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Madison Valley


Previously cattle country with over 70 ranches, today’s Madison Valley thrives on recreation, tourism and construction. With no heavy industry, air and waters are natural and pure; perfect for telecommuters, retirees and seasonal residents. In a place where handshakes still have value, the concept of being a good neighbor thrives. Ennis’ real estate bubble has not burst as is typical of many other areas of the country, and buyers can expect a sound market and strong resale values.

Fisherman Sculpture
Fisherman Sculpture
Photo © Gretchen Duykers

According to the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, “Taken as a whole, the entire Madison River watershed is one of the most ecologically intact corners of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Island–like mountain ranges connected by sweeping agricultural lands provide great habitat for a variety of wildlife. The Madison River and its tributaries are famous world–wide for their trout fishing. Abundant wildlife – from large elk herds to solitary grizzly bears – move with the seasons in search of food and shelter, often between public and private land, without recognizable boundaries. Madison Valley, with Ennis at its heart, is a wildlife corridor to wildlands north and west of Yellowstone Park.”

We may be prejudiced, but we think there is no better place to own property than the Madison Valley. A few reasons why include:

Welcome to Ennis
Welcome to Ennis

  1. Wide open spaces
  2. Spectacular natural beauty
  3. Abundance of wildlife (298 vertebrate wildlife species) Go to the Craighead Environmental Research Institute at for more information
  4. Abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities
  5. Lack of crowds and low ratio of people to wildlife
  6. The high quality of life is simply the best!
  7. Peace and quiet
  8. Winter on the Madison
    Winter on the Madison
  9. Small town or rural living
  10. Friendly people...who care
  11. High level of trust and integrity
  12. Mostly owner–operated small businesses
  13. Business owners treat customers as friends
  14. Low crime rate
  15. No stop lights
  16. Dirt roads
  17. Strategically located between Bozeman and Yellowstone National Park
  18. Good medical facilities and services
  19. Rising property values
  20. Great retirement community
  21. Best value for your investment

This is the way we like it. This is the Montana experience. And that’s why we live here. We hope you choose to be our neighbors. We look forward to you embracing the whole experience of living or investing in Montana. We’ll do our best to help. As the local experts, Arrow Real Estate is ready to help you make all the best decisions. We hope this gives you an overview of this exceptional area... and your future home. All brought to you by Arrow Real Estate – your welcome committee and first official friend and neighbor!


  1. The Madison Valley stretches north to south for about 60 miles, from the Norris Hill to Raynolds Pass; totaling 1,374 square miles, with 1.8 persons per square mile.
  2. Estimated year–around population of the valley is 2,415 with approximately 1,000 more seasonal residents – and 11,000,000 wild trout.
  3. Madison County as a whole is approximately 3,587 square miles and the 2008 estimated population is 7,509, resulting in 2.09 persons per square mile.
  4. Of the 3,587 sq miles, (2.3 million acres) 46% is federally owned, 6% is state owned and 48% is privately owned with nearly 40% of the land under conservation easement.
  5. It has a 6,600 foot–long paved and lighted airport runway, owned by Madison County and accommodates sophisticated jet aircraft.
  6. Outdoors enthusiasts come here for the abundance of recreational opportunities – fly fishing, big game hunting, hiking, snowmobiling, horse back riding, camping, four wheeling, cycling, gold panning, exploring and more.
  7. Others are drawn to the area for the serene beauty, rich history, and exceptional quality of life.
  8. There is not one traffic light in the whole of Madison County.
  9. There is no county zoning at this time, but much discussion about managing growth.
  10. 8 major fisheries (rivers, lakes, and streams).
  11. This country truly is the Best of the West.


Spring in the Gravelly Range
Spring in the Gravelly Range

The Madison Valley is a narrow north south valley lying between the Madison Range and the Gravelly Range of the Beaverhead National Forest. The terrain varies from lush riverbanks and flat pasture land to rocky benches and forested mountains. The elevation ranges from 5,000 feet in Ennis to nearly 11,000 feet in the surrounding peaks.

  1. Spring and Fall: These “shoulder” seasons are short–lived, but much appreciated. Spring rains and melting snows bring green grass and wildflowers to the rangelands and mountain pastures. Fall is punctuated by a change in colors as Aspen trees turn golden and pasture land and grasses turn beige. Fall is the most outstanding season of the year in the valley.
  2. Summer Storms
    Summer Storms
    Photo ©
  3. Winter: Wintertime brings snow and cold weather, but the sun shines throughout. Temperatures average in the 30’s, with short below–zero cold snaps. The beauty of frosted trees and snow capped peaks make winter a treasured time.
  4. Summer: Summer weather is pleasantly cool with low humidity, temperatures seldom reaching 90, and crisp nights and mornings (so use layering).

ECONOMY: The Madison Valley is primarily Cattle country. Prize Herefords and Black Angus are raised here, along with rotating crops of hay and grain. Timber is harvested from nearby National Forests, including the Beaverhead, the Targhee and the Gallatin. There are several mines, including silver, copper and talc. Gold mining is making a comeback in the area.

4th of July Parade
4th of July Parade

There is no big industry in the valley, thus leaving our air and waters natural and pure. Job opportunities are limited, which creates a challenge for young people who wish to live here but need to work. It is recommended that people wishing to move here and needing income either buy an existing business, have a trade, or "bring their own." There are many retirees, seasonal and "independent" residents.

Tourism is important to the area and the valley draws fishermen, hunters, campers, bicyclers, snowmobilers, antique and western buffs, as well as people just looking for the charm and simplicity of a small western town.

ENNIS, MONTANA, In the Heart of the Madison Valley


  1. Located in the heart of the Madison Valley, Ennis is the fly–fishing capital of the world.
  2. Surrounded by three beautiful mountain ranges.
  3. Population per the 2014 census was 838.
  4. Elevation is 4,939 feet.
  5. Ennis
    Downtown Ennis
  6. Median resident age is 43.1 years.
  7. Ennis has a full range of medical services, a nursing home, and a brand new state–of–the art regional medical center.
  8. Great volunteer services, such as an ambulance service and fire department.
  9. Ennis has a strong academic tradition. The Madison Valley Consolidated School District has roughly 300 students, from kindergarten through high school.
  10. There is excellent shopping, dining, and lodging.
  11. Ennis is a quaint, western town with a charm all its own. The best little town in the state!
  12. Residents are friendly, the schools are excellent, and the town and surrounding communities are charming.
  13. It is only 14 miles to Virginia City, 60 miles to Bozeman and 77 miles to Yellowstone National Park.

HISTORY: This is Lewis and Clark country. It is also a true part of the Treasure State. Gold was discovered here in the 1860's and rubies can still be found in the Ruby Valley only 20 miles from Ennis.

Lewis and Clark found their way into the Madison Valley back in 1805. While there is no direct record of their ever stepping foot in what is now Ennis, it can be assumed that at least some of their party came this way as the explorers wended their way through the area that is now Twin Bridges, not too far from Ennis.

Prior to the arrival of the white man, Shoshone, Flathead and Bannock Indians hunted the valley. Historians say the winters were too fierce for the Indians to make their permanent homes in the valley, but the lushness and generosity of the land brought them to the area each spring for a month–long stay.

In 1863, gold was discovered in Alder Gulch. Madison County was created in 1864 in what was then Idaho Territory. That same year, the area was designated the Montana Territory.

1950’s Ennis
1950’s Ennis

Two months after gold was discovered in Alder Gulch, William Ennis, a freighter who delivered goods from Colorado to the area, decided to set up shop along the banks of the Madison River. That site along the river quickly became the town of Ennis. M. D. Jeffers, a friend of William Ennis, did likewise across the river.

The two towns, their bridges, the tall grass and favorable climate soon attracted ranchers, farmers and businessmen. By the late 1800's, three major stage lines freighted through Ennis; horse, sheep and cattle thrived; wild game was plentiful and White Cloud's tribe of Bannack Indians were valued friends and neighbors. Today Ennis is a thriving community of 11,000,000 trout and approximately 1,000 people eager to lend a hand. The population in the county is close to 7,500 which includes the towns of Ennis, Harrison, Norris, Pony, Alder, Laurin, Sheridan, Twin Bridges, and historic Virginia City – and not one stop light in the whole county. The Madison Valley has approximately 2,415 residents.

An Ennis Church
An Ennis Church

CHURCHES: There are 9 churches in the area, including nearly every major denomination: Catholic, Baptist, Mormon, Assembly of God, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran and Christian Science.

MEDICAL: Madison County is served by the new Madison Valley Medical Center in Ennis. Two doctors are in residence in Ennis, two physician’s assistants, two chiropractors and an acupuncturist. An ophthalmologist visits once a week, as well as an orthopedic surgeon and a dentist. More specialized care is available in Bozeman, Butte and Dillon. Ennis also offers a top–quality 46–bed, full–service, skilled nursing home for elderly residents.

Madison Valley Regional Medical Center
Madison Valley Regional Medical Center

SOCIAL: The community is supported by many civic groups, such as Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, and Women's Club, plus numerous special clubs and groups. The natives are friendly and helpful to neighbors and newcomers alike. You'll like it here, whether you stay for a day, a week, a month or forever. And one of the main reasons is the folks who call Ennis home. You won't find a friendlier town anywhere.

LAW ENFORCEMENT: The Madison Valley is protected and assisted in emergencies by the Madison County Sheriff's Department and the Montana Highway Patrol. And, in Ennis, by a local Police Department. However, there is very little crime to protect us from. A 22–member volunteer ambulance service provides basic life support and assistance throughout the county.

Ennis High School Mustangs
Ennis High School Mustangs

EDUCATION: Pre–school, elementary, and high school education are all "under one roof" by School District #52 in Ennis. Dedicated teachers devote nearly one–on–one attention to students. School enrollment is approximately 230 students K–8 and 136 students at the high school level. Out of a high school graduating class of around 25, over 90% go on to college. The school district covers 1600 square miles.

Bozeman is the home of Montana State University and the Museum of the Rockies. The town also hosts numerous festivals and cultural events throughout the year.

UM–Western, located in Dillon, offers degrees ranging from teaching to natural horsemanship. Montana Tech, located in Butte, offers degrees from Nursing to Engineering. Both colleges are affiliated with the University of Montana, located in Missoula. Having a variety of colleges so close to Ennis adds to the attractiveness of the community.

TRANSPORTATION: The Bozeman and Butte airports offer excellent service to most major hubs in the country. Flights are also available between Salt Lake City and West Yellowstone in the summer months. The Ennis "Big Sky" Airport, a county airport just 7 miles south of Ennis, offers a 6,600 foot–long paved and lighted runway which can handle small jets. Rental cars are available upon request and tie downs and hangar space are available. Only 15 minutes to the Madison River, it's a great way to visit the valley.


VIRGINIA CITY: A remarkably well–preserved gold mining town and a living example of the real Old West. Original buildings are filled with historical artifacts. This “ghost town” is very much alive and waiting to be explored.

SHERIDAN: A quiet ranching community located at the heart of the Ruby Valley.

TWIN BRIDGES: A small but very beautiful Montana town. Fly–fishing is a favorite activity, since the Ruby River, Big Hole River, and the Beaverhead River join to form the Jefferson River. Home of the Winston Rod Company.

Bozeman, MT
Bozeman, MT
Photo ©

BOZEMAN: Bozeman satisfies most of the area’s “big city” needs, with a major airport, excellent medical facilities, outstanding shops, exceptional restaurants, comfortable lodging, professional services, Montana State University and an exciting cultural community.

BIG SKY: A thriving year–around resort community where tourism is the economic base, outdoor recreation enthusiasts flock here from around the world for its world–class skiing, blue–ribbon trout fishing, white water rafting, and exceptional golf.

HARRISON: A ranch town with a single street, a few houses, a post office established in 1870, and 165 very friendly people.

Pony, MT
Pony, MT

PONY: Tucked away in the Tobacco Root Range, Pony’s one remaining business is the world–famous Pony Bar. Although listed as a ghost town, Pony continues to endure. This place is truly a “must visit.”

WEST YELLOWSTONE: The western gateway to Yellowstone National Park and the “snowmobile capital of the world.” This historic town is full of family entertainment.

Local: (406)682-4290       Fax: (406)682-4062       219 E. Main St       PO Box 546       Ennis, Montana 59729
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