5 Tips To Avoid Big Sky Altitude Sickness

Big Sky Altitude Sickness

If you’re heading out to visit one of the most beautiful places in Montana, Big Sky, altitude sickness can easily ruin your trip. As a company with a lot of experience in the Rocky Mountains, we'll share with you all you need to know about Big Sky altitude and our best tips how to avoid Big Sky altitude sickness.

Big Sky Altitude

Big Sky altitude sits a 7,218 feet (2,200 m) in elevation. For someone coming from sea level, this is a huge increase in altitude.

  • Big Sky altitude - 7,218 feet (2,200 m)

Within an hour range of both Bozeman and Yellowstone National Park, Big Sky is Montana's premier destination for adventure.³ It offers endless outdoor activities including ziplines, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, hikes, tram expeditions to the summit, golfing, scenic wildlife viewing, and of course skiing.³

Big Sky is considered a part of the Rocky Mountains, which like Colorado, is considered high altitude mountains.

In addition, more than half of Big Sky summers visitors surveyed included Yellowstone National Park as part of their trip⁴, which has an average elevation of 8,000 feet (2438 m).⁵

  • Yellowstone altitude - 7,000 to 8,500 feet (2,133 to 2,590 m)

With the elevations of Big Sky and its surrounding areas, altitude sickness can become a risk to damper your experience when visiting.

Big Sky Resort Altitude

Big Sky Resort altitude, specifically the ski resort, has a base between 6,800 feet and 7,500 feet. The summit of Big Sky Resort ascends much higher if skiing or hiking, which sits at 11,166 feet.¹

Big Sky Resort altitudes:¹

  • Big Sky Resort altitude at Lone Moose - 6,800 feet (2,073 m)
  • Big Sky Resort altitude at Mountain Village - 7,500 feet (2,286 m)
  • Big Sky Resort altitude at Lone Peak Summit - 11,166 feet (3,403 m)

Opened since 1973, Big Sky Resort has a growing reputation as one of America’s premier ski destinations and known as “The Biggest Skiing in America”.

With 5,800 acres of skiable terrain and 36 ski lifts, Big Sky Resort is the second largest ski resort in the United States.

At these high altitudes, its best to be well prepared for altitude sickness so that your trip isn't ruined.

Do People Get Altitude Sickness At Big Sky?

If you're wondering, do people get altitude sickness at Big Sky? Yes. At Big Sky there is certainly a high risk to get altitude sickness for visitors, especially if coming from sea level.

According to Mountain Medicine, high altitude starts between 4,900 and 11,500 feet in elevation.² Big Sky altitude ranges from 6,800 to 11,166 feet.

Also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), visitors have a chance of feeling mild altitude sickness when visiting Big Sky. Symptoms can include headache, nausea, fatigue and shortness of breath.

To maximize your experience, we'll share with you below our top tips to avoid Big Sky altitude sickness.

What Causes Big Sky Altitude Sickness?

Big Sky Montana altitude sickness, or acute mountain sickness, is the result of a lack of oxygen at high altitudes. The higher the altitude, the less oxygen there is in the air you breathe, also the more you lose fluids through increased respiration.

It's common for people to feel slightly sick, tired, or nauseous during the first day or so after arriving at Big Sky. Be on the lookout for symptoms of altitude sickness so you can catch it early enough.

Big Sky altitude sickness symptoms include:

  • headaches
  • nausea or vomiting
  • fatigue or tiredness
  • feeling of malaise
  • sleepiness or sleeping difficulty
  • loss of appetite
  • shortness of breath

Being aware of these symptoms is important to preventing Big Sky altitude sickness, which we share below.

5 Tips To Avoid Big Sky Altitude Sickness

Known as the “The Biggest Skiing in America” with breathtaking views, activities and wildlife ─ it's no wonder Big Sky is a destination of over 500,000 visitors per year.⁶

The one thing to prepare for is that altitude sickness is a common problem for visitors to the Big Sky area. The mountain air is thinner, and the oxygen levels are lower.

As a company highly experienced with Rocky Mountain altitudes, we reveal our top tips for avoiding Big Sky Montana altitude sickness.

Here's 5 tips to avoid Big Sky altitude sickness:

1. Acclimate Slowly

Altitude sickness is caused by the body having trouble adjusting to the lower oxygen levels and physiological stress. This can cause breathing problems, headaches and other issues that can make it difficult for you to enjoy your trip in Big Sky.

To avoid this, it's best to acclimate slowly.

One of the best ways to do this stay a night when you fly into the airport before heading to Big Sky. Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is at an altitude of 4,473 feet. Similar to Denver's altitude, this gives you body some time to adjust before dealing with over 7,000 feet in altitude.

Another way to do this is when you first arrive to Big Sky at 7,218 feet, do not ski or hike the first few days where altitudes can go as high as 11,166 feet.
Just like the locals that typically aren't highly effected by altitude sickness, you want to give your body the time to adjust to Big Sky altitude.

2. Hydrate Properly

You should drink plenty of water before and during your travel to the high altitudes of Big Sky.

With lower oxygen and increased respiration combined with the dry climate, your body will lose fluids at a faster rate and cause dehydration.

Similar to altitude sickness, the symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, dizziness or light-headedness, decreased urination frequency, headaches, and fatigue or weakness.

Most visitors will not drink enough fluids to replenish. Experts say you should drink a minimum of half your body weight in ounces of water. We'd recommend drinking more, especially if you're doing outside activities.

TIP: Add sea salt to your foods/water or take Zaca's chewables to enhance hydration.

3. Rest & Take It Easy

A key to avoiding Big Sky altitude sickness is to take it easy during your first few days.

If you feel tired or weak after being active for only a short period of time, rest for an hour or two before returning to activity again.

If coming straight from sea level, avoid skiing, hiking, whitewater rafting, or any other strenuous activities for at least a 1-2 days. Especially don't overdo it on your first day out without acclimatizing first.

Altitude sickness symptoms usually appear within 6-24 hours, so make sure you're feeling great and don't show symptoms before doing activities.

Sleep is also very important. Get proper sleep, at least 7 hours, which allows your body to adjust and recover faster.

4. Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol and high altitude don't mix well.

Alcohol can cause dehydration, slow down your breathing, and cause other issues like headaches. A hangover and altitude sickness have a lot of similar signs, you won't want both at the same time.

Limit your alcohol intake on your first day at minimum, or until you know you're not feeling the Big Sky altitude sickness.

If you do drink alcohol at Big Sky's high altitudes, make sure you hydrate properly with lots of water and even taking a product to aid your liver can help too.

5. Take Altitude Supplements

Often overlooked, yet the most powerful option, supplements for high altitude can help fuel your body with the right mountain-friendly nutrients.

  • Glutathione for example, was shown in a study to deplete up to 45% by high altitudes.⁷ By supplementing glutathione, you can help replenish your glutathione levels and fight off oxidative stress.
Take altitude supplements to best prepare and fuel your body for your Big Sky trip.

This concludes our top researched tips to avoid Big Sky altitude sickness.

Top Rocky Mountain Altitude Supplement

Rocky Mountain Altitude Supplement
Founded out of Colorado in 2008 ─ Zaca's unique supplement is unlike any other on the market used by thousands of athletes, vacationers, and skiers, and outdoor enthusiasts. These chewables contain a special herbal blend to improve performance, hydration, and replenishment. Formulated with Glutathione, it also boosts antioxidant levels to fight oxidative stress. Simply take these fast-acting chewables each day before your trip, and then each day on your trip. Try Zaca Chewables today and feel better faster.



1. Big Sky Resort Wikipedia
2. Effects of high altitude on humans
3. Big Sky Resort Montana
4. Big Sky Summer Market Visitor Study
5. Geological History Of The Yellowstone National Park
6. Big Sky Resort sets another visitation record
7. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione