I’ve got butterflies in my stomach. Major butterflies like I haven’t felt in years! I think to myself, I’m not sure if I can do this now that it’s my turn. But I take a deep breath and step off the platform anyway. And at that very moment, I’m inexplicably hooked. In seconds, I’m journeying through the forest, soaring above treetops and whizzing by scenic mountains.
If I had to describe our summer so far, I’d call it a summer of “firsts”: first whitewater rafting trip, first rodeo and first wildlife safari. My most recent “first”? I’m at Big Sky Mountain Resort in Big Sky, Montana and I’m making my first attempt at zip lining. Hence, the butterflies. But it turns out there is no need for nervousness: Our three experienced and highly safety-minded guides have got us covered. But lets back up a bit.
The location: Big Sky Mountain Resort is located in Big Sky, Montana. Fly into Gallatin Field in Bozeman, Montana, just a 45 minute drive away. After exiting the West Yellowstone entrance gate of Yellowstone National Park, we were at the resort in about an hour.
Note: The staff at Summit at Big Sky were kind enough to share accurate and thorough information about the road construction between the resort and the airport in Bozeman. We allowed plenty of extra time to make the drive from Big Sky to Gallatin Field and were pleasantly relieved when the construction was minimal.
The vibe: During ski season, Big Sky is known for non-existent lift lines, big mountain acreage (5,532 skiable acres, to be exact) and a 4,350 feet of vertical drop. Add that to the 400+ inches of snowfall and you’ve got yourself one heck of a mountain resort. In the summer, all that acreage and altitude translates into some pretty spectacular mountain biking and other summer mountain activities in a quiet, uncrowded setting.
The room: In our 680 square foot one-bedroom suite at Summit at Big Sky (room 724), we are treated to sweeping views of the quiet Mountain Village base area, Lone Peak, mountain biking and hiking trails and the award-winning ski area. Whew! While it sure is pretty in the summer – bright blue, cloudless sky, lush green forests, snow capped peaks – I am imagining that the winter scene here is even more spectacular.
Our unit has 2 full bathrooms, 2 flat screen TV’s, a queen bed in the master bedroom and a queen pullout sofa in the living room. We have a small but serviceable kitchen stocked with basic supplies. The décor is simple with a modern Western feel.
Family friendly: We are just a short walk away from the Village Center that welcomes families with summer activities: a sand volleyball court, a small playground, shopping and dining and a wide variety of activities at Base Camp – the central jumping off point for the mountain adventures of skeet shooting, mountain biking and hiking, scenic chair lift rides and a ropes course.
Cool factor: Gearing up for our first ever zip line adventure and we can’t think of a better location for the bragging rights! Before we knew it we were suited up, briefed and hiking uphill towards our first of three “zips”. One by one I watched as the fearless adventurers jumped, stepped or leapt off the platform, soaring 60 feet above the treetops.
The spa: On my first morning in Big Sky, I make the short walk across the resort to the newly remodeled and expanded Solace Spa & Salon. Earth, water and sky are represented in the chosen color scheme of tones of espresso, camel and aquamarine blue. In the spacious relaxation lounge there is a help-yourself refreshment and snack area where I sip an intriguing combination of peppers and sage spa water while munching on almonds, dried pineapple and chocolate covered fruit. Soft lighting, plush furniture and chaise lounges with throw blankets complete the sensory experience. In the retail area, some of my favorite products from PrAna and Babor are displayed. The spa is 3,000 square feet including seven treatment rooms, men’s and ladies locker rooms, and a relaxation room.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary lodging, spa treatments and zip line tour for editorial consideration.