By Ciara Wolfe BSCO Executive Director
The Silverbow and Yellowstone Nordic ski trails are beautiful loops found on the Big Sky Golf Course’s trail system in Meadow Village. Both are beginner-friendly with minimal elevation change, and they connect to several other trails, allowing you to extend or shorten your ski depending on how you’re feeling.
The best part of my exploration of these trails is that I skied them during a full moon. The entire golf course was lit with moonlight and several small groups of skiers were out on the trail system enjoying the natural beauty of this special evening. I would recommend this experience to any skier, from novice to expert. Something about the moonlight cast across the snow, Lone Mountain lit up in the sky, and the swish of a hard crusted and beautifully groomed trail made the evening unforgettable.
Beginning on the Silverbow Trail, I started on Black Otter Road, directly across from the Meadow Village Center and headed east towards Highway 64. After a short distance the trail curves west. You’ll ski along for 2.5 kilometers with Lone Peak towering in front of you. After 2.5 kilometers, you’ll reach an intersection that leads to Bunker Loop Trail. I continued straight to Yellowstone Loop for an additional 1.8 kilometers.
The Yellowstone Loop curves toward the west and brings you to an intersection. If you turn left at this intersection, you’ll cross over the West Fork of the South Fork of the Gallatin River on a small wooden bridge with the option of continuing to Moose Alley. I traveled straight through the intersection and skied along the east edge of the river before looping back to Silverbow Trail. I then followed Silverbow Trail back the same way I came, returning to Black Otter Road.
We came across a moose munching on some willows near the river during our ski, so be wildlife aware and keep your eyes out for moose at all times.
For those visitors or residents who are not able to access the Nordic trail system via their home or lodging accomodations, parking can be found in the Meadow Village Center, the commercial shopping area located along Little Coyote Road. Excellent local restaurants and shops are nestled within Meadow Village, along with Lone Peak Brewery, known for its après scene. Public parking and restrooms are available at the Big Sky Community Park and ski trails connect directly from the parking lot to the golf course trail system.
Please respect the no dog policy on these trails and make sure to pick up your annual season pass or day pass from Lone Mountain Ranch, Grizzly Outfitters, the Hungry Moose, Gallatin Alpine Sports or East Slope Outdoors. All proceeds from pass sales go toward the cost of grooming our winter Nordic trail system. For a complete map of Big Sky’s 85 kilometers of groomed Nordic trails, visit lonemountainranch.com/winter-things-to-do/nordic-skiing.
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.
Distance: Silverbow 2.5K, Yellowstone 1.8K Total: 6.8K
Elevation gain: none
Surface: classic track includes both skate and classic groomed trails
Uses: cross-country skiing, wildlife viewing
Directions: From Gallatin Canyon, turn onto Highway 64/Lone Mountain Trail. After approximately 2.5 miles, turn right on Little Coyote Road. Parking is located in Meadow Village Center, your first right off of Little Coyote—or at the Big Sky Community Park, 1 mile farther. From the mountain, travel east on Highway 64 toward Gallatin Canyon. Drive 8 miles until you pass Town Center and take your next left onto Little Coyote Road.