As a youth I went to Calico Ghost Town in California many times, with the Boy Scouts, school trips and even with my family. My favorite parts were the silly little mine tunnel and the train. Keep in mind it is not a real ghost town in the traditional since, its more of a western mining themed amusement park without all the rides.
I enjoy the history of the old west and the story of a silver mining town that had a population that swelled to 3500 people in 1890 before the price of silver fell in the late 1890’s. Shortly after the turn of the century, everyone left this place to find another way to live and make their fortunes. Walter Knott ( founder of Knotts Berry Farm) purchased Calico in the 1950s, architecturally restoring all but the five remaining original buildings to look as they did in the 1880s from old photographs of the mining town.
Calico is now one of San Bernardino County’s regional parks, welcoming visitors to explore what’s left of the old boom town, its buildings, geological features, legends and history. Unlike many abandoned settlements of the era, which have disappeared or fallen into ruin , the former silver rush settlement has been largely restored. And the story of how Calico ghost town came back to life is no less intriguing than the events that unfolded during its Old West peak.
One of the rebuilt attractions is the one-mile short line “Calico & Odessa” railroad which loops through steep canyons and hills past old mines and buildings north of Calico. Though the original townsite has been mostly rebuilt by new and restored buildings, one-third of the town is original and the remaining newer buildings were carefully reconstructed to recreate the spirit of Calico’s Old West past.Today, walking tours are available with Calico historians who examine the life of miners during its heyday. There is a hard rock silver mine that provides underground exploration and buildings to see such as the schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, and saloons, as well as a live gold panning operation.
Calico Ghost Town, is located off Interstate 15. Calico Ghost Town lies 9 miles from Barstow and 3 miles from Yermo. Giant letters spelling CALICO can be seen on the Calico Peaks behind the ghost town from the freeway.
Calico Ghost Town offers 265 camping sites with accommodations for RV’s with full and partial hook-ups as well as group tent camping sites. The campgrounds offer hot showers, restrooms, grills and fire rings and two dump stations. Campsites are available near OHV areas of the park. There are also six cabins available for rental at Calico Ghost Town. Each cabin sleeps 4, is heated and air conditioned. Linens are not provided; pets not allowed. The Park also has a mini-bunkhouse which sleeps 6, is heated/air conditioned and has a private bathroom/shower and kitchenette. Linens are not provided. No pets allowed. Lastly Calico Ghost Town has a full size bunk house.The minimum for booking the bunkhouse is 12 persons; with up to a 20 person maximum. The bunkhouse is heated and air conditioned. Linens are not provided. Restrooms are located outside; showers located in the campground. No pets allowed.
Based on https://freecampsites.net/#!Yermo,+CA,+USA there are 6 free campsites within 15 miles of Yermo, California
—-Hiking & ORV—-
—-Things to Do—-
Calico Ghost Town is located about halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, in the high country of the Mojave Desert. Barstow is the nearest town of any real size, and also the Mojave National Preserve is close by. Also there is another county park there called Glen Helen Regional Park.