Ennis Lake, Montana, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Ennis Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Ennis Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Ennis Lake

In 1905 the Montana Power Company built a dam on the Madison River, creating Ennis Lake. The two and a half mile long lake stretches across Montana’s Gold West Country in some of the state’s best fly fishing territory. Its proximity to Yellowstone National Park makes it an exceptional home base for a south western Montana getaway.

Ennis Lake, originally known to locals as Meadow Lake, was formed by Madison Dam to generate hydroelectric power, and the 257 foot long, 35 foot tall dam still generates power today. It is considered a “run of river” project because the dam can generate power from the force of the river alone without the need to store water for power generation. The Madison River exits the reservoir at the head of Bear Trap Canyon, creating a wild set of rapids popular with white water rafters and paddlers.

The Madison River runs approximately 183 miles from Wyoming into Montana, and the 50 mile section above Ennis Lake offers the best fly fishing on the entire river. Ennis Lake itself is full of brown trout and rainbow trout, and with 1,920 surface acres of water, there is more than enough room for anglers and boaters. Boats, canoes, kayaks and sailboats can all be seen gliding across the surface of the clean, clear water.

The lake is relatively shallow with a maximum depth of 20 feet and an average depth of eight feet. As a result, during summer months the water temperature can reach 80 degrees, negatively impacting the fishing but making it a great lake for swimming and water sports including windsurfing. In the winter the shallow depth ensures the lake freezes, and kayaks are replaced with ice skates. Ice fishing is also a popular winter pastime at Ennis Lake.

Ennis Lake is surrounded by private property with cottages and vacation rentals available. There is real estate for sale on the lake as well as in nearby Ennis. The town of Ennis is a few miles southwest of the lake and has any amenities a visitor might need. Sitting in the shadow of the Madison mountain range, Ennis is a charming western town with shops and restaurants to complement its ranching history. Both the town of Ennis and Ennis Lake are in Madison County.

Ennis Lake sits northwest of Yellowstone National Park. It is less than an hour from the lake to the national park, making it a fantastic day trip or a great home base for an extended exploration of one of America’s most popular parks. Established in 1827, Yellowstone National Park is the nation’s first national park. Yellowstone is home to a variety of wildlife, including grizzly bear, bison, elk and the wolves that were reintroduced to the park in 1996. Hiking trails at a variety of skill levels let anyone enjoy Yellowstone’s scenery and wildlife. The park is also known for Old Faithful, one of the geysers that erupts regularly in the park. Mud pots and thermal springs dot the landscape of the park, making Yellowstone a truly unique destination.

Close to the wonders of Yellowstone and some of Montana’s best fly fishing, Ennis Lake is a spectacular Gold West Country destination. Its clean, warm waters are sure to become a family favorite.

Things to Do at Ennis Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • National Park

Fish Species Found at Ennis Lake

  • Brown Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Trout

Find Places to Stay at Ennis Lake

If you’re considering a Ennis Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Ennis Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Ennis Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Ennis Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Montana Power

Surface Area: 1,920 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 4,820 feet

Average Depth: 8 feet

Maximum Depth: 20 feet

Water Volume: 27,200 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1906

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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