Two parcels, totaling 480 acres, are along Hwy 93 between Carey and Richfield, near Craters of the Moon National Monument.
Ernest Hemingway’s son, Jack, donated the property to the Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands in 1973, with the intent that they would turn it over to the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation when the donation could be used as a match for acquisition or development of state park property.
IDPR took over ownership of two parcels in 1974 and 1975.
Jack Hemingway purchased the property with the intention of making the donation and specifying that it be named for Taylor “Bear Tracks” Williams.
So, who was “Bear Tracks” Williams? He was one of several hunting and fishing guides who began working in the Wood River Valley when Averell Harriman built his famous Sun Valley Resort. The guides often found themselves rubbing shoulders with the wealthy and famous. Williams guided for Ernest Hemingway, and they became good friends. He often accompanied Hemingway to Cuba. They spent many hours together along Silver Creek and the Little Wood River.
One would assume this outdoor guide got his nickname because of his proficiency in tracking or because of some harrowing tale. Nope. He got the nickname because he walked with his toes pointed out.
“Bear Tracks” Williams Recreation Area is prized for its angling opportunities in the sagebrush desert. Fly fishing there is catch and release. There has been virtually no development on the site since Jack Hemingway donated it more than 40 years ago, which is probably just the way he would have wanted it.