when we're traveling overseas). You'll need to book your own flight. Most visitors to Big Sky fly into Bozeman, Montana (airport code BZN), which is serviced by United, Northwest, Frontier and Delta.

View Big Sky's airline info page >

Travel planning

Wednesday and Sunday are considered travel days. The first item on our itinerary will be a meet & greet at Big Sky on Wednesday evening. Plan to be checked-in at our lodging by 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday; the room will be reserved under your name.

We'll ski / ride on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and travel home on Sunday.

Ground transfers: Optional Add-on

New for 2009, SKI BUMS will offer an optional add-on for those who want to share ground transfer transportation to / from Bozeman. To participate in our shared ground transfer, you'll need to arrive in Bozeman by 1:15 P.M. on Wednesday, and depart after 12:30 P.M. on Sunday. Exact pricing for our transfer is T.B.A. -- you should budget about $80 for a round-trip ground transfer.

View Big Sky's ground transportation info page >

Transportation at the resort

Everything at Big Sky is within walking distance; we'll have easy access to shops, restaurants, bars and rental shops. For transportation between Big Sky and Moonlight Basin, there's a complimentary shuttle.

Itinerary overview

As with all SKI BUMS trips, we'll begin with a comfortable, casual meet & greet, where you'll have the chance to meet the other trip participants, get your lift tickets, and receive a thorough itinerary and information packet with everything you'll need for a well-organized trip. That happens on Wednesday night, and from there, we'll dine together at one of the restaurants within walking distance of our hotel.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday

We'll begin our days bright and early; this trip is all about the skiing & riding! After a morning meeting at the lifts, we'll have pre-planned meet-ups for lunch and aprés-ski. On Thursday and Saturday, we'll have a group dinner reservations at one of Big Sky's casual eateries; but Friday night's dinner plans will be up to you and your new friends. :)

On all SKI BUMS trips, you can join our planned itinerary, or break away from the group to do your own thing. It's your vacation to relax and have fun!

Wednesday and Sunday are travel days

Check-in on Wednesday begins at 4 P.M. To join our Wednesday night meet & greet, you should plan to check-in at our lodging by 6:00 P.M. The room reservation will be waiting under your name. On Sunday, check-out is at 10 A.M., and they'll gladly hold on to your luggage if you'd like some extra time at Big Sky. See "Transportation" for more info about planning your travel for Wednesday and Sunday.

New for 2009:

Get the backstory -- the "inside scoop" on SKI BUMS planning!

A few big factors went into our decisions to include Big Sky in our 2009 schedule. It's one of those resorts that nearly everyone has heard great things about, but because it isn't in the big-travel areas of Colorado, Utah and California, many of the BUMS haven't visited yet. When the 2003 addition of Moonlight Basin led it to top Vail for the distinction of being America's largest ski area, it quickly jumped to the top of many of our members' wish lists.

If there's any trip that's really all about the skiing & riding, this is it. There isn't a whole lot else to do. The village of Big Sky has its share of bars and eateries, but you won't find a Whistler-esque town at the base. What's lacking in cafes and galleries, however, is made up by the mountain itself: over 5,500 skiable acres -- about 8 times the size of most of Vermont's major resorts. If you've never been skiing or riding in the West, this really is a perfect introduction. It's huge, without being intimidating;40% of the trails are rated beginner or intermediate. And, it's also well known for having virtually no lift lines... a welcome refresher for those of you who are accustomed to East Coast wait times on a high-speed quad.

The Huntley Lodge presented a rare opportunity: a ski-in, ski-out hotel that's still reasonably priced, yet within easy walking distance of bars, restaurants, and shops. That's a very rare find. The fact that it's got one of those super-cool big ol' outdoor hot tubs won us over.

We wanted to give our members maximum flexibility on where to ski & ride each day, so you'll get to enjoy a 3-day combination lift ticket for all-access at both Big Sky and Moonlight Basin.

This is the kind of trip where we get to set up shop right at the base, start the days early, and hit the mountain hard. When you've had your fill, our comfy digs are right there. It's the perfect way to end your day and relax in front of the fireplace with some of the coolest skiers and snowboarders that you've ever met.

If you've got any questions about this trip, don't hesitate to email us.

  • 4 night double-occupancy accommodations at Huntley Lodge, a ski-in, ski-out hotel at the base of Moonlight Basin
  • 3 day combined lift ticket to Big Sky and Moonlight Basin
  • Welcome reception on Wednesday, January 14th
  • Optional add ons: shared ground transfer, single occupancy
Inquire about single occupancy >

Payment schedule:

  • $400 desposit
  • $449 due December 7

Price for this trip: $849

Cancellation policy:

  • On or before November 20: $40 fee
  • On or before December 7: $200 fee
  • On or before December January 1: $600 fee
  • After January 1: No refund
SKI BUMS recommends the purchase of traveler's insurance to guard against unforeseen cancellations.
Copyright 2008, SKI BUMS.