Goldburg Wilderness Study Area
Guide

Introduction

Featuring westward sloping alluvial foothills that range in elevation from 6,100 feet to 8,800 feet, as well as beautiful vegetative cover, Goldburg Wilderness Study Area (WSA) is a great site for primitive camping, nature exploration, and outdoor recreation. This five square mile Bureau of Land Management property located 29 miles southeast of Challis, Idaho, can be accessed via local routes that branch off Goldburg Road. Four-wheel drive vehicles may be necessary to negotiate some of the rough dirt roads on the way to the wilderness.

The most popular activities within this BLM wilderness are hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, flora observation, and nature study. Visitors, however, prepare for mountaineering adventures when they visit this wilderness because the park is surrounded by high-rise mountains that offer beautiful vantage point views of the surrounding areas. A lot of fun opportunities such as fishing, hunting, OHV riding, picnicking, and mountain biking are offered to those who take their exploration to Salmon-Challis National Forest.

Two primitive campgrounds are available north of this BLM wilderness within the National Forest where amenities such as picnic tables and a vault toilet are provided. Small RVs can fit in the primitive campsites.

RV Rentals in Goldburg Wilderness Study Area

Transportation

Driving

Goldburg Wilderness Study Area is located 29 miles southeast of Challis, in Custer County, Idaho. This Bureau of Land Management area is bounded on the north side by public lands and on the south side by Big Creek. The eastern boundary of the park is by the North Lemhi Mountains in the Challis National Forest. The western areas of the park consist of private and public lands that lie east of the town of Goldburg.

Access to the park from the west is via Goldburg Road and a number of local access routes, including a few rough dirt roads that may require high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles. Guests can also gain access to this wilderness from the National Forest areas.

All guests should note that the use of motorized vehicles and other mechanical equipment is prohibited within the boundaries of this BLM park, just like other wilderness areas. The parking spaces provided outside the wilderness area and in Challis National Forest are available for use by guests. Wheelchairs are allowed in the wilderness.

There are no direct public transportation services to this BLM park.

If you wish to get developed camping equipment such as RVs, fifth wheels, and trailers, you will find rental services at Custer County and Challis.

Parking

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Goldburg Wilderness Study Area

Campsites in Goldburg Wilderness Study Area

First-come first-served

Big Creek Campground

There are three primitive campsites available in Big Creek Campground at the confluence of the South and North Forks of Big Creek. Each of the campsites is equipped with a fire ring and picnic table. You will also find a vault toilet in the campground. However, no potable water or garbage station is provided, so ensure you come along with all the water you will need.

Tents and vehicles up to 16 feet can be accommodated in the campground. Recreational activities include hiking and horseback riding.

Camping is free.

Morse Creek Campground

Morse Creek Campground is a primitive campground featuring three campsites equipped with picnic tables and fire rings. The campground sits along Morse Creek and has a vault toilet. Activities to enjoy near the campground include trout fishing and hiking.

Tents and RVs up to 16 feet long can be accommodated in the campground. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis only.

Camping is free.

Seasonal activities in Goldburg Wilderness Study Area

Off-Season

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is a popular activity in this area. The fact that motorized vehicles are not allowed in the BLM wilderness area is no reason why you can’t enjoy riding in the nearby National Forest.

As a matter of fact, whether you’re looking for an easy afternoon ride or a more challenging chain-breaking riding opportunity, rest assured you’ll get the chance to pursue your mountain biking interests in the forest.

Fishing

There are no fishing areas or water bodies within Goldburg WSA. However, that does not mean that anglers cannot enjoy themselves when they visit the area. This is so because the National Forest offers endless fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels, be they beginners or experienced fishermen.

All you need to do is visit any of the beautiful streams, rivers, high mountain lakes, and reservoirs, as well as ponds in the forest, and set up your gear. You’ll find steelhead, northwest salmon, trout and warm-water fish here.

Note that you will need a fishing license for this activity.

OHV Riding

Off-highway vehicle riders take advantage of the fact that Salmon-Challis National Forest is strategically sited to provide good motorized trail destinations. The motorized trails and roads in the forest are managed in such a way that riders get to enjoy unique experiences such as loops, and connections with long distance riding routes.

Maps for use by OHV and motor vehicle riders are made available at the Ranger District Offices for easy pick up and guidance.

In-Season

Hiking

You can enjoy day hiking and backpacking adventures through Goldburg WSA areas, where you’ll get the chance to explore the parts of the park that are less visited by guests. You will certainly find one or two spots where you’ll like to take photographs, so keep your camera handy.

Miles of trails are also available at Salmon-Challis National Forest for hikers, backpackers and horseback riders, ranging from easy and smooth trails to challenging treks that test even the most avid hiker.

Hunting

Many types of hunting opportunities are provided for hunters that visit Salmon-Challis National Forest and Goldburg WSA. Regardless of your age and skill level, you’ll find the hunting exercise that’s perfect for you. You get to choose whether you want to hunt high in the mountains within the thick lodge pine stands or in the grassland canyon benches. Additionally, you can go to the sagebrush valleys and hunt game.

Game species include bighorn sheep, mule deer, black bear, mountain goat, mountain lion, and many more species. Check out applicable hunting regulations before you set out.

Mountaineering

A popular activity at Goldburg WSA is mountaineering and rock climbing. Bounded to the east by mountains such as Yellow Peak, Bear Mountain, Timber Creek Peak, Sheep Mountain, and many other high points, guests who wish to go to the peak of these mountains have plenty to choose from. By far the most popular mountaineering spot here is Borah Peak.

Ensure you come with enough water, appropriate gear, and maps so you don’t get lost. A GPS unit could also be useful.

Find the perfect campsite.