Sightseeing — Bodie, California

A Real Live Ghost Town


No MacDonalds, no tourist trinkets, no motels, one bathroom, and no paved road. This is the real thing. Bodie was a happening place around the 1870's and through the early years of the 20th century. As many as 12,000 people lived there during that time — successfully mining more gold than you or I could ever possibly wear. Mining actually continued till the 1930's. Bodie became a State Historic Park after that, protected as a historic monument. That kept the commercial tourist activity to a minimum — and allowed, today, what is truly a rewarding sightseeing tour. Much of the town was destroyed by fire (several times), but what remains is a remarkable representation of what life was like "in the old days"; a difficult and sometimes desperate, environment in the Eastern Sierra. Many buildings remain, and contain furnishings, clothing articles, kitchen supplies, and other household items left behind by their owners.


 

The buildings and contents are real, this isn't Disneyland. The Park Service maintains a policy of 'arrested decay'. Things are allowed to remain as they were over one hundred years ago — The buildings are preserved in their present state. The result is a remarkable display of history.

When you visit Bodie for the first time, you will no doubt be overcome by a sense of history, and become very much aware of the feeling this was a place where ghosts COULD exist. Just walk through the graveyard, through the streets, and through the open buildings. An almost overwhelming sense of history prevades, an incredible feeling and empathy for what it was like to live there during the 1800's.

There are several park employees who live here year-round, doing maintenance and keeping things safe from vandals. It must be an amazing experience to be in Bodie midwinter during heavy weather — no doubt plenty of ghost company at the old saloon!

Bodie is open whenever the road is open. It's about 13 miles off Hwy 395, along a dirt semi-maintained road, roughly an hour or so north of Mammoth Lakes, and about 20 minutes south of Bridgeport. During winter if there has been enough snow you would have to ski in (actually a lot of fun). There is a nominal entrance fee.

There are no services, so bring lunch, or eat afterwards in Bridgeport. There is only one bathroom, no motels, no knick knack shops (one museum is open during the summer where you can buy Bodie books and a few other things). It's hot during the summer, and potentially very cold during the winter.

Local Services Near Bodie, California

Annett's Mono Village
A full service destination resort located on Upper Twin Lakes, Annett's Mono Village is a fishermen's haven and family vacation hideaway. Nestled in one of the most scenic and rugged areas in the Eastern Sierra, Mono Village rests at an elevation of 7,000 feet and is easily reached from Bridgeport, California. Available are rental cabins and motels, a 300-space campground, a fully stocked grocery store with an ATM machine, a fully-equipped boat house, boat and pontoon boat rentals, a cafe that offers an outdoor Friday night BBQ (Memorial Day through Labor Day), a cocktail lounge, a beautiful gift shop featuring clothing and assorted gift items, a spacious lawn area offering BBQ's and picnic tables, propane, wood, ice and fishing license sales, shower and laundry facilities, family style restroom/showers, and much, much more.

Best Western Lake View Lodge
Lake View Lodge in Lee Vining, California, is situated on the slopes of the Eastern Sierra, overlooking the mystifying Mono Lake, and is a convenient, overnight stop between Southern California and the Reno-Tahoe area. The lodge is most known for its mature trees, expansive lawns, and an abundance of brightly colored flowers.

Hank & Ray's Vacation Trailer Rentals
Rent a trailer the easy way. Pull your boat to the area, rent the trailer from us and we'll park it in the campsite of your choice. We spot the trailers FREE of charge within a fifteen mile radius which includes Robinson Creek and Twin Lakes, and Bridgeport Reservoir.

Hays Street Cafe
Located in beautiful Bridgeport, California. In business since 1986, serving breakfast and lunch from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the summer, and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the winter. Offering outside dining in the summer with excellent views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. If you have a motor home or large truck, it’s no problem — there is plenty of parking available.

Murphey's Motel
Located in the Eastern Sierra on Highway 395, just 14 miles (23 km) from the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park, and minutes from Mono Lake, in Lee Vining, California. AAA approved and open all year. All rooms are air-conditioned and contain private baths, direct dial phones, and cable TV. Also featuring conference facilities and in-room coffee.

Virginia Creek Settlement
Located just 5 miles south of Bridgeport on Highway 395. This motel, restaurant and campground is the closest accommodation to Bodie Ghost Town State Park. It is also centrally located to some of the best fishing in the eastern slopes of the High Sierra. Season is mid April - Nov. 1.

Yosemite Gateway Motel
Located 14 miles from the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park, in Lee Vining, California, overlooking Mono Lake. One of the most popular stops for Yosemite lodging in the Eastern Sierra. The motel's amenities include a spa (closed in winter), in-room coffee, cable TV, air conditioning in some rooms, phones and sundecks.

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