Archive for the 'accomodations' Category


Buck’s T-4 Annual Christmas Party

Recently, Buck’s T-4 helped celebrate the holidays with our annual community Christmas party. Like years past the event was a big hit. It was a good chance for Buck’s kitchen to showcase some of their delicious and mouthwatering creations. Guests were able to sample some of the delectable treats off Buck’s  newly launched pub menu, like the Cajun Pork Chop Sammie. Those were a quick favorite and disappeared straight away. And the house made bison and pork sausages that came fresh off the grill were quick to follow suit.

Here is just a taste of the other bites offered at the party, I caution those with an empty stomach to not read on:  Oysters Rockerfeller, freshly carved roast beef served on warm pita bread with sheep dip, in house smoked salmon served with marinated cucumber on five spice flat bread, fried Szechwan mushroom wontons, roast vegetable pizza, a sampling of fine cheeses and much much more. For those with a sweet tooth we had trays of  creamy chocolate mint brownies, lemon curd tarts, eggnog custard tarts (my favorite), pecan tarts  and a selection of everyone’s favorite Christmas cookies.

And no event at Buck’s T-4 would be complete with out a taste of our award winning wine list and selection of local beers. The Christmas party was no exception with a variety of reds, white and a rose all available to be sampled as well as Lone Peak Brewery’s Nordic Blond and Steep N Deep Winter Ale draft beers.

The night was a good indicator of the busy winter season that lies ahead. All of us at Buck’s T-4 are really looking forward to having you join us in our dining rooms or lodging this winter. If you haven’t made it down to Buck’s for dinner yet or are still thinking about where to vacation this winter, come and see us. You won’ be disappointed!

And from all of us at Buck’s T-4 have a very merry Christmas!!!


Ski Season Ends in Big Sky




It’s sad to say, but the 08/09 ski season has come to an end. As I sat in the free skier parking lot Saturday night, huddled around a campfire, surrounded by campers, a white ski bus and tons of fellow skier friends I chatted on camera about the passing season. “Overall it was a great year; it started out strong with snowfall, we experienced a couple deep freezes, spring-like conditions and then charged back into winter full speed at the end. We ended strong with great coverage and undeniably great skiing.” Everybody agreed, this season was yet another magnificent memory in Big Sky, Montana.

The end of ski season brings costumes, parties and events at every ski area. Saturday Big Sky featured its annual pond skim, which was the best yet. Ski legend Glenn Plake even showed up to show off a little of his mastery through the ponds with a clever Lincoln loop. After the pond skim, the crowd retreated to the plaza to hear “The Lobbyists” a popular local Big Sky band.

Closing day was quieter, but even more beautiful than the day before. It was a perfect blue-bird day with warm conditions and ideal spring skiing. Friends, Scott Smith, Amy Knollenberg, Blaine Ballard and I retreated to the Lost (Lone) Lakes Cirque on the back side of Lone Mountain. This area is backcountry and is accessible through a backcountry gate at the peak of Lone Mountain on Moonlight Basin’s property. The cirque is a collection of chutes, many with mandatory air, tight constrictions and exigent lines that make even the most accomplished skiers think twice. We chose one of the less demanding chutes and made first tracks. Once at the bottom, we looked out in amazement at the stunning view set against the deep blue backdrop. We hiked up and over the forest service wall that borders the backcountry and Moonlight Basin’s North Summit Snowfield run-out. After several photos, ooh’s and ahh’s we headed straight to the Timbers for their famous Nachos and $2 beer specials. We sat on the deck in the warm sun and listened to Scott play N.W.A’s classic “Straight Outta Compton” softly on an acoustic guitar while singing the lyrics in a mellow tone. There was no better way to spend Easter Sunday than worshipping the great outdoors in the great sanctuary called Lost Lakes, and listening to fine hymns such as “Straight Outta Compton”.

Although I am greatly saddened to see winter come to an end, as it is my “raison d’être”, I can be comforted by such things as; greatly reduced prices on ski equipment (I have a pair of 183 Volkl Katanas on the way), backcountry skiing (it’s dumping snow as I write this) and vacation time (I haven’t been home to see my family in Michigan for over 2 years). And although I am a dedicated worshipper of Ullr, I do like summer. In a couple of months we will be barbequing on the back deck, hiking, rafting in high water, mountain biking, climbing and camping.

Buck’s is an ideal place to spend the summer and I am lucky enough to work there. Buck’s is ideal for weddings, functions and events. We offer cuisine in our Main Dining Room which is beyond comparison, and the best deal in town on a Wednesday night in our Pub; $10 Steak Night. Buck’s is centrally located for all summer activities including whitewater rafting (Geyser Whitewater in on-site), hiking, golf and mountain biking. I am lucky enough to leave work and still have hours of daylight to enjoy many of the area’s treasures right out our back door here at Buck’s.

I invite all of you to spend some time with us this summer at Buck’s T-4. Buck’s offers affordable lodging. And all room rates include a hot breakfast buffet to get you started for the day. The activities are endless and the views are extraordinary. Buck’s is only 100 yards off the river where “A River Runs Through It” was filmed.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; Montana is the last best place on earth. Come see us at Buck’s T-4, we’d love to meet you and show you some of our authentic Montana hospitality.

With love as pure as newly fallen snow (which is currently in progress as we experience a late winter storm here),





Keeping me in check!!!

Erin enjoys some turns in the trees Sunday.

Erin enjoys some turns in the trees Sunday.

As I sit here on this Monday in March and I try to recount all the highlights of last week only one thing comes to my mind. Powder. I almost feel guilty spending another Monday evening at my desk unfolding the days filled with first tram rides, epic powder days, face-shot turns and a the oodles of fun we had on the mountain all week. The 4th Annual Headwaters Spring Run-off Big Mountain competition at Moonlight was nothing less than extraordinary to watch. It snowed all week and every day brought legendary skiing. But I hesitate because eventually reading about this subject must become boring for some of you. So I sit debating on what to speak about when the past week has been one of the best skiing weeks all year, and Sunday must have been the deepest day of the year yet!

But just so I don’t make all of you flat-landers sneer in jealousy, non-belief or contempt; let me tell you a story about the trials and tribulations of a powder day.

Saturday night I dragged myself into bed and set my alarm knowing that it was going to be a big powder day Sunday, and that meant and early morning for me with aspirations of catching first chair at Big Sky. Let me preface this by saying, I have never been a morning person. I greatly admire all you early morning risers, who enjoy several cups of coffee, the newspaper and a healthy breakfast before work. I marvel at those who enjoy the sunrise. It is one of the most awe-inspiring sights, because I rarely ever see it. Even as a child my mother would sometimes have to drop cold water on me to invoke consciousness (generally around noon). My mornings usually consist of a painful awakening by my alarm just before 9 a.m., I fight myself rabidly applying every logical argument to rise, and my body fights back with extreme lethargy. Once risen, there are no showers (those are reserved for the night prior), there is also no breakfast, not even coffee. There is definitely no time for reading a newspaper. Instead I fumble through the clean clothes (or gently used pile) and find an outfit that I hope matches. But quite frankly at the un-godly hour of 10:00 a.m., who cares?

But when the snow falls my unadulterated excitement wakes me before the alarm which wakes me at 6:55 a.m. I leaped from my bed, dressed in my ski clothes and hurried out the door and caught the same friendly ski shop manager on his way to work. Once again I hitched a ride on his tailgate and was in line at 7:35 a.m. Goodness gracious I do love the early morning! Once I secured my place in line next to the other two early morning “regulars”. We chatted for the next hour and half until there was seventy people lined up behind us. We were deep into a discussion on Michael Jackson as the second hand moved steadily towards nine o’clock. I watched the lift operator like a hawk as he picked up the phone and spoke to somebody (presumably ski patrol) at the top of the lift. I could hear my own heartbeat. Slowly he lowered the phone to the receiver and looked slowly up to me. Eye contact was made. He blinked slowly and barely moved his head an inch. There was my sign! I dashed forward just as the chair came around and it blocked the other three men who were still debating the great artworks and bizarre atrocities of Michael Jackson. I looked back at their puzzled expressions and the lift operator chuckled at them. Yes, first chair on the biggest powder day of the year, had just been snaked from them by a girl. The quad scooped me up, and I had a leisurely ride up solo with three empty spaces. I laughed evilly to myself. “Whooo ha ha ha ha ha.”

Needless to say I won the race from the top of the Swift Current lift to the triple. I was very pleased with myself. I reveled quietly in my gratification. I gave myself several mental high-fives.

We loaded the triple a short while later, but this time I had the same two men with me that had met me at 7:35 a.m. As we unloaded we dashed in a tuck towards the tram. (Now, you must understand, there is no reason for me to even hurry at this point, I know I will be in first tram.) But the greed got to me. Suddenly a normally dormant streak of competitiveness rose in my blood as I stared at the back of my friend Ted. “I must get there first” I thought. My nose crinkled and my eyes became little slits of intensity. I lowered into a smaller tuck and gained speed, I started to pass him on his right side and just as I thought I was almost around him….

….I struck a thick, dense pile of snow and double ejected out of my skis into momentous forward somersaults. All the speed I had gained took me farther and farther away from my skis, which were still sitting uphill from me. I jumped off the ground and ran towards my skis; I grabbed the first one and then dug out the second. I set them in the snow and fumbled trying to put them on. The snow was too deep. My foot refused to click into the binding. Finally I realized I had to reset the binding. I vigorously picked up the ski as several other skiers passed. One after another, the tram line was filling and I was stupidly standing in the snow trying to fix my binding. I heard one skier yell as he passed “That is at least a one tram penalty.” It was actually a 2 tram penalty. When I finally entered the line the crowd cheered, partially because I had finally made it, and partially to revel in my defeat after being the only person on first chair that morning.

I re-learned a very important lesson; don’t get too greedy. This morning, I caught first chair for a great powder day, but I allowed the rest of the boys to come with me, I raced (and fell) but humbly and still made third triple chair and first tram…

I hope that you got some enjoyment out of this story, I promise not to gloat too much about the incredible skiing we experience here at Big Sky and Moonlight. You must promise to visit us out here, and experience it yourself. Looks like this upcoming week will be another great opportunity, check out the weather forecast below!

Respectfully yours,


Events for 3/31 – 4/6

Tuesday 3/31 – $3 bottled beers and $3 cocktails at Buck’s T-4.

Wednesday 4/1 – $10 Steak Night at Buck’s T-4. Don’t miss this weekly event; it is the best deal in town. 8 0z. Sirloin steak cooked to order, salad, steamed vegetables and a baked potato for only $10!

Saturday 4/4 – Ramcharger lift at Big Sky stays open until 5 p.m.

Saturday 4/4 & Sunday 4/5 – Military Appreciation and Educators Appreciation week at Big Sky Resort. Call (406) 995-5000 for details.

Monday 4/6 – The FREE ski week for Big Sky Frequent Sky card holders, mid-week pass holders and 15X pass holders begins!


Tues 3/31: Snow. (high 30)

Wed 4/1: Snow. (high 29)

Thurs 4/2: Snow. (high 35)

Fri 4/3: Snow. (high 29)

Sat 4/4: Snow. (high 31)

Sun 4/5: Partly Cloudy. (high 31)

Mon 4/6: Partly Cloudy. (high 37)



Big Sky, Montana has the best snow regionally. Almost all of Big Sky resort’s lifts are up and running, including the famous Lone Peak Tram which brings skiers to the summit of Lone Peak at 11,166 feet. Skiers have the choice to ski down world class expert terrain, which is skiing fantastic right now, or they can ride back down the tram after experiencing once-in-a-lifetime views. Big Sky and Moonlight Basin have a wide variety of fun groomers and cruiser runs for those not wanting to “show off” their extreme skiing skills.

We have had several powder days so far making the 08-09 winter season start with a bang! Apparently Mother Nature hasn’t heard that this is a year of “meager spending”. Mother Nature has been more than generous with the heaps of snow she has delivered to us, here in Big Sky, MT.

The other day I began by day early with a piping hot cup of coffee in the Mountain Mall. I sauntered up to the Swift Current lift and gained my position for first chair. There is nothing quite like first chair on a powder day. Despite the cold spell we have been having, it was particularly warm that day, another charitable gift from Mother Nature. Once the tram opened and I skied down Marx. This run is the most perfect run for a powder day, it nice and steep at the top and then mellows as it widens. To be the first skier down Marx on a powder day is truly an un-matched experience. Typically this run has a small rock band at the top, which is easy to maneuver around, however with this year’s fantastic snow condition the rock band is barely visible. The locals are all amazed how incredibly well the mountain is covered so early in the season.

I went up the tram again, and decided to take Lenin down this time around. Lenin is very similar to Marx, but I can tell you it may have been even better than the first run of the day. Especially towards the bottom of the run, the snow was piled high and the wind groomed base below was smooth. This allowed for ideal ski conditions the whole way down. What a fabulous experience. I was giddy with delight and I sped onto the duck walk and headed back for more.

The lower mountain was also fantastic, I noticed many people exploring lines through the glades and reappearing with ear to ear smiles.

There is big snow in Big Sky! I highly recommend that you come and visit us this winter. Times may be tight, but nothing puts a smile on somebody’s face like skiing the most fantastic mountain in the country. If you want to save a few bucks, book a reservation at Buck’s T-4 ( or 1-888-822-4484) in Big Sky. All rooms include a complimentary hot breakfast buffet. There are two large hot tubs to warm up in after a day on the slopes, a large game room and two fantastic restaurants. Call and let them know Erin sent you!

Also, January 2, 2009 “On the One” will play a live show at Buck’s T-4 in Big Sky. This will definitely be one of the best shows in Big Sky this winter. “On the One” is a well known funk, jazz and hip hop band. Tickets are only $10 and are available at Cactus Records in Bozeman, Buck’s T-4 Lodge in Big Sky, the Conoco Station in Big Sky or the Smoke N Wino in Big Sky. There is a complimentary shuttle after the show to take you home, or you can book a room at Buck’s T-4 for a special discounted rate.

I hope to see you all on the lifts, enjoying some play time in the powder and at the “On the One” show.

All yours until it snows again,




Wedding Bliss

Nashan Photography

Nashan Photography

Nashan Photography

Nashan Photography


Why get married in Big Sky? Why not get married in Big Sky is more the question. A couple of friends from Chicago, IL chose Big Sky as their wedding location and destination vacation for over eighty guests, who stayed anywhere from three days to over a week. I joined the party for three days over the wedding weekend, and I will never forget the fun we had.

The weekend kicked off Thursday night, when everybody met for drinks and a new bar in town called Choppers. This new establishment is ideal in Big Sky, since we are such a popular motorcycle destination being right off highway 191, a famous scenic drive. In fact Buck’s T-4 is right on highway 191 and only 100 yards from the impressive beauty that is the Gallatin River, which the highway follows. The Gallatin River is the location in which the movie ‘A River Runs Through It’ was filmed.

I led three men up to Lava Lake, which sits above highway 191 accessible only by a three mile trail that leads directly to an alpine lake surrounded by towering green mountains. The hike is six miles total (three up, and three down) and has an elevation gain of about 1,600 feet. The trail can be accomplished by almost anyone; you must navigate your way around some rocks on the trail. The first two thirds of the hike is through dense lodge pole forest, and then you come upon a bridge that leads over a tumbling creek with small waterfalls. The last third of the hike you find yourself among aspen trees and thimble berries. Once at the top, the men jumped off cliffs into the refreshing mountain lake. We swam, laughed and took pictures. I hope that it was an experience they won’t forget.

I can guarantee that the walk (or full out sprint) on the way down is definitely an experience they won’t forget. As we started our descent back to the trailhead the Montana skies clouded up and not only did rain drench us, but for about one minute we were hailed on. The rain continued our entire descent; I laughed, hooted and hollered as we came down. Once back in the car we were all smiles, joking and recounting our experience. It was good to see that everybody was in good spirits and enjoyed the storm. One man commented that it is so invigorating to be able to face a situation that was not a controlled environment, but a pure act of nature and all its unpredictability. They say if you don’t like the weather in Montana, wait 5 minutes, it will change.

That night after we warmed up in the hot tub, we went to Buck’s T-4 for dinner. We had Dungeness crab cakes to start and each ordered something different so we could trade food and try as much as the luscious cuisine Buck’s has to offer. I had the New Zealand Red Deer, one of the most famous and oldest menu items. Other dishes ordered were the Wild Game Composition (quail, elk and bison short ribs), the Bison Tenderloin and the Pancetta Wrapped Pheasant Breast in a mushroom fideo. We chose a Washington Syrah and a California Red Zinfandel to compliment all the meals. Everybody was exceptionally pleased with the meal, and impressed with our menu at Buck’s. We left full and happy.

The following day, many of the eighty out of town guests went whitewater rafting with Geyser Whitewater, on property at Buck’s T-4.

After rafting I met a couple men who had rented mountain bikes from Geyser and we went to Porcupine (just a mile south of Buck’s T-4) and went for a mountain bike ride. Mountain biking is extremely physical, and can be very muddy. It was certainly both this day. Both men impressed me with their dedication to the steep climbs up the hill, and the wildly amusing downhill sections. We returned to the car covered in mud, but our white smiles shined through. I was pleased to hear their exhilaration and they seemed to take great delight in getting utterly filthy.

That night we headed to an elegant wedding under the beautiful Montana skies, thunderheads loomed and threatened in the distance, and three extraordinary rainbows shone brightly in the blue sky. Montana has a wonder all its own, fiery sunsets against grey and purple layered mountains, brilliant rainbows, and the surreal sky with thunderheads and blue sky together all looking down on golden fields and green mountains. I have travelled many places but few ever match the vivid majesty of Montana. I am so glad that this bride and groom chose our beautiful location for their lifeline commitment to one another. I can think of no better place for such a sacred vow.

FYI – Buck’s T-4 is a popular location for weddings, and other events. Buck’s can accommodate groups any size from 10 to 200 people and we have outstanding catering services.

It’s been real,



Big Sky, MT….the last best place

Welcome to the Buck’s T-4 blog. This blog is intended to alert the world what is going on here in Big Sky, Montana and to showcase “the last best place on earth”. This isn’t an advertisement so you don’t have to run, just good old conversation and fun. Whether you are at a desk in Chicago, a café in Alsace or down the road in Bozeman, take a minute each week to read the Buck’s blog and escape just for a moment.

My name is Erin, and I will spearhead this blog, but I encourage others to contribute.

Just a quick introduction to Buck’s first. Buck’s T-4 Lodge is located in Big Sky, MT between the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park and Bozeman, MT. Buck’s is a popular place to stay for skiers (Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin are located just up the road and accessible by free shuttle) and summer road trippers. We have 2 restaurants on property including a casual pub and our famous Buck’s Main Dining Room which offers elegantly prepared wild game, hand cut steaks and seafood.

Okay enough of that marketing business. Let’s talk about the real reason this area is so popular and why so many come to visit.

We have had a pretty fun filled weekend. Each week on Thursday nights a free concert is performed in Big Sky at the Meadow Village Pavilion. This past Thursday we were lucky enough to have a popular folk band the Wailin’ Jennys. People flocked to welcome these sweetly harmonizing artists. The Wailin’ Jennys are from Canada and perform an incredibly delicate but powerful sound with country roots. The music gives the audience a sense of torment but with a beautiful and redeeming quality that leaves smiles on their faces. The Wailin’ Jennys perform mostly original music but also convert classic songs into their own creative musical style. My personal favorite was Neil Young’s ‘Old Man’. This was truly magical as I listened and watched the sun set against lone peak surrounded by gray and pink clouds to my right and a fantastic vanilla sky to my left.

Right next door to Buck’s on property is Geyser Whitewater, which offers rafting trips down the Gallatin as well as horseback riding, mountain bike rental and an indoor climbing wall. Every summer Geyser gathers a hard working group of raft guides dedicated to making every guest of Big Sky’s experience the best they can. This gets to be awful hard work, so every once in a while the guides need a night to blow off some steam. The guides and a few friends (including me) took a bus down to Belgrade, MT (about 45 minutes away) via a scenic drive up highway 191 to the stock car races. This was my first time at the races and I was incredibly impressed by the cars. The crowd was enthusiastically cheering on their favorite drivers. The guides from Geyser started ‘the wave’ which eventually engaged the entire stadium. This was a great family event complete with a raffle and prizes.

Yellowstone National Park is not far from Big Sky. This past weekend I explored a new area of Yellowstone. I made my habitual stop at Old Faithful, one of my favorite sites, not just because of Old Faithful but the geyser basin it sits in. There are endless thermal wonders situated just off a boardwalk hike near Old Faithful. I also went on a short hike called “Elephant Back” that ascends 800 feet and offers a awe-inspiring vista of Yellowstone Lake. Before returning to Big Sky, I made the (approximately) 15 mile trek into and around Pelican Valley where multiple bison were spotted as well as a mother grizzly with two cubs. Besides the incredible wild life, the views of surrounding mountain, variety of wildflowers and the sun bleached skulls of elk with antlers still attached was well worth the hike.

As I passed back through the gates of Yellowstone National Park, my stomach groaned with hunger. As soon as I entered Big Sky, and the familiar landmarks filled my view I came upon Buck’s T-4. I turned into the parking lot and raced inside with thoughts of tender New Zealand Red Deer, a Montana Strip Steak, Crab legs and Bison tenderloin racing through my head. A perfect way to end a perfect weekend.

Monday night Buck’s featured a Margarita Party with an all you can eat taco bar. Geyser raft guides certainly made sure they were at Buck’s for this event. Kids of all ages gathered around for their chance to hit the piñata, and a great time was had by all.

Hope to see you soon, and until then remember live long and hopefully, you too will experience the richness we are so lucky to embrace here in the last best place.

Word to your mom,


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