Six miles off Highway 93 near Dayton , Lake Mary Ronan is a popular place to fish, especially for kokanee salmon, which flourish here as they used to in Flathead Lake . Because the lake is not on reservation land, only a state fishing permit is needed.
There are several fairly rustic resorts on the lake, all with cabins, tent and RV camping, boat rentals, and restaurants, and all able to accommodate pets in at least a few cabins. Come here to kick back, not to be catered to and pampered (unless you import your own pamperer).
Lake Mary Ronan Resort (406/849-5483 or 888/845-7702, www.lakemaryronanlodge.com , $65–200 cabins, $10 tents, $20 RVs), eight miles from Highway 93 near the end of the lake road, has cabins and a trailer home with bedding and kitchens (but no cooking gear) and a few campsites.
Just six miles from the highway, Mountain Meadows Resort (406/849-5459, $50–70) has cabins with and without bathrooms and what may be the state’s most rustic golf course with “weeds that have been cut real short”—it’s sort of, but not totally, a joke.
Camp Tuffit (406/849-5220, www.camp-tuffit.com , $24–99) has the venerable feel of your aunt’s backyard: very pretty, well manicured, with green grass and Adirondack chairs. Most accommodations are in very simple rustic housekeeping cabins (you use the common bathhouse) but there are a few larger, somewhat more modern houses. Boats go for $19–38 per day. Although there isn’t really any tent camping here, there are a few RV spaces.
Lake Mary Ronan State Park (http://fwp.mt.gov , May–Sept., $5 non-Montanans), a very nice campground near Mountain Meadows Resort, is the lake’s best bet for tent campers.