Bodie Historical Park


During our California road trip in the summer of 2016, we stopped at our first ever “ghost” town. Chris turned thirty (!!!) during this trip and had always wanted to go to a ghost town, so I made it my mission to find one for his birthday. Lucky for us, on our travel day between Yosemite NP and Lake Tahoe, we would be near a genuine California gold-mining ghost town. Bodie Historical Park is what is left of the town of Bodie, which began as a gold mining boomtown in the mid-1800’s. In the 1960’s it was given to the state of California to be preserved in “arrested decay” for its historical value. Bodie Historical Park is run by California Dept. of Parks and Recreation and is located in Bridgeport, CA only thirteen miles from Yosemite NP. You do have to drive on a gravel road part of the way, and I’d suggest visiting in summer as in winter it is usually snowed in due to the high elevation.

The historical park was quite big and we set out to explore along with a map of the town. There were homes, a church, a school, general store, mill, cemetery, and even a “red light” area to explore. Some of the building we were allowed inside to explore further and see some of the old furniture and decorations. I also purchased a small guidebook with more information and stories about the town, including a murder! I highly recommend the guidebook which made the town come alive with the ghosts of the past.

I wish we had more time to spend at this historical place. We visited in early July as a small sidestop, but really we could of explored for a whole day.I’d suggest bringing a picnic, buying a map and exploring! You can also go on a tour of the stamp mill, for an extra $6 a person.


Adults: $8 per person
Children: $5 per child (ages 3 to 17)
Children ages 3 and under are free




Southwest Road Trippin’: Part One


Our big summer trip this past year was to the “Wild West”. My husband loves the western area of our country and I had never been to many of the places in the Southwest, so we chose to do a road trip to the area.

We landed in Las Vegas early in the morning, picked up our rental and immediately began our adventure! I had so many places I researched and wanted to go on our trip. First, we took the scenic route through Lake Mead NRA and drove to the Valley of Fire state park in Nevada. The Valley of Fire is one of the top state parks in the U.S. to visit and was beautiful. Unfortunately, it was the heat of the day when we decided to do some hikes, and it was HOT. I almost didn’t make it through our hike, a simple 1.5-mile round-trip, due to the heat. There are signs in the park to avoid hiking during midday due to extreme temperatures, but of course, we figured it was such a short hike we wouldn’t be affected. Wrong! But, we made it back to the car, turned the AC up and drank plenty of water to cool down on our way to Utah.

Did you know Utah has FIVE national parks? Coming from Louisiana, where there’s not even one National Park, it was pretty tempting to visit. Originally, we were set on going to the Grand Canyon and planned our trip around that. As we had to go through Utah on the way to the North Rim, we decided to include Zion Nat’l Park in our trip. I’m SO glad we did!

View from Dinner in St. George, UT

We spent an evening in St. George, to recover from our day of travel, using a Groupon to stay at a local hotel for cheap. The next day we left bright and early, after enjoying our hotel’s free continental breakfast of course. We headed to the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center entrance to Zion Nat’l Park.

Kolob Canyon

We stopped at the visitors center before enjoying the scenic five-mile drive up the mountains. At the top we did a short hike to the Timber Creek Overlook, giving us our first view over Zion National Park. If you have time I would absolutely recommend visiting this side of the park! It was much quieter and very few people when we visited, which compared to the main Zion Canyon section was wonderful.

After a morning at Kolob Canyon, we headed to the Zion Canyon section of the park. After stopped at Wal-Mart to load up on camping groceries, we checked into our tent campsite at Watchman Campground, site D35.

Check Out a Map of Our Stops!