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Winter Sports Around Ennis, MT

Adventure in Montana spans the seasons, with plenty of exciting experiences around every corner. Enjoy skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, ice fishing, wildlife, and more. The beauty of the winter season in Montana, brings new stunning scenes, with both winter vistas of the mountains and majestic snow-covered trees.  

For the winter season El Western Cabins & Lodges offers our Eagle Lodge three bedroom/ three bath log home, and our Moose Lodge with two bedrooms and one 1/2 baths. Adventure by day and snuggle up by night. Each lodge offers a toasty fireplace and breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains.


Southwest Montana offers hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobiling trails. It is a winter adventurers' paradise with several options available to rent snow mobiles. If traveling in from Bozeman we recommend Summit All Terrain or Big Boy Toys. For those visiting El Western Cabins & Lodges from the West Yellowstone side, we recommend High Mark Rental.

Some great snowmobiling trails near El Western Cabins and Lodges:

  • Twin Lakes Snowmobile Trail- This trail is part of a cooperative operation with Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and Virginia City Snowmobile Club.  The trail takes riders past several lakes as well as some historic structures. Enjoy 14 miles of groomed and marked trails, as well as 11 miles of additional marked but un-groomed trails. 

 Directions: From Ennis travel North on Highway 287 for 8 miles to McAllister.  Take North Meadow Creek Road West 10 miles to the Forest boundary.
  • Virginia City - Clover Meadows Snowmobile Trail - Offers 25 miles of groomed and marked trails with loading ramps available. Virginia City Chamber of Commerce grooms this trail under cooperative agreement with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service.  
  • Black Butte/Lobo Mesa Loop Snowmobile Trail - this 50 mile trail offers 25 miles of groomed marked trails and 25 miles of marked but un-groomed trails. Most of this trail is above the tree line and uses existing roads but because of that is subject to white outs. 
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Cross Country Skiing 

The peaceful quiet and beauty of a winters day, enjoy the cross country ski trails near El Western Cabins & Lodges. If downhill ski is not your cup of tea, cross country skiing can be a great option to explore the wide open winter beauty of Montana.

The closest cross country ski area near El Western Cabins & Lodges is Wade Lake ski trail. Wade Lake offers several routes of set track that provides skiers with touring of Cliff and Wade Lakes as well as scenic vistas of the area. 

Directions: From Ennis travel 40 miles South on Highway 287.  Take the Wade Lake Access Road and continue 6 miles to the resort.

For those who have not cross country skied before, lessons are recommended before you endeavor on a trek. Proper form can make sure the experience is more fruitful, a lot of energy can be wasted if your form is not correct. For those who need lessons we recommend Homestake Lodge. They offer day passes for cross country skiing as well as lessons and rentals. You do not have to stay at the lodge to participate. 

Ice Skating

Each year Virginia City creates an outdoor rink for residents to enjoy. Guests of the El Western Cabins & Lodges are welcome to enjoy this annual tradition. There are skates to borrow (first come first serve), as well as hockey sticks and the ice is up-kept with a Zamboni machine.

Donations help to keep the ice up, make necessary repairs and contribute to a new warming hut.

Location: East Idaho Street Virginia City, MT 59755
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Ice Fishing

Of course you have seen Ennis is a mecca for trout fishing and to show it is truly fishing of all kinds, our winter fishing enthusiasts can give ice fishing a try. Book a guided ice fishing trips around Ennis and enjoy this is a great activity to get yourself, the family, and especially the kids outside in the winter months. Wether just a morning or an afternoon it is something everyone will remember an experience on the frozen lake in a warm ice shanty, with hot drinks, and lunch!  We ice fish on Ennis lake, and some nearby stocked private ponds for Rainbow, Brown, Brooke, and Cutthroat Trout.  
RIIS Outfitters operates the ice fishing tours and it is not the stereotypical scene of sitting on a bucket on a frozen lake.  You will enjoy a propane heater inside the ice hut, where RIIS has drilled holes through the ice to fish from inside the hut. 

If you Love fishing and RISS would be thrilled to take you out for a fun day!

Winter Season Fishing

Fishing the Madison River- Winter Season
Guided fishing trips to the rivers, lakes and streams around Ennis, MT happen every day, rain or shine, cold, cool or hot. With a variety of options available fish the Madison, Big Hole, Beaverhead, Ruby, Jefferson, Yellowstone, Missouri and more. Full day and half day tours are available with our partners Tackle Shop and Madison River Fishing Company. 
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Winter West Yellowstone Tours

Yellowstone is open throughout the winter season and just as picturesque in the winter as it is in the spring and summer. Stay at El Western Cabins and Lodges 70 miles north of West Yellowstone National Park entrance. Away from the crowds and in the beauty of the Madison River Valley.

Snowshoeing Trails

Utilize snowshoes to trek across the gorgeous winter wonderland in and around Ennis, Montana. With miles of groomed trails, snowshoeing allows for winter fun for all ages, as the old adage goes- if you can walk, you can snowshoe. Snowshoes are built longer and wider than your foot, designed for more traction on snow and ice, and generally less expensive than other winter sports equipment, Snowshoes allow the explorer to enjoy hiking year round.

Experience the beauty of winter in Montana with these favorite trailheads:

Bear Creek Bunkhouse - There are several cross country ski and snow snowshoeing trails in the area.

Wade Lake Ski Trail- Several routes of set track provide skiers with touring of Cliff and Wade Lakes as well as scenic vistas of the area. 
Hyalite Nordic Trails nearly 40 miles of Nordic trails, Hyalite Reservoir is a winter recreation Mecca. Click here for details.

Mount Haggin Nordic Ski Area: Over 25 miles of groomed trails that reach to the Continental Divide furnish spectacular Montana winter mountain vistas
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