"Bodie - the largest ghost town in the Western U.S." Bodie by mikelisaanna

Bodie Travel Guide: 33 reviews and 106 photos

Bodie is the largest ghost town in the United States, with over 100 buildings still standing. It is a California State Park, and the buildings are maintained in a state of "arrested decay" by the state park service. In addition, a handful of rangers live in the town to keep out vandals. Bodie is about a 1 hour drive from the Tioga Pass entrance to Yosemite National Park. It is in the high desert near the Nevada border at an elevation of over 9000 feet.

History of Bodie

Bodie was a gold mining boom town that was founded in the 1860s. Its peak population was about 10,000 people before the gold began to run out. By the 1900's most of the inhabitants had moved out. The town was inhabited up until the 1940s, so you will see electrical items in many of the buildings. Most of the buildings burned in a fire in the 1930s, leaving the 100+ buildings that are still there today.

A living time capsule

The most fascinating thing about Bodie is that many of the buildings still have a lot of their furniture, appliances and other items still inside of them. In many buildings, it looks like the owners just left without taking much with them. The stores still have goods on the shelf and the saloons still have bottles on the shelves.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Biggest ghost town in the U.S., fascinating history
  • Cons:Remote location, cold weather (due to high altitude)
  • In a nutshell:An amazing piece of preserved Western U.S. history
  • Last visit to Bodie: Sep 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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