Riverside Motel (346 E. Main St., 406/682-4240 or 800/535-4139, www.riversidemotel-outfitters.com, $70–145) is a good choice—it’s just on the edge of downtown Ennis, next to a little riverside park. A large grassy area is used for fly casting, and a pond is stocked for kids’ fishing. The units are detached, like little cabins, and the more expensive ones have kitchenettes and two or three bedrooms. One of the Riverside’s owners is a fishing guide; let him know if you’re interested in fishing the Madison, Big Hole, Jefferson, or Yellowstone Rivers.
At the Sportsman’s Lodge (north of town on Hwy. 287, 406/682-4242 or 800/220-1690, www.ennissportsmanslodge.com, $55 and up), you have a choice of regular motel units or rustic cabins, all set in a nicely landscaped property. Pets are allowed in some rooms, and the motel has its own private airstrip. The Fan Mountain Inn is on the north edge of town (204 N. Main St., 406/682-5200 or 877/682-5200, www.fanmountaininn.com, $55 and up).
Lake Shore Lodge (406/682-4424, open mid-May–Sept., $50 and up) rents fully equipped cabins on Ennis Lake. Camping space for RVs and tents, outfitter services, and boat rentals are all available here.
A couple of Ennis’s nicest motels are just south of town.
The El Western Resort (4787 Hwy. 287 N., 406/682-4217 or 800/831-2773, www.elwestern.com, cabins $85–95, kitchenette cabins $135–250, lodges $275–425) sits on 17 wooded acres near the river. Accommodations are in duplex log cabins, which range from simple sleeping cabins to more luxurious lodges complete with kitchens, fireplaces, and up to four bedrooms.
Right next door on Highway 287, the Rainbow Valley Lodge (406/682-4264 or 800/452-8254, www.rainbowvalley.com, $70 and up) is the only motel in town with a pool. The rooms are large and nicely furnished in a Western style. You have a choice of one- or two-bedroom units, kitchen units, and rooms with patios overlooking the river. The Rainbow Valley is the only motel in town that does not accept pets in the rooms, although they can arrange for very reasonably priced horse boarding.
About 34 miles south of Ennis, West Fork Cabin Camp (1475 Hwy. 287 N., 406/682-4802 or 866/343-8267, www.wfork.com, $70–100) has housekeeping cabins and an RV campground (there are also some tent sites). It’s a great location, right on the Madison, about halfway between Ennis and West Yellowstone.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition