Big Sky is one of the last best places in the Rocky Mountain West. Anchored by 11,166 foot Lone Mountain, the area offers unlimited opportunities for year-round outdoor recreation in a true mountain paradise. Winter brings the Biggest Skiing in America, access to 5,512 skiable acres for downhill skiing and snowboarding at the Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin ski areas where lift lines are short and the runs long. Lone Mountain Ranch provides 100 km of groomed Nordic ski trails that wind through meadows, forested foothills, and along icy creeks. Three streams flow down from the mountains and meet the Gallatin River near the gateway to Big Sky. The Gallatin and nearby Madison, Jefferson, and Yellowstone Rivers provide access to more blue-ribbon trout streams and lakes in an 80-mile radius than anywhere else in North America. In addition to world-class fly-fishing, rafting, and kayaking, the Gallatin National Forest surrounds Big Sky and offers endless hiking, hunting, and snowmobiling opportunities. The Department’s response area meets that of Yellowstone National Park 18 miles south on Hwy 191. The west entrance to this natural wonder is less than an hour away in West Yellowstone, MT.
Community development lies in three core areas. Big Sky’s entrance is located along the Gallatin River at the intersection of Highways 191 and 64. Hwy 191 follows the river north through the Gallatin Canyon and south through Yellowstone National Park. Residential and commercial development along the south stretch leads to Big Sky’s K-12 schools and community library. Ophir School serves grades K-8 and Lone Peak High School serves grades 9-12. The schools educate approximately 400 students per year.
The largest concentration of Big Sky’s full-time residents reside a few miles uphill from Hwy 191. Neighborhoods interspersed by green space, alpine meadows and forested hills are located on either side of Hwy 64. The Department’s staffed Station 1 is located in this area. A few more miles uphill, the Mountain Village area surrounds the base of the Big Sky Resort adjacent to the Moonlight Basin Resort. This area has the smallest number of year round residents. To serve several multi-story guest hotels and second home development, Station 2 houses a ladder truck and reserve vehicles. Station 2 is staffed during peak seasonal times.