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Our industries are anchored in our abundant natural resources, agriculture, and wildlife as well as a tourism sector that taps into our natural resources and the rich mining and ranching heritage. Our area resonates the old frontier lifestyle while nurturing a small- town atmosphere and entrepreneurial spirit in this recreational and sportsman’s paradise.
We are home to the largest wilderness area in the lower 48, The Frank Church Wilderness of No Return, as well as the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. We are situated on the famous Salmon River, surrounded by the majestic Sawtooth, White Cloud, Boulder, Lemhi and Lost River Mountain ranges including the State’s highest peak Mount Borah. The area is complete with high mountain lakes, hiking and horseback trails, ATV trails and plenty of clear blue sky and sunshine.
North Custer is home to the Land of the Yankee Fork State Park that includes the historical mining ghost towns of Custer, Bonanza, and Bayhorse. The Land of the Yankee Fork Interpretive Center is located at the junction of Hwy 93 and Hwy 75, the junction of two scenic by-ways the Salmon River Scenic By-way and Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway. Stanley is the junction for three scenic by-ways, the Salmon River, the Sawtooth and the Ponderosa. The Salmon River /Sawtooth Scenic By-ways is one of the Top 10 Scenic Drives of the Northern Rockies.
These unique combinations help foster innovative entrepreneurial opportunities and niche markets that tap into our incredible backcountry, breathtaking rivers and natural resources such as; our thriving outfitter and guide industry, outdoor recreation, charming retail shops, Mining industries, traditional ranching and farming as well as some organic operations, Farmer’s Markets, Fish Farms, The Challis Observatory, Challis Golf Course, Museums, and more.
Some of our biggest resource based industries and employers include Thompson Creek Mine, a molybdenum mine close to Clayton. Our economy also relies heavily on our Forest Service and BLM lands, having a makeup of almost 98% Federal and State- owned land. (Challis BLM, Sawtooth National Forest, and Salmon/Challis National Forest)
We have modern infrastructure with our power and communications companies.