Trailer Trip 2021 - Day 5: Camanche Reservoir to Columbia


March 28, 2021

Today after a stroll around the campground at Camanche North Shore Recreation Area.

Sunrise over Camanche Recreation Area

We then headed out to see a couple of old gold mining town. Our first stop was Campo Seco. This was a true ghost town, with not much left but a few old dilapidated brick buildings.

Ruins at Campo Seco

From there we headed for another boom town that has been brought back to life, named Columbia. It is now busy state park with lots of old buildings. Some of the old building tell the tale of the old days, while others are more about selling items to tourist. They didn’t get any of my cash, but I sure thought about buying an Ice Cream cone in the 75-degree weather.

Main street in Columbia

There is a common thread to all these old gold mining towns, and that is they all have burned to the ground one, or more times. With each fire more stone and brick buildings were built. Those are the buildings that remain today. It’s is kind of amazing how the thought of striking it rich had people coming ½ around the world to search for gold. This stampede of miners had these places grow for just a few hardy souls to 5,000 or 6,000 residents almost overnight. Then only to have the towns shrink back to just a few die-hards after the gold had been depleted.