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Road Trip: Ghost Town Tour

Road Trip: Ghost Town Tour

Discover abandoned towns on this trip through the Old West of California
Posted 6 years agoby Ann Marie Brown

As gold-mining fever gripped California in 1849, fortune seekers journeyed to the deserts and mountains with picks, shovels, and high hopes. Miners built entire towns in the state’s most remote outposts. Some struck it rich. Most didn’t. When the ore ran out, so did the people, leaving behind sagging storefronts and mining detritus. Take a tour through California’s most fascinating abandoned towns on this far-flung road trip through the Old West.


Stop one: Shasta State Historic Park

West of Redding on Highway 299, Old Shasta was the queen city of California’s northern mining district. Tour the town’s crumbling brick buildings, visit Shorty's Eatery for a hearty sandwich, and see mining memorabilia at the 1861 County Courthouse. (Note: Some of the park's buildings were burnt in the Carr Fire earlier this summer.) Distance to next stop: 165 miles

Stop two: Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park

North Bloomfield’s picturesque main street was briefly the world’s richest gold mine—until 1884, when hydraulic mining was outlawed. Stroll around the saloon, barbershop, general store, and former dance hall northeast of Nevada City. Next stop: 20 miles

Stop three: