Calico Ghost Town – a ghost town without ghosts
Calico Ghost Town is located in the Mojave Desert in the San Bernadino County in southern California. Off Interstate 15 you can already read the characters “CALICO”.
A schoolboy explored some silver whereupon the town in the course of the silver mining was founded. There were more than 500 mines and the population was at approximately 1.200 people.
The price for silver lost its value towards the end of the 19th century and with that the mines were not economic enough anymore and got closed. In 1907 the town was officially abandoned.
The reason why I call Calico “Ghosttown” a ghost town without ghosts (wow, those were many ghosts in one sentence) is that because this place is probably the most touristic place I have ever been to. For me this town is not authentic at all (anymore). I can imagine that it was super interesting a long time ago but definitely not anymore. I don’t really believe in ghosts but if you sell it good to me I can get scared of a place. Or at least leave it with some respect. After the town was done with mining there was a lot of reconstruction going on. There are many Wild-West-Shows and artificial mines as well as so, so, so many stores and restaurants. There are gunfight stunt shows, gold panning, a Mystery Shack and the Calico&Odessa Railroad. All of that makes this place seem like one big show. Don’t get me wrong there is still a lot to explore but I could not really take this place seriously because it was so commercial. You can actually learn a lot about the silver mining and “the old times” but it is just not as original as I thought it would be. But there is a cemetery next to the Ghost town which is actually “real”. There are between 96 and 130 graves from people who used to work as miners.
A campground can also be found right next to the ghost town. With paying entrance to the ghost town you are allowed to camp there.
In my opinion there are so many authentic ghost towns in California that you can even explore without paying entrance that this town is really not worth visiting. One really good and believable ghost town for example is Bombay Beach. It is cool to just see and experience this place once but if you are really only here for the fact that is a “ghost town” this place might be dissapointing for you but still interesting to see.
Calico is opened everyday of the year besides Chistmasday. It is open from 9:00am to 5:00pm but you can still come after 5:00pm. The stores are not opened then and there are no shows. Therefore you can actually explore that place without having tons of people around you trying to pay for any extra stuff. The entrance fee is $8. There are also some special events like the Spring Festival in May and the Calico Days in early October as well as a ghost hunt in the end of October.
3600 Ghost Town Road, Yermo, CA 92398