Lonely Planet Writer

You can buy your own ghost town in California

Do you love abandoned places? Fancy owning a slice of history? Or just want to pretend you’re the hero of your own zombie apocalypse movie? If so, there is an amazing real estate option for you in California.

The Cerro Godo ghost town is finally going on the market. Photo by GeoStock

Cerro Gordo in the Inyo Mountains has been abandoned for a number of decades. Before that, it was a prosperous collection of mines from 1865 to about 1957. For the last number of years, it has been a privately-owned tourist attraction, filled with a well-preserved store, hotel, office and historical artefacts. Now it’s up for sale for an imaginative buyer to do what they like with it.

In total, there are 300 acres of land and 22 remaining buildings, some of which have been restored while others have been kept in a static form of decay. The asking price is currently US $925,000 (€784,492), which some media reports have pointed out is better than a lot of property prices in the state. Interest has already been high, with ample opportunities to create a unique kind of tourist attraction or, as some online have speculated, a site for the ultimate doomsday preparation.

It’s been family-owned for generations now but the time has come to pass it on. The ghost town is just four hours away from both Las Vegas and Los Angeles and is intimately connected with the former. By 1869 it was the largest producer of silver and lead in the state and delivered huge amounts of it to LA.

The road to the ghost town is isolated and rugged. Photo by Witold Skrypczak

For anybody who still has a hunch there could be more silver in the hills, they’ll be assured to know that if you do find anything underground, it will also be legally yours. If you’d like to learn more, a special website has been set up for the sale here.