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Bonanza and Custer Ghost Town

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Address: Off ID-75 on the Yankee Fork Road, Challis National Forest, ID

The ghost towns of Custer and Bonanza are located in the Sawtooth National...

The ghost towns of Custer and Bonanza are located in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area by the town of Stanley, Idaho. Custer has been restored and tour guides offer tours during the summer months. Bonanza has not been restored and is a traditional ghost town. The Yankee Fork area is traveled and explored by tourists in the west quite extensively as it is located not far from Sun Valley, Idaho.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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A great 1/2 day trip

My wife and I visited this site on 8/27/16. We elected to leave out of main street in Challis and take the Custer Motorway through the mountains. Nice pass at 8,600'. We own a... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 28 August 2016
Chuck B
Houston, Texas
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17 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 16: English reviews
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2016

I turned off the beaten path to see Custer but didn't have the time to spend to see all there is to see and to understand fully the history - hence my average rating. I think if you have the time and can understand better this history of both Custer and the area, it could be a great place to... More 

Thank mworthen
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
129 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2016

My wife and I visited this site on 8/27/16. We elected to leave out of main street in Challis and take the Custer Motorway through the mountains. Nice pass at 8,600'. We own a Jeep but did not use 4WD. A standard car or truck will do IF you have good tires - round trip from Challis is 89 miles.

Thank Chuck B
Level Contributor
80 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2016

As a long-time follower of Gold Rush, what a dream come true to be able to tour the Yankee Fork Gold Dredge! The wonderful volunteers that give you an overview of the dredge all have connections to the dredge when it was last working in the 1950s. Definitely the highlight of my trip. Once you finish the tour of the... More 

Thank SoloRoamer
Port Angeles, Washington
Level Contributor
134 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2016 via mobile

We took my (80 yo) parents up the Yankee Fork to the ghost town of Custer. They have a great little museum and general store. The highlight for me was gold panning in the trough - free of charge. Also, a must stop is the gold dredge tour to understand all the rock piles through the Yankee fork.

Thank OlympicPeninsula2
Level Contributor
268 reviews
101 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2016 via mobile

We spent the day in the ghost town of Custer (13 miles from Stanley).  We lucked out and found out it was the annual "Custer Day" with real gold panning,  homemade ice cream, Dutch oven peach cobbler, freshly made butter topped ctrackers, a street shoot-out, and other activities. All buildings were occupied with volunteers dressed in period clothes doing activities... More 

Thank Doc-squat
Jackson, Wyoming
Level Contributor
35 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2016

Wow, this place is a must see if you are ever in the area. It's just like stepping back in time and visualizing how hard the miners had it during those days and will make you appreciate the things you have now.

Thank travelingmaddie
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 June 2016 via mobile

We took the tour of the dredge with my family early June. It was so neat to see inside. The gentleman that gave us the information was extremely knowledgeable. My boys and husband enjoyed all the history. The ghost town was a cool little spot of history of where the gold miners lived. Bring cash if you want anything in... More 

Thank Christy S
Rathdrum, Idaho
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 May 2016

It has been over 25 years since I toured this area, but it was an interesting adventure. I had not set out to find a ghost town, but I did anyway. I was on a return trip from visiting the west coast and had a book which told about all of the hot springs in Idaho and listed them by... More 

Thank Gerry E
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
260 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 213 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2015

These ghost towns are accessed off Highway 75, northeast of Stanley. The junction is well-marked. The ghost towns are 10 miles from the highway. The access road is paved for 1/3-1/2 of the way; the rest is gravel. The summer was hot and dry, hence the gravel was no problem for our front-wheel-drive family sedan. The trip takes you up... More 

2 Thank ScienceTrip
Portland, Oregon, United States
Level Contributor
281 reviews
106 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2015

If you are in the area, take some time to step back in history and visit these places. Such a beautiful area! I loved both of them for different reasons. Bonanza is deserted and a true ghost town, Custer has been kept up with lots of historical information and a super-cool museum. Check both out if you can!

Thank SassyGirlJenna729

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