Best Ghost Town in the West

Bodie State Historic Park Ghost Town

Located in the high desert of the Eastern Sierra, Bodie State Historic Park looks like a Hollywood set for a Western movie. But this isn’t Hollywood magic—it’s a gold-mining ghost town that’s as pure Wild West as it gets! Named after William Bodey, who discovered gold in the hills north of Mono Lake, the former boomtown was home to thousands of people who flocked to the area in search of their mining riches. Things didn’t work out as planned, but thanks to its designation as a National Historic Site in 1962, Bodie remains in a state of “arrested decay” (aka, frozen in time). Of the many structures in a state of preservation, some interiors remain exactly as they were left, stocked goods still in place. You won’t find a gas station or café here—Bodie’s authentic preservation means no commercial facilities, though there is a bookstore inside the museum, where you can gather more information about Bodie’s colorful past. There are daily tours, but you can wander independently, too. Visit the town church, the town jail, even the gymnasium. Stroll past houses and step inside a saloon (in its heyday, there were 65 saloons in Bodie—and barroom brawls aplenty!) and visit the old hotel, currently vacant except for the ghosts…

NIGHT GHOST WALKS: The Bodie Ghost Walk Tour is offered three nights this summer: June 27, July 18, and August 29. Hear ghost stories and learn about the legends of Bodie as you visit the hangouts of the notorious, peer into the homes of the gentle, and walk among the spirits of times gone by.

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_Bodie State Historic Park is northeast of Yosemite, 13 miles east of Hwy. 395 on Bodie Road (Hwy. 270), seven miles south of Bridgeport. No dogs.

Love our state parks? Learn more about Park Advocacy Day._

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