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Calico Ghost Town | First encounter with the American Frontier

Calico Ghost Town | First encounter with the American Frontier

January 2020 was filled with adventures and the USA West Coast Road trip was for sure the highlight. Being for the first time in the USA included a lot of movie cliches I wanted to see or do. One major thing I insisted visiting was the Wild Wild West as Will called it.

My research started on Instagram where I found an old abandoned mining town called Calico. This ghost town was established in late 1800´s due to the silver mining rush and now it is a country park attraction for tourists around the world. It has shops, ice cream parlour, a beer garden and some fun attractions in the old mines all in the spirit of the American frontier. The city h as been restored to the look of the silver rush era when it flourished and it easily takes you back to those times. It’s name was given after the “calico-colored” peak and mountain range to which it belongs.

Calico Ghost Town - Calico Hill

The entrance costs just a few $. Besides the abundant souvenir shops in the city center, you can visit the Maggie mine or take a train tour. The Calico Odessa Railroad was installed in town in 1958 and has been running on a regular basis since then.

Calico Ghost Town - Town Hall


A post office was established in early 1882, and the Calico Print, a weekly newspaper, started publishing. The town soon supported three hotels, five general stores, a meat market, bars, brothels, and three restaurants and boarding houses. The county established a school district and a voting precinct. The town also had a deputy sheriff and two constables, two lawyers and a justice of the peace, five commissioners, and two doctors. There was also a Wells Fargo office and a telephone and telegraph service. At its height of silver production during 1883 and 1885, Calico had over 500 mines and a population of 1,200 people. (Source: Wikipedia)

Calico Ghost Town - Woodworks
Calico Ghost Town - Old Mine

All the above mentioned institutes are to be seen now along a city walk. We visited Calico ghost town right before sunset which made the red hills shine bright and created a nostalgic atmosphere upon the old wooden houses. The moon rose above the town and gave an extra dramatic frontier effect. We waited listening for the coyotes to howl, but that did not happen. We should leave a note in the suggestion box. The silver mines and city building told us more stories, than any guide could tell. Many dreams and hopes were created there together with the city and many secrets probably hide even today in the depths of the old mines.

Calico Ghost Town - Other Side

Was Calico the first Ghost Town you ever heard of? because for sure it was ours! Visiting this place was a fun and happy adventure and totally worth the extra drive. Thank you for reading and do write your impressions in the comments below.

Ioana and Andrei in Frontier Cothes

Liked what you read? Let’s meet on social media too for more travel inspiration Instagram @smileyioana Pinterest @smileyioana 

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