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Big Sky vs. Steamboat

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
My family and I are planning our first ever ski trip out west. We have various levels from Expert to beginner/intermediate. Our kids range in age from 7 through 11. Any opinions about these two resorts? Which would be better for us? We will be going during Feb vacation 2005. Any recommendations and opinions would be great. Thanks

post #2 of 5
I've skied both, and nearly back-to-back. You might encounter a slightly colder time in February at Big Sky. In any case, my group was across the board in ability, with most being intermediate, and some left Big Sky a little disappointed. BS will offer more extreme skiing off Lone Peak Mountain, but it is ONLY expert skiing off there, so 1/3 of BS will not be skiable for some your group.

If there is ever a criticism of Steamboat, it is that it lacks anything truly steep, on the other hand, it will offer more skiing for the widest common denominator of your group. A lot of wide open tree skiing that is great fun for all abilities, both accommodations as well as getting there tend to be pretty reasonably priced.

When I was at Big Sky, we rented a place on the back side of the mountain, so where we started our day skiing, it took most skiers, from the Big Sky base, at least an hour to an hour and a half to reach the trails where we started our day. That was neat, and we haven't rented a home or a condo so remote to a base area yet still on the mountain at any other location we've been to. (just an aside)

Oh, almost an afterthought! If it's February that you're considering, I believe Steamboat offers a kids ski and FLY free offer...

[ April 03, 2004, 02:54 PM: Message edited by: Aaron ]
post #3 of 5
Probably the two biggest differences between these resorts is Steamboat offers a full-fledged town at the base of the mountain. Big Sky is about 45 minutes from Bozeman, so it's pretty remote.

Now, having said that, I like Big Sky more. I'm not sure how well kids would fare, especially if you're interested in off-mountain activities. I've always found Steamboat pretty lame - both the town and the mountain. With kids it may be different though.
post #4 of 5
My family skis both areas. Big sky skis smaller and there is much less shopping for those inclined to shop. Steamboat will give you more of the Western Ski experience. Big Sky can be rocky, even with a good snow cover golf ball size rocks can surface in the groomed snow. You can stay close to the mountain for less money at big Sky. Two good areas but I'd pick Steamboat if I were making one trip west.
post #5 of 5
I've been to both as well...Steamboat several times. Hands down, Steamboat is better in EVERY aspect (other than lack of crowds) than Big Sky. Lone Peak might be steep but it's not any more difficult than XMAS tree bowl at Steamboat.

Steamboat offers so much more variety in food, shopping, runs, etc...
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