May 22, 2017
Emily and I love traveling the 395 corridor East of the High Sierra, but for some reason had never made the side trip to the Ghost Town of Bodie – until today. Bodie is about 13 miles (and a steep climb) off of 395. The last 3 miles are dirt, with conditions varying from groomed to washed out depending on how the weather has been. When we visited there were a couple of spots that had washed out pretty badly, but the Parks folks were actively working to improve it. Take your time and you’ll be fine.
Bodie State Historic Park is a little north of Mono Lake (and a lot higher up), and is a “complete” gold boom town that is being preserved by the State of California and available to tour. You pay a couple of bucks per person as you enter – definitely worth it. We also recommend that you purchase the walking tour guide so that you aren’t left wondering what happened at site 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc…
So get the guidebook and wander around. The town is at 8,379 feet so wear your sunscreen – even if it is cool the sun will get you!
Most of Bodie is available to view without arranging a tour. The exception is the large Stamp Mill which requires an escorted tour – we didn’t do this, but found more than enough walking around to fill our time.
We spent a good half-day at Bodie and continued on our way north. After a fuel-up and re-provision at the Gardnerville, NV Walmart we camped south of Lake Tahoe at Crystal Springs Campground in the Toiyabe National Forest.
This is a very nice roadside campground in a deep valley next to (at the time) a very fully flowing stream. We are generally really pleased with National Forest campgrounds and this was no exception – well maintained with cheerful camp hosts Madonna and John. We were still catching the beginning of the season so only one other campsite was occupied.