Record heat is scorching much of the Heartland this summer, so you might consider a quick trip to Big Sky Resort in the Montana mountains, with Yellowstone National Park just down the road.
Big Sky, a scenic, easy two-day drive for most Midwesterners on the western side of Lake Michigan, is your base camp for a wide range of summertime mountain activities, including guided tours of Yellowstone. Mild mountain temperatures are an added plus, especially this summer.
The Big Sky Mountain Village, at the base of 12,000-foot Lone Peak, offers several lodging choices, a fine collection of restaurants and shops. It also serves as base camp for coordinating your activity choices, which includes scenic lift rides and guided tours, zipline tours, high ropes courses, an Arnold Palmer Golf Course, mountain biking, hiking, whitewater rafting and guided fly fishing tours on the Gallatin River, and horseback riding.
Ranger-guided hikes and tours at Yellowstone are also nearby. The west entrance to the national park is a half-hour away. It’s the world’s greatest collection of geysers amidst the backdrop of the rugged Gallatin Range. Entering the park on the west side is the quickest route to Old Faithful.
The resort is currently offering Big Sky Adventure Packages that start from $115 per person, based on double occupancy. The package includes a nights lodging, the choice of an adventure activity including a Yellowstone Park tour, and a scenic lift ride. The Big Sky Golf Stay & Play package starts from $106 per person, per night, double occupancy and includes a round of golf on the Arnold Palmer course.
The Spruce Moose Festival featuring Michael Franti and Spearhead will be taking place at Big Sky Aug. 31 – Sept. 3.
The Big Sky 2012/13 Frequent Sky Cards are on sale through Sept. 30 for $49. The card entitles you to 14 free days of skiing/riding Monday, Nov. 26 through Sunday, Dec. 2 and Monday, April 8, through Sunday, April 14, 2013, half-price week, Monday, Jan. 7, through Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, and $20 off the regular season rate the rest of the time. It also gives you half-off discounts on lodging on select dates. That’s a pretty sweet deal.
Photo: Big Sky Summit Hotel