Grooming Report

  • We are open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Trail Grooming Report March 16th

DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED on any of the Groomed Ski Trails. Dogs are ONLY allowed on Far east, Crail Trail, and Town Center Trails.

For more information on snow conditions call 406-995-4644 (ext. 223)

Good morning! 

A phone was found on Andesite loop. If this was you please give us a call so that we can get it back to you.

As many people know, there is frequent moose activity in the Andesite area. We would recommend exercising caution when skiing in this area. 

Trail Update: Due to construction on one of our cabins, the ski trail that runs through the middle of the ranch (from the Outpost to signpost 1.1) is being redirected to our Sleigh Ride Trail, which is just parallel to the previous trail. Just take a left when you get out of the Outpost to test it out!

 If you have any questions please call our desk or come on in and see us. For season/daily pass purchase, you can visit our outpost (8am-5pm, everyday), or purchase on fair harbor and present our retail desk with your confirmation code.  We look forward to a seeing y’all on the trails!

Snow Conditions: Definitely spring skiing out there! Dust off your t shirts & hit the trails. Conditions are getting packed & icy out there-hopefully we’ll get some snow today to freshen things up.
New Snow 1″
Base Depth:

3/16  Uppers “30 in”, Golf Course “22in”, Middle Fork “25 in” Outpost “23 in”

Current Temp:

3/16 12F @7:00 AM,  Feels like 12F

Forecasted Temperature:

3/16- High of 28F, Low of 12F

Ski Trails Open: Uppers, Ranch Loop, Lowers, Middle Fork, and Golf Course Loops
Snowshoe Trails Open: Creekside, Bullwinkles, Nature Trail, and Yellow Mountain are all packed & signed

All trails Skate and Classic Groomed 

Upper Trails
 Boomerang 3/15- Groomed & Tracked
 Dutch’s Detour  3/15- Groomed & Tracked
 Walking Jim’s Way  3/15-Groomed & Tracked 
 North Fork  3/15- Groomed & Tracked
 Mongolia  3/15- Groomed & Tracked
 Mountain View 3/15-Groomed & Tracked
 Ridge Run  3/15- Groomed & Tracked
 Schaap’s Schuss 3/15-Groomed & Tracked
 Siberia 3/15-Groomed & Tracked
 Sluice Box 3/15-Groomed & Tracked

 3/15- Groomed & Tracked


 3/15- Groomed & Tracked


All trails Skate and Classic Groomed

Ranch Trails
 Fanny’s Fling 3/16- Groomed & Tracked
 Joy’s Loop 3/16- Groomed & Tracked
 Ranch Loop 3/16-Groomed & Tracked
 Carlin’s Cruise 3/16- Groomed & Tracked
 Kid’s Loop 3/16 Groomed & Tracked

 All trails classic and skate groomed

Lower Trails

3/16- Groomed & Tracked

Antler Ridge

3/16- Groomed & Tracked

Beaver Slide

3/16 Groomed & Tracked

Middle Fork 3/16- Groomed & Tracked
Golf course

3/16- Groomed & Tracked

Tree Farm

3/16 Groomed & Tracked

Far East (Dog-Friendly Trails)

BSCA- Groomed

Town Center (Dog-Friendly Trails)

BSCA- Groomed

Trail Maps are going Green!

Save time online and download our trail system right to your phone with the Avenza Maps app. Instructions to download and use the interactive app are below. You can also find our trail system on Trail Hub Find us on Trail Hub

Download the Trail System with Avenza Maps Today!

  1. Download the Avenza Maps app from Google Play or App store
  2. Open the app and allow location access while using the app (skip sign in top right corner)
  3. Click the store tab on the bottom
  4. Search "Lone Mountain Ranch Nordic"
  5. Press Free, Processing, and then let the map download
  6. Enjoy your GPS map: You can track speed, distance, and elevation gain :)

Navigating our Virtual Winter Map

  • You can use this map with no cell phone service and still track your location
  • The map key is located on the top right corner of the map, zoom out to locate
  • Clicking the symbol on the bottom left, and use “Record GPS Tracks” to record your route


Operated by permit with the Custer Gallatin National Forest.





Nordic Ski Trail Passes


Trail Passes

Physical passes can be purchased at the Outdoor Shop or online above, just be sure to bring a picture of the receipt with you during your ski. We have unlimited day passes available!

Adult $38
Senior (60-69) and Youth (13-17) $25
First Responders, Military $25
70+ Free
Kids (12 and under) Free
BSOA Day Pass $15
BSOA Season Pass $125
5-day pass (non-transferable) $160

Trail Season Passes

Adult $365
Youth (13-17) $225
Senior (60-69) $225
First Responders, Military $225
Senior Season (70+) Free
Child 12 and Under Free
Family Pass $550
*Family Pass Includes 2 Adults and any children under the age of 18


Item Day  
Adult Classic Package $40
Skate Ski Package $45
Classic Ski Only $25
Skate Ski Only $30
Polls & Boots Only $20
Youth Package $20
Youth Season Rentals $200
Snowshoe Rantals $25

Regular Rental Skis-Bindings are all NNN compatible

Fischer Voyager waxless skis for the groomed trail
Fischer metal edge waxless skis for touring-NNN BC bindings

Adult Sport Classic and Skate Skis-NNN bindings

Fischer SCS skate skis for groomed trail
Fischer Superlite Waxable for groomed trail

Adult Performance Skis-NNN bindings

Fischer RCS Crown waxless classic skis for the groomed trail
Fischer RCS and Carbon Lite skate skis for the groomed trail

Big Sky: Still the best place to vacation after all these years!

We came across this video clip that’s now over 40 years old. You can’t help but smile and snicker as you watch the clip. The music and video style are certainly straight from the 1970’s! As we watched the video, it makes us a little nostalgic for the past. A lot has changed in Big Sky over the past four decades, but really it is surprising how much hasn’t changed.

What HASN’T changed in Big Sky

  • Big Sky is still a sought after destination to escape the city and find outdoor tranquility and adventure.
  • You’ll still find clean mountain streams and fresh mountain air.
  • Believe it or not you can still find cowboys in the area. (We are a Dude Ranch, after all!)
  • Big Sky is still surrounded by amazing breath taking views of high mountain landscapes and wildlife. It’s still a base camp for outdoor adventurers of many types.
  • Big Sky is still known for some of the best skiing (nordic and downhill) in the country.
  • Yellowstone National Park obviously hasn’t moved and still draws many people to the area to view the geysers and unique wildlife.
  • While Big Sky has certainly grown compared to the 1970’s, it is still a relatively small Montana town.
  • There’s still many of the same activities in Big Sky, whether you like golf, tennis, fishing, skiing, horseback riding, hiking, etc!

What HAS changed in Big Sky

  • Today it is easier than ever to travel to Big Sky. Whether you’re planning a road trip to Montana or flying into the Bozeman airport, it is surprisingly convenient to get here. (We even provide transportation from the airport!)
  • From the exterior it may appear that our cabins are the same traditional cabins from the past, but the interior of each cabin have been updated to provide our guests with modern comforts… while maintaining the cozy cabin ambiance.
  • There’s more than just cowboys in Big Sky today! We also have biologists who will guide you on hikes, yoga instructors to prepare you for the day, massage therapists to help you relax, certified anglers to show you the best fishing holes and an executive chef to do all the cooking!
  • Big Sky’s downhill skiing has been upgraded and expanded. High-speed chairlifts and trams allow you to get even more runs in each day. And with 5,700 skiable acres and 4,350 vertical feet of terrain you’ll be spending little time waiting in line and more time leaving fresh tracks in the snow!
  • Big Sky’s Nordic skiing trails have grown too! With 85 kilometers of maintained trails, it’s no wonder why Cross Country Skier Magazine voted Lone Mountain Ranch the #1 Nordic skiing destination in North America.
  • Yellowstone National Park is no longer simply a summer destination. There are tours available year-round!
  • In addition to the popular activities of the past, you’ll find even more adventures available in Big Sky: Mountain biking, zip lining, white water rafting, dog sledding and so much more!

As we reflect on what has and hasn’t changed over the years, it makes us so proud of how Big Sky has evolved and how it continues to be such an amazing vacation destination. We are so thankful that we get to not only experience such a special place, but we also get to share it with our guests everyday!

Summer Season Info     Winter Season Info

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Discover your Montana Moment at Lone Mountain Ranch


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Montana Wedding Venue Ranked As The Top 15

Lone Mountain Ranch is honored to be listed as one of the Top 15 Most Unforgettable Wedding Venues in the West by Sunset Magazine. Our Big Sky Ranch is a perfect wedding venue with its spectacular views, warm cabins and lodges, and fine dining. You and your wedding guests will enjoy this destination wedding.

Learn more about reserving our ranch for your wedding day:

LMR – Book Horseback Rides & Adventures

Experience an adventure with our uniquely qualified Lone Mountain Ranch guides this Summer as we take you on authentic explorations that satisfy thrill seekers, nature lovers and anyone interested in life under the Big Sky.

Thrilling options for a wide range of activities include horseback riding, guided hiking and mountain biking tours or to see iconic landscapes and geysers such as Old Faithful at Yellowstone National park.

Parent’s day out? Enroll your child in our exciting Outdoor Youth Activity program building confidence through outdoor recreation, developing an appreciation for nature, and, most of all, giving young people (aged 3-14) the space to roam, have fun, and connect with each other.

CLICK BELOW to register for the following ADVENTURES:

-Horseback Riding

-Guided Hiking

-Guided Mountain Biking

-Yellowstone National Park Tours

-Outdoor Youth Activities Summer Camp (per week)

Our ranch hands, wranglers, and expert guides live and breath this landscape, and can’t wait to show you the real Montana. We’re here to share our knowledge of the outdoors so you can experience all this majestic land has to offer.

Career Opportunities


Click here to apply online

Working and living at Lone Mountain Ranch is a rewarding experience and one that many folks have enjoyed over the decades. We are committed to providing unforgettable and unique experiences with exceptional customer service to our guests and we focus those experiences on high quality adventures.

To deliver this, it takes an exceptional staff and we make our crew a priority by providing a safe, professional and adventure-filled work environment and experience. We hire dynamic and personable team players and look for both full-time and seasonal staff for positions in our kitchen, dining room, housekeeping, kid’s program, naturalist, ski and horse programs and the office and maintenance departments.

Our crew is one of our most valuable assets. Lone Mountain Ranch guests enjoy the chance to meet and get to know crew and crew are involved with the guest experience from guiding trips to joining them over meals. Excellent crew consistently provides our guests with a unique and exceptional vacation experience.

The Ranch crew consistently receives praise from our guests for their work ethic, helpfulness, great attitude, common sense and their desire to generously share their love and enthusiasm for the Ranch and its surroundings with guests.

Working at the Ranch also provides the opportunity to discover the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem by crew participating in limitless recreational experiences. National Forests and Parks, Blue Ribbon trout streams and wild and scenic whitewater rivers are all easily accessible from the Ranch.

During the winter, we have a world-class Nordic Ski Center and the Biggest Skiing in America at Moonlight Basin and Big Sky Resorts. We are recognized as one of North America’s finest Nordic skiing resorts with 85 km of trails groomed for both skating and classic. With our very dependable snow, the area is great for Nordic, alpine, telemark and back country skiing alike.

Our summer season runs from mid-May to mid-October. Hiring for summer begins in late-February. Our winter season runs from early December to early April with hiring beginning in mid-September. Although there may be some flexibility with the dates of employment, your chances of being hired increase if you apply early and if you can work through the entire season. Dorm style or semi-private housing can be offered for most seasonal employees.

Lone Mountain Ranch is an equal opportunity employer and is proud to provide its employees with a non-smoking work environment. We welcome all nationalities for employment and because of the restrictions concerning the hiring of foreign applicants, you must have your working papers in order before submitting your application for review.  Note to international applicants: Lone Mountain Ranch does not sponsor H2b visa’s and only occasionally hires J1 visa students based on our needs. Lone Mountain Ranch hires through specific J1 sponsored agencies that screen and hire on our behalf.

Limited on-ranch and off-ranch housing options available at a subsidized rate. Breakfast and Lunch are provided. For further information or any employment questions please contact us at Thank you for your interest in working at the Ranch!

Click here to apply online

What To Pack

Deciding what to pack for your dude ranch vacation can sometimes be overwhelming.  Since the atmosphere at Lone Mountain Ranch is casual, there is no need to pack anything too fancy.  Jeans and comfortable shirts are the essentials during your week at the Ranch.

Summer temperatures can vary greatly throughout the day so we recommend dressing in layers to stay comfortable.  As with any outdoor adventure vacation, sunscreen is a must and with over 300 days of sunshine here in Big Sky Country, chances are you will be out in the sun for many of your activities.  Staying hydrated is important, as it keeps your body’s systems working properly and can prevent unnecessary fatigue.  If you forget your water bottle, we have BPA-Free Nalgene® bottles in our Shop.

In the Ranch B-K (guest lounge area), we have complimentary laundry facilities, so you can rest assured that overpacking is only optional.  Also, the Ranch has a convenient Outdoor Shop with t-shirts, socks, cowboy hats, ball caps, sunglasses, sunscreen, rain jackets and more.

So, to help you with your packing list for your vacation to Lone Mountain Ranch, we have compiled a list of suggested items:

Horseback Riding
-Lightweight, breathable shirts
-Riding boots with a 1″ heel and smooth sole (we also have boots available to borrow)
-Light windproof jacket and fleece jacket
-Long socks for riding, wool or wool blend is ideal
-Rain jacket
-Riding helmet (we also have helmets to borrow)
-Cowboy/ cowgirl hat

Fly Fishing
-Lightweight shirt (no cotton preferably)
-Polarized sunglasses
-Synthetic base layer (Patagonia® or Smartwool) for under waders
-Rain jacket
-Warm jacket or fleece jacket
-Gloves and hat (for cooler days)

-Lightweight breathable shirt and shorts or pants
-Hiking Boots
-Water Bottle

Accessories and Other Items
-Day pack
-Swim suit
-Comfortable clothing (yoga or relaxing)
-Socks (wool or wool blend; no cotton)
-Gloves and warm hat (chilly mornings and evenings)
-Insect repellent
-Lip balm with sunblock
-Flashlight or headlamp (and extra batteries)
-Camera and memory card

Additional Tips
-If you are unable to fit everything, try sending us some of your items in advance via UPS or FedEx. Before using another carrier, contact our office to find out whether they deliver to the Ranch.  Ship your packages to: 750 Lone Mountain Ranch Road, Big Sky, MT 59716 about 10 days before your arrival to allow plenty of time for the items to get here.
-Be sure to leave some room in your bags for any souvenirs or creative items your children make in the Kids Program
-Wear your cowboy boots or hiking boots the day you travel, as it leaves more room for other items if you are wearing the larger, heavier items

Outdoor Youth Adventure Program Packing List

The Ranch is as much a playground for children as it is for adults. The below packing list and helpful hints will ensure your child is fully prepared for any adventure at Lone Mountain Ranch!

The Right Backpack

  • Is it durable – Select one made of sturdy fabric or nylon. Make sure all of the zippers work properly.
  • Has a compartment large enough – to hold the extra set of clothes, swim gear, and shoes, socks, etc.
  • Has an outside zippered compartment – perfect for storing tissues, lip balm sunblock and hand sanitizer.
  • Has an outside mesh water bottle pocket.

Complete extra set of clothing – shorts, t-shirt, socks and underwear. Put them in an extra-large reseal able plastic bag.

Extra pair of shoes – camp is wet, messy and muddy. Include water shoes / sandals; be sure to also include a plastic grocery bag for the wet or muddy shoes.

Hooded sweatshirt – early mornings and cloudy days can be chilly; make sure your child is prepared.

Baseball cap or sun hat – we spend many hours’ outdoors.

Bathing suit

Towel – small one for the creek, we provide big ones for the Falls and Lake.

Goggles – consider buying multiple sets of goggles at your local dollar store. Goggles will get lost, borrowed and broken.

Flip flops, Chacos, Tevas, etc.

Plastic bag – include a plastic bag for wet swimsuits and towels.

Sunglasses – just like goggles, sunglasses get lost, borrowed and broken. Have a few extra pairs.

Sunscreen – Put it to your child in the morning. The counselors will help your child reapply.

Lip balm with SPF

Hand sanitizer


Insect repellent – consider sending insect repellent wipes, as it is easier for them to apply.

Prescription medications – Let councilors know about use.

Water– Freeze two water bottles each night. Put one in the outside pocket of your child’s backpack and the other inside the backpack. As the ice melts, your child will have a cold and refreshing drink.

Rain Jacket

Label everything – use permanent markers to label backpacks, plastic bags and containers. Use iron-on labels for towels and clothes.

Exploring Southwest Montana Backcountry

Reins, lead rope, cinch, stirrup, pannier….

Until this summer most of these terms were still a little foreign to me. Even though I have been around horses and worked closely with a few wranglers over the last couple of years I have not fully immersed myself into backcountry horseback expeditions until recently. In the last couple of months I have been fortunate to lead, and guide, some epic trips into some of the stunning Wilderness and National Forest areas around Southwest Montana.

In the past, I have done hiking or backpacking journeys into the mountains with the objectives of escaping crowds on the rivers, discovering new bodies of water, or chasing different species of trout. By introducing horses into the equation everything becomes a little easier. Horseback makes the deep backcountry more accessible since they can cover 15-20 miles of terrain, and elevations gains of 2,000-2,500 feet, in a day with ease. Since someone else is doing the hard work, you get the chance to sit back and enjoy all the breathtaking scenery and views. Next, horseback can save your back when it comes to camping and overnight expeditions. Horses give you the option to camp in comfort by bringing along cushy pads, warm sleeping bags, plenty of layers, all your fishing gear and, most importantly, cooking supplies and great food. After enjoying a Prime Rib dinner cooked in a cast iron skillet over a camp fire it will be hard to go back to eating freeze dried meals in the backcountry.
Regardless of how you get there, on horseback or by foot, the fishing is always rewarding! In Southwest Montana we are fortunate to have destinations that hold plenty of Cutthroat Trout, some lakes that hold Artic Grayling and a few lakes that have Golden Trout. Through August and into September most of these trout are more than willing to eat a dry fly, which only adds to the excitement. During a recent expedition to one of the Spanish Lakes three of us enjoyed an afternoon of landing 75+ Cutthroat Trout all on dry flies. Some of my go-to backcountry patterns include the Parachute Adams, Purple Haze and any assortment of ant or beetle imitations. For some reason trout cannot resist those little crunchy terrestrials during the late summer months.

The Madison, Gallatin and Yellowstone Rivers get all the attention in this part of Montana, but you can be rewarded with scenery, solitude and hungry trout by getting off the beaten path and exploring the backcountry!

Lucky Skiing

I’m going to take a second to brag about how lucky I am to live in Big Sky and work with Lone Mountain Ranch for the winter season. Having 85 kilometers of pristine Nordic trails to ski on every day would be enough to keep most people satisfied for the season, but as if that’s not enough, our trails connect to Big Sky Resort’s 5,800 acres of downhill ski terrain. I’m talking about enough area to keep someone on skis busy for season after season.

A short ten minute drive up the mountain from the Ranch will put you right at the base area of the Biggest Skiing in America. With terrain ranging from the magic carpet bunny hills to the steeps of the A-Z chutes and The Headwaters, there really isn’t anything that Big Sky doesn’t have for downhill enthusiasts. Anything, that is, except for world class Nordic trails that allow you to get your legs in shape for those 15 inch powder days that will be here soon.

Enter Lone Mountain Ranch. Nordic skiing, whether classic or skating, is a great way to get your body ready for the demands of downhill skiing. You certainly could spend all day on downhill skis, but after a long summer your legs will usually hate you after the first few outings. A wiser alternative is to come out to the Ranch, free the heel for a few days, and get your legs back in shape while exploring our beautiful trail system. Legs aside, Nordic skiing is also a great cardio workout which will help a lot when you are hiking up ridges to find fresh lines as the season progresses.

If you are a die-hard Nordic skier, I would encourage you to take a day and explore some of the incredible downhill terrain we have here in Big Sky. Likewise, if you spend every day up on the mountain, take a day and come visit us here at the Ranch to get some Nordic skis on your feet. With a full line of rental equipment and experienced instructors, we have everything you need to get back in shape and get ready for the long days of downhill skiing that will be here soon. As a rider who does it all, the skate skiing at the Ranch now is epic-the skating conditions can’t be beat. See you out on the trails.

A River Runs Through It

What is it like to fly fish at Lone Mountain Ranch? Just ask fishing guide John McKinnie, who has to pinch himself daily to make sure he isn’t dreaming.

Here’s what to expect depending on the time of year, co-authored with our friends at Orvis:

June: Great early-season fishing can be found in the many streams of Yellowstone National Park. Hatches of caddis flies, PMD’s and salmon flies can be found on the Firehole and Madison Rivers. The creeks of the Lamar Valley are also a great early season option. We will also be fishing dam-released sections of some rives, due to the spring run-off. Depending on the snow pack, the Gallatin can also provide good early season action.

  • Average temperatures: Lows 30’s, Highs 60’s to 70’s
  • Rainfall: 3”
  • Hours of daylight: 18
  • Water temperatures: 45-50 Degrees

July: Dry-fly fishing is in full swing! We have swarms of hatches on all the rivers. Mayflies, caddis flies, stoneflies, yellow sallies and spruce moths are abundant and often entice the fish to feed at the surface. The Madison offers the famous salmon fly hatch and spruce moths have been known to cloud the banks of the Gallatin.

  • Average temperatures: Lows 40’s, Highs around 80
  • Rainfall: 1.5”
  • Hours of daylight: 17
  • Water temperatures: 50-60 Degrees

August: Trout cruise the banks of the rivers looking for grasshoppers, beetles and ants that fall into the water. Rainbows and browns will take these terrestrial patterns with aggression; a surface strike is sure to get anyone excited. Fishing “hoppers” in the Paradise Valley of the Yellowstone or along the banks of the mighty Missouri can make for a memorable experience. Or, stay closer to the Ranch and fish the Gallatin and Madison, which can also be very productive at this time.

  • Average temperatures: Lows 40’s, Highs around 80
  • Rainfall: 1.5”
  • Hours of daylight: 16
  • Water temperatures: 50-60 Degrees

September: The rivers have generally fewer crowds, the wildlife is more abundant, the autumn scenery is stunning and the fishing is great. Terrestrials usually remain consistent, baetis hatches will occur on overcast days and fish will begin to strike at streamers. The Madison in Yellowstone National Park gives an angler a chance for trophy browns that have migrated up river from Hebgen Lake.

  • Average temperatures: Lows 30’s, Highs 70’s
  • Rainfall: 1.5”
  • Hours of daylight:14
  • Water temperatures: 45-55 Degrees

Winter Season: To the surprise of many, the winter can be a great time to go fly-fishing. Most of the Gallatin and Madison will remain open year round and can provide some amazing nymph fishing opportunities. The fish will eat mainly stonefly, midge and egg patterns during this time of year.

  • Average temperatures: Lows teens, Highs 30’s
  • Snowfall: 200”
  • Hours of daylight: 9-12
  • Water temperatures: 35-45 Degrees