There are abandoned buildings and towns scattered throughout the United States. The city of Sacramento, CA has more than its fair share of them.
We may not see or come across them every day, but they are out there. Forgotten and sitting around like huge time capsules just waiting to be opened and explored.
Some of them are well-known places, others are overlooked as boring and insignificant. But they all have a fascinating story to tell.
Some of those stories are dark and mysterious. While there are thousands of abandoned places in Sacramento to explore, below is a list of a few of the most interesting ones.
You can find other places to explore around Sacramento in our article on the coolest abandoned places in California.
List Of Abandoned Places In Sacramento, CA
1. Spirit of Sacramento Boat
This extraordinary 3-story abandoned boat (map) has quite the history. Originally named Putah, it was built in 1942 by the Army Corps of Engineers to be used as a snag boat. This marvelous steel vessel spent 6+ years cruising back and forth the Sacramento River clearing debris and any obstructions that prevented safe passage for other boats.
In the early 1950s, famous actor and filmmaker, John Wayne, purchased the Putah to be used in his hit movie Blood Alley. After filming wrapped up, he sold the boat to a local businessman who used it to host river cruises for tourists. The boat was sold again in 1993 and was renamed Spirit of Sacramento.
Shortly after its purchase, the boat would be engulfed in a fire that nearly destroyed it. It was repaired but never got to live its former glory days. Permit issues and vandals would cause the ship to close down.
At one point, the boat began to sink and the city sued its owner forcing him to dock the vessel on the ground alongside the river where it sits to this day. It’s been called one of the most interesting abandoned places in Sacramento.
2. Mather Air Force Base Weapons Storage
This once illustrious U.S. Air Force Base with a distinguished history was decommissioned after the cold-war in 1993. It was used as a weapons and munitions storage facility for the air force. It housed everything from nuclear weapons, bombs, missiles, flares, guns, and aircraft artillery.
It was built in 1918 and was 1 of 32 Air Service training camps (map) established after the US entered WW1. It was closed down in 93 and listed in the California National Priorities List shortly after. Because of its history, this air force base is one of the most popular abandoned places in Sacramento California.
3. Old Sacramento City Incinerator
The practice of burning trash has a long and complicated history in the United States. Although they generate electricity from the heat created by burning the trash, the primary function of an incinerator is waste disposal. That was the sole purpose of the Old Sacramento City Incinerator.
Waste collection trucks would drive around Sacramento stockpiling trash in their rear and dump their loads behind the incinerator. City workers would then sort the trash and burn most of it. The most notable aspect of the building is the 5-story tall smokestack. It is unknown when the incinerator was closed down, but the structure looks to be in a bad state of repair.
4. Coloma Ghost Town
The ghost town of Coloma resides 30 miles northeast of Sacramento in El Dorado County. It’s one of the most famous abandoned places near Sacramento that I thought should be included in this list of abandoned places. Most famously known as the site where James Marshall struck gold in the Sierra Nevada foothills, at Sutter’s Mill in 1848.
His discovery lead to the famous California Gold Rush that would see over 300k people from all over the United States and abroad move near the area to look for gold.
As miners were finding gold in other locations, the population of Coloma started to dwindle. By 1870 Coloma was reduced from thousands of residents, down to 200. Today Coloma is not fully abandoned as some people still reside there.
But it is considered a ghost town because buildings such as the jail, homes, and businesses have all been abandoned and left to decay. Now the ghost town sits as one of the best abandoned places in Sacramento.
5. Abandoned Sacramento Mines
If you don’t mind the trek up the white mountains, these old gold mines might be worth a visit. Fearless explorer of the Youtube channel ‘Exploring Abandoned Mines and Unusual Places’, made the grueling hike up the mountains to a location where a former friend had worked at.
Old mining reports stated the mines in the video were gold mines but also produced silver, lead, and copper. The layout of the mines was quite haphazardly laid out. Some levels are interconnected by long inclined tunnels and slopes. If you visit, be sure to use extreme caution.
Can’t Find Abandoned Buildings In Sacramento To Explore?
Sacramento is home to countless must-see abandoned buildings. No home, business, or institution is immune to falling into abandonment and eventually disrepair. If you’re still on the hunt for abandoned places in Sacramento to explore, read the guide I wrote where I show you the methods you can use to find abandoned places near you to explore. The methods I disclose have helped thousands of urban explorers find places to explore.