Day Trips Around Ennis


Ennis, Montana, is perfectly positioned to be a day-tripper’s dream. Not only is Ennis itself a Montana small-town destination in its own right, but it also has a host of natural and cultural must-visits at its doorstep. Here are a few of the adventures to explore when you’re planning a day trip from Ennis.

Norris Hot Springs

If you’re ready for a soak in a natural thermal pool, Norris Hot Springs should be your first stop. This wood-lined pool feels rustic and natural, with a menu of local beverages and farm-to-poolside food filled with ingredients grown onsite and irrigated by the thermal waters. Live music floating above the steam on a summer evening makes it clear why they call it the “water of the gods.”

Quake Lake

Even if you’re not already into geology, you can’t help but wonder at the story of Quake Lake, as told in a driving tour along its edge. See the history of that fateful night on August 17, 1959, when the earth shook and changed the landscape forever. Enjoy recreation out on the lake or its shores, or you can stop at interpretive signs along the way to learn more about the event.

											 SN Day Trips Around Ennis 2

Yellowstone National Park

Of course, Yellowstone is a world-class destination in and of itself. And when you’re staying in Ennis, it’s easy to make the hour-long drive to West Yellowstone to access the park for a day trip. The west entrance to the park gives you quick access to famous attractions like Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic.

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park

From May to September, guided tours through Lewis & Clark Caverns make a worthwhile stop. But there’s a whole lot more to the park that holds one of the most highly decorated limestone caverns in the West. You can also hike and bike the 10 miles of trail, see prickly pear cactus blooming in the spring, and check out a ranger program under the stars.

Copper City Trails

Mountain biking fanatics will love the early-season riding at Copper City. It’s well worth it to spend a few hours looping approximately 17 miles of trails in this bike-optimized trail system. And since it’s only an hour from Ennis, work it into your tour of singletrack in the area when you come to stay.

											 SN Day Trips Around Ennis 3


Another much-loved Montana town, Dillon is just under an hour and a half drive away from your Ennis home base. With tasty local eats, shopping (including the famous Patagonia Outlet!), and nearby stops like Bannack Ghost Town, it’s worth the scenic drive to see what Dillon is all about.

Virginia City

This famous ghost town is right down the road from Ennis, an easy trip for a day or even just an afternoon. At its boomtime in the mid-1800s, Virginia City’s population peaked at around 5,000 people. Today, its population hovers around 200. You can visit Virginia City year-round, peering into historic buildings and exploring shops and eateries. Don’t miss the Brewery Follies or a vaudeville show by the Virginia City Players.

Nevada City

Nevada City is right down the road from Virginia City, open to visitors to explore this town turned living history museum from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Take the train between the two towns for an experience even more true to the time.

There’s a whole lot to experience in Southwest Montana, and Ennis is an ideal home base for your time here. Explore a day trip or two, and plug in at Ennis RV Park by Starry Night Lodging when it’s time to relax.