Tucked in back of the bank on Main Street, the Ennis Homestead (206 2nd St., 406/682-4086, www.ennishomestead.com, $1,500 per week and up) offers the most upscale lodgings in town on the grounds of the estate of Ennis’s founders. It’s a little gated adults-only community with just-so two-bedroom log cabins with kitchens and laundry facilities.
The area south of Ennis, near the town of Cameron, has several fishing-oriented lodges.
The Old Kirby Place (34 miles south of Ennis, west of MP 15 on Hwy. 287, 406/682-4194 or 888/875-8027, www.oldkirbyplace.com, $195 per person includes meals, three-night minimum) is noted for its log lodge and bunkhouse dating from the 1880s, its great location, and its fabulous fishing. Food is good, and local fishing guides often drop in for dinner to chat and share fish stories.
The eight-cabin Diamond J Ranch (14 miles east of Ennis, 406/682-4867 or 877/929-4867, www.diamondjranch.com, late June–early Aug., $1,350 per person per week) has operated as a guest ranch since the 1930s. In addition to fishing, horseback riding, and early autumn bird hunting, the Diamond J has indoor tennis courts and a swimming pool.
The Lodge at Sun Ranch (1520 Hwy. 287 N., Cameron, 406/682-3031, www.papoosecreek.com, from $900 per person double occupancy for three nights, includes meals) is a luxurious retreat with an eco-friendly ethic; the owners have actively worked to improve the local habitat and invite local ecologists in to talk with the guests. Stay in a room in the large lodge or in a renovated homesteader cabin. The cost of a stay here includes many amenities, although guided fishing and horseback trips are extra.
Just north of Ennis, between the Madison River and Jack Creek, the Madison Valley Ranch (307 Jeffers Rd., 406/682-3214 or 800/755-3474, www.madisonvalleyranch.com, $1,525 per person for three nights lodging and two days of guided fishing) is an all-inclusive fishing lodge.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition