Hiking in Big Sky, Montana is a beautiful experience and should be an activity to conquer on your next summer visit. From the big mountain views to the valley floor, every angle is stunning. Plus, the Montana scenery is special – it is truly the wide open, untouched west.
Have kids with you or in your group? Don’t fret or cross hiking off of your list. Below are 5 family friendly hikes that are great for kids and teenagers. These are all located in and around Big Sky.
South Fork Loop:
One mile, intermediate dirt-surfaced loop. This is an excellent short hike that is located right in town. There is an uphill and downhill section, which is great to keep kids moving and in shape.
Little Willow Way:
1.6 mile roundtrip trail that is a great beginner hike. It is a wide, gravel-surface. Another bonus of this short and easy hike is it is adjacent to the river. When the river is low at safe flowing levels, it can be fun to wade in the mid to later part of summer.
Upper Beehive Basin
6.3 mile roundtrip (can also hike shorter distance and turn around when the tiny ones are ready). This trail also makes for a great intermediate hike for the older kids looking for a more adventurous/longer loop. There is a gradual climb and a glacial lake at the destination point, which is a reward for the kids/family to get to the lake. Bring a picnic and enjoy the beautiful views of the Spanish Peak Mountains. Completing this hike will be so rewarding for the kids to help foster a love of nature and hiking.
3 mile popular intermediate hike in Big Sky. This hike provides amazing views and the wildflowers that pop up mid-summer make it one of the most beautiful hikes in the area. This is a more intermediate dirt-surfaced hike, however it is another hike where the kids/family can go for a shorter amount of distance (than the 3 mile total hike) and turn around.
Storm Castle Peak
4.7 mile out-and-back hike that takes you to the summit of Storm Castle Peak. This is the most distinctive rock outcrop in Gallatin Canyon. This hike is better suited for older kids or more experienced kid hikers. There is a steep incline at the end to see the goal of the peak. Kids (and parents) will love being able to say the conquered the mountain at the end.
While some of these hikes are short and may take less than an hour, it is still important to pack a day-hiking backpack where there is plenty of water and snacks to keep everyone hydrated. Especially if not used to the altitude. It is also important to pack a raincoat and a warm layer. Mountain weather can change quickly where it may be sunny in the morning, and within an hour the clouds or a storm could pop up. Check the forecast and be prepared. Fortunately, our smart phones and adult eyes can help keep a watch on the weather. If the clouds or storm moves in, turn around or find a safe shelter.
Enjoy the trails, the views and the time with your family. Snap a photo when you've reached the top or at your turning point. The memory of Big Sky will last a lifetime.