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Summer activities in Big Sky Montana

Updated: Apr 6, 2021

White Water Rafting

Montana has epic white water rafting opportunities but the Gallatin River might be the best. Beginning in Yellowstone National Park, the river parallels Highway 191 and passes Big sky on its way towards Bozeman. The Gallatin has some iconic rapids such as House Rock and the Mad Mile.

Many outfitters located in Bozeman and Big Sky offer a diverse set of trip packages down the Gallatin. The white water has been split into the upper and lower sections. The lower half is more intense with bigger rapids to navigate while scenic tours are offered in the upper section of the canyon. Geyser Whitewater Expeditions has a strong reputation and is a prominent outfit for guided tours.

Beehive Basin Trail

There are many epic hiking trails in Big Sky and the Beehive Basin Trail is certainly worth a mention. This one-way route is just over three miles in one direction and covers more than 1,500 feet of elevation gain. Along this hike, you will see everything from sweeping meadows to towering mountains. Keep your eyes peeled as some local Montana wildlife might be out and about.

The trailhead is located close to the Big Sky Village and is extremely popular. Plan your trip accordingly as this trail draws heavy traffic. Summer is the best time for hiking as the snow has melted from the higher elevation and the wildflowers have fully bloomed.

Fly Fishing

Anglers from across the globe visit Montana for our blue-ribbon waterways. The rivers span hundreds of miles which means there is always a “hot river” to find. Montana rivers offer an immense diversity of wild fish for anglers of all skill levels to enjoy.

The Gallatin, Yellowstone and Madison Rivers are some of Montana’s best places to fish. Consulting local shops and enthusiasts is a great place to begin when searching for a place to cast a line. Though, for those looking for a little local help, there are many outfitters who offer guided tours.

Ousel Falls

No list of summer activities in Big Sky would be complete without Ousel Falls. This truly iconic hiking trail is a short hike at 1.6 miles in length and less than 400 feet of elevation gain. The official trailhead is located just outside of town and tends to draw lots of traffic. While the 100 footfalls have brought fame to the hike the surrounding scenery is utterly spectacular. The trail is accessible year-round though visitors in the winter may want to bring some extra gear for traction.

Horseback Tours

Big Sky is a paradise for horse riding. Driving through Big Sky you will see horses at stables, trailheads or simply grazing peacefully in nearby meadows. Riding horseback through the epic Montana scenery is true western activity.

This is an excellent way to visit some of the most remote areas of the Gallatin National Forest and many companies such as Cash Creek outfitters offer a wide variety of day tours.

The local terrain offers experiences for all levels of riders. Make sure you book your riding tour in advance. It’s a popular activity in the summer and many businesses get very busy.

Music in the Mountains

Big sky has much more to offer than amazing outdoor adventures. Music in the Mountains is a free outdoor concert series that has been offering incredible live music for over a decade. These concerts are friendly to all ages and are held every Thursday from June-September. Each week the park will be open at 6 p.m. and the music starts at 7:15 unless otherwise noted. However, the concert series is currently pending due to Covid restrictions.

Big Sky Resort Activities

Big Sky is most famous as being a winter hub, however, the resort has a plethora of family-friendly attractions throughout the summer. The lift riders run throughout the year offering access to downhill mountain biking trails for all skill levels.

Don’t miss the opportunity to play golf at 6500 feet above sea level at Big Sky’s signature 18 hole golf course. The course features elevated fairways and amazing views of the surrounding mountain range.

The Big Sky Village offers a wide variety of shopping and dining outlets. There is also a local farmers market held every Wednesday night from 5-8 pm. Found at the fire pit at the Big Sky Town Center, this local market runs from June-September and offers access to over 100 vendors.

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