Bodie State Historical Park is a great historical site that shows you what it was like in the 1880’s. If you happen to be traveling on Route 395 this is a great side adventure. It’s one of the best-preserved old mining towns I have seen. You will enjoy learning about its rich past.
If you love history and wouldn’t mind driving out into the middle of the desert, then a visit to Bodie State Historic Park will not disappoint. Bodie is an old gold-mining ghost town where you can walk the old streets and see many original buildings. The park service has a 30-minute video that gives a good overview of the history of Bodie.
The town is named for Waterman S. Body (William Bodey), who had discovered small amounts of gold in hills north of Mono Lake. In 1875, a mine cave-in revealed pay dirt, which led to the purchase of the mine by the Standard Company in 1877. People flocked to Bodie and transformed it from a town of a few dozen to a boomtown. At the height of the town, it had a population of nearly 10,000 people.
Only a small part of the town survives, preserved in a state of “arrested decay.” Interiors remain as they were left and stocked with goods. Designated as a National Historic Site and a State Historic Park in 1962, the remains of Bodie are being preserved in a state of “arrested decay”.
It’s a privilege to have Bodie State Historical State Park for our enjoyment, so please practice Leave No Trace principles.
The park is northeast of Yosemite, 13 miles east of Highway 395 on Bodie Road, and seven miles south of Bridgeport.
From U.S. 395 seven miles south of Bridgeport, take State Route 270. Go east 10 miles to the end of the pavement and continue 3 miles on an unsurfaced road to Bodie. The last 3 miles can at times be rough. Reduced speeds are necessary. Call the park if there are any questions about road conditions.
References and Links:
- Website: Bodie State Historical Park