Bodie State Historic Park

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Jctravel1983 on December 11, 2010

In California you can visit abandoned miner villages. This village is a Bodie, also called a Ghost Town, many of which are found in America. Bodie has approximately 200 homes and is the best preserved ghost town in the United States.

Where's Bodie?

Bodie can be found in California, near Mono Lake and the town of Lee Vining. The town is approximately the height of Yosemite National Park. The access can be found at the U.S. 395, about 17 miles from Lee Vining and 7 miles away from Bridgeport. The road to Bodie the last part is unpaved. Be careful here not speeding and pay attention especially well with bad weather, because the road is poorly passable.

Admission and opening hours

Bodie to visit you pay $ 3 per person. For $ 2 you can buy a booklet containing the necessary information about the town and the buildings still standing. The summer openinghours are from 08.00 am to 19.00 pm and in winter from 08.00 am to 16.00 pm. The park is open all year to visit, but in summer it has the best weather.

Bodie History

In 1859 there was near Bodie gold discovered by S. Waterman Bodey, which the town also is named. At the time Waterman S. Bodey died, there were about 20 miners in the small town. However, the population grew tremendously and in 1879 there were over 10,000 residents in the town. There are the village, churches, schools, prostitutes, bars and shops. Life was raw and hard, as we know from the old Wild West movies. In the miners knew to make over $ 14,000,000 gold. This was however stopped in 1892 and gradually more and more people went away. When two large fires happen many houses were destroyed. The last residents left in the year 40 of the last century. While the departure of the town, almost all things left behind, hence the name 'Ghost Town'. Nobody lives there anymore, but everything is still there. In recent years the buildings in Bodie are maintained by the staff of the State Historic Park. They do this so that no more buildings will be lost and the tourists can see how they used to live.


Bodie has many buildings you can see. A part of town you cannot enter unaccompanied. The most part, however, to see unaccompanied. There are many different buildings, including churches, houses, bars, a school and the local prison. In the guide you can buy are exactly where all the buildings were and who lived. Very interesting reading and a good addition for a visit to the town. You can enter some buildings and see how it is left behind. In other buildings can only look through the window.
There are also many old cars, which sometimes only just a little rust over. There is also a cemetery and you can see the old street signs. There are two tours that you can get in Bodie. The tours are given by Rangers and you come here in the parts of the town where you cannot come unaccompanied. You can for example get the Standard Mill tour, which goes to the factory and you can see how gold was processed. The Standard Mill Tour costs $ 7. There is also the Historic walk every day, where you can join for free. The times of these tours vary by season.

Every day in a bar a film is shown about the history of Bodie. Admission is free but seats are limited. The film will be shown at 12.15 hours. And there is a museum where you can see lots of interesting information about Bodie. You'll find a collection of utensils used by the miners and can see a collection of letters. In the museum you can also buy some souvenirs.

My opinion

During my trip in America I was really surprised with this town. I had heard of it but was not really impressed. The village is perfectly situated in the middle of nowhere and the drive to it is a very bumpy ride. It is a very special experience to walk through the Ghost Town and see how they lived. It's still bizarre to see decorated homes and see how textbooks are still in school.
Unfortunately we are not able to do one of the tours because they were not busy at times we were there. Therefore I can only advise in advance to see if they have tours. Whether they are worth I dare not say, but you can get to places where you otherwise cannot come.

You can’t stay a whole day in Bodie, as there is just not so much to see is that you can stay there long. Yet there is more to see than you initially expected. Initially we wanted to see it in an hour, but quickly ran out. I found the museum a bit disappointing. The collection itself is quite extensive, but I had expected more of. In addition, the museum is only a small space, so everything is pretty crammed together. Too bad. The souvenirs in the museum I found particularly because less standard things to be found, such as a coin with Bodie or special attributes cowboy.

All in all a special place to visit, especially if you're interested in the (American) history. Personally I really enjoyed myself here and my eyes were tired afterwards. Definitely buy the guide, because it costs almost nothing and gives a lot of additional information that is worthwhile.
Bodie State Historic Park-Gold Rush Ghost Town
Bodie Road
Bridgeport, California, 93517

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