Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Milky Way

The Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town.

Visitors can walk down the deserted streets of a town that once had a population of nearly 10,000 people. The town is named for Waterman S. Body (William Bodey), who had discovered small amounts of gold in hills north of Mono Lake. In 1875, a mine cave-in revealed pay dirt, which led to purchase of the mine by the Standard Company in 1877. People flocked to Bodie and transformed it from a town of a few dozen to a boomtown.

Only a small part of the town survives, preserved in a state of “arrested decay.” Interiors remain as they were left and stocked with goods. Designated as a National Historic Site and a State Historic Park in 1962, the remains of Bodie are being preserved in a state of “arrested decay”. Today this once thriving mining camp is visited by tourists, howling winds and an occasional ghost.


  • Winter hours 9am to 4pm (November 4th to April 15th)
  • Summer hours 9am-6pm (April 15th to November 3rd )

In the winter, you may need a snowmobile to get in. The road is not plowed.

The only access at sunrise, sunset, and the interiors of the building is by permit. The cost is steep but worth it. My wife Liz and I went on a photography tour at $800 a pop.

The tour gave us access at sunrise, sunset, and the interiors of the building at mid-day.

Feature Image Details

I used a Canon 11-24 F4.0 L lens at 11mm, F16, ISO 6400 for 47 seconds.

The Milky Way is indeed visible from this location at the front of the Wheaton and Hollis Hotel. Once again you need an extreme wide angle lens to get the shot.

The second image is cropped, standing further back. I was also standing further to the right.

In September, the Milky Way is nearly vertical. In early Spring, the Milky Way forms a low arch and in July it is on a strong diagonal.


Additional Bodie Images

  1. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Sunset.
  2. Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Interior
  3. Bodie Ghost Town – Boone Store Shell Station and 1927 Dodge Graham Pickup Truck
  4. Bodie Ghost Town – Sam Leon Saloon
  5. Bodie Ghost Town – Barbershop, Boarding House, Firehouse
  6. Bodie Ghost Town – Johl House
  7. Bodie Ghost Town – Morgue, Schoolhouse, James Stuart Cain Residence, Jailhouse
  8. Bodie Ghost Town – Standard Stamp Gold Mill

Wide angle lenses were used again in this set.

Eastern Sierra Area

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This wraps up my Bode set except for a video slideshow of my best stills in these articles.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

2 thoughts on “Bodie – California Ghost Town – Wheaton and Hollis Hotel – Milky Way

  1. Amazing and beautiful stuff Mish. Also really enjoyed the Mono Lake pictures; used to drive by it on my way to Bishop to paraglide the big air there, but never really ‘saw’ Mono until I looked at your photos of it. I’m glad you didn’t have the filter to ‘smooth’ the water – the light wind texture makes the photos more alive to me. Water is so alive, and really difficult to capture, especially a smaller stream with water really moving.

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