Inyo and White Mountains

Bodie Ghost Town

Bodie might be the most intact remaining ghost town in the lower forty-eight states. It is preserved in “arrested decay” status as a state park in California. If not for this protective status and its remote location, it would have disappeared long ago. Still, fires and vandals have removed much of what used to be here.

As easy pickings of gold faded in California’s goldfields, miners headed east over the Sierra Nevada. In these high and barren hills, William Bodey discovered gold in 1859. The mining camp expanded quickly into a boomtown; it is reported that by 1880 there were over 10,000 people living here.

Bodie also had a reputation for being wild and wicked. An often-repeated story goes that a young girl, upon learning that she was going to Bodie with her family, wrote: "Goodbye God, I’m going to Bodie."

These photos are from many trips up to Bodie over the years, so there are a few of the same ones. Some are scanned from film and are of poor quality.

Visit the California State Parks’ page on Bodie for current information on the site.

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About Guy Starbuck

Exploring the American West.
  • Nevada
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