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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.

cabins infront of hill with trees

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.

old mine in hillside

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Address: 24424 Highway 75
Challis, ID 83226
Phone: (208) 879-5244
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