California is packed with ghost towns and few are as well preserved as Bodie, CA. Today we explore what Bodie has to offer 100 years after it was built.
Bodie, CA began as a mining town in 1859 and quickly grew to a population of nearly 7,000 with over 2,000 buildings. Legend has it that Bodie was at one point the second or third largest city in California! Over the years Bodies gold mines produced gold worth nearly $34 million!
Since Bodie was such a booming town, there were many amenities that would normally be found only in the big cities. Including a Wells Fargo, four fire companies, several newspapers and a jail. At it’s peak they housed over 65 saloons! The first signs of decline appears in 1880, prosperous mining finds in other areas drew people away from the city. By 1912 the city had declined so much that the last newspaper closed and in 1913 it was listed as point of interest in a travel guide.
The last mine closed in 1942 due to WWII but Bodie had been described as a Ghost town long before that in 1915. The town was designated a historical site in 1962 and the California state created the Bodie State Historic Park. A total of 170 buildings remained at the time.
Today the park is a popular stop for people traveling along Highway 395, it’s located close to the east entrance to Yosemite National Park and is operated by the Bodie Foundation. The park offers ghost walks, tours of the mill and star stories at night! An entrance fee is required per person but they allow dogs in for free!
Sadly there’s no camping in Bodie, but you can find many camp sites close by or you can make it a day trip from Yosemite. So book your teardrop today and check out amazing Bodie, CA!
Spring or fall is the best time to visit Bodie.