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Exploring California’s Ghost Towns: From Bodie to Calico

There is a ghost town in California that you are not allowed to visit.​ This town is called Bodie, and it was once a bustling hub of gold mining and lawlessness in the late 1800s.​ Today, Bodie is a preserved ghost town that stands as a testament to the wild and rugged nature of the Old West.​

Located in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, Bodie State Historic Park is a fascinating site to explore. However, visitors are not allowed to enter the buildings or walk through the town freely. This restriction is in place to protect the fragile structures and artifacts that remain.​


To get to Bodie, one must turn east onto Bodie Road off Highway 395, seven miles south of Bridgeport, CA.​ The park is about 13 miles down the road.​ It is worth noting that there is a fee to enter the park, and guided tours are available for those who want a more in-depth experience.

Bodie was once a thriving gold-mining town, with more than 10,000 gold-seekers living there at its peak.

The town earned a reputation for lawlessness and wickedness, to the point that some people believed even God had forsaken it.​ Today, Bodie is considered a pilgrimage site for those who are fascinated by ghost towns and the history of the Gold Rush era.​

Bodie | Gold Mine and Ghost Town | Museum and Tours

While Bodie is perhaps the most famous ghost town in California, it is not the only one worth exploring.​ California is home to numerous abandoned towns that offer a unique glimpse into the state’s past. Many of these ghost towns have been partially or completely restored, allowing visitors to learn about and appreciate California’s history.​

One such example is Calico Ghost Town, situated on the historic Route 66 in Barstow.​ Calico was a mining town that now boasts blacksmith workshops, old buildings, and even a gift shop.​ Similarly, Shasta City was once the hub of mining in Northern California, with a population that peaked at around 3,500 residents.​ Today, only a few structures remain, but it still attracts tourists interested in the state’s mining history.​

Bodie, California Ghost Town Photos | Mental Floss

Another notable ghost town in California is Eagle Mountain.​ Founded in 1948 by industrialist Henry J.​ Kaiser٫ Eagle Mountain was located near Joshua Tree National Park and was once a thriving iron mine.​ Today٫ the town is fenced off and slowly decaying٫ but it can still be explored by the small security staff that watches over it.

Overall, visiting ghost towns provides a unique opportunity to step back in time and learn about the history of California.​ These abandoned towns offer a glimpse into a bygone era and allow visitors to appreciate the challenges and triumphs of those who once resided there.​

While Bodie may be off-limits for exploration inside its buildings, the eerie atmosphere and well-preserved structures make it a must-see destination for history enthusiasts.​Bodie Ghost Town - California - YouTube