Bodie State Historic Park Travel Guide

  • Approaching Bodie
    Approaching Bodie
    by Sevsa
  • Downtown Bodie
    Downtown Bodie
    by Sevsa
  • Cheap hotel
    Cheap hotel
    by Sevsa

Bodie State Historic Park Highlights

  • Pro
    Yaqui profile photo

    Yaqui says…

     Its a perfect illustration of how our poineers lived. 

  • Con
    SteveOSF profile photo

    SteveOSF says…

     A bit out of the way. 

  • In a nutshell
    weed6886 profile photo

    weed6886 says…

     If you're in California, don't miss this one! 

Bodie State Historic Park Things to Do

  • Bodie Cemetery- say a prayer!

    Make sure to hike over and visit the cemetery. Only those so called respectable folks were buried here and those who were supposely not, were burried outside the fence and most of those sadly do not have markers, so be careful where you walk please. They consist of Wards, Masonic, Miners Union, and Chinese Cemetery.I am glad people venture to the...

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  • Dog Town California Historical...

    The plaque reads: Site of the first major gold rush to the eastern slope of California's Sierra Nevada, Dog Town derived its name from a popular miners' term for camps with huts or hovels. Ruins lying close to the cliff bordering Dog Town Creek are all that remain of the makeshift dwellings which formed part of the 'diggins' here.On each side of...

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  • the losing fight against fires

    Bodie grew to be a fairly large city with a population of over 10,000 but most of the buildings were made of wood. A big fire destroyed much of it in 1992 even though the town felt prepared to deal with such catastrophes when it build a fire hydrant system in 1880. Though there was plenty of water, it appears the system was clogged due to improper...

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  • Bodie springs up

    As with most ghost towns, Bodie sprung up when something valuable was found in the vicinity and people flocked from elsewhere to capitalize it. The lucky guy was named Bodey though it appears the spelling “Bodie” was adopted by the general populace after a sign painter thought it looked prettier. Of course, the remaining ingredient is for that...

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  • tombstone blues

    Bodie Cemetery is quite interesting and well worth the short walk up to see it. There are 80 tombstones and some tell quite sad stories about the hardships of pioneer life. Many children died at very young ages. Besides getting a better idea of life in Bodie you also get a nice view of the town from up on the hill as well as the mining area acting...

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  • austere times

    The Methodist Church was built in 1882 and is perhaps the most impressive structure in town. It is sadly the only remaining church and has not had a service since the 1932 fire when most of the population left. The simple wooden interior tells of an austere time and is a far cry from the often overly decorative Catholic churches in Europe.

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  • California Historical Markers

    The plaque reads: NO. 341 BODIE - Gold was discovered here in 1859 by Wm. S. Bodey, after whom the town was named, and the town became the most thriving metropolis of the Mono country. Bodie's mines produced gold valued at more than 100 million dollars. Today a state park, Bodie is one of the best known of the west's 'ghost towns.California...

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  • Bodie State Historical Park

    This once lively High Sierra mining town inherited it name from William S. Body, yes I know, not the same spelling, but the towns’ folk wanted to insure it was supposedly pronounced right according to historians. Gold was discovered here in 1859 by Mr. Body. By 1879 during it most notorious hey day, it boasted a population of ten thousand and 2,000...

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  • W. S. Bodey

    In the cemetery, a large slab of granite reminds the memory of Waterman S. Bodey that gave his name to the town. He was among the first group of prospectors that found gold in Spring 1859. Unfortunately, he died a few month later, in November, lost in the blizzard.

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  • Modern grave

    Bodie was still inhabited in 192, when the industrial district of the town burnt. It seems that it was inhabited until WWII. Thus there are a few relatively modern graves.The one on the photo seems to have been built recently and is kept in perfect condition though it is for someone that died in 1901.

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  • Leaning grave

    Graves are other structures that often lean strongly in Bodie. In both cases, toilets and graves, the soil has been dug underneath. The soil of graves takes years and years to tamp and as it will not tamp evenly, the grave leans. Same do the toilets: even if the tank underneath was almost full, after decades, it will collapse more or less and...

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  • Collapsed buildings

    Some of the houses are leaning, other have leaned so much that they have finally collapsed: at an elevation of 2,550 meters, in Winter there is a heavy coat of snow for several month and the winds can be terrible (up to 160 kmh-100 mph). Each Spring, there is a lot of repairs to do for the Park Rangers. The park service is in charge of the town...

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Bodie State Historic Park Restaurants

  • Ky_Happy_Dad's Profile Photo
    Dining in the dust

    by Ky_Happy_Dad Updated Jul 22, 2004

    Actually, Bodie doesn't have any restaurants. You should bring a picnic lunch if you stay long enough that you will be hungry. This is a photo of one of the old houses that is open. The owners have been gone about 50 years and a bit of dust has settled on the place.

    If you want to eat breakfast in the nearby town of Lee Vining near Mono Lake, I can recommend Nicely's resturant as a good casual style cafetera. We had pancakes with homemade pork sausage.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

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Bodie State Historic Park Nightlife

  • the stuff of spaghetti westerns

    This old saloon captured my imagination more than anything else in Bodie. As with most gold rush towns, this one was a male dominated place, at least initially. Most such manual laborers were known to enjoy a drink or two and saloons were the social centers in that respect. Unfortunately, they could be violent places. I guess if you put a bunch of...

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  • Out and around in Bodie

    As the sun sets, the park closes. So for us visitors, no nightlife exists. But for the rangers and the ghosts, after dark they can do what they please...

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  • The Saloon

    In its heydays Bodie had 65 saloons. It must have been quite a wild town!Take a close look at the picture see all the details. There is a thick layer of dust on everything. But take a look at the pool table, aren't those legs amazing! In the far end of the room there is a beautiful stove.

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Bodie State Historic Park Transportation

  • These rutted roads can really ruin your...

    Bodie is located between Yosemite National Park and the Navada border in the high desert country, about 50 miles south of Lake Taho and north of Mono Lake. It is best visited in the summer since snow makes the park difficult to reach in the winter months. Take U.S. Highway 395 North of Lee Vining. The last few miles are on a gravel road. The Park...

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  • remote is the word

    Bodie State Park is on the eastern side of the Sierras so a long way from where tourists are generally doing their California touring. It is a worthwhile excursion if you are in Yosemite National Park but still not exactly a short drive. It takes about 2.5 hours to drive the 95 miles from Yosemite Valley to the park. That's a long winding mountain...

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  • Visiting in the off-season

    Bodie State Park is officially only open during the summer months, but you will not be turned away if you visit during the off-season.The catch is that the road is 'officially' closed, but there is a pull out to the side that allows you to pass the gate. You will NOT be ticketed, fined, prosecuted or anything for visiting during the off-season.But...

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Bodie State Historic Park Local Customs

  • Bodie State Historic Park

    Bodie was named a National Historic Landmark in 1961 but was dedicated a California State Park in 1964. All this really means to the average tourist is that their America The Beautiful Passes which allow them into all Federally Administered Lands will not get them in here. To enter this State Park, it costs $5 for adults and $3 for children older...

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  • Mono Lake

    I didn't have decent picture of Mono Lake so I instead I put a postcard here. It is an ideal spot for birdwatching! There is a boardwalk that brings you to the edge of the lake. During this walk I spotted a lot of birds in the high grasses and small trees.More information about Mono Lake :Mono Lake is a majestic body of water, located 2 hours south...

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  • Bodie State Historic Park Hotels

    0 Hotels in Bodie State Historic Park

Bodie State Historic Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Walking the park

    There is no paved walkways, so particularly with rain and snow, the ground will be soft. Standard wheelchairs only on fair weather days.In the summer, the heat can be quite intense, so bring water.The winters can be deceivingly cold, so bring a wind breaking jacket.

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  • Hot, Dusty, and Dirty!

    Oh please be careful of nails, splinters, and broken glass everywhere! Weather is a factor here because of where it is located. It is way up in the High Sierra's in California, Elevation is 8,401. Blazing heat is common and it snows a lot here during the winter months. So please check weather conditions before you decide to head here. It has a...

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  • Exercise Due Caution

    Access to some of the park is restricted for safety. These areas are mostly fenced off. The old mine is one of these areas as there is concerns regarding the integrity of the old shafts and buildings. In addition, there is a lot of debris scattered about the town. One should exercise care when stomping off the beaten bath as not to get hurt on the...

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Bodie State Historic Park Tourist Traps

  • sim1's Profile Photo
    Did they drink Grolsch beer in those days?

    by sim1 Updated Mar 5, 2005

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    Well, what can I say.... I use to work for the Grolsch brewery, so seeing those two bottles in a desolate place like Bodie was real fun :-)

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Bodie State Historic Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Bodie ODD FELLOWS LODGE No. 279

    Located off of Main Street. IOOF used the upper floor of this building. The lodge was instituted March 11, 1878, by the Grand Master Brother Charles H. Rendell and later consolidated with the Bishop Creek Lodge at Bishop. The first floor was used by H. Ward who constructed the building in 1880 to house his undertaking business. It was also used by...

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  • The Post Office & Dechambeau Hotel

    Located off of Main Street. The Post Office moved here in 1879 from Silas Smith store on northeast Main Street, where it had been located since 1877. This building was erected by Postmaster George Putnam. It served as Grandma Johnson’s rooming house and later as the Dechambeau Hotel. To the south stood a large foundry where the cannon in front of...

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  • School House

    Located on Green Street. The School House built in 1879 was originally the Bon Ton Lodging House. The first school located two blocks up the street was burning down by an early day juvenile delinquent Belle Moore, wife of Ben Butler was Bodies first school teacher.P.O. Box 515 Bridgeport, CA 93517Located off of Hwy 395 19 miles south east of...

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Bodie State Historic Park Favorites

  • my tank was low

    We had spent the previous ten days hiking and backpacking as much as our bodies could take in Yosemite National Park and we needed a little diversion. Some time to rest the bones. Since we were camping at Tuolomne Meadows Campground, we were on the far eastern side of the park so we set our eyes on sights nearby. My wife had never seen a real...

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  • bad taste in my mouth of pricey gas

    I enjoyed it as much as I could but as hard as I tried, our gas situation was never far from my thoughts. I knew at some point I was going to have to face the drive back to Lee Vining. We got going perhaps a bit more quickly than we might otherwise have done to make sure that if we did get stuck it would be in daylight. It might have been a nice...

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  • the plover vs the alkali flies

    Mono Lake was even more scenic than we anticipated and we took lots of photos and did a small trail. We saw the brine shrimp and alkali flies we had read about in the vast visitor center on the way in. The shrimp are no bigger than a thumbnail and are found nowhere else on earth, a product no doubt of the extreme salinity of the lake. The even...

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Explore Deeper into Bodie State Historic Park
Hydroelectric Building and Power Substation
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Wheaton & Hollis Hotel
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The Boone Store and Warehouse
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Tom Miller stable and ice house
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Lester E. Bell House
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Donnelly House
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The Sawmill
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The Cain House
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Miller House
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Metzger House
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McDonald House
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Dolan House
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Methodist Church
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Miners Union Hall 61 - Musuem
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Bishop, on Highway 395
Off The Beaten Path
Mono Lake, a recovering endangered ecosystem!
Off The Beaten Path
Family restroom!
Things to Do
Leaning structure!
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Horseless stable
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Sawmill
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Gasoline pump and Dodge Graham
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Heavy transport
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Boone Store and Warehouse
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Johl House
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Residence of James Stuart Cain
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Sam Leon Bar
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The Methodist church
Things to Do
IOOF Building and Dechambeau Hotel
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Miners Union Hall
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General view of Bodie
Things to Do
Arrival at Bodie
Things to Do
Take a Walk in the Park
Things to Do
Go to School
Things to Do
The Wheaton and Hollis Hotel
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Belly Up to the Bar
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Museum
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Miller House
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Methodist Church
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Standard Mill and Mine
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They may not all be abandoned...
Warnings and Dangers
Map of Bodie State Historic Park

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