Calico Ghost Town


Calico Ghost Town is a unique spot for any van lifer wishing to visit and explore a relic of the past. The ghost town was founded in 1881 and is a former silver mining town that has been converted into a county park. There is a lot to do in Calico to include learning about the town’s unique history, shop, enjoy their restaurants, hike, and camp. Calico makes a great day adventure. 


Walter Knott purchased Calico in the 1950’s and architecturally restored all but five of the original buildings to look as they did in the 1880’s. Calico received State Historical Landmark in 2005 and was proclaimed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be California’s Silver Rush Ghost Town. Calico is now part of the San Bernardino County Regional Parks system. 

Calico Ghost Town has shops, the Calico House Restaurant, Old Miners Cafe, Lily’s Saloon, camping, and off-roading. It also offers a wide range of trails to explore which are rated from easy to advanced. Just make sure to hike with plenty of water and not during the heat of the summer.  


  • Adults: $8  
  • Youth (4-11):  $5  
  • 3 years and younger:  Free

References and Other Adventures:


Amboy Crater

Amboy Crater is located off Route 66 in the middle of the Mojave desert in one of the youngest volcanic fields in the United States. The crater is 250 feet high and 1,500 feet in diameter. The hike from the trailhead to the craters is approximately a 3-mile round trip. The trailhead offers parking, picnic tables, restroom facilities, and an overlook for viewing the crater.

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Zzyzx Road

Zzyzx Road is a great out-of-the-ordinary adventure for any van or RV nomad driving to/from Las Vegas. ZZYZX is just west of Baker California on I-15 and is an old resort called Soda Springs. The resort is long gone, but remnants of it are still here and fun to explore. The California University System also has its Mojave Research Center here too, but that is closed to the public.

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