Did You Know: Cerro Gordo Ghost Town

Did You Know: Cerro Gordo Ghost Town
Surrounded by outhouses and a bar, the town was sold at $14 million Photo Credit: Shutterstock

A 150-year-old town, abandoned and ghostly with mines all around, it has a fascinating history

Rajlakshmi Dastidar
February 28 , 2021
02 Min Read

Discovered in 1865 by Pablo Florence who went searching for silver, located on the western slope of the Inyo Mountains, a ghost town harbours tourists from across the world to share its ancestral history.

A bloody past that dates back to half a century ago, Cerro Gordo used to be the backbone of Los Angeles with its production of silver.


Translating to 'Fat Hill' in Spanish, the town now possesses a second chance to shine after famous YouTube duo Sam & Colby vlogged their conquest of finding silver.

Just like most mining towns, in 1938, Cerro Gordo suffered a backlash when it blew up in flames and turned itself into a ghost town with a dark history. Surrounded by outhouses, rustic buildings and a bar, the town was sold at $14 million in 2018. The owners of the town want to keep the authenticity alive instead of refurbishing it into a museum. 

Inyo County mines

While you’re driving up the hill, the ride itself gives you an adrenaline rush since the crooked, rocky roads are bumpy and you’re close enough to fall off the edge. A pro tip would be to reach the town before dawn. The three roads that give you access to the main site is not accessible for vehicles with low ground tolerance. 

Surprisingly, the interiors of buildings and the houses here have been left totally as they were, fully furnished. The pictures, the clothes and other century-old gems like tintypes from 1800, unopened whiskey bottles and an array of antiques are the other gems to look forward to.

Abandoned and haunted Union Mine

The remains of the Union mine, along with all the equipment, is an exhibit you may want to see.

If you feel like spending a day or two here, you can rent out the 1870 Beslshaw House, Bunkhouse of 1904 and catch a glimpse of the American Hotel of 1871 which had recently burned on the morning of June 15, 2020.

Keeler town on the shore of Lake Owen

Standing at a height of 8,300 ft, Cerro Gordo Mines has a painful history through which it tries to rise. The Keeler town was established on the shores of Lake Owen and a mill had been constructed to extract the minerals. Today, a part of the arial tram that connects the town with the smelters in Keeler is still standing. If you look closely, you can see an ore bucket still hanging by suspended cables on the path to Cerro Gordo. 


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