In 1863, during the gold rush discoveries in Alder Gulch, William Ennis homesteaded the site along the Madison River that quickly became the town of Ennis. Today, the Madison Valley is primarily cattle country with prize Herefords and Black Angus raised along with hay and grain. The spirit of the old west is carried on by local farms, ranches and rodeos. Ennis continues as the hub of this active region, with a small community of 1,000 people. The folks in the community offer great western hospitality, eager to make you feel welcome.
Ennis is just a bit off the beaten path. Often visitors pass right by in trying to make good time or possibly just not knowing of this little slice of Montana's heaven. In route to West Yellowstone and Yellowstone National Park, take a side trip to this special region which makes for a great vacation destination.
While in the heart of the world's best fly fishing country it would be most appropriate to cast a line in the Madison River. There are several outfitters that would be happy to share their river knowledge on a guided fishing trip. In town you will find outfitter shops, art galleries and antique shops, a wildlife museum, a soda fountain shop, and some restaurants with friendly service. Accomodations are plentiful for this small community. There are cabin rentals, home rentals, campgrounds and campsites to meet every traveler's needs.
From the centrally located paradise of Ennis, you can travel to Hebgen Lake in an afternoon and visit the Quake Lake Visitors Center. Hebgen Lake offers a playground for water skiing, fishing, and simple relaxation on the water surrounded by the serene and peaceful mountainous landscape. A day trip to Virginia City, only 12 miles west offers old west history. Founded in 1863, Virginia City is considered to be the most complete, original town of its kind in the United States. Its neighbor, Nevada City, represents a busy mining town the way they used to be.
Ennis, Montana is approximately one hours drive to Butte to the northwest, Dillon to the southwest, Bozeman to the northeast, and West Yellowstone to the southeast. There are days of activity and enjoyment to be had in the Madison River Valley, bordered on two sides by the national forest land. A strong community that is gracious and friendly awaits for visitors. They are open in sharing their rich western history and their quaint town of Ennis, Montana.