With the Faithful Street Inn as your headquarters it is possible to explore the surrounding area with scenic drives and West Yellowstone day trips. The extraordinary beauty of Southwestern Montana enhances your trips to the historic and informative features of this part of Big Sky Country.
Ennis, Virginia City, Nevada City
Just 80 miles from your door step is the picturesque rural village of Ennis, Montana. It lies on the banks of the Madison River and has antique shops, art galleries, tackle stores, and sporting goods emporia. It has been used as the back drop for movies and commercials that you are familiar with. It’s ‘old west’ flavor is part of the attraction as visitors stroll the main street.
Ennis serves as the gateway to Virginia and Nevada Cities. These preserved western towns lie adjacent to Alder Gulch, the site of the great gold discovery in Montana. Downtown Virginia City is as it was 100 years ago. Some of the buildings still have 70 year old merchandise on the shelves. Montana’s first newspaper building, and the presses the paper was printed on are still intact for the visitor to wonder at. Contemporary shops, restaurants, saloons, and antique stores inhabit some of the buildings. The cribs of working girls, blacksmith shops, the first state capital, and frontier architecture add to the charm and interest of this town. It is also possible to ride the historic railroad powered by a steam engine, or take a horse and carriage ride through town.
Formed in 1959 when a 7.9 magnitude earthquake threw half of a mountain into the Madison Canyon & dammed the Madison River, Earthquake Lake is a recent example of geological catastrophism. People died in their sleeping bags as they were buried alive by the rubble from the mountain. The ‘north shore’ of Hebgan reservoir and most of the adjacent river valley sank over twenty feet. Homes were drowned on their foundations and the road disappeared into the depths of the reservoir. Interestingly the dam at the narrows held, as did the earthen dam at the mouth of the canyon. Hebgan dam, which survived the earthquake was threatened by the backed-up waters of the newly formed lake. The earthen debris dam was blasted and bulldozed to its current level, and the reservoir was saved.
The National Forest Service has erected a monument to the dead, and a visitors center on top of the debris pile. This is well worth the half hour drive to visit.
Big Sky, MT
Just 50 miles north of West Yellowstone is the winter resort town of Big Sky, Montana. The ski hills have become famous for their powder, diversity, and scenic splendor. The tram to the top of Lone Mountain affords the visitor an awe inspiring view of the surrounding area in both summer and winter. Shops, restaurants, a golf course, and fishing attract the summer visitor.
White Water Float Trips
Several guides and outfitters offer raft and kayak trips in the Gallatin River Canyon. The can range from 1/2 day floats in gentle waters during the low-water periods of summer to highly technical sections in the rapid runoff periods of spring time.
Horseback Trail Rides (& Backcountry Trips)
It is possible to spend a few hours traveling the scenic trail system around West Yellowstone on horseback. Several ranches and outfitters offer horses for hire on an hourly or daily basis. Canyon lands, mountain trails, riverside rides are all available. It is also possible to have a licensed guide or outfitter take your party into the back country of Yellowstone Park, or the surrounding National Forest. Trips of days or weeks are available just minutes from your door.