When looking for places to explore, Challis is truly a Wilderness Gateway. With road, trailhead and airplane access to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, the largest wilderness in the lower 48 states, this area offers endless opportunities to explore its steep, rugged mountains, deep canyons, and wild, whitewater rivers. This Frank Church Wilderness area is a protected and was created in 1980 by the United States Congress. It was renamed in 1984 as the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area in honor of U.S. Senator Frank Church. The vastness of the Frank will overwhelm you with its backcountry scenic flights. Experienced backcountry pilots will land you and your gear at remote airstrips for memorable adventures into the wilderness.
Twin Peaks Road west of Challis has access to many trailheads as well for hikes through lush meadows strewn with carpets of multicolored wildflowers. For other areas to explore, take Jordan Creek Road in the Yankee Fork area. This road leads to more pathways for extended hikes and pack trips into the Middle Fork country.
Other exploratory trips worth taking, include delving into the old mining towns around the area such as Bonanza, Custer, and Bayhorse. Bayhorse is a ghost town 14 miles west of Challis. A silver town in the 1880’s, this town is a recent addition to the Land of the Yankee Fork State Park. It is well preserved, showcasing beautiful stone buildings and a large stamp mill. Be sure to check out the large beehive ovens used to generate charcoal that fueled the stamp mill.