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Driving from 29 Palms to Calico Ghost Town

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London, United...
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Driving from 29 Palms to Calico Ghost Town

Hello there

We will be driving from 29 Palms to visit Calico Ghost Town and then to Death Valley. We live in London and treat this trip as an adventure, however, we would like to drive safely and smoothly.

Is it better to go via CA-247 or a small road to Ludlow and join Highway 40? My husband is the only person who will be driving so he does not want to be too tired. Is spending 2 hrs in the Ghost Town enough? We want to get to Furnace Creek an hour before sunset, what is the best time to leave the Ghost Town? Is there any eateries or somewhere nice to stop and rest on the way from there to Death Valley? Can you recommend us somewhere for lunch? What is the weather like now in the area? What do we need to be cautious about in the road?

Your information is much appreciated.

Many thanks

Fortaleza, CE
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1. Re: Driving from 29 Palms to Calico Ghost Town

When is the trip? Google Maps estimates just over 3 hours driving from Calico to Furnace Creek. http://goo.gl/maps/JlZJy Lots of Web sites to find sunrise/sunset times for whenever you go. You'll see signs for places to eat along I-15 (including the town of Baker), and in a few small towns along Hwy. 127 north to DV, including Shoshone and Death Valley Junction, but probably nothing memorable. I haven't been to Calico in over 50 years, so can't advise on the time needed to visit it or the "Early Man Site," but you can see reviews at tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g33295-Activitie… (my wife likes to stop at the outlet mall in nearby Barstow).

Edited: 1:09 pm, September 26, 2012
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2. Re: Driving from 29 Palms to Calico Ghost Town

There are a few ways to get there.

Hwy 247, which skirts the bottom of the mountains to Lucerne Valley then cuts across to Barstow.Its fairly direct and well travelled.

You can take Amboy Road to Amboy, see Roys motel/cafe on Route 66, then head towards Barstow on R-66 and catch the next entrance to I-40 into Barstow.Fairly light traffic on that route,easy to do.

Or , the most scenic,take Amboy Road to Amboy go east to Kelbaker Road and take that across I-40 to Kelso to see the Mojave Preserve park headquarters and museum. Then take Kelbaker Road to Baker and catch I-15 into Barstow. Calico is just outside Barstow off I-15.Light traffic.Gas up in 29 Palms. There is fuel at Amboy or Baker.You can eat at the Beanery Diner inside the Kelso train depot.

Pictures of that route.


Calico to me is sort of a Disneyland type ghost town. Paved sidewalks, ice cream shops, things like that. Bodie State Park is a nice preserved ghost town but not on your route. Over near Death Valley is Rhyolite, which you could also visit.

Near Calico is Peggy Sues Diner, or in Barstow are all the usual chains.Baker has restaurants.

To get to DV from Calico, you would head back I-15 to Baker, then head towards the park.

Edited: 1:22 pm, September 26, 2012
Santa Ana, CA
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3. Re: Driving from 29 Palms to Calico Ghost Town

All those roads Dez mentioned are paved.

I think two hours at Calico is good.

Calico was commercialized to help pay for it. The jewelry shop pays rent, the gift shops pay rent. You get the idea. The buildings had to be restored to an extent they could get a permit to allow people to safely walk into the buildings.

You can eat at Calico, too. They have a cafe, a saloon, and a restaurant.

London, United...
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4. Re: Driving from 29 Palms to Calico Ghost Town

Many thanks for all your inputs. Now I have a much better idea about the area and what route I should choose. Much appreciated for all your efforts.

London, United...
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5. Re: Driving from 29 Palms to Calico Ghost Town

Now I have been to Calico Ghost Town, I totally agree with Dez40, it is a Disney land type of ghost town. There are extras dressing period customs and it is over run by tourists. I did not enjoy it as much but I think it might be quite good fun for kids.

We also went to Rhyolite Ghost Town. There are only a few buildings left in Rhyolite Ghost Town and it is ashamed that the biggest building, can't remember whether it is a casino or opera house, is fenced. However, it is really atmospheric. Also the road going there is very beautiful. We really enjoy it.

Many thanks for all your advice. We have such a great time!

6. Re: Driving from 29 Palms to Calico Ghost Town

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