If you haven’t explored U.S. Route 395 through California, you have no idea what you’re missing. I can honestly say that from Socal to Norcal it is an adventurer’s paradise with trails, experiences, lakes, camping, and hiking to appease anyone’s sense of wanderlust.
You need to get out there post haste.
One of the more amazing stops on 395 is Bodie Ghost Town, an authentic California gold-mining ghost town. Visitors can explore the streets of this boomtown that once boasted a population of close to 10,000 people.
The town is named for Waterman S. Body (William Bodey), who discovered small amounts of gold in hills north of Mono Lake. In 1875, a mine cave-in surfaced gold, and the mine was purchased by the Standard Company in 1877. People flocked to Bodie and transformed it from a town of a few dozen to a boomtown.
Only a small part of the town survives presently and the building interiors are left exactly as they were found, stocked with goods and furnished in a state of “arrested decay.”
Bodie Ghost Town was designated as a National Historic Site and a State Historic Park in 1962, the remains of Bodie are being preserved in their current state and the state park system asks that you leave artifacts where they lie.
READ MORE: TRIPS & TRAILS: VALLEY OF THE GODS LOOP
Between the sounds of howling winds, some visitors report seeing and hearing actual ghosts. It might be worth a trip with your Proton Pack and Containment Units?
The park is northeast of Yosemite, 13 miles east of Highway 395 on Bodie Road (Hwy 270), seven miles south of Bridgeport.
From U.S. 395 seven miles south of Bridgeport, take State Route 270. Go east 10 miles to the end of the pavement and continue three (3) miles on a dirt road to Bodie. The last three (3) miles can at times be rough. Reduced speeds are necessary. Call the park if there are any questions about road and/ or weather conditions.
What to Know:
Time: 4 Hours, but plan for more time to explore
Distance: 26 miles (out and back)
Fuel: Available in Bridgeport, CA
Water: Dry, hot conditions in summer require enough water for your planned activities. Water is not available onsite.
Elevation: 8375 feet. Bodie is open all year, but visits in winter are by snowmobile or cross country skis only.
Permits: Entrance fee is required: Adults: $8 per person, Children: $5 per child (ages 4 to 17), Children ages 3 and under are free.
Other Considerations: Camping is not permitted at Bodie Ghost Town. Contact the local BLM office for local camping information.
Header Photo Courtesy of California State Parks, 2021