Calico Ghost Town
Yermo CA 92398
- Mon: 9am-5pm
- Tue: 9am-5pm
- Wed: 9am-5pm
- Thu: 9am-5pm
- Fri: 9am-5pm
- Sat: 9am-5pm
- Sun: 9am-5pm
Calico Ghost Town is the epitome of California's Old West days. Nestled in the Mojave Desert of San Bernardino, this historic 19th century mining town once produced more than $20 million in silver ore in a 12-year period. However, Calico became a ghost town in the mid-1890s when silver lost its value. The miners and families packed up and moved away. Today, it is a refurbished State Historical Landmark with mostly non-functioning silver mines and a rich California history families and history buffs will love.
Must see and must do at Calico Ghost Town
Calico Ghost Town, which is part of the San Bernardino County Regional Parks system, has something for everyone. However, whether you are planning a day-trip or a weekend camping adventure, you need to make sure you explore Maggie Mine, an authentic silver mine, and take a historical tour of the town on the Calico Odessa Railroad. One activity the kids love most is experience of panning for real gold, just like the miners did in the 1800s.
Best and worst time to go to Calico Ghost Town
Since it's Southern California, there really isn't a bad time to go weather-wise, but because this is in the desert, you may want to avoid going in the hottest summer months of July through September. However, make sure to check weather reports any other time you go as this part of the state does catch quite a bit of wind, especially at night. Weekdays are better to visit than weekends, especially holiday weekends when many travelers head up the I-15 to Las Vegas. Check out the town's website for a list of upcoming events when planning your trip.
Admission to Calico Ghost Town
Calico Ghost Town is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but closed on Christmas. A family of four can easily visit for less than $30, and children under 5 are free. Annual passes are available, and miscellaneous fees are imposed for bus tours, schools and dogs (excluding service animals). Nearby camping is available as is cabin rentals at nominal costs.
Wildlife at Calico Ghost Town
The Mojave Desert is home to a variety of wildlife including coyotes, rattlesnakes and desert tortoises. It's best to stay within your given parameters, especially when camping at night. This area has also been known to house mountain lions, bobcats and black-collared lizards. As for birds, you may catch a glimpse of a roadrunner, raven, barn owl or red-tailed hawk on your visit.
Insider tip for Calico Ghost Town
If you are planning a visit during the school year, call ahead to see how many school and youth groups will be touring on the day your attending. While the Ghost Town may not be crowded with tourists, there may be quite a few students taking in the sights.
Author's bio: Mary Beth Adomaitis is a freelance writer from Southern California. She loves to visit exciting and new places with her family. In the summer of 2014, she drove cross-country from California to Ohio (and back), visiting 14 states in two weeks.