California City

California City (City of California City) is a city in the northern section of the Antelope Valley in the high desert of Kern County. It is the third largest city measured by land area in California and is located about 101 miles north of the city of Los Angeles, and about 10 miles north of Lancaster in the Mojave Desert. Tehachapi is located about 28 miles to the west. A large percentage of the residents are employed at Edwards Air Force Base which is located about 18 miles to the southeast.

The original developer acquired 82,000 acres and started selling lots and homes in the early 1960s. The town was incorporated in 1965. At that time, there were 817 residents, 232 homes, and 5,900 owners of lots. By the early 1970s over 50,000 lots had been sold, but the market had evaporated with the oil embargo and land values collapsed. Lawsuits were filed claiming false advertising and fraud, resulting in over 14,000 of the 50,000 lot owners receiving partial refunds.

While California City did not prosper and grow as expected by the developer, by 1985, the population increased to 3,200 and by 2018, the population had increased to over 14,000. In 2020, the population reached 15,000 and continues to increase.

The California City Landowners Association, established in 1993, is an unincorporated voluntary membership association consisting of owners of vacant land in California City. The advocacy group protects the rights of landowners and provides owners with valuable information including newsletters, visitor information, and land sales data.

California City has a PGA golf course and a municipal airport.

California City has a municipal airport which is located about two miles northwest of the city. The airport has two paved runways that are maintained in good condition. Aircraft operations average 68 per week.

Many investors are acquiring rural land, including desert land in California for commercial campsites, solar farms, and wind farms, all of which can generate monthly income. Others, including land bankers, acquire such land for recreational purposes or long-term investment.



Hyundai - Kia Proving Grounds - California City

The Hyundai - Kia Proving Grounds, opened in 2005, less than 5 miles south of California City, is a 4,300 acre, 50-million-dollar facility designed to create the roads and highways of North America to refine and test standard safety systems for Hyundai - Kia, including electric stability control, and side-impact airbags. The Kern County facility which has a 30,000 square foot complex, is a significant employer for residents of California City which is in the northern area of the Antelope Valley in the High Desert of Southern California.


US Borax Visitor Center

The US Borax Visitor Center and Gift Store is on the rim of the largest borax mine in the world, just outside of California City in the northern Antelope Valley in Kern County. The museum is open to the public and is intended to teach visitors about the many uses of borax and the history of the richest deposit of borax on the planet, including the history of the 20 Mule Team.



Red Rock Canyon State Park

Red Rock Canyon State Park, established in 1968, is a 27,000 acre California State Park located in the Mojave Desert and Kern County, just north of California City. The magnificent park features scenic desert cliffs, buttes, and spectacular rock formations that are truly beautiful. Each tributary canyon is unique with vivid colors and designs. Wildlife includes eagles, falcons, bobcats, coyotes, and roadrunners. Camping, hiking, and equestrian activities are permitted.


California City Chamber of Commerce

The goals of the California City Chamber of Commerce are to represent and advocate on behalf of businesses with government, increase public awareness of member businesses, promote the prosperity of members and the community, and provide multiple networking opportunities for members. Memberships are available and new members are always welcome.


Mojave Desert News

The Mojave Desert News, founded in 1938, is a newspaper that is now headquartered in California City. It claims to be the longest running newspaper in east Kern County and reports on news in Kern County, including California City. In addition to news, it covers opinion, local sports, and schools.


Timeline - Kern County

Timeline - Antelope Valley