Mono Lake Stories and Tips

Bodie State Historic Park - a ghost town?

Yep, a real ghost town! This silver and gold mining town hit its peak in 1880 with 10,000 residents. The last of them left town just before WWII. Now, it's in a state of "arrested decay," meaning that nothing is being done to restore the town, merely to try to slow down the aging process.

Only about 5% of the buildings from 1880 remain, as fires in 1892 and 1932 dstroyed much of the town. Highlights include a schoolhouse, a fire station, stores, bars, churches, and mining buildings. You can peer into many of the buildings and imagine how life must have been. The mining buildings are off-limits unfortunately.

This town was the meanest, most dangerous place in the west, with over 60 saloons and dancehalls. On Sept 5, 1880, there were 3 shootings and two stagecoach robberies here. No wonder there's an apocryphal quote by a little girl "Good-bye God, I'm going to Bodie."

This place is a bit isolated. It's 45 minutes from Lee Vining, and there are no services for 14 miles. It's also one of the coldest spots in the continental US! Only a few rangers live here year round (they must be made of nails!) - they are great sources of info.

Photography here is a must, but as usual, I didn't have a camera with me.

You'll spend from 1-2 hours here.

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