In Big Sky, Montana there is a smile-worthy view in every direction. With a bit of human powered exploration into our big backyard you’ll find endless jaw-dropping views that will blow your mind.

Big Sky, Montana sits in the middle of the Madison Range. Our closest neighbors are the Gallatin National Forest, Lee Metcalf Wilderness, and Yellowstone National Park. As part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, we live in one of the most pristine and remote regions of the Lower 48 states. It’s like nothing else on the planet. 

Lush forests, crystal clear alpine lakes, wildflower studded meadows, snowcapped peaks, rocky ridges, roaring rivers, vast valleys, and towering alpine cirques are all part of the Big Sky landscape. Jump on the heel-toe express and hike into the mountain playground that surrounds this little mountain town. Feast your eyes on some of the most amazing views you can imagine. It’s surreal.

Every hike and every summit delivers breathtaking views or undisturbed 360-degree panoramas of picture-perfect Montana. Below you’ll find some of the best Big Sky hikes. Some of them are family friendly walks in the woods and others are simple scrambles to summits. The one thing they all have in common is outstanding mountain views that will blow your mind. 

  1. Beehive Basin – 6.6 Miles Round Trip – This is Big Sky’s classic alpine hike, so definitely add it to your bucket list. It’s a quick out and back day hike starting at almost 8,000′ above sea level. The trail accesses wildflower-studded meadows in a deep alpine basin and ends at a stunning alpine lake surrounded by towering rock formations. 
  1. Wilson Peak – 10,705′ – 12 Miles Round Trip – For a bird’s eye view of Big Sky, hike up Dudley Creek and venture to the top of Wilson Peak. The trail ends at Dudley Lake and then a quick scramble takes you to the summit. This is perhaps the hardest climb/hike on this list, but the 360-degree views of the Spanish Peaks and beyond are out of this world.
  1. Gallatin Peak – 11,015′ – 21 Miles Round Trip – Gallatin Peak is the highest peak in the Spanish Peaks unit of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. Trails from Hellroaring Canyon or North Fork take you to this remote section of the range, but a steep scramble is required to reach the top of the Spanish Peaks. Gazing upon this wild landscape is unreal.
  1. Cinnamon Mountain – 9,235′ – 8.5 Miles Round Trip – This popular trail begins in the Gallatin Canyon south of Big Sky. The trail leads to the top of Cinnamon Mountain where a dilapidated fire lookout sits. There are great views of the Gallatin Canyon, but let your eyes feast on the wide expanse of the Taylor Hilgard Unit of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. Bring your wide lens!
  1. Bear Basin – 13 Miles Round Trip – Start at the North Fork Trailhead and follow the North Fork of the Gallatin River up and into Bear Basin deep in the Spanish Peaks. This trail leads to a saddle between Bear and Mirror Basins. Located at the heart of the wilderness this is definitely a million dollar view.
  1. Koch Peak – 11,293′ – 14 Miles Round Trip – The hike to the second tallest peak in the entire Madison Range is well worth the effort. The trail begins at the end of the Taylor Fork Road. Follow the river and then head uphill into the scenic Tumble Down Basin. When the trail ends, choose your own adventure to the summit. At 11,293′, you’ll be greeted with panoramic views of one of the most pristine areas you’ll ever see. 
  1. Lone Mountain – 11,166′ – 9 Miles Round Trip – The iconic Lone Mountain is possibly the most popular summit to tag in Big Sky. Home to Big Sky Resort, the Lone Peak tram stops right at the summit. Lone Mountain offers easily accessible and completely stunning views in every direction.
  1. Storm Castle – 5 Miles Round Trip – This is the only hike on the list that isn’t in the Madison Range. Instead it’s just across the street in the Gallatin Range. You may recognize this peak from the Hollywood hit, A River Runs Through It. This quick hike follows a steep trail that leads right to the summit. The views are spectacular. 
  1. Uplands Trail – 2.2 Miles Round Trip – Right out of Big Sky Town Center is the Uplands Trail. This new multi-use, community trail is a lollipop loop trail that is one of the best places to gaze out over the Spanish Peaks, Lone Mountain, and the Big Sky Town Center.
  1. Beacon Point – 10,224′ – 20.5 Miles Round Trip – Beacon Point is way out there and you have to be dedicated to reach this point. It’s a long ways from the trailhead, but the views of Gallatin Peak, the Spanish Peaks, the distant Gallatin Valley, Bozeman, and distant mountain ranges are breathtaking. 

Stop daydreaming about our stunning year round playground. Grab your hiking boots, bring your camera, and visit Big Sky. The hiking in the mountains around here is world class. Come to Big Sky and explore our backyard. It will blow your mind.

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