By Ciara Wolfe BSCO Executive Director
If you are fortunate enough to come across a huckleberry bush while on the trail in Montana during the late summer, then you have discovered one of Montana’s treasures! Like its namesake berry, this 1.5-mile moderately difficult trail makes you hunger for more.
The trail can be hiked two ways. If you start at the base area and hike up to Huckleberry Trail, you’ll cover a total of 3 miles. If you ride the Explorer chairlift up and descend from there, you’ll log 1.5 miles of hiking. Scenic lift rides at the resort cost $34 for adults and are free for kids.
Huckleberry begins or ends at the base of Swift Current lift, depending on your direction of travel, and is a meandering hiking-only trail that weaves through the forest alongside some of the most
popular beginner skiing terrain accessed off Explorer during the winter season. The ground cover is vibrant and the forest vegetation is thick, providing a shady and pleasant hike—even on hot, sunny days. Although short in distance, there is some elevation change, a total of 700 feet, along Huckleberry Trail. The natural rocky surface of the trail ensures you’ll keep your eye on the trail throughout.
This trail is an exciting hike for novice hikers, especially given the thrill of riding a lift during the summer without skis on. As a hiking-only trail located on Big Sky Resort, you are separated from any mountain bikers.
Huckleberry is well marked and ends at the Mountain Mall, providing several lovely locations to grab an after-hike meal or drink on one of the beautiful patios.
This trail is located on private land owned by Big Sky Resort, but is open to the public. The only fees are associated with riding the chairlifts. Please respect their posted trail etiquette rules and don’t expect the boundaries of the resort to protect you from wildlife—be bear aware throughout your time on the trail.
Distance: 3 miles up and back
Elevation change: 700 feet.
Uses: Hike, run
Directions: Turn off Highway 191 onto Highway 64 and follow the signs 9 miles to Big Sky Resort. Turn left into the resort and follow the road up the hill. Stay left until you end at a free parking areas located at the base of the Mountain Mall.
For more information about Big Sky’s Parks, Trails and Recreation Programs visit bscomt.org. The Big Sky Community Organization is a local nonprofit that connects people to recreational opportunities by acquiring, promoting and preserving sustainable places and programs for all.