This is a neat little trail to take your kids on. It is not much, but lets the kids or adult explore some actual Miners Cabins. Some you cannot go into, but you can look inside, while others are eroding away and your able to stand inside them for obvious reason, like missing walls. Yet, it gives you an idea how aweful it must have been to have to spend your nights in to keep you protected from the elements. You can tell some of the miners got creative in making things more comfortable for themselves, while others were probably more concerned in just being protected from the heat or cold. Buidling their cabins next to rock saved on resources and must have offered some natural temperature control, but I am sure some of these so called cabins caved in from time to time from eroding rock....Ouch!
A word to the wise! They do have certain areas roped or fenced off for obvious reasons and this is because the landscape is not stable and many open mines dot the area. So PLEASE watch your children!
Park is located 10 miles north of Barstow, exit I-15 onto Ghost Town Rd
The sign on the house reads:
This bottle house was built in the 1950's by workers for Walter Knott in 1951 and 1966. While it is not know if there was a real bottle house during the mining days, the miners were remarkably clever in creating shelters with whatever was available; mud, rock, dug-outs, wood, canvas and wood barrels staves were used. Plus, wood was not available and would had to be shipped in. Since many single miners, their shelters were only temporary if they didn't have families. So it would not be surprising if they did use bottles since this resource would had be really available:-). I wanted to share this building because it is so unique and I have seen postcards of it many times over the years.
The park is located 10 miles north of Barstow, exit I-15 onto Ghost Town Rd
Bottle House Postcard
When you arrive you'll notice that it was no surprise that this a geologist dream. The lower parking lot where we parked, I found so interesting. I told my hubby that this almost looked like a fault area and being from California it was no surprise to see one. The whole town of Calico is surrounded by this wonderful geology. Oh, they have some wonderful brochures in the Lucy Lane Museum, so please check them out. As it turns out the lower parking lot near the park back entrance (stairs), is a fault that runs southeast to northwest. This fault produced the folded sediments seen in Wall Street Canyon. This fault created the terrace the town sits on that lifted it 200 feet above the valley floor. So I thought that was pretty neat to share.
The park is 10 miles north of Barstow, exit I-15 onto Ghost Town Rd
Like many old towns, a cemetery is always going to be a necessity. Unfortunatley, death was so common for young and old alike during this time. Many passed due to the many epidemics of the time such as small pox, typhoid, diphtheria, scarlet fever, etc. If a child lived to be five, that was a miracle. Yet, many who passed somewhat recently are burried here because it was there home for many years. It was somber to walk thru the cemetery looking at many of the old wood markers that bare no names anymore because of father time. Yet, some of the newer ones have been graced with lovely markers. Yet, there are many unmarked graves and that is so sad. Rocks cover all the graves, which acted as markers, but keep hopefully prey from digging into them. Still, it a very somber place and so quiet that day. I can understand why someone would want to be burried here, because it was so peaceful.
Calico Cemetery Souls
10 miles north of Barstow, exit I-15 onto Ghost Town Rd
This school house was reconstructed in 1952, but reconstructed in the very spot the old structure was. What is amazing is you have to cross a wooden bridge to get to it and the fact it too sits ontop of a rock formation or what is part of the rocky canyon. It is not a steep drop off at all, but I cannot imagine and wonder if any children fell often down the sides. Still, I am glad they recreated such a marvelous piece of Calico's past. It's these little school houses that not only acted as school house, but used for church services, weddings, and other many community services. It was a wonderful place the community could gather together. It is has been noted, this site is one of the most haunted in Calico. The last school teacher in Calico was Margaret Olivier, who passed away in 1932 and is even buried in the Calico Cemetery has been seen on several occasions.
10 miles north of Barstow, exit I-15 onto Ghost Town Rd
A misnomer of epic proportions. This is a very famous archaeological site that's still going strong. At one point in time, some archaeologists wanted to believe that this site was nearly 200,000 years old which would throw off the earliest New World settlement dates by many thousands of years. Fortunately that's no longer the case. However, this excavation is funded by a foundation and other donations so it keeps on going just like the Energiser Bunny. Though I, like MANY other people, view this site as bunk, it is a very impressive dig site although I cannot for the life of me figure out why people would volunteer to dig in that weather and conditions!
After purchasing the "Guide to Southern California Backroads & 4-wheel Drive Trails" we ventured off to try out some of the trails. For (very) amature off-roaders, this was a god-send! There are lots of ORV trails in the area and they vary from really easy to pretty darn hard-core. My vehicle was able to handle the "EASY with stock 4-wheel drive" with only minor difficulties on my part. Going off-road like this takes you past abandoned mines and beautiful desert scenery you can't see from the main road.