Bodie State Historic Park: Winter Hours Begin

Spy the ghost town in the quiet of the colder season.

CLASSIC ROAD TRIPS, per movies and novels and documentaries and commercials and magazines, happen in one season and one season alone: summertime. Oh, there may be the occasional foray into fall, but then leaf-peepery somehow needs to be involved in the vacation. And if spring is the thing for a road trip, according to popular culture, somehow flower-viewing or a garden visit should play a part. Summer it is, for the most part, but road-trippers know that any day of the year that happens in one of the twelve months, beginning with Jan. 1 and ending on New Year's Eve, is a great time for a getaway. That includes winter, the most unsung of the tires-a-rolling stretches, though plenty of road-trippers understand that A) lots of out-of-the-way places remain open and B) seeing those places in snow can be a deep and even profound experience. Look to lovely Bodie State Historic Park, which just changed up its winter opening hours for the 2016-2017 season. Those hours are 9 a.m. to 4 in the afternoon, meaning you'll need to be back on the road...

WELL BEFORE SUNDOWN: That's okay, of course. If you're fortunate, and your visit follows some snowfall, you'll view the 1870s-authentic mining town, a place kept in "arrested decay," in a wholly new way, one that's apt to be both quiet and quite stunning. The details of the dozens of buildings that remain can be astonishingly pronounced when there are no snowflakes clinging to various eaves and windows, but the frosty stuff adds a photo-ready dimension in the colder months. Just remember, if you do want to head to the remote location with your camera and tripod, best call about road conditions first (the park's number is 760-647-6445) and skip State Route 270, which "closes in the winter due to snow," per Mono County Tourism. The final day of wintertime hours in the exquisite, kept-in-amber (but vibrantly so, and not literally, of course) destination? March 17, 2017 is the last pre-spring, shorter-hour'd date on the landmark town's cold-weather schedule.

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