Northern California Has A Lost Town Most People Don’t Know About
There is an element of mystery in New Idria. This lost town in Northern California provides a tangible link to the past and captivates the imagination. Despite its remote location, some determined history-buffs and adventurers have made the journey on rural California roads to visit this ghost town.
The abandoned town is located in the Diablo Range, about 38 miles south of Hollister.
Located in San Benito County, New Idria was once home to the New Idria Mercury Mine– at one time it was America’s second most productive mine.
Mercury mining in the area first began in 1854, and the town was established three years later. The mine closed and the town was abandoned in 1972.
New Idria has some notable and infamous designations: It is a
California Historical Landmark
, a ghost town, home of the world’s first Gould Rotary Furnace, and is also an EPA Superfund site due to the unchecked mercury contamination.
New Idria is an off-the-beaten-path destination. Due to its remote location and the fact that it is an abandoned ghost town, it is not commonly visited or well-known.
If you're interested in exploring New Idria, it's important to be prepared for the remote area. It requires navigating through less developed roads, possibly without cell service.
It is not easy to visit New Idria.
First, you’ll need a vehicle that can manage rough roads. Second, be sure to get a
vehicle permit and gate codes
to access the area at least 48 hours in advance of your visit. New Idria is closed to the public, but you can still view the nearly 100 buildings from right outside the town. There is often a caretaker onsite to enforce the rules to visitors.
Many people have a deep fascination with abandoned towns. We wonder, “Why did people live there?” “How did they live?” and “Why did they leave?”
Abandoned places provide a tangible link to the past. The stories, events, and remnants of the town are like going through a portal to a bygone era. These towns serve as time capsules, frozen in a particular period. Exploring the decaying buildings, artifacts, and remnants is like stepping back in time.
Visiting New Idria can provide an off-the-beaten-path experience for anyone interested in history, abandoned places, or outdoor exploration.
Just be sure to plan your trip carefully, prioritize safety, and be aware of the potential challenges associated with visiting a remote and less-frequented location.
Do you have any interest in visiting New Idria? Tell us about your favorite
Northern California ghost town.
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New Idria Mine, California 95043, USA