Description - Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town. Visitors can walk down the deserted streets of a town that once had a population of 10,000 people.
Copyright: - California State Parks
The gold-mining ghost town of Bodie SHP
- Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town. Visitors can walk down the deserted streets of a town that once had a population of 10,000 people. The town was founded by Waterman S. Body (William Bodey), who had discovered small amounts of gold in hills north of Mono Lake. In 1877, the Standard Company struck pay dirt and a gold rush transformed Bodie from a town of 20 people to a boomtown. 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. The museum is open daily during summer. The park is closed in winter.
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". Today this once thriving mining camp is visited by tourists, howling winds and an occasional ghost.
Bodie is now listed as one of the worlds 100 most endangered sites by the World Monuments Watch.
Recreation - What to See and Do: Bodie is a ghost town. Today it looks much the same as it did over 50 years ago when the last residents left. A self guiding brochure describing a brief history of each building is available at the park or by mail. A museum is open from Memorial Day weekend through the end of September, 10 am to 5 pm.
hours: Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend: 9 am to 7 pm. The remainder of the year the park is open from 9 am to 4 pm or as posted. Hours may vary due to weather or season and are posted at all entrances. Closure hours are strictly enforced for the protection of property and artifacts.
Facilities: To preserve the ghost town atmosphere, there are no commercial facilities at Bodie. Restrooms are located at the parking lot. Primitive pit toilets are available in the townsite and in the picnic area.
Souvenirs and Collecting: Everything in Bodie is part of the historic scene and is fully protected. NOTHING may be collected or removed from the park. Metal detectors are not allowed.
Closed Areas: For public protection, certain unstable sections of the park are posted as prohibited areas, and are closed to entry by park visitors.
Camping: There is no camping at Bodie. U.S. Forest Service campgrounds are located near Bridgeport and Lee Vining. For information call: Bridgeport Ranger Station at (619) 932-7070 or Lee Vining Ranger Station at (619) 647-6525.
If one wishes to get the feeling of Bodie as a ghost town, there are many people who believe the best time to visit is during the winter. Bodie is open all year. However, methods of transportation must often change to something that will travel over the top of snow, such as snow shoes, ski's, snowmobile (snowmobiles must stay on designated roads within the park), and on a snowcat. Four-wheel drive vehicles with tire chains get stuck each year in powdery snow that is deeper than it first appears, and require the assistance of a tow truck. Oh, by-the-way, towing facilities are not available.
Bodie is located at an elevation of 8375 feet. Winter weather conditions can change rapidly. Day time temperatures can reach into the 60's and by sundown drop below zero. During years with normal snowfall you may find 3'-6' of snow on the flat, and drifts up to 20' high. Temperatures from 0 to 25 below zero are not uncommon on a calm night. Wind chill factors can drop temperatures to 50 to 60 degrees below zero.
If you come to Bodie in the winter, be prepared for anything. The story is told about a lone male skier heading toward Bodie dressed only in skis, boots and a smile, donning a pair of shorts only after the rangers dog bounced playfully up and placed a couple of cold paws on his bare behind. There are no overnight facilities in or near Bodie. Call ahead for current road and weather conditions prior to your visit.
Climate - The High Sierra generally experiences warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters. Weather can change rapidly during all seasons of the year. Elevation plays a major role in temperature and precipitation. This precipitation falls mainly from October through April. At higher elevations, it comes mostly in the form of snow. A snowpack from 5-10 feet or more is usually present from December to May at elevations above 6,500 feet. Winter temperatures below zero and summer temperatures above 100 degrees indicate the normal seasonal spread. Clouds can build up during the summer to produce spectacular thunderstorm activity. It is wise to pack for any season with clothing that can be "layered", ready to peel off or add on as the thermometer dictates. Always include some kind of rain gear.
The park is northeast of Yosemite, 13 miles east of Highway 395 on Bodie Road, 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. You are encouraged to call the park if there are any questions on road conditions.