Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

Video: Fly Over A California Ghost Town That's Been Frozen In Time

LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

Bodie - From the Sky. from Aaron Grimes on Vimeo.

It's likely that you've never set foot in Bodie, which lies between U.S. route 395 and the Nevada border. It's a ghost town, after all: so no restaurants, no motels, no Instagram-friendly museums with whimsically large kitchen appliances.

But Bodie is worth a trip. As a ranger for the Sierra District of California State Parks told the Mercury News, it's one of the best preserved ghost towns in America, and "everything is still standing" in spite of an earthquake that hit the area in late 2016.

Support for LAist comes from

According to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Bodie was once a gold-mining town (what else?). It all started in 1875, when gold was discovered in a cave in the area. The mine was purchased by the Standard Company, and soon people flocked to the location with dreams of striking it big: the area went from having a population of a few dozen to becoming a veritable boomtown. In 1962 the area was designated as a National Historic Site and a State Historic Park, and today a part of the town is preserved in a state of "arrested decay," says Parks and Rec.

Don't have time to trek out to Bodie (it's about 45 miles away from Yosemite)? Thanks to filmmakers Russell Brown and Aaron Grimes, you now have the second-best option: the two have made a video that zips us over the eerie spread of Bodie. The first thing that jumps out at you is, indeed, how well the structures have been preserved. The church tower still looms tall. The factory buildings, while lined with rust, are still connected with a series of ramps that run down to ground-level. And the windows are surprisingly intact.

With the way rents are skyrocketing down here, perhaps we should be turning to Bodie, though we doubt there's wifi out there.