Montana-Filter: How does someone get from the airport in Bozeman, Montana to a ski resort in Big Sky, Montana at night?
May 4, 2009 5:01 PM   Subscribe

Montana-Filter: How does someone get from the airport in Bozeman, Montana to Big Sky, Montana at night? (more inside)

Question: Landing at the airport in Bozeman, Montana on Friday, March 26, 2010, at 11:37pm. How does someone get from the airport in Bozeman to Big Sky - at night, during ski season? How much does that cost?

Background: My sister is planning a family ski trip in Big Sky, Montana - for next March. Yes, she is planning VERY early - but that is her way.

There is one problem. Someone is arriving much later than the rest of the group. The rest of the group could rent a car, as planned and go to Big Sky, get settled in - but now, the rest of group might wait 12 hours in bozeman, maybe even spend a day and a night in bozeman - because the one person will not be able to get from bozeman to big sky? Really, he can't get there own his own and meet the rest?

There must be a way that a single adult can get from bozeman to big sky - on a friday night, during ski season - right?

bonus question: plan is ski big sky, with a day trip to yellowstone nat'l park? what other cool things could we do? something cool that the tourist herd would normally miss?

posted by Flood to Travel & Transportation around Montana (11 answers total)
Hmmm.... the only thing I can think of is that you'll need to rent a car. The late arrival is a bit of a problem, though. The Bozeman airport is adorably small and they go to bed on the weekends. Also, the drive to Big Sky is a bit winding and treacherous at times. Might be best to bunk in Bozeman for the night and get out early in the daylight with a rental. There *may* be a shuttle bus.

I'd call the Big Sky resort and ask them. Then call the Bozeman airport and find out how late the rental counter is open (I think your only option might be Hertz). Ask if any of the hotels in Bozeman offer a shuttle service -- they do have cabs but you should arrange ahead of time.
posted by amanda at 5:12 PM on May 4, 2009

Best answer: Airport shuttle services:
Montana Mountain Express
Classic Limo
Karst Stage
Mountain Taxi

Bozeman doesn't have a lot of planes coming in and out, so at least one of these companies will SURELY service that particular flight.

Also, Montana is very very safe, and I would not have any qualms, even as a single petite woman, making friends on the plane and "hitching" a ride to Big Sky.

I lived in Bozeman for 4 years. I'll think about other activites. Meanwhile, you'll want to make sure the park will be open - there was all kinds of controversy about having the park open in winter due to asshole snowmobilers interfering with wildlife. Not sure how they resolved that.
posted by desjardins at 5:13 PM on May 4, 2009

Ground transportation info for BZN. Karst Stage provides airport shuttle service and service to West Yellowstone from Big Sky. Mountain Taxi isn't cheap, but might have the best availability in terms of getting in at an odd hour.
posted by anarchivist at 5:16 PM on May 4, 2009

By the way, the airport is actually in Belgrade, not Bozeman, so if your friend does decide to stay the night and come to Big Sky in the morning, don't book a Bozeman hotel. There are very reasonably priced hotels near the airport.

amanda is right about the treacherousness of the road to Big Sky. There's a decent chance that parts of it could even be temporarily closed in March, so be aware of that.
posted by desjardins at 5:17 PM on May 4, 2009

Oh, and y'all are planning a year in advance and can't figure out a better arrival time? Also, I'm confused about why 12 people would be waiting in Bozeman for one other person? You'd need more than one rental car to transport 12 people anyway. Send most everyone on their way and catch up with them later. Whoever stays behind can spend the day on the slopes at Bridger Bowl, have dinner at Burger Bob's (if it didn't blow up) and then pick up the far-in-advance-terrible-planner :D and take them to Big Sky.
posted by amanda at 5:18 PM on May 4, 2009

Between the logistics of finding transportation at that hour, and the scariness of that drive in winter (March 26 is still winter in Montana) and at night, I would find a room in Belgrade for the night and pick from the multitude of options (one of the shuttles would probably be cheapest) to get there in the morning.
posted by Bokononist at 7:50 PM on May 4, 2009

Make sure you eat at Eno's half way between Big Sky and West Yellowstone. Its where the locals go. And ask the locals for a hot spot you can hike into.
posted by Unred at 8:01 PM on May 4, 2009

I don't recall the drive between Bozeman and Big Sky being all that treacherous. My parents and I drove it lots of times (they used to run the day care center at the resort). This was in the late 70s - early 80s. I imagine the roads haven't gotten any worse since then. Any local transportation service is going to be using drivers used to getting to the resort and back in any kind of weather.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:30 AM on May 5, 2009

caution live frogs, were you ever there in the winter? While being unfamiliar with the area? Having been there many times, I would not recommend it. Pay for a ride with someone familiar.
posted by Raichle at 9:54 AM on May 5, 2009

The last time I drove out there (it has been a few years) from Bozeman to Big Sky, we counted all the little white crosses that people had put out to memorialize people who had died in wrecks out there. It's winding, narrow, big trucks go through there, under icy or windy or slick conditions, it can indeed be treacherous. Here's a little article I turned up on it.
posted by amanda at 9:54 AM on May 5, 2009

yes, be very very careful. The was hit by a semi on that road in the middle of march while I was in college. If you're renting a car make sure its at least front wheel drive if not 4 wheel!
posted by Unred at 2:27 PM on May 6, 2009

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