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Land of the Yankee Fork State Park

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Park Snapshot

Location

58 miles NE of Stanley, ID

162 miles NW of Pocatello, ID

190 miles NE of Boise, ID

325 miles N of Salt Lake City, UT

 

Acreage

521

 

Elevation

5,001 (at visitor center in Challis), 6,500 in Custer

 

Open/hours

Summer season: 9am to 5pm, 7 days per week
Winter season: 10am to 4pm, Wed thru Sat

Amenities

Flush toilets, picnic area, ADA accessible path

 

Activities

Hike, mountain bike, ATV/motorbike, view wildlife, visit ghost towns and learn

 

Trails

Hike, bike, ATV/motorbike

 

Learn

Visit museum and visitor center, guided and self-guided tours of Yankee Fork dredge, Sunbeam Dam,

Challis Bison Kill Site, travel the Custer Motorway Adventure road and explore ghost towns of Custer,

Bayhorse and Bonanza, celebrate Custer Days every July

 

Nearby

Fish, camp, boat, whitewater rafting/kayaking, Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area

 

WiFI

No

Pets

Yes in park on leash 

If you enjoy hiking, ATV or motorbike riding, Land of the Yankee Fork provides outstanding trail opportunities. Primitive and developed camping opportunities are available on adjacent National Forest and BLM lands.

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Welcome to Land of Yankee Fork State Park

The Land of the Yankee Fork State Park brings to life Idaho's frontier mining history. Located in part of the larger Land of the Yankee Fork Historic Area in scenic central Idaho, there is something for everyone in this historic area.   The interpretive center near Challis offers museum exhibits, a gold panning station, audiovisual programs, and friendly personnel to provide information on local mining history and area attractions. Visit the nearby ghost towns of Bonanza, Custer and Bayhorse, the Yankee Fork Gold Dredge, the Custer Motorway and the Challis Bison Jump. 
Camping within and nearby the historic area can be found at National Forest, BLM and private campgrounds.  Camping opportunities range from primitive to RV hookups and B&B’s.  The elevation at Custer is 6500’. 

 

 



Land of Yankee Fork Day Use Fees

Motor Vehicle Entry Fee

$5 per vehicle

Interpretive Center

$2 per person $5 per family 

 

 

 


History of Land of Yankee Fork

Challis Bison Kill Site

Early inhabitants of the Round Valley acquired bison at the nearby Challis Bison Kill Site. Archaeological excavations in 1970 provided a glimpse into the early use of bison. Several glass beads, many stone tools and points dating to a wide variety of time frames, and the bones of about 30 bison were located during the excavation. Learn more about the history and use of the Challis Bison Kill Site along the short paved pathway at the Land of the Yankee Fork Interpretive Center. More information about the site is found inside the center. 

Custer/Bonanza 

These two sister cities were once booming with people set on finding their futures in gold. Beginning in 1870, the area attracted gold seekers searching its streams and mountains. Within six years, the mining communities of Custer and Bonanza sprang to life. The 1880s brought rapid growth to the region as the Lucky Boy, General Custer and Montana mines produced abundant ore and the town of Custer reached a population of 600. But the gold eventually played out leaving Custer and Bonanza ghost towns by 1911. Today, restored buildings, the tales of the miners and secluded cemeteries are all that remain.

Yankee Fork Gold Dredge/Sunbeam Dam 

Near Custer and Bonanza is the Yankee Fork Gold Dredge, a 988-ton monster barge that searched the gravels of the Yankee Fork for gold as recently as 1952. During its operation it mined 6,330,000 cubic yards of stream gravel, leaving behind 5 miles of dredge tailings and recovering an estimated $1,037,322 in gold and silver at a cost of $1,076,100. Today, interpretive signs describe the beautiful Salmon River and the remnants of Sunbeam Dam, the only dam ever constructed on the Salmon. The dam was built in 1910 to generate electricity for nearby mines. The operation went bankrupt in 1911 and the dam was breached in 1934. 

 

Land of Yankee Fork State Park

Javascript is required to view this map.
HC 67 Box 2004, Challis, ID 83226

See video

The Idaho State Parks Passport: Providing Savings for 2013!

When implemented, the Idaho State Parks Passport will allow Idaho motorists to check "Yes!" to support Idaho State Parks by agreeing to pay an additional $10 in conjunction with renewing their license plates through the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) and County Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Offices.  The Passport sticker will allow participating Idahoans unlimited daytime entry to Idaho state parks, IDPR operated recreation areas and boating access sites. The Passport will also provide nightly discounts on camping.  

When you pay the additional $10 for your passport, you'll receive a sticker that will adhere to your motor vehicle.  The sticker will provide unlimited access to all 30 state parks for the entire registration year.  

Out-of-state guests will have a savings option too, with the purchase of an Idaho State Park Motor Vehicle Entry Fee (MVEF) Annual.

 

What Will $10 Buy You and Your Family?

  • Admittance to all 30 Idaho State Parks for a year
  • Nightly discounts on camping
  • Hundreds of miles of hiking, cycling, mountain biking and Nordic trails
  • Your favorite boat launches
  • Countless historical and cultural sites within your state parks

Good for Idaho, Good for Idahoans!

Idaho‘s State Park Passport is simply a sustainable way to pay for the maintenance and management of Idaho’s 30 cherished state parks.  For those Idahoans who choose to participate in the program, the Idaho State Parks Passport sticker will replace the $5 per motor vehicle entry fee currently in place at state parks while also providing nightly discounts on camping.  

Out of State Guests

Our out-of-state guests have savings options too! You can purchase a $40 Motor Vehicle Entry Fee (MVEF) Annual and receive access to all of Idaho's State Parks and nightly discounts on camping. MVEF Annuals can be purchased at any Idaho State Park and online.

 

Land of the Yankee Fork State Park

See video

Park Snapshot

Location

58 miles NE of Stanley, ID

162 miles NW of Pocatello, ID

190 miles NE of Boise, ID

325 miles N of Salt Lake City, UT

 

Acreage

521

 

Elevation

5,001 (at visitor center in Challis), 6,500 in Custer

 

Open/hours

Summer season: 9am to 5pm, 7 days per week
Winter season: 10am to 4pm, Wed thru Sat

Amenities

Flush toilets, picnic area, ADA accessible path

 

Activities

Hike, mountain bike, ATV/motorbike, view wildlife, visit ghost towns and learn

 

Trails

Hike, bike, ATV/motorbike

 

Learn

Visit museum and visitor center, guided and self-guided tours of Yankee Fork dredge, Sunbeam Dam,

Challis Bison Kill Site, travel the Custer Motorway Adventure road and explore ghost towns of Custer,

Bayhorse and Bonanza, celebrate Custer Days every July

 

Nearby

Fish, camp, boat, whitewater rafting/kayaking, Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area

 

WiFI

No

Pets

Yes in park on leash 

If you enjoy hiking, ATV or motorbike riding, Land of the Yankee Fork provides outstanding trail opportunities. Primitive and developed camping opportunities are available on adjacent National Forest and BLM lands.

Next Events

No events found.

See all Land of Yankee Fork events

Welcome to Land of Yankee Fork State Park

The Land of the Yankee Fork State Park brings to life Idaho's frontier mining history. Located in part of the larger Land of the Yankee Fork Historic Area in scenic central Idaho, there is something for everyone in this historic area.   The interpretive center near Challis offers museum exhibits, a gold panning station, audiovisual programs, and friendly personnel to provide information on local mining history and area attractions. Visit the nearby ghost towns of Bonanza, Custer and Bayhorse, the Yankee Fork Gold Dredge, the Custer Motorway and the Challis Bison Jump. 
Camping within and nearby the historic area can be found at National Forest, BLM and private campgrounds.  Camping opportunities range from primitive to RV hookups and B&B’s.  The elevation at Custer is 6500’. 

 

 


Land of Yankee Fork Day Use Fees

Motor Vehicle Entry Fee

$5 per vehicle

Interpretive Center

$2 per person $5 per family 

 

 

 

History of Land of Yankee Fork

Challis Bison Kill Site

Early inhabitants of the Round Valley acquired bison at the nearby Challis Bison Kill Site. Archaeological excavations in 1970 provided a glimpse into the early use of bison. Several glass beads, many stone tools and points dating to a wide variety of time frames, and the bones of about 30 bison were located during the excavation. Learn more about the history and use of the Challis Bison Kill Site along the short paved pathway at the Land of the Yankee Fork Interpretive Center. More information about the site is found inside the center. 

Custer/Bonanza 

These two sister cities were once booming with people set on finding their futures in gold. Beginning in 1870, the area attracted gold seekers searching its streams and mountains. Within six years, the mining communities of Custer and Bonanza sprang to life. The 1880s brought rapid growth to the region as the Lucky Boy, General Custer and Montana mines produced abundant ore and the town of Custer reached a population of 600. But the gold eventually played out leaving Custer and Bonanza ghost towns by 1911. Today, restored buildings, the tales of the miners and secluded cemeteries are all that remain.

Yankee Fork Gold Dredge/Sunbeam Dam 

Near Custer and Bonanza is the Yankee Fork Gold Dredge, a 988-ton monster barge that searched the gravels of the Yankee Fork for gold as recently as 1952. During its operation it mined 6,330,000 cubic yards of stream gravel, leaving behind 5 miles of dredge tailings and recovering an estimated $1,037,322 in gold and silver at a cost of $1,076,100. Today, interpretive signs describe the beautiful Salmon River and the remnants of Sunbeam Dam, the only dam ever constructed on the Salmon. The dam was built in 1910 to generate electricity for nearby mines. The operation went bankrupt in 1911 and the dam was breached in 1934. 

 

Land of Yankee Fork State Park

Javascript is required to view this map.
HC 67 Box 2004, Challis, ID 83226

See video

The Idaho State Parks Passport: Providing Savings for 2013!

When implemented, the Idaho State Parks Passport will allow Idaho motorists to check "Yes!" to support Idaho State Parks by agreeing to pay an additional $10 in conjunction with renewing their license plates through the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) and County Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Offices.  The Passport sticker will allow participating Idahoans unlimited daytime entry to Idaho state parks, IDPR operated recreation areas and boating access sites. The Passport will also provide nightly discounts on camping.  

When you pay the additional $10 for your passport, you'll receive a sticker that will adhere to your motor vehicle.  The sticker will provide unlimited access to all 30 state parks for the entire registration year.  

Out-of-state guests will have a savings option too, with the purchase of an Idaho State Park Motor Vehicle Entry Fee (MVEF) Annual.

 

What Will $10 Buy You and Your Family?

  • Admittance to all 30 Idaho State Parks for a year
  • Nightly discounts on camping
  • Hundreds of miles of hiking, cycling, mountain biking and Nordic trails
  • Your favorite boat launches
  • Countless historical and cultural sites within your state parks

Good for Idaho, Good for Idahoans!

Idaho‘s State Park Passport is simply a sustainable way to pay for the maintenance and management of Idaho’s 30 cherished state parks.  For those Idahoans who choose to participate in the program, the Idaho State Parks Passport sticker will replace the $5 per motor vehicle entry fee currently in place at state parks while also providing nightly discounts on camping.  

Out of State Guests

Our out-of-state guests have savings options too! You can purchase a $40 Motor Vehicle Entry Fee (MVEF) Annual and receive access to all of Idaho's State Parks and nightly discounts on camping. MVEF Annuals can be purchased at any Idaho State Park and online.