18 Awesome Things To Do In Ennis Montana
Ennis is a town in Montana’s Madison County, located in the southwestern part of the state. About 52 miles from Bozeman, 81 miles to Big Sky and 71 miles from West Yellowstone National Park. The town’s population was 917 at the last census. The Madison River flows through the community, following US Route 287 as it descends from West Yellowstone.
Take the town’s storied past, for instance. Founder William Ennis, an Irish immigrant, and his family built the town around their home which sat just behind Yesterday’s Soda Fountain. If you’re looking for a great place to visit with a great selection of outdoor activities, Ennis Montana is the perfect spot! There are plenty of fun things to do in this charming town, and you’re sure to enjoy your time here. In this blog post, we will share some of our favorite things to do in Ennis Montana. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities or something a bit more relaxing, we have you covered!
Here are 18 things to do in or near Ennis Montana:
1. Fish on the Madison river.
Ennis is known for trout fishing. The Madison River Fishing Company has guided tours. Fishing is one of the most popular spots for fly fishing in Montana. There are numerous public access points and Ennis is a great basecamp to fish the entire river.
2. Scenic Floats.
Ennis is the put in for a very popular float on the Madison River. The river winds through a canyon with towering cliffs and incredible views. Make sure to check the river conditions before you go.
3. Visit the Ennis Rodeo Grounds
The Ennis Rodeo Grounds are a great place to take in some of the local culture. Every summer, the town hosts the Ennis Pro Rodeo, one of the largest professional rodeos in Montana. There is also a fairground and an outdoor arena where you can catch live music throughout the year. The town has festivals and events year-round, from the ever popular Fourth of July Parade to the Ennis Winter Carnival.
4. Take a scenic drive on MT 84 East.
This beautiful byway takes you through some of Montana’s most stunning scenery. You’ll wind your way through mountains and valleys, past lakes and forests, and see some of the state’s wildlife like deer, elk and pronghorns.
5. Hike, bike or swim in the Ennis Lake Recreation Area
Ennis Lake is a great place to get outdoors and enjoy some of Montana’s natural beauty. There are numerous hiking trails and biking trails that wind their way around the lake, and you’re sure to see some stunning views.
Kobayashi beach area has parking, boat launch and a restroom. You can swim, have a picnic or just enjoy the views.
There are endless hiking trails surrounding the Madison Valley with three national forests within a short drive of MVR. The valley is flanked by the Madison Range to the east and the Gravelly Range to the west. Northwest of town, we also have the Tobacco Roots Mountains.
Go For a Picnic. There are several restaurants in town, called the Pic-A-Nic Basket , that offer to-go options, so you can grab some food, a blanket, and your family and head out to the millions of surrounding acres of national forest and enjoy a beautiful day under the warm, Big Sky sun.
6. Visit the Madison Valley History Museum
Their mission is to develop a museum to house and preserve collections of artifacts, tapes, photographs and stories of historical importance to the Madison Valley and interpret them through display and education.
7. Shop at the Ennis Farmers Market
The Ennis Farmers Market is the perfect place to pick up some local produce and handmade goods. Held every Saturday from June through September 9 to noon, it’s a great way to support the town’s businesses and get to know the locals.
8. Taste some local whiskey or moonshine.
Ennis is home to Willies Distillery, where you can tour the facility and taste some of the locally-made whiskey. The distillery also offers a tasting room and a gift shop, so you can take some of the Ennis spirit home with you.
9. Eat pizza and drink the local craft beer at Burnt Tree Brewing.
Ennis is home to several great restaurants, but one of our favorites is Burnt Tree Brewing. This local brewery and pizzeria offers a relaxed atmosphere and some delicious food. The pizzas are wood-fired and the beer is brewed on-site, so you know it’s fresh!
10. Get a Sugar High.
Ennis is home to several great ice cream shops, but Sugar High is our favorite. This local shop offers a wide variety of ice-cream flavors, and they even have vegan and gluten-free options.
11. Historic downtown Ennis shopping on Main Street.
Ennis has a great downtown area on Main St. with plenty of shops to browse, visitor center and local restaurants. There are a few boutique stores that are inspired by the landscapes and lifestyle of SW Montana. We also have 3 fly shops downtown including The Tackle Shop, Trout Stalkers and Madison River Fishing Company. You’ll find everything from Western wear to antiques, and you’re sure to find something unique to take home with you.
12. Explore Virginia City.
Just a short drive from Ennis is Virginia City and next door is Nevada City. Nearby Virginia City is one of Montana’s most well-preserved ghost towns. This former mining town is now a National Historic Landmark, and you can explore its streets and buildings to get a taste of what life was like in the Old West.
13. Catch a comedy show at the Brewery Follies in Virginia City.
It’s a hilarious, filthy good comedy show. Two shows a day, we went to the 8pm show. You can make reservations by phone or buy tickets at the door $25 per person. I would not recommend taking kids to this show. They serve drinks and light snacks before the show and during intermission. Great adult fun while in Ennis Mt.
14. Soak in the Norris Hot Springs.
Located just outside of Ennis, about a 15 minute car ride, Norris Hot Springs is a great place to relax and rejuvenate. $10 for adults soaking with no time limit. They sell alcohol (3 max per person) and food (veggies fresh from their garden). They also have live music (check their calendar).
The springs are open year-round, and you can even stay overnight in one of the cabins or RV spots if you want to extend your visit.
15. Visit Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park
This state park is home to one of the largest and most well-preserved limestone caves in the country. The caverns are open for tours from May through September, and you can explore them on your own or take a guided tour.
16. Explore volcanic history at Earthquake Lake.
Earthquake Lake is 47 miles from Ennis and it was formed after a massive earthquake in 1959 that caused a landslide, which dammed up the Madison River. The lake is now a popular spot for swimming, fishing, and camping.
17. Day trip to Bozeman Montana.
Take a day trip to Bozeman to explore Montana State University and visit the Museum of the Rockies. Bozeman is a short drive from Ennis and offers plenty of things to see and do. MSU is one of the top universities in the country, and the Museum of the Rockies is home to some amazing dinosaur exhibits. Bozeman Hot Springs is also a great place to relax and rejuvenate.
18. Visit West Yellowstone.
We wrote a blog article about visiting West Yellowstone National Park.
As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Ennis Montana! Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure or just want to relax and enjoy some great food and drink, you’ll find it all here. So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip today!
We stayed at Ennis RV Village (see picture below). That is not our trailer but a beautiful double rainbow after the rain.
Thank you for reading! You may also enjoy reading: Amazing RV Trip To West Yellowstone National Park Montana.