Bodie State Historic Park – Ultimate Guide to California’s Ghost Town

Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town, where you can walk down the deserted streets of a city that once had a population of nearly 10,000 people and fell a true atmosphere from wild western movies.

In this article, you can find all the important information you need to know before visiting Bodie as well as lots of pictures to give you an idea, what you can see there.

History of Bodie

  • 1859 – First establishment of the gold mining camp.
  • 1876 – Discovery of a profitable deposit of gold-bearing ore, which transformed Bodie from a small mining camp to Wild West boomtown.
  • 1879 – Bodie had a population of approximately 5,000–7,000 people and around 2,000 buildings.
  • 1881 – A narrow-gauge railroad was build bringing lumber, cordwood, and mine timbers to the mining district from Mono Mills south of Mono Lake.
  • 1912 – First signs of an official decline.
  • 1917 – Bodie Railway was abandoned and its iron tracks were scrapped.
  • 1942 – The Last mine was closed due to War Production Board order L-208.

Read more about Bodie history at Wikipedia.

Bodie State Historic Park-36

How to get to Bodie State Historic Park

Bodie is situated northeast of famous Yosemite National Park and north of Mono Lake.

From U.S. 395 seven miles south of Bridgeport, take State Route 270. Drive 10 miles east to the end of the paved road and continue 3 miles on a dirt road to Bodie. The last 3 miles can at times be rough. Reduced speeds are necessary. You can call the park (760 616-5040) if you want to ask about road conditions.

  • From Yosemite: Bodie is around 2 hours 45 minutes drive.
  • From Lake Tahoe: Bodie is around 2 hours 15 minutes drive.

What to see in Bodie Historic State Park

The whole town of Bodie looks much the same as it did over 50 years ago when the last residents left. You will see all the historical buildings and sites including bank, church, post office, museum, stamp mill, graveyard or various abandoned machinery and cars.

  • Check this Online Interactive Map with descriptions of all the important sights
  • You can buy a paper map for $2 at the ticket office.
Bodie State Historic Park Ghost Town California

Practical Tips

Opening Hours

  • Summer hours: 9 am – 6 pm (April 15th to November 3rd)
  • Winter hours: 9 am – 4 pm (November 4th to April 15th)

Visiting in Winter

Bodie is open all year round. However, because of the high elevation (8375 feet), it is accessible only by snowmobiles, skis, or snowshoes during winter.

Winter weather is often unpredictable. Sub-zero temperatures, strong winds, and white-out conditions are common. Local towing services are not always available and can be very expensive.

Entrance fee

Only cash or personal/traveler’s checks are accepted

  • 18+ Adults: $8 per person
  • 4 – 17 years old: $5
  • children under 3: free
  • $2 extra for map (optional)

How much time do you need for a visit?

Generally speaking, 3-4 hours should be enough time for visiting Bodie State Historic Park. If you want to visit every single building and take a lot of pictures, plan rather 5 hours.

Facilities

Bodie is a ghost town. To preserve its genuine original atmosphere, there are no commercial facilities, such as food, souvenir shops or gas station.

  • Restrooms (flush toilets) are located at the parking lot and the picnic area.
  • There is a small bookstore inside the museum.

Dogs

  • Dogs are permitted in Bodie but they must be on a leash at all times.
  • Please clean up after your pet!
  • Dogs aren’t allowed on the Stamp Mill tour or in the Museum.

Drones

Drones are completely forbidden in Bodie Historic State Park. (California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 4326 A)

What should I take for a day trip to Bodie?

  • Because of the high elevation (8375 feet), Bodie can get very cold, very quickly even during the summer months. Bring some warm clothes and a wind jacket.
  • Bring enough water. Hiking in such a high elevation could be tiring and you should drink a lot.
Bodie State Historic Park-19

Bodie Tours, Events, and Workshops

It’s totally fine to visit Bodie without any tour, however, we recommend taking at least a free historic talk tour (daily 10am – 4pm). If you love photography, you can join one of the photography workshops. There are other special tours held just a few times a year at exact dates. Read more information here:

Tours

Where to stay near Bodie State Historic Park

The nearest accommodation to Bodie is Virginia Creek Settlement. It has good reviews and it’s decently priced.

Virginia Creek Settlement
Virginia Creek Settlement 2

If you prefer something a little bit fancier, choose a 2-star hotel Silver Maple Inn and The Cain House Country Suites in Bridgeport.

Silver Maple Inn and The Cain House Country Suites (2)
Silver Maple Inn and The Cain House Country Suites

If you want something more budget-friendly,
Big Meadow Lodge in Bridgeport is a good option.

Big Meadow Lodge -2
Big Meadow Lodge

Campgrounds

The nearest campgrounds are Green Creek Campground and Trumbull Lake Campground.

Bodie Video

Watch this great video from Bodie State Historic Park:

Bodie Photos

We took so many pictures in Bodie and we are happy to share them with you. You can click on any picture to open it in higher resolution.

Bodie State Historic Park Ghost Town California
Bodie State Historic Park-37
Bodie State Historic Park Ghost Town California
Bodie State Historic Park Ghost Town California
Bodie State Historic Park-38
Bodie State Historic Park Ghost Town California
Bodie State Historic Park Ghost Town California
Bodie State Historic Park Ghost Town California
Bodie State Historic Park Ghost Town California
Bodie State Historic Park Ghost Town California
Bodie State Historic Park Ghost Town California
Bodie State Historic Park Ghost Town California
Bodie State Historic Park Ghost Town California
Bodie State Historic Park Ghost Town California
Bodie State Historic Park Ghost Town California

Best Things to See on Your West Coast Road Trip

Are you planning a road trip vacation? Don’t miss the most beautiful places and national parks. We have prepared a list of places and a road trip map for you: Road Trip USA – 23 Best places to visit on the West Coast.

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Bodie

Bodie – FAQ – frequently asked questions:

Where to stay near Bodie State Historic Park

The nearest accommodation to Bodie is Virginia Creek Settlement. It has good reviews and it’s decently priced.

If you prefer something a little bit fancier, choose a 2-star hotel Silver Maple Inn and The Cain House Country Suites in Bridgeport.

If you want something more budget-friendly,
Big Meadow Lodge in Bridgeport is a good option.

The nearest campgrounds are Green Creek Campground and Trumbull Lake Campground.

How to get to Bodie State Historic Park?

From U.S. 395 seven miles south of Bridgeport, take State Route 270. Drive 10 miles east to the end of the paved road and continue 3 miles on a dirt road to Bodie. The last 3 miles can at times be rough. Reduced speeds are necessary. You can call the park (760 616-5040) if you want to ask about road conditions.

How much time do you need for a visit?

Generally speaking, 3-4 hours should be enough time for visiting Bodie State Historic Park. If you want to visit every single building and take a lot of pictures, plan rather 5 hours.

What is the entrance fee to Bodie?


18+ Adults: $8 per person
4 – 17 years old: $5
children under 3: free
$2 extra for map (optional)

Only cash or personal/traveler’s checks are accepted

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Adriana a Matěj - Czech the World - travel blog

Adriana & Matěj

Travelers, sport enthusiasts and photographers behind this blog. Creating high-quality and informative guides for your travels. Read more about us here.

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