Challis-Yankee Fork Ranger District - Custer Walk Tour

Empire SaloonNearby Bonanza was a sister city and the business and social center until fires in 1889 and 1897 destroyed much of the town. Many merchants reestablished their businesses in Custer, gradually making it the new business and social center for Yankee Fork area. Custer sported a new school house, jail, Miner's Union Hall, post office, and baseball team.

Custer School HouseBy 1903, the glory days of mining were slipping away as the mines played out one by one. Business slumped and by 1910 Custer had become a ghost town. The Challis National Forest took ownership of the area in 1966, and in 1981, Custer was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Through the efforts of the Friends of Custer Museum, the site was kept open for public enjoyment. In 1990, the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation joined the Forest Service in managing Custer. This led to the establishment of the Land of the Yankee Fork Historic Area.

A self-guided walking tour is generally open from June through September during business hours. The School house is now the museum and gifts and refreshments are available at the Empire Saloon.

Camping is available throughout the valley and lodging is available approximately 21 miles away in Stanley.