High Sierra: Highway 395
Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site Off Hwy. 6, 4.5 mi. N of Bishop, (760) 873-5950. Daily 10am-4pm. $5; train rides additional. No dogs.
|visitor center at Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site in Bishop, California|
|antique train at Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site in Bishop, California|
A replication of the 1883 frontier community of Laws that developed here as a railroad depot for Bishop, this 11-acre facility features 30 original 19th-century buildings. Some were here from the past, and others were brought in to recreate the town. You can visit a newspaper office, a beauty parlor with a scary-looking permanent wave machine,
|permanent wave machine at Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site in Bishop, California|
a post office, a medical building, a replica mine shaft and headframe, and way more. When the town sprang up, nearby Keeler was the largest producer of silver in California and Laws had as many residents as Bishop. Vintage locomotives and railroad equipment as well as mining equipment are sometimes operated. A restored Death Valley tourist railroad car is restored and often available for rides on summer weekends.
|restored Death Valley tourist railroad car at Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site in Bishop, California|
This railroad shut down in 1959, hurt by the popularity of trucking. “Nevada Smith” starring Steve McQueen was filmed here in 1965. Visitors can wander through on their own, but sometimes docents are available for a tour. Pack along a picnic.
These videos are tons of fun:
This handcar was built from a kit.
More things to do along Highway 395.
More things to do in nearby Yosemite.
More ideas for exploring Northern California.
images and videos ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
docent in videos is Jay Smart