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Road Trip Day 3: Bodie – A California Ghost Town

Road Trip Day 3: Bodie – A California Ghost Town

We reluctantly departed South Lake Tahoe and set off for the next destination on our road trip – the beautiful Yosemite National Park. Because the check-in at our accommodation in Yosemite wasn’t until 5pm, we planned to make a quick stop on the way at Bodie, California – a ghost town east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Bodie, California

Bodie began as a mining camp in 1859 after the discovery of gold by William S. Bodey. It quickly grew to nearly 10,000 residents by 1880 however after 1881, mining diminished and homes and businesses were abandoned.

Today, only a small part of Bodie remains and is a ghost town in a preserved state of “arrested decay”. It was a fascinating place to visit – here are the best of our photos from the afternoon:




BodieGreen Street, Bodie



Bodie HotelStandard Stamp Mill Bodie

Admission into Bodie State Historic Park is $7 for adults and $5 for children aged 6-16 (children 5 and under are free). Only cash or personal/travelers checks are accepted at the park entrance station.

Another important thing to remember is that Bodie is at a high elevation so remember to bring sunscreen, water and take it slow!

Mono Lake

We got back onto Highway 395 and made the short drive down to the Mono Lake Vista Point. This spot provided a spectacular view of Mono Lake and the surrounding mountains and we put together this panorama. Click on the image below to check out a larger version.

Mono Lake Panorama

Arrival into Yosemite National Park

The drive into Yosemite National Park provided some of the most scenic views we’ve ever seen! We arrived at our accommodation in Yosemite Valley just after 6pm and spotted a bear cub as we approached where we were staying! Unfortunately we missed out on getting a photograph (we’re disappointed, believe us!) so this picturesque landscape shot will have to do for now.

Drive into Yosemite National Park

We’re currently road tripping through California thanks to the generous help of Fox Rent A Car.


  1. Posted August 28, 2011 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    I love visiting unique attractions like the Ghost Town you went to. I went to the Goldfield Ghost town in Arizona and it was pretty cool, with great photo opportunities!

    • Posted August 28, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      It’s always great visiting something unique, hey? Goldfield Ghost Town looks very cool and definitely has a lot more activities than Bodie!

      Just checked out your post – great photos, a lot look very similar to the ones above. :)

  2. Posted August 28, 2011 at 4:37 am | Permalink

    Great pictures – the ghost town looks incredible!

  3. Posted August 28, 2011 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    Bodie looks cool (great photos). I’ll be putting this on our boomer travel list. My husband and I love this type of off-the-beaten-path adventure. If you like ghost towns, you should visit the Colorado mining towns on the Alpine Loop in the San Juan Mountains – great four-wheeling combined with mining history. Don’t forget to visit Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite. The high country can’t be beat.

    • Posted August 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      So glad that you have added it to your list Donna and thanks for the recommendation!

      We drove through Tuolomne Meadows on the way to Yosemite Valley and found it so nice that we went back the next day. :)

  4. Posted August 28, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Love ghost towns – we had to skip Bodie last year, but went to one in Arizona which was amazing. Your photos are fantastic!

    • Posted August 28, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      It was only 13 miles out of our way and we had the time to spare so we made sure we got there. Ghost towns are very cool, it really does feel like you go back in time when you’re walking around.

  5. Posted August 28, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I just recently saw a movie forget what the name was now. The town looks like that. It’s kind of a weird wacky western style movie. But it looks similar though.

    • Posted August 29, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Interesting. I’m not sure whether it would have been Bodie (it’s protected by the state) but who knows.

  6. Posted August 29, 2011 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    I love visiting ghost towns. I was excited about this until I read about the $7 admission. What a disappointing cash grab! I’d suggest Rhyolite, Nevada, as an entertaining free alternative.

    • Posted August 29, 2011 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      From our experiences of the last few days, every national park across California is expensive. It cost us $20 to enter Yosemite and another $20 to enter Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP but that’s just the way it goes sometimes.

      Thanks for the recommendation.

  7. Posted September 1, 2011 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    Ooo, I’ve been to Bodie! It was so long ago, but it sticks in my memory as the model for “ghost town” whenever the subject comes up. It’s also where I learned about owl pellets, of all things. :)

    Enjoy your trip! :D

    • Posted September 2, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Yeah it really is the ideal ghost town – preserved perfectly and not over-commercialized like some other places.

  8. Posted September 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been fascinated with ghost towns ever since I got to visit one when I was a kid living in the NSW Outback. This one still had a working pub for travelers, but it was still great fun to explore.

    • Posted September 2, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      There are a lot of cool things in regional and outback Australia and quite a few ghost towns from what we’ve read. Do you remember what the you visited was called?

  9. Posted September 2, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    It went by the name of Milparinka. It’s not far from Broken Hill and Tibooburra.

  10. Posted September 3, 2011 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    This is pretty cool. Reminds me of Little House on the Prairie!

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