Bodie Ghost Town


What? : Bodie State Historic Park is an California gold-mining ghost town, own that once had a population of nearly 10,000 people. This is probably the best-preserved gold-rush era ghost town to visit.


Where? : The entrance to Bodie road is located 7 miles south of Bridgeport on highway 395. Additional 30-minute drive (13 miles), part on a paved road part on unpaved a dirt road (3 miles) will bring you the old town site. This road is easily passable with a two-wheel drive car.

Google Map Link


When? : The site is located 13 miles deep in the high elevated area (8375 feet) that covered with snow during the winter months, check in advance for road conditions.


Due note 1: Once leaving highway 395 plan for at list 3 hour visit in total.


Due note 2: Do not take anything, all is under state park protection.


My thoughts: The last time I visited Bodie was 22 years ago ... back then it was less "regulated" but nothing damage the great experience visiting this amazing well preserved ghost town.


The visit:



The town is named for Waterman S. Body (William Bodey), who had discovered small amounts of gold in hills north of Mono Lake. In 1875, when a large vein of gold and silver was discovered, the remote town start to boom. In it peek year 1879 it had mile-long Main Street, 2,000 buildings, 200 restaurants and 60 saloons to serve between 6,000 and 10,000 miners. Only 2 years later, at 1881, when the gold run out the mines were depleted and Bodie’s population evaporated. Ten years after its peak, the town had fewer than 1,000 residents and by the mid-twentieth century it was mostly empty.

In 1962 it became a state historic park.


There is a small pay station that will collect your park fees ($8 per adult, $5 per child). I recommend buying the history guide to learn more about the history and the specific buildings. You will park your car at the west side parking lot.


Bodie is a ghost town, today it probably looks much the same as it did over 50 years ago when the last residents left.

Because it is protected state park the houses and buildings in the town are in relatively preserved and in a reasonable condition.


Although only about 10% of the original houses remains standing it looks like a big town, an easy walk around town, go to main street and between the old houses. You can see almost 200 abandoned wooden buildings in the valley and surrounding hills to photograph and explore.