Calico Ghost Town: A Step Back In Time Near Las Vegas
If you’ve ever wanted to experience the rich history of the Wild West, then a visit to Calico Ghost Town is an absolute must. Located just a short drive away from the bustling city of Las Vegas, Calico offers a unique and picturesque glimpse into the past.
With its well-preserved structures, engaging activities, and fascinating history, this old mining town will transport you back to the days of gold rushes and saloon shootouts. So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure at Calico Ghost Town.
How Far Is Calico Ghost Town From Las Vegas? It is roughly 2 hours and 14 minutes (148.6 mi) via I-15 S
The History of Calico Ghost Town
Calico existed in 1881 during the largest silver strike in California’s history. The town rapidly grew, boasting 500 mines, 1,200 inhabitants, and 22 saloons at its peak. However, when silver lost its value in the mid-1890s, the mines closed, and the townspeople left, turning Calico into a ‘ghost town.’
In the 1950s, Walter Knott purchased Calico and restored the original buildings to resemble their 1880s appearance. Today, Calico is a State Historical Landmark and offers visitors a chance to relive the town’s glory days, complete with historic buildings, fascinating museums, and various attractions.
Getting to Calico Ghost Town from Las Vegas
The drive from Las Vegas to Calico Ghost Town takes approximately two hours, making it an ideal pit stop on your way to other destinations like Fresno or Death Valley. Calico is situated in San Bernardino County, California, a few miles east of Barstow off I-15. To reach the town, take the Ghost Town Rd exit and follow the signs.
As you approach Calico, you’ll notice the town’s name written in white letters on the side of a mountain. With no other roads in the area, you won’t have to worry about getting lost on your way to this historic destination.
Admission and Hours
Calico Ghost Town is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM. Admission fees are $8 for adults, $5 for youth ages 6-15, and free for children under 5. Parking is available at the foot of the hill, and it’s free as well.
Exploring Calico Ghost Town
Upon entering Calico, you’ll be greeted by a variety of well-preserved buildings, including saloons, shops, hotels, and more. Each structure has been restored to resemble its original appearance, giving you an authentic taste of life in the Old West.
Lucy Lane Museum
Housed in the former post office and courthouse, the Lucy Lane Museum features artifacts, photographs, and documents from Calico’s past. Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, this fascinating museum offers a glimpse into the lives of the people who once called Calico home.
For a truly immersive experience, tour Maggie Mine, an authentic silver mine from the 1880s. Explore the underground passages and learn about the mining process, complete with exhibits and displays showcasing the town’s rich history.
Calico Odessa Railroad
Hop aboard the Calico Odessa Railroad for a scenic tour of the town’s mining area. This historic train ride takes you through the stunning landscape and offers up-close views of the old mines.
Visit the Mystery Shack for a mind-bending experience filled with optical illusions. Perfect for kids and adults alike, this attraction will have you questioning your senses as you watch water seemingly flow uphill.
Gold Panning Adventure
Try your hand at gold panning just like the miners of the past. See how much gold you can uncover as you sift through dirt and gravel; maybe you’ll strike it rich!
Entertainment and Events at Calico Ghost Town
Calico Ghost Town offers a variety of entertainment options, including historical reenactments, actors dressed as cowboys, souvenir shops, and special events like film festivals, Civil War reenactments, and bluegrass music festivals. For more information on upcoming events, visit the official website.
Dining Options at Calico Ghost Town
When hunger strikes, there are several dining options available within the town. The Calico House Restaurant serves up delicious meals inspired by the 1880s, including stews, pot pies, and the famous Buffalo Burger. Old Miner’s Cafe offers a more casual dining experience, with a menu featuring hamburgers, sandwiches, salads, and more. Don’t forget to stop by Lil’s Saloon for a refreshing sarsaparilla or a tasty treat from the Sweets Shop.
Accommodations and Camping at Calico Ghost Town
If you’d like to extend your stay at Calico Ghost Town, several accommodation options include cabins, bunkhouses, and campgrounds. Cabins start at $65 per night, while bunkhouses and campgrounds have varying rates depending on the size of your group and the amenities you require. For more information on accommodations and booking, visit the official website.
If you’re looking to explore the surrounding area, several nearby attractions are worth visiting. The famous Bodie Ghost Town is another well-preserved mining town that offers a fascinating look into the past. Additionally, the beautiful Yosemite National Park and the stunning landscapes of Death Valley are both within driving distance.
Whether you’re on your way to Las Vegas or just looking for a unique and historical destination, Calico Ghost Town is the perfect place to visit. With its fascinating history, engaging activities, and picturesque setting, this memorable attraction offers something for everyone.
So, why not take a step back in time and experience the Wild West at Calico Ghost Town? Remember to choose a cooler season to visit, as the summer heat can be quite intense.