14 Visit Worthy Ghost Towns in California [Update 2024]

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California is the ultimate place for enjoying all types of nonstop fun. One of the fun yet scary experiences could be a visit to the ghost towns.

Most of them are abandoned over time or some are scary places that force the people to leave the towns. The inexplicable stories related to ghost towns will send a chill down your spine, and also fascinate you with the history of it.

If your curiosity spikes, go through this list of ghost towns in California and plan to explore some of them.

1. Calico

Calico is one of the most Visit Worthy Ghost Towns in California

Calico, situated on the historic Route 66 of Barstow, was a mining town. Presently, this ghost town has tons of places to explore, including blacksmith workshops, old buildings and even a gift shop.

The eerie vibe of the town will scare you but in a gentle way. Despite abandonment, the town was restored to its former glory so that visitors can come and explore the unknown.

2. Pioneertown

Pioneertown

Pioneertown is not a real town, rather it is a movie set for western movies in the 1940s. Because of the shooting purpose, it is designed with buildings, facades, motels and more. Many horror films were also filmed on the set, and now it remains a ghost town for people to discover mysteries.

3. Allensworth

In the 1900s, four Black men bought 20 acres of land and named it Solita. The town was founded, governed and financed by the Black population. It even housed the first African – American school in California.

Unfortunately, over the years, the commerce of the town declined and so did the population. Since 1974, the town has been inhabited. Still, there are a library, hotel and baptist church, and you can visit them in the town.

You might also be interested in visiting the major cemeteries in California.

4. Silver City Town

For exploring the old western town, Silver City ghost town is the best option. To get a glimpse of 19th century California, you can visit this town and explore the beauty of the previous architects and infrastructure.

Some shops and buildings still have keepsakes and supplies to purchase. You can even book a guided tour and enjoy the Silver City experience.

5. Golden Cactus Town

Golden Cactus Town

A small yet beautiful preserved town is the Golden Cactus ghost town. There is a quaint museum for visitors to explore the history of the town and see the artifacts. It will take a short time to complete a tour of this little town, so make sure to explore it even if you are on a tight schedule.

6. Leadfield

In the old times, Leadfield ghost town was a sight of mining and presently, the entrance is still preserved in the same way. But the town is abandoned, and the buildings are almost ruined. There might not be much to explore, but this town is unique compared to other ghost towns because of its historical markers.

Check out these haunted places in California.

7. Drawbridge

Right in Fremont, Drawbridge has been an abandoned town since 1979. The surrounding area of the town is filled with marshland. If you visit, you can still see many of the structures and even see how the town has become a wildlife refuge. However, note that it is risky to visit this place.

8. Empire Mine

Located on East Empire Street, California, Empire Mine is the abandoned site of the oldest gold mine. Despite decades of abandonment, the buildings and mine are restored well.

You will have the chance to see a traditional mine in this town and even visit the blacksmiths to know the history of this mining town. To add to its attractions, there is a beautiful park along the trails of the mine to appreciate the natural beauty of the town.

9. Gardner Field

In the 1940s, Gardner Field was a former US military base during World War II. After the war, the area was abandoned and the residents left. Presently, this ghost town is covered by sand and sagebrush, but the initially created pavements and cement foundations are still there.

The eerie feeling in the air comes more if you think about the history of intense training of soldiers. The base remains as an outdated model of the military, which is fascinating to explore.

10. Ballarat

Southern Californian’s Ballarat ghost town is a tiny town with very few ruined buildings. Because of its remote location, the town did not gain many visitors in the past. But if you visit the town, you will thoroughly enjoy learning about the history of Ballarat and even get a Ballarat souvenir with you.

11. Robbers Roost Ranch

With its collection of historic buildings, inscriptions and artifacts, Robbers Roost Ranch ghost town is a wonderful little area. There are campsites, mini-marts and ATV trails for you to relax and enjoy a fun time. For those who want to explore the countryside of California, this ghost town is a must-go-to place.

12. Panamint City

In 1872, Panamint City was the place where copper and silver were discovered that boomed the economy of the town. Due to a flash flood in 1876, the town lost its spark as most of the roads and buildings were destroyed in the flood.

You might have a hard time exploring through the ruins, as there is no paved access for visitors. Nevertheless, this isolated area has its interesting wonders.

13. Bodie

Located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Bodie has been an abandoned town for years. The initial highlights of the town still remain amazing, like the stamp mill and beautiful little church. You will also find a museum where the history and other information of the town is available for visitors.

14. Goffs

Goffs is a traditional ghost town that has not been restored or modified. The dilapidated buildings, broken down buses, diner, post office and other ruined institutions exist without any modification. There is a lot to learn from this town and to satisfy your curiosity, you can visit the recently opened museum to know more.

Each ghost town has its own story. Even the creepy ghost towns have their own beauty and enchanting aspects. So from these listed ghost towns in California, you can research more and get to know the history of the towns. You never know which interesting facts about the places can come to light. 

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