Pop. 909

This mile-high city was founded in 1878 and honors the contributions of Alvah P. Challis, an early settler who assisted in surveying and platting the town’s lots. The settlement became a trading center for the nearby mines and was connected to Custer by a toll road. The town also thrived as a cattle ranching town. In 1967, Challis’ economy diversified further when the Cyprus Mine Corporation unearthed a nearby molybdenum deposit, which is used as a hardening agent in steel. The molybdenum is mined here to this day and is responsible for nearly 20% of the world’s production.

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