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Big Sky trip planned for late Jan - 2012

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I've booked a trip for Big Sky late January - 2012.  Been to Whitefish Mtn many times, but this is the first trip to Big Sky.    I need some help with a couple of things:

 

What's the recommendation on getting a rental car from Bozeman or not?  I typically like to have transportation at hand, but have read some posts wherein people catch a shuttle from Bozeman and sounds like the need for a car is optional.  We're staying somewhere at the base and the condo site states it's "within walking distance to the lift".  But for shopping, groceries,gifts and such - are there stores at the base to accommodate or do you need to go into town?  Speaking of town ... from the looks of the place on Google Maps - there is no 'town'.

 

I'm thinking of a day trip to either Bridger or perhaps Grand Targhee to ski and do some scouting out for future ski trips ... have ones made these trips and what are your recommendations here?  Guess we'll need that car after all.

 

General tips on the locale, aside from the obvious skiing - what are the must see-do things, what to do in the evenings; i.e. good food, restaurants, good wine et al.

 

Of course tips for the skiing as well ... we like to mix it up pretty much with cruising, tree skiing, powder, groomers and some (not extreme) steeps.  I know the Bears had an event there a couple of years ago so any comments along this line are appreciated.

 

Ciao ...

 

post #2 of 9

There is minimal shopping up at the ski area and a limited selection restaurants. The townish area with groceries and more restaurants is 5 miles away. There is a bus service that runs between the two but I'm not sure how late it runs.....they haven't posted their winter schedule yet. The link is http://www.skylinebus.com.

 

Bridger is your safer bet for a day trip. It is 90 minutes closer plus the drive to Grand Targhee can be treacherous due to wind blown snow....I try to avoid driving that stretch of road in the dark.

 

People that get cars usually stop off at a grocery store in Belgrade to stock-up on the way. Some even backtrack through Bozeman so they can hit Wal-Mart & Costco.....its 15 minutes out of the way.

 

 

post #3 of 9

I have been there several times and concur on the advice.  In my experience, you can use the shuttle to get most places in the valley.  On the other hand, if you'd like to hit Yellowstone or Bridger, you will want a car.  Bridger also makes a nice stop at the beginning or end which would allow you to escew the rental (or keep it only for a day or 2 and then use the shuttle).  

 

Assuming Moonlight Basin is operating, you'll want to hit the steep chutes and trees of The Headwaters on the north face of Lone Mountain. 

 

Finally, bring avy gear and the knowledge to use it.  These three areas offer some of the best in-bounds extreme chute/couloir skiing anywhere. 

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeleMac View Post

Assuming Moonlight Basin is operating

 

Ok, let's squash that rumor right now.  Moonlight Basin is definitely operating.

post #5 of 9
Bucks T4 has a shuttle that brings people down from the resort for dinner.
There is also a local taxi service:
www.bigskytaxi.com
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorm57 View Post

I've booked a trip for Big Sky late January - 2012.  Been to Whitefish Mtn many times, but this is the first trip to Big Sky.    

 


When are you leaving?  I'm thinking of arriving on Feb. 3.  Meeting up with friends coming in during the weekend for a week based at Big Sky.  By the way, I'm also in Raleigh, NC.

 

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeleMac View Post

I have been there several times and concur on the advice.  In my experience, you can use the shuttle to get most places in the valley.  On the other hand, if you'd like to hit Yellowstone or Bridger, you will want a car.  Bridger also makes a nice stop at the beginning or end which would allow you to escew the rental (or keep it only for a day or 2 and then use the shuttle).  


Will be my first time skiing in MT.  Is there any reason to worry about getting a 4WD?  I'm sharing a condo with a few friends.  With the airport shuttle at $80 round trip, we are thinking that having a car to share for getting around in the evening or to check out another mountain is worth it.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Marz ... our dates to Big Sky are Jan 21 - 28.  On your question of renting a car, we will rent a car for this trip. I always go for the 4wd mainly from a safety perspective.  The added capacity of the 4wd vehicle if driving to Yellowstone or another resort, while it doesn't fix stupid, is definitely a plus in most situations.

 

If we were going up to Whitefish Mtn, I'd probably pass on a vehicle.  We usually stay at Meadowlake Resort in Columbia Falls.  The resort, while not on the mountain, has great shuttle service to the airport, grocery store, to-from the resort every day, etc.  I've been 4 times to Whitefish and love to ski there. 

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorm57 View Post

Marz ... our dates to Big Sky are Jan 21 - 28.  On your question of renting a car, we will rent a car for this trip. I always go for the 4wd mainly from a safety perspective.  The added capacity of the 4wd vehicle if driving to Yellowstone or another resort, while it doesn't fix stupid, is definitely a plus in most situations.

 

If we were going up to Whitefish Mtn, I'd probably pass on a vehicle.  We usually stay at Meadowlake Resort in Columbia Falls.  The resort, while not on the mountain, has great shuttle service to the airport, grocery store, to-from the resort every day, etc.  I've been 4 times to Whitefish and love to ski there. 

 

Sorry we won't overlap at all.  Hope you'll do a trip report since you are finishing the week before I head out to MT. :-)

 

Having done a little more research, I'm going to rent a vehicle of some kind.  Decided to stay an extra few days in Bozeman, so plan on checking out Bridger.  We decided on a VRBO condo that is Meadow Village, which is also on the shuttle route.  Since there will be several people sharing, figure it will be nice to have the car for dinner out a few times.

 

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