authentic Ghost town in California

Discussion in 'Americas' started by bavareze2, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. bavareze2

    bavareze2 Adventurer

    Jun 11, 2009
    los angeles, ca
    Hello. I am seeking advice for visiting an authentic ghost town that I can find somewhere in California using my R1200RT. I only know about Calico but that one is fairly fake, I need something that has truly been abandoned. Any ideas? thanks
  2. Skootz Kabootz

    Skootz Kabootz Been here awhile

    Oct 18, 2015
    Los Angeles, CA
    Bodie California. Can't get much better than that. It's like time stopped. But it is getting to be late in the season for a visit. Best watch the weather.
    alexdf, Migolito, stormdog and 2 others like this.
  3. rd400racer

    rd400racer Long timer

    May 14, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
  4. RandyM

    RandyM Less talk, More ride

    Jun 9, 2007
    Grass Valley, Ca
    Cero Gordo and Bodie are the two most authentic and best preserved Ghost towns in California.

    Bodie is a state park. About 13 miles east of HWY 395, north of Mono Lake. Access is via a gravel road that is maintained for passenger cars in the summer.
    Bodie is kept in a state of arrested decay by park rangers. There are a lot of buildings, it was a large town in its day. Generally buildings well preserved and you can look into windows and doors to see what wa left behind. Most buildings have a lot of old artifacts left behind including mining gear and personal items. Few buildings have visitor access to protect historic artifacts. "Friends of Bodie" used to have "photographer days" during the summer that gave photographers limited access to more buildings. Bodie is large with over 100 standing structures.

    Cero Gordo is privately owned and recently sold. I don't know what the new owners are doing with it but they appear to have a web site: Cerro Gordo also had a lot of artifacts lying around. The caretaker used to give a great tour of the place. There is an 8 mile long gravel road from HWY 136 to Cero Gordo. In the past, it was a pretty easy road. Cero Gordo is located south east of Lone pine, near Death Valley.

    Rhyolite, which is in Nevada close to the California Border in Death Valley is worth mentioning, not so much for its Ghost town as it has a "Modern outdoor art display." A couple of buildings are well preserved and there are some scenic ruins in addition to the art display.

    The problem with Ghost towns is that a most of them were looted and torn down for building materials., or they just fell apart from decay over time. Most Ghost towns today are just foundations in the desert.
  5. park6187

    park6187 Experience whore Supporter

    Jun 4, 2014
    Park City, UT
    Good info from Randy M. Cero Gordo is neat but the road up to it is an extremely steep dirt road. I don't think it would be much fun on an RT. Bodie, on the other hand is really cool and should be doable on an RT.
    If you go to Bodie, plan on spending a while because there is a lot to see and take pictures of.
  6. bigjohnsd

    bigjohnsd '14 BMW R1200 GS Adv Supporter

    Jun 1, 2014
    Spearfish, SD
    I was in Bodie a few weeks ago, I went in from the West on the paved road (almost halfway) and then in via the well-graded gravel to the Park. I rode my GSA out to the North West via a not very well maintained two-track, a great ride but could be sketchy if it has rained/snowed. The two-track takes you to Bridgeport. I hadn't been in Bodie since 1963, the town is in a state of somewhat arrested decay.
  7. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Nov 29, 2007
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    MT has a good one but maybe not a MC destination until spring. My home state of KS (and much of the western 2/3's of the USA) is full of hundreds of ghost towns, most of which can be found only by an archaeologist.
  8. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

    Aug 16, 2004
    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    I was going to ride the northwest route southbound into Bodie but a friend recommended not taking it and described it as a rock garden so I rode out east to Hawthorne. I rode it maybe 5 years ago. Certainly not a route for the OP but the regular road was easy gravel. The setting is spectacular and the aspens are turning golden so there are lots of nearby scenic loops up into the Sierras.