Calico was built during an 1881 silver strike, the largest ever found in California. The town boomed until the mines started to play out in 1896. By 1904, it was a ghost town. Today it's a tourist attraction, but with lots of its original buildings still standing.
You can visit the old town, but you can also spend the night at Calico, bringing your own tent or RV - or staying in one of their basic cabins.
Calico hosts an event for almost every holiday, including Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. They also have a film festival, Civil War reenactments and a bluegrass music festival. Check out their event schedule.
Calico Ghost Town Tips
- Calico is a real 1890s town and not all areas are ADA accessible
- The cost to get in is very reasonable, but some attractions charge an extra fee.
Calico Ghost Town With KidsKids will enjoy panning for gold - and they love the Mystery Shack, a mind-bending spot where optical illusions make water look like it's running uphill. They also like riding the narrow-gauge mining train that circles the town.
Calico Ghost Town ReviewLocated just outside of Barstow, Calico is a good stop for a quick stretch of the legs on the way from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, especially if you have restless kids who need to get out and do something.
How you'll feel about Calico depends on what you're expecting - and your age. Kids seem to uniformly enjoy it, having a great time panning for gold or riding the stagecoach.
Some adults like Calico for what it is, perhaps more like a mini-theme park built in a historic mining town than it is like the authentic ghost towns of the Eastern Sierras. If you're a ghost town fan who's been around, it's more like Tombstone or Superstition, Arizona than Bodie, California or Rhyolite, Nevada. Many folks complain that it's too commercialized, but as one online reviewer put it, "they have to support it somehow."
- Hours: Open every day
- Reservations: Not required
- Cost: Admission fee
- Location: East of Barstow, directions below
- How Long: A hour or two will be enough for most people
- Best Time to Visit: Any time is OK, but it can be hot in summer. If you go on a weekday, some attractions may not be open
Where is Calico Ghost Town?
Calico Ghost TownCalico Ghost Town is located just a few miles east of Barstow off I-15. Exit I-15 at Ghost Town Rd.
Calico Ghost Town website
If You Like Calico Ghost Town, You May Also Like:
- Bodie, a Sierras gold rush town east of Yosemite
- Columbia State Historic Park, Sierra foothills
- Rhyolite, near Death Valley