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Ghost Towns

Most visitors coming to California head to the beaches, Disneyland, and Hollywood, but for some, something a little different is on the cards. One of those things may be visits to California’s various ghost towns. These towns are scattered all over the state and are places which have been abandoned and are no longer in use; they are mere skeletons of once very alive towns. Here are names of just a handful of the ghost towns which you can find in California.


East of the Sierra Nevada, you can find the town of Bodie, which is considered to be a state historic park as well as a National Historic Landmark. Initially a small mining town, upon the discovery of profitable amounts of gold, the town grew to host a population of up to 8,000 people. Through most of the 20th century, people continued to live in Bodie; now, it is considered a ghost town. Visitors can take a walk though the town and step back in time to when thousands inhabited the area. The houses have not been changed, and many look like the owners literally packed up and left for some eerie reason.

Agua Fria

Found three miles west of Mariposa, Agua Fria (Cold Water in Spanish) is another ex-small mining town which grew in population rapidly after the discovery of gold nearby. Once the county seat of Mariposa County, Agua Fria is now little more than a peaceful meadow. It is worth going there to really see the change of a town where an eye-witness once described the miners as being "camped in every direction for five miles from the common center . . . in tents and huts of every description."


Head to the Mojave Desert to see Calico, a once silver mining town. In its hay day, there were 22 salons in the town; now it is a really great way to spend a day. Some of the buildings are refurbished, some reconstructed and some have been created solely for tourism, and there are craft shops, places to eat and gift shops also. The name of the town is carved onto the Calico Mountains behind the ghost town, and the house of the last original inhabitant of the town before it was abandoned, Mrs. Lucy Bell Lane, is now the main museum. Take care when visiting this town, as some believe it to be haunted by the miners that once lived there…

Try something really different on your trip to California, by really stepping back in time to one of these ghost towns.