Vacation Homes: Big Sky, Montana

    Photo: Courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism

No, Big Sky is not the billionaire's Montana. OK, so Ted Turner has a ranch in the area, and two exclusive communities, the Yellowstone Club and Spanish Peaks, are also here. But Big Sky itself is a tiny (pop. 2,200), old-school skiers' destination with a base area sporting 1970s condos and nothing remotely resembling a "village." There are never crowds on the slopes, and a $94 combo lift ticket includes access to adjacent resort Moonlight Basin and the largest contiguous ski area in the U.S., with Jackson Hole–worthy extreme terrain on Lone Peak. When the snow melts, runoff feeds nearby trout-choked rivers, including the blue-ribbon Gallatin.
NUMBERS: Slopeside condos fetch $100K–$300K. Walking-distance condos start at $80K.
INTEL: The best values are on the mountain, but the really cheap stuff is around the nordic center, seven miles east.
ACCESS: One hour southwest of Bozeman.

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