Big Sky is an unincorporated community in southwest Montana, halfway between Bozeman and West Yellowstone. Until the early 1950s, the area that is now Big Sky was a quiet spot along the Gallatin River, populated by a few guest ranches and a 960 acre stock ranch operation. What is now the Meadow and Mountain Villages consisted of the Crail Ranch, the B-K, and the Johnson homestead.  In the 1950s the Crails sold their ranch to the Humes, who annexed the B-K and called the entire 2000 acre expanse the Lone Mountain Ranch.  Ken and Ladora McBride purchased the Johnson spread and dubbed it the 5-K.  In the Canyon were Karst Camp, Buck's T-4, the Rainbow Ranch and the 320 Ranch.  The area's homesteading era is frozen in time at the Crail Ranch Homestead Museum, located in the Meadow Village.

The McBrides began developing their ranch, which would eventually become the West Fork and South Fork subdivisions.  The Humes sold to Sam Smeding, who sold to the Big Sky of Montana, Inc. consortium, assembled by Chet Huntley.  By the late 1960s, NBC News anchorman and Montana native Chet Huntley began searching for a location in Montana to build a resort, so visitors could enjoy the state that he loved. He settled on the large open meadow in the Gallatin Canyon, in the shadow of the towering Lone Mountain. He and Smeding toured the area on horseback, in the hopes of finding a spot for a golf course. The meadow area was appropriate, but finding the mountain village too, well, mountainous, Huntley asked Smeding, "Has anyone ever thought of skiing here?"

Huntley assembled some partners, including Chrysler, Montana Power, Northwest Airlines, Burlington Northern and Conoco (Huntley actually did not have any of his own money invested). By 1973 the lifts were operating, though the partners were foundering in a recession economy. In 1975, the resort and all its properties were sold to Boyne USA, a Michigan ski and golf resort company owned by ski resort pioneer Everett Kircher. Boyne still owns Big Sky Resort Today.

 The resort area has evolved from a highly seasonal "company town" to a bustling year-round community with over nearly 3000 residents, more than 350 Chamber of Commerce members and 4 large resorts.