From Dirtopia, The Off-Road Encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Photo: Exiting from Valley at Calico.
Trail Information
Other Names:
Part of:
Trail Length:
Trail Time:
Terrain: Desert
Off-Road Use: Trail only
Difficulty: Difficult
County: San Bernardino County, California
Nearest Cities: Calico, CA
Map Links:
Satellite Map:
Special Map: Google Map w/ photo
GPS Start:
GPS End:
Google Earth: Doran Odessa and more trails.kmz
During the late 1800's the town of Calico was busting with prospectors searching for its mineral riches. Silver was king here and the Calico Mining District became one of the richest in the state. Born in March 1881, Calico could boast boomtown status, producing $86 million in silver, $45 million in borax and a town population of 1,200 with 22 saloons, China Town and "red-light district." Over 500 mines including the legendary Silver King, Oriental and Bismarck were the engines that drove Calico's great wealth between the years of 1881 and 1907. Like most towns of the early west, however, when the price of silver dropped from $1.31 an ounce to 63 cents during the mid 1890's, Calico became a ghost of its former self. The town officially died in 1907 with the end of borax mining in the district.

Today, Calico is one of the few remaining original mining towns of the western United States, thanks to the help of Mr. Walter Knott, founder of Knott's Berry Farm. Knott bought the town in 1951 and started restoring it from old photographs. Five of Calico's businesses are in original buildings like "Lil's" Saloon, and Lane's General Store. Others like the school house are exact replicas on existing foundations. In November 1966, Knott donated Calico to San Bernardino County.

If you like to camp, the narrow canyons below town offer full hookups, and are open 24 hours a day. Off highway vehicle camping with rest rooms and showers are also available. Admission to the townsite is included with camping and offers additional value to overnight stays. Six camping cabins and a large bunkhouse for groups with heating and air conditioning are also available for extended visits. Each Saturday night during the spring, summer, and fall, the towns historian can be found delivering a campground slide program.

Calico is open daily all year long except Christmas Day. Townsite hours are 8 a.m. to dusk with the shops and attractions open between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A nominal entrance fee is charged which includes the historic tour, music and gunfight entertainment. A brochure, town map, and event's schedule can be obtained by calling Calico toll free at 1-800-TO-CALICO.

When visiting the area please be mindful that this area is dotted with mine-shafts. There are both vertical and horizontal shafts. Most are marked but some are not and you could easily fall in. It is not advisable to enter any of the shafts they are dangerous and you may end up hurt.

Calico Photo Gallery[edit]

Maps and GPS Coordinates[edit]

Calico map