Read skier and snowboarder-submitted reviews on Moonlight Basin that rank the ski resort and mountain town on a scale of one to five stars for attributes such as terrain, nightlife and family friendliness. See how Moonlight Basin stacks up in the reviews, on and off the slopes, from skiing and family activities to the après scene. Read up on pros, cons and other comments in reviews left by fellow skiers and riders. Don't forget to submit your own Moonlight Basin review! Scroll to the bottom of this page to let other travelers know about your skiing and resort experience.
Reviews for Moonlight Basin
A ski resort's overall star rating displayed here is not calculated based on a simple average but takes several factors, including the age of a review, into account.
Lots of runs for all levels of skier; lots of snow; great, welcoming staff and grooming to die for. Speaking of dying - ski patrol does a great job with avalanche control and emergency response.... Full Review
Haven't made it there yet this year, but have been every year since it opened. Love this place and the people that work here. We have always had a terrific experience. We recommend Moonlight Basin to everyone. ... Full Review
A trip to Moonlight/Big Sky is well worth the investment. It is a little more difficult to get to than you Front Range Colorado resorts or even the SLC/PC resorts, but that just means fewer people you have to share the great snow with. There is enough terrain to ski/ride Moonlight/Big Sky for a week and not be bored. Lone Peak, Headwaters, A-Z and Dictator chutes will keep even the best skiers/riders happy. Everyone should experience this area at least once in their life, but once they do they'll be back. ... Full Review
Great staff, trails and grooming. Snow is spectacular. Part of "Biggest Skiing in America" along with Big Sky Resort. "Ski on the North side!"... Full Review
Big storm dumped fresh, expecting more in next few days. Moonlight has it all for all types of skiers.... Full Review
The 6 person lift is great, but some of the other lifts are a little slow. We were there on a wednesday and practically had the hill to ourselves, never a single lineup.... Full Review
We've been skiing Moonlight since it opened in 2003. We've been very happy until now. The new management is out of Colorado. The vibe here has been obliterated. If you love Keystone, Co, you'll love it here. If not, look elsewhere.... Full Review
Big Sky and Moonlight have a somewhat dysfunctional relationship. Both need the other, but they don't seem to get along. Big Sky advertises itself as "the biggest skiing in America", but this is of course only true if you include Moonlight next door, and Moonlight depends on Big Sky for lodging and infrastructure. All of Moonlight's most-extreme terrain is the North ridge of Lone Mountain, but that is only accessible from Big Sky's Lone Peak Tram. That being said, don't think of Moonlight as the proverbial red-headed step-child. Moonlight is a great resort. If you are going to Big Sky for a few days ski Moonlight at least one, if not every day. I'd highly recommend getting the lift ticket that includes Moonlight if you're going to Big Sky, especially for the last few days you're there so that you can flit back-and-forth. I wouldn't rule out only going to Moonlight either, especially if you're on a budget.
While smaller than it's neighbor, Moonlight encompasses the North-facing aspect of Lone Mountain compared to Big Sky, whose only North-facing slope is the North Face of Andesite. Any skier knows this means consistent snow. I think Moonlight also has slightly better grooming, and much better terrain parks. Those two things make it more kid-friendly than Big Sky. I rode on a lift with a local middle-school kid who said Big Sky gives local school kids season-long weekend passes if they get good grades. I liked that, both as an educational and a marketing tool.
Moonlight only has one high-speed lift, (Six-Shooter) and almost every run there is centered on it. The only other lifts worth riding are the Iron Horse lift, which is a common lift it shares with Big Sky, and the Lone Tree lift on the west side. Lone Tree services what I believe are some of the best trails in the Big Sky area. Ice House is a fun bomber run, and Lone Tree and a perilously steep glade.
I traveled to Big Sky with a group, and our group only purchased one day of tickets at Moonlight. When I go back I'll get the combination pass everyday, as I certainly have more exploring to do at Moonlight. Some of the glades off of Icehouse look like they'd be great on a powder day, and there look to be some great Diamond runs off of Lookout ridge. Elkhorn was my favorite run there though, as it starts steep and narrow and ends fast and windy. DO NOT OVERLOOK MOONLIGHT BASIN!!!... Full Review
After a few days burning the thighs at Big Sky, Moonlight Basin is a great choice for a bit more mellow of a day. While the excellent glades and Lone Creek Gully provide worthwhile challenges, most of this mountain lends itself to a more laid-back kind of day. Of course, if you're looking for adventure, a short hike will bring you to a ridgeline riddled with chutes and steeps. ... Full Review
Moonlight Basin is an interesting ski resort to review. Its gorgeous main lodge, kick-a terrain park, and the ability to (along with big sky) ski the largest area combined of 2 resorts on one lift ticket, and the fact that it's located in Montana with Montana-quality snow tempt me to write up a great review. However, this resort is very poorly laid out, and it makes skiing there quite a pain.
My family was on spring break at Big Sky, which we love. We figured as a change of pace, we'd upgrade our tickets to Lone Peak Passes (passes that allow you to ski Big Sky and Moonlight Basin on one lift ticket) which allows you to ski the largest 2 ski resorts in North America. So when we got to the top of the lift and followed signs over to Moonlight Basin, it was just...one...long...catwalk. Finally that stupid catwalk ended and dropped into the terrain park, which was by far the best I had ever been on. It was themed after rockets and nukes, with rails shaped like rockets and nukes. It was also really long. Genius. No half-pipe when we were there, it may have changed now. So anyway, we followed another big, long catwalk down to the Six Shooter, the main lift and the only high-speed 6 man lift in Montana. We got on expecting a ride maybe 4-5 minutes long...but this lift, a modern hi-speed 6 man lift...clocked 15 minutes. Yup. 15. But that's not all. In order to get to some of the nice, long runs you had to take ANOTHER lift called Lone Tree. So you're riding uphill for a total of about 20 minutes for one run. But that even gets worse when it turns out that the run you are on dumps you 6 feet BELOW the Lone Tree lift, so you have to struggle to get uphill. Lone Tree lift was one of the most beautiful lift rides I have ever seen, going over a forest of twisted, contorted, stunted trees trying to survive the harsh winters of Montana. The run that followed was a pattern of short steep section followed by dragged-out catwalk, followed by short steep section, followed by long catwalk...you get the idea...until it siphons you back to the 6 shooter for ANOTHER 15 minutes of lift riding! We decided to see what this place had to offer as far as expert skiing, so we all decided to take the Headwaters Lift, the slow and old 2-man lift serving the expert terrain. It turns out however that you actually have to take off your skis, throw them over your shoulder, and hike about a 5th of a mile to the lift, uphill and back down! We were sick of this place so we just took Big Rock Tongue (my screen name's namesake) down to our condo. Also, it has a seemingly quite large kids area, so this is probably a good place to take the kids to get them skiing for the first time.
The last three times we were at Big Sky, we stayed at Moonlight Basin's and Big Sky's shared condo resort, Saddleridge. Each condo varies as they are privately owned, but some of the luxuries you will find in all of them are hot tubs, porches, gas fireplaces, slopeside or close lodging, proximity to Moonlight Basin's lodge, and one of the most stunning views you will ever see from a hotel room. It blew me away each time I got up and looked out the window, I felt like Leonardo DiCaprio, king of the world.
The aforementioned Moonlight Lodge is also gorgeous. The lobby is almost as breathtaking as the view itself that the lobby focuses on. It's a great place to have an après-ski drink or hot cocoa with friends while taking in the view. There's also a heated pool below the lodge and a miniature ice-skating rink. Best of all, the lodge and its luxuries are open to us Big Sky people. There's also a great, steep hill on the opposite side of the condo complex to go sledding on.
All of the other lodges however are these portable-looking steel domes that look more like they belong on a moonbase than a ski resort.
Moonlight Basin was a disappointment as far as skiing. Drive over just to check out the main lodge, it's quite a site to see. Other than that, skip it. You'll be glad you spent your afternoon hitting up great runs at Big Sky rather than this place.... Full Review
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