Beehive Basin Backcountry Skiing

March 31st, 2009

Skinning to Middle Basin

The Beehive Basin trailheadI haven’t been doing much backcountry skiing this season - for a number of reasons - but I got out for a nice (if short) day up Beehive Basin a few weeks ago. Beehive Basin is the actually the first place I ever went on a backcountry ski tour! It’s a favorite spot for locals because of it’s easy access and short ski approach. It’s about an hour drive from Bozeman, and you can be skiing in less than an hour from the trailhead. It’s something of a unique “backcountry” experience, though, in Lots of houses by the trailhead in Beehivethat you have to drive right past the hustle and bustle of Big Sky on your way to the trailhead, and the first mile of skin you are surrounded by huge second homes. You have to be careful on the ski in, actually: if you veer from the trail too soon on to an inviting looking slope backyard you might find yourself talking to the police! Also, being so accessible, the area gets a lot of traffic so be prepared for some company on the slopes. But all told it’s a fine spot to tour. It’s still not as crowded as Teton Pass! Just resist the urge to ski off decks and poach hot tubs. :P

The myriad ski runs of Big Sky and the Yellowstone Club

Makin fresh tracks!Despite the houses and grand views of the nearby Big Sky complex, it is still backcountry skiing. You cross into a Wilderness area, and avalanches do occur here. Last year an MSU student was caught and killed in a avalanche in Beehive, not far from the houses (more here). And so with the sketch snow conditions this season I’ve stayed away from Beehive as much as anywhere. But on this beautiful sunny Sunday the snowpack was behaving well enough and I was excited to get out in the mountains with friends. Be careful and avalanche aware - as always! And enjoy the wonderful snow and solitude of our Montana mountains.

Middle Basin, just east of Beehive BasinLooking West from Beehive - 4 mountain ranges!Fun pick from last season in Beehive

From last year: the East side of Beehive

Beehive Basin overview - from Andesite at Big Sky

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One Response to “Beehive Basin Backcountry Skiing”

  1. Not really sure what you mean by “a lot of traffic.” Yeah, it’s easy access, but I was up there the past two Sundays and not only broke trail both times but didn’t even see any cars at the trailhead when I was leaving in the afternoon. On a weekend! Everybody’s been sharing the Schlashman’s lift with you, I guess.

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