Visiting Bodie

Q: What is the best time of year to visit Bodie? 

A: Since Bodie gets snow for most of the year and roads can become inaccessible during that time, the best time of year to visit is in summer and fall when weather and road conditions are at their best. During this time of year, we provide history talks, tours, and our museum is open. 

Early fall is a great time to plan a trip to Bodie as the weather is warm, but not too hot, summer crowds are gone due to school being back in session, and the surrounding area may have fall colors. 

 Q: What is the best way to get to Bodie? 

A: The best way to get to Bodie is on CA State Route 270. This road is accessed by way of US 395 and consists of 10 miles of pavement and 3 miles of dirt road. The dirt portion of the road is grated several times during the busy season, but heavy use of the road, rain storms, and vehicles going faster than the 15 MPH speed limit worsen the condition of the road. All other roads to Bodie are dirt and may require 4WD, high-clearance vehicles depending on the time of year and road conditions.

See our "How to Get Here" information section for more. 

Weather and Nature

Q: How much snow does Bodie get? 

A: Bodie can get up to 10 feet of snowfall and up to 20 feet of snow drift! 

 Q: How cold can Bodie get? 

A: Bodie can be one of the coldest places in the lower 48 states! Bodie's coldest temperatures can get into the -30s (Farenheit)

 Q: How hot does Bodie get?

A: While some visitors claim they have visited Bodie when it was "over 100 degrees", Bodie's highest temperatures only get into the upper 80s (Farenheit). Although, the high altitude can make it feel exceptionally hot (like you're standing next to the sun). Your car may warm up to over 100 degrees. 

*Bodie staff has historically checked the weather and reported each day's high, low, and current temperatures. 

 Q: What type of wildlife lives around Bodie?

A: While visiting Bodie, the most common animals that people will see are jackrabbits, cottontail rabbits, ground squirrels, chipmunks, coyote, and deer. 

Many species of birds are often spotted around Bodie such as violet green swallows, barn swallows, black birds, crows, ravens, hawks, peregrin falcons, various species of owls, and sage grouse. 

Rare, but not unusual sightings, include bobcats, mountain lions, pronghorn antelope, badgers, weasels and an occasional bear passing through. 

Bodie History 

Q: How many people lived in Bodie during its heyday?

A: During Bodie's boom years (1879-1881), as many as  8,000-10,000 people may have lived in Bodie. The 1880 census counted 8,000 residents, however, it is possible that some people may have not been counted or there may have been questions as to who was considered a resident. 

 Q: How much gold was discovered in Bodie?

A: Around $34 million dollars of gold and silver was extracted from Bodie's mines. 

 Q: When did the last person leave Bodie?

A: Bodie has never truly been abandoned! After gold was discovered by W.S. Bodey in 1859, the Bodie Mining District formed and the town of Bodie was named for him. Bodie boomed from 1877-1881, but people continued to live here well into the 20th century. In 1942, a presidential order was issued ceasing the mining of gold and silver. The town's school and post office closed and Bodie lost its township. However, a handful of caretakers continued to live in Bodie until it became a California State Park in 1962.

Today, park staff and their families continue to live and work here to continue the work of those last families and caretakers who protected Bodie as long as they could.