Big Trip 08 – Montana

This was the fourth place we stayed on our BigTrip and my favourite.

Gibson Mansion, Missoula

After leaving Lookout Pass, we drove into Missoula for the weekend, staying at the lovely Gibson Mansion bed and breakfast – the only place I’ve stayed which has a pre-breakfast tray delivered to the room, followed by a freshly cooked breakfast in the dining room. We’d decided that by this stage in our trip we were bound to want a break from the snow. The first thing we did on Saturday morning, however, was to get kitted up and head over to Montana Snowbowl to take a look. We did, and decided that the conditions didn’t look that great, and that we would, afterall, have that day off. So we spent the day wandering around Missoula, stocking up on gifts and postcards and the like, trying beers at the Big Sky Brewery before eating at the lovely, but hard to find, Red Bird restaurant.

Tea delivered to our room

After another incredible breakfast we headed from Missoula to Big Sky resort and our room at the Lodge at Big Sky. First impressions weren’t good, the room was big but soulless, there was no crockery or cutlery in our room despite the “basic kitchen facilities” (microwave and sink) and it was all beige – it looked a bit like a travelodge. Breakfast was a communal buffet style effort, served on paper plates with plastic cutlery. Again, not great.

Big Sky

But, we weren’t there for the accommodation (fortunately), we were there for the snowboarding and our first day was spent in fresh snow at Big Sky in conditions that are hard to beat. Our second day was clear and bright and so we made the hour long trip to Bridger Bowl for another fun day on the slopes, still finding patches of fresh snow to play in. Day three and a visit to Moonlight Basin, a resort which shares terrain and lift passes with Big Sky and which was my favourite resort of our entire trip – a resort with some amazing gladed tree black runs, and very few people. More fresh snow fell, and we re-visited both Moonlight Basin and Big Sky – having more great days at both.


Montana had great snow conditions, and some really good resorts – both Moonlight Basin and Big Sky are worth a return to, and even Bridger Bowl would amuse for another day. I’d probably base myself at Moonlight as it seemed to have a wider variety of self-catering accommodation than Big Sky.

From my sportstracker log in Montana we did:

  • 25th Feb – Big Sky – 35.5 miles
  • 26th Feb – Bridger Bowl – 25.75
  • 27th Feb – Moonlight Basin – 31
  • 28th Feb – Big Sky – 37.58
  • 29th Feb – Moonlight Basin – 31.19

A total for Montana of 161.02 miles.

Author: jane

Software Developer, Photographer and Snowboarder