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Bodie, In Pictures

Bodie California Getting Lost Ghost Towns High Sierra Mining Towns Off The Beaten Path

I love places that are off the beaten path. Some of the best things I've encountered were when I was lost - instead of getting frustrated at a missed turn, I see it as an opportunity to find something I didn't even know I was looking for.
To discover Bodie, however, you'd have to be insanely lost.  It is located 13 miles down a winding road off of CA highway 395, north of Lee Vining. The last three miles of the road leading to town aren't even paved - it is very bumpy, and you have to drive really slowly. Apparently, this road is an improvement - if you look to the right, you can sometimes see cars entering on what's called 'the rough road'.  Um, hi? No!
Bodie is in a state of 'arrested decay' - it is a beautiful, haunting place that words can't adequately describe. So, I'll leave it to my pictures:
Houses, most with tin roofs (from flattened cans).
Looking up.
Tin work on the side of a house.
Children's room?
Pool hall.
General store.
General store.
Coffee grinder.
Coffee display in the general store.
I loved this house.
Detail of the window in the house I loved.
Details of a hinge on the church door.
Inside the church.
Wagon wheels.
Bodie is now a California State Historic park, but it started as a mining town, first established in the late 1800s. It was completely abandoned in the 1940s, and the State of California took it over in 1962. At its height, Bodie had 10,000 residents including families, robbers, miners, prostitutes, store owners, gunfighters and people from all over the world. There were stores, pool halls, gas stations, churches, a firehouse, schools - and 65 saloons, along with brothels, gambling halls and opium dens – Bodie was a wild place. Today, it is a town frozen in time, standing exactly as the residents left it over 70 years ago, completely untouched - a true ghost town.

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  • Ken Moreno on

    That house you love is the John S Cain house, formerly occupied by the richest man in town. I’ve stayed there a few nights. It’s one of the three of four houses that is occupied year-round by state park rangers or maintenance crew. I have a friend who’s a ranger and it was his assigned housing for three years.

    It’s also the place that supplied me with my ‘go-to’ party story. It’s about an unsettling — I’m not saying haunting — experience I once had while staying there. Too long to relate here, but…

  • Joan O'Connor on

    Wonderful pix and storyline. Thx, Adjowah!

  • Aidan Gullickson on

    I’ve always wanted to visit Bodie. Have driven past it dozens of times, but never had time to stop and check it out. Someday!

  • Todd HEller on

    Great Photos! I love Bodie! It looks even more decayed then when I was there about 10 years ago..

  • John Keilman on

    Great photos!!

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