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On the Trail: Crail Ranch

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By Ciara Wolfe BSCO Executive Director

Take a step back in time on the Crail Ranch Trail, named after Big Sky’s original settlers. This 1.3-mile trail provides a leisurely walk, run or bike through the historic Crail Ranch meadow.

Starting from the trailhead at the Big Sky Community Park, walkers, runners and bikers will head west on a wide gravel trail. Shortly after departing from the park, the trail crosses Little Coyote Road and picks up again at Spotted Elk Road. The trail crosses one small bridge and meanders between both homes and the Big Sky Resort golf course, keeping Lone Mountain in view throughout. Most individuals walk, run or bike the trail out and back for 2.6 miles total, but you can also utilize the trail to travel from the east end of the meadow to the west end, or vice versa.

Although this trail is located in a more residential area of Big Sky, it still provides excellent views, wildlife sightings and a serene environment. BSCO encourages you to detour about 100 yards south on Spotted Elk Road to visit the historic Crail Ranch for a walking history tour of the valley or a tour of the homestead museum itself. Through July and August, Crail Ranch is open Saturdays and Sundays from 12-3 p.m.

Visit for more information about Big Sky’s parks, trails and recreation programs. 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.160802_EBS_CrailTrailMap_PRINT-1 copy

Trail Stats:

Distance: 2.6 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: easy
Elevation: 6,285 ft
Surface: gravel
Uses: walk, run and bike
Directions: From Meadow Village, head north on Little Coyote Road. Travel past the Big Sky Chapel and turn into the first road on your right. Look for the Big Sky Community Park entrance sign and turn right. The trailhead is immediately on the left hand side and there’s parking near the softball fields.

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