Calico Ghost Town
By Jeremy Zachary
Why You Must Go: As the only living ghost town in California, Calico has played host to miners and tourists since 1881. Originally known for its silver streaks of riches, Calico is an inexpensive place to camp and enjoy the midnight sparkle of our cosmos. Gold panning, gun-slinging, mine touring and nearby off-roading are all in a day’s play here. Two of the best spots to stay are the small cabins on the southwest side of the park or the tent camping (for those looking to ‘rough it’) on the east side of the camping area.
Where To Eat: As most ghost towns go, Calico is no different in the fact that a proper meal is scarce. The only restaurant in town is the Calico House restaurant. Unless you’re craving a flashback from your high school cafeteria, I’d recommend sticking to those sandwiches you packed for the trip. For the kid in all of us the Sweet Shop serves up ice cream that’ll really hit the spot, especially in the months of the waxing sun. Not far from town, on the main highway you’re better off to get a proper meal of choice.
What Else To Check Out: If you’re into off-roading, the Calico website offers a good map with a legend showing what dirt roads your Prius will drive and what roads you’ll need the Hummer for. Also nearby for those who enjoy spittin‘ lead, the area allows shooting in the canyons. A hike up the mountain offers a great view (don’t forget your Camelback) of the valley below. And be sure to keep a watchful eye out for open mine shafts along your way. It’s a long way down!
Calico (San Bernardino County Regional Parks), P.O. Box 638, Yermo, (760) 254-2122, (800) TO-CALICO; www.calicotown.com; $25-80 per night.