Ghost Towns Near Stanley, Idaho You Should See

The essence of the Wild West is preserved in Sawtooth Valley in the winding dirt roads, the 200-year-old abandoned buildings, and the many ghost towns near Stanley, Idaho. These now-abandoned communities tell the story of the miners who called this place home during the Gold Rush. Many men moved through the valley with their families in search of gold, silver, and iron. As you drive through the Sawtooth Valley, stop in one of these historic sites and learn more about the rich past of the region.

Ghost towns near Stanley, Idaho, are not the only places that offer a glimpse into our history. If you want to discover more about our area, request 24-hour access to our free Online Vacation Guide. You’ll find our top choices for things to do with directions, ratings, and prices listed for your convenience. You can also browse the featured accommodations and start planning your summer vacation to Redfish Lake Lodge!

Ghost Towns Near Stanley, Idaho to Visit 

If you’re not sure which of the ghost towns near Stanley, Idaho, to visit, check out our Vacation Guide (link above), or review the Idaho ghost towns map for more details. In fact, each of these abandoned communities is all located in the Yankee Fork Towns area, less than an hour drive from Redfish Lake Lodge. You’ll want to bring your camera to capture these preserved establishments on your trip!

Bay Horse

Bay Horse ghost town in Idaho was home to many immigrants from diverse regions of Europe, including Scandinavia, Greece, Scotland, Ireland, Hungary, and Italy. Each of the workers was searching to create a better life for themselves and their families. Although the Gold Rush was happening in other parts of Idaho, this specific community mined silver from the mountains. In doing so, toxins polluted some of the lands. When you visit Bay Horse, you’ll notice taped off areas for your protection. You also cannot enter any buildings, but you can admire the rustic architecture!

Bonanza & Custer City

An integral piece of Custer, Idaho, history can be found at the Bonanza and Custer ghost town. It was one of the most populous mining towns in the region! Custer was rich in minerals like iron and offered refuge for those who lost their homes in nearby Bonanza. As you walk around, you’ll be fascinated by the rusted iron mining equipment, the bullet holes in the tables at the Empire Saloon, and the former living quarters of residents. We recommend taking the Old Challis Motorway (Yankee Fork Road) for a true Idaho experience!

Boulder City

Nestled at the base of Bald Mountain, the Boulder City, Idaho, ghost town showcases the remains of a tiny yet thriving community of miners. If you’re wondering how to get to Boulder City, Idaho, park your car in the small lot and take a quick stroll through the adjoining woods. Although this place, in particular, is not the best preserved, you’ll see many foundations and partially standing homes. On your self-guided tour, you’ll also see a cemetery dedicated to those who worked tirelessly to mine the mountains.

Sawtooth City

The Sawtooth City ghost town was once a hub for silver mining and was home to over 600 miners. As you walk the site, marvel at the views of the mountains and see the remains of many buildings. Sawtooth City does boast a log cabin, which is held up by towering pine trees.


Vienna is one of the most interesting ghost towns near Stanley, Idaho, for its unique past. This community boasted over 200 buildings and had a population of 800 people, which makes it one of the largest communities. Over the years, the town mysteriously vanished, including the people, the buildings, and even the successful local newspaper. If you go there now, you won’t find anything that remains.  

Plan a Summer Vacation to Experience Idaho’s History

The conditions are ideal to visit ghost towns near Stanley, Idaho, during the months of  May to August due to the lack of snow and warm weather. If you’re planning to see these once-thriving communities, you should also plan to stay at Redfish Lake Lodge. We are within a short driving distance of the towns that while abandoned still represent so much history. Plus, our mountainside resort offers something for everyone to enjoy. From wonderful cabins to the wonderful marina, to delightful dining, there’s no shortage of things to do or ways to relax. Check our availability to see what accommodations can be reserved for your summer vacation!