Prior to colonial times the park was frequented by First Nations people. Early European settlers passed through the area on the Dewdney Trail, checking in at the Customs House run by Ranulph Robert Gilpin. In 1888 Gilpin became the Customs Officer, and his home ranch, situated near where Gilpin Creek crosses the current high-way, saw double duty as the Customs House from 1888 to 1900.
Ecology and Conservation
The park protects native grasslands essential to bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain elk, mule deer and whitetail deer along with other endangered, threatened or vulnerable species, some of which include:
Red-listed: tiger salamander, Western screech owl, Lewis’s woodpecker, badger, great basin pocket mouse and speckled dace fish.
Blue-listed: Western rattlesnake, gopher snake, California bighorn sheep, great basin spadefoot, Western skink, racer, Western painted turtle and canyon wren.