There is big and then there is Montana big. Measuring 147,042 square miles, it is larger than Colorado by nearly 43,000 square miles and is one-and-a-half times bigger than the United Kingdom. If you’ve ever been you can appreciate why it’s often referred to as “Big Sky Country” and those go-on-forever views were an impetus for creating Yellowstone Club. Located just south of Big Sky Resort and about an hour southwest of Bozeman, the club spans 15,200 acres that are comprised of rolling meadows and forested hillsides.
West of the Gallatin River and surrounded by a number of mountain ranges, it has the distinction of being the world’s only private ski, golf and adventure community. A terrific amenity is the club’s 18-hole golf course. Designed by Tom Weiskopf, winner of the 1973 British Open and the 1995 U.S. Senior Open, and four-time runner-up in The Masters, the course, measuring just over 7,000 yards, is a standout in his portfolio (which includes five designs in Colorado) .
“I’ve been blessed to have some terrific pieces of property to design a golf course on,” says Weiskopf. “When you deal with the mountains you have some terrific advantages that present themselves. There are panoramic views, opportunities to have downhill shots that are pretty exciting because of the dramatic elevation changes, and chances to show off beautiful water features that can be used strategically to challenge the golfer.”
As spectacular as it is, golf is just one of numerous activities available to members. The property has 15 miles of catch-and-release fly-fishing waters, most by way of streams that feed in to the Gallatin River. Members who don’t have their own gear can rent a rod, reel and other equipment, and then either fish on their own or enlist one of the guides, licensed by the Montana Board of Outfitters.
“It is a very unique fly-fishing experience with pools, pockets and drainages where the creeks flow,” explains Dan Lakatos, the club’s Director of Outdoor Pursuits. “A few years ago I asked the guides to go out and explore the property, and they came back with these cool, new locations. We’ve been able to create unique adventures by taking people to places not on the map. With a very small population of members out there fishing you can go out and in an hour literally pull 20 fish out of the water.”
Several years back, the club started using Polaris Ranger ATVs to take members and their guests to fishing spots around the property and, if members are so inclined, they can arrange for a helicopter to fly with a guide off property to pretty much any river in Montana for a morning of fishing and be flown back by dinnertime. The club can arrange shore and wade trips to Yellowstone National Park, as well as all-day drift boat float trips on the Madison and Yellowstone Rivers.
Other popular activities with families include mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking and horseback riding. Over the last ten years, Yellowstone Club has worked with a local outfitter that leads a combination of daytime and overnight rides on a trail system that meanders through the property for 20 miles. Nestled in a sprawling meadow on the west end of the community is a wilderness camp, where sturdy, nicely appointed tents and tepees serve as overnight accommodations for members and their families that are treated to a “catered rustic” adventure under a sky filled with stars. The club’s Outdoor Pursuits Kids program offers educational field trips, multi-day summer camps and overnight camping, while the Challenge Course introduces participants to managed risk-taking, team-building and zip line rides.
What truly differentiates Yellowstone Club from other premier communities is its private ski mountain, a 2,700-acre playground with 18 lifts, more than 100 trails and a vertical drop of 2,700 feet. To give a perspective in terms of skiable acres among western resorts, Beaver Creek has 1,832; Telluride has 2,000; Sun Valley has 2,154 and Jackson Hole has 2,500. Yellowstone Club’s average annual snowfall is around 300 inches and its Private Powder, a term the community trademarked, speaks to the quality of the snow. Club members enjoy access to an additional 5,800 skiable acres at neighboring Big Sky Resort as well.
“You have all the snow sports you can imagine, even ski bikes with the wide tires,” says Weiskopf. “My wife and I love Yellowstone Club. We love the atmosphere, we love the lifestyle, we love the people. It's a fascinating convergence of very successful people, but they check their egos at the gate. My wife and I could live anywhere we want to, but we found a place where it makes us very happy.”
With such extraordinary experiences, it’s no wonder Yellowstone Club members have smiles as wide as a Montana panorama.
P.O. Box 161097
Big Sky, MT 59716
Membership: Limited to 864 Resident Memberships; a $400,000 membership deposit is required.
Residential Options: One to 17-acre homesites, rustic chalets, contemporary condominiums, single-family homes and 160- to 360-acre private ranches. Prices, which are subject to change, currently range from $2.75 million for a home site to $25 million for a ranch.
Contact: YCsales@yellowstoneclub.com or visit yellowstoneclub.com
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