Land of the Yankee Fork State Park
An old gold dredge at Land of the Yankee Fork State Park
Part of the Land of the Yankee Fork Historic Area, Land of the Yankee Fork State Park is a 20.9-acre site with historical interpretations and numerous recreational opportunities centered around the museum exhibits, audio-visual programs and gold panning station at the Interpretive Center in Challis. During the summer, the Interpretive Center is open 7 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm. In winter, it's only open Monday through Friday, 9-5.
Managed jointly by the Salmon-Challis National Forest, the Bureau of Land Management and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, the Land of the Yankee Fork Historic Area offers local mining history and area attractions such as the ghost towns of Custer, Bonanza and Bayhorse, the Challis Bison Jump, the Custer Motorway and the Yankee Fork Gold Dredge.
Land of the Yankee Fork State Park is comprised of several units scattered through the whole of the Land of the Yankee Fork Historic Area, the main unit being just outside of Challis and featuring the Visitor/Interpretive Center. The other units are surrounded by BLM and National Forest Service property, which means access to hundreds of miles of OHV/ATV trails, and fishing, camping, hunting, backpacking and hiking opportunities galore. While wandering around in these woods you will most likely come across old (and perhaps abandoned) mining sites. The mines themselves are dangerous, the structures are dangerous and the grounds/slag piles are often contaminated with heavy metals, chemical residues and other hazardous materials.
Upper left photo of Bayhorse courtesy of Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation
Area map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!