About California City
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Introduction | Business & Industry | Settling in Town | Points of Interest
Recreation  | The City Dream | History

A city on the move
Tehachapi BridgeAbout City Government

California City is a high desert community ready for growth and eager to welcome business. It is proud of its progressive City Council, Planning Commission, Redevelopment Agency, City Administration and various support groups, such as the Chamber of Commerce and the California City Economic Development Corporation.

California City is a master-planned, general law city featuring a council/city manager form of government with a large Central Park Lake, a sports arena, a community center, marina, championship and par 3 golf courses, pro clubhouse, airport terminal and City Hall.



New Police Facilities
Designed for future growth, a modern police facility houses California City's own Police Department.



Tierra Del Sol
Tierra Del Sol
18 hole Championship Golf Course
Projects completed:

    Senior center
    Annexation of land to Highway 14
    Airport terminal and restaurant
    Middle school
    Desert Jade Senior complex
    Police facility
    Sewer tertiary treatment plant
    Aspen Mall Improvement Project

Projects under development

    The Villages: A 300+ acre project
    22-Acre Business Park
    California Air and Space Museum
    Annexation of land to Highway 58

Future projects

    New high school
    New elementary school

Introduction | Business & Industry | Settling in Town | Points of Interest
Recreation  | The City Dream | History
Business & Industry
Attractive Homes at Affordable Prices
REAL estate
In addition to offering attractive homes at affordable prices, the California City Redevelopment Agency provides its own Mortgage Assistance Program.
California City; A City With A Vision
REAL vision
The Civic Center, which currently consists of City Hall, the Post Office, Library and the modern Police facility, has plenty of room for expansion.
A Flying Enthusiasts Favorite
REAL results
A favorite of flying sports enthusiasts throughout the U.S., the California City Airport hosts one of the largest skydiving clubs in the country.


    Low crime rate (lower insurance costs)
    Inexpensive home prices
    Clean air
    Unsurpassed recreational amenities



    Internet node
    All utilities including wind, geothermal and solar power (in county)
    Mojave natural gas pipeline nearby with natural gas at cost less than PUC


    Low cost land
    Industrial development bonds available through Kern County
    Permit streamlining
    Build-to-suit in Business Park
    Low cost skilled and unskilled labor due to low cost of living
    Kern County incentive package
    California City incentives
    Land zoned light to heavy industrial
    Mortgage Assistance Program


    East Kern Air Quality Management District
    Lower sales tax
    $6,000 mortgage assistance program (RDA)


    Three major highways: 58, 14 and 395
    Cargo airport in California City
    Santa Fe rail nearby

Introduction | Business & Industry | Settling in Town | Points of Interest
Recreation  | The City Dream | History
Settling in Town
Location and Population

California City consists of 206 square miles in the upper Mojave Desert. It is located in the Fremont Valley, adjacent to the Antelope Valley, at an average elevation of 2,400 feet, with the El Paso and Rand Mountains to the North and the Tehachapi Mountains to the West. It is about a 15-minute drive north of Mojave and Edwards Air Force Base.

Local vegetation

Geographically, the state's third largest city, California City has a population over 10,000 people.

Banking Institutions

California City is proud to have Sierra National Bank, the Bank of Mojave and AltaOne Federal Credit Union available locally for all your banking and financial needs.

Medical Facilities

The California City Medical Center is open six days a week and there is a dental office and pharmacy available to serve the residents' needs. In addition, a 24hour ambulance service and Med-Evac is dispatched from the California City Police Department.

California City Medical Center

A friend of the California City Fire Department


California City has electricity supplied through Southern California Edison and gas supplied supplied through Southern California Gas Company. Propane is available through Benz and Proflame.

Water is provided through careful planning of city-owned wells and the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency aqueduct system (AVEKWA). Your telephone company is General Telephone (GTE). There are also numerous independent telephone companies available for additional long-distance service. Cable TV is available through Falcon Cable Systems. Sewer and trash collection are provided by City Hall.

Clubs and Organizations

There are clubs and organizations for every lifestyle and interest with active branches of the American Legion,

Veterans of Foreign Wars, Kiwanis and Moose. Search and Rescue, Police Explorers and Teen Job Bank as well as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, R-C Car Club, youth soccer, football and Little League are available for family members. The Community Center encompasses all social aspects of life in California City. Many special interest groups such as the Art and Drama Association, East Kem Historical Museum Society, East Kern Art Society and local rockhound groups satisfy personal and creative needs.

Employment Opportunities

Edwards Air Force Base, home of the Air Force Test Center, and Mojave Airport are two of the area's largest employers. Mojave Airport alone has in excess of 30 companies under its wings including Tracor Flight Systems, Scaled Composites, Incotec, Rotary Rocket, Avtel Services and National Test Pilot School.

Shuttle landing astride carrier aircraft at Edwards AFB

The birthplace of the space shuttle, NASA, Dryden Center located at Edwards Air Force Base, flight tests and collects engineering data on new aviation and aerospace technologies. Phillips Lab, also at Edwards, works on everything from lasers to missiles and employs several hundred people. Both are potential employers for residents with room for all career types, including scientists and engineers, technicians, maintenance and support personnel.

In addition, various other companies contribute to the area's economy such as: Product Research, which manufactures sealant and adhesives, Honda Testing Track, Cal City Concrete, U.S. Borax, Cal Portland and Monolith Cement, Frito-Lay, Creative Accents, California Correctional Institution, Corrections Corporation of America and the California City Airport.

CLOSE TO WORK! It often been said by folks who work at Edwards Air Force Base or at the Mojave Airport, "If I lived in Cal City, I'd be home by now". So save commute time and take time to enjoy activities you'd rather be doing.

Edwards Air Force Base


The climate is typical desert, with its hot summers and moderate winters. Temperature extremes can run as high as 112 degrees in July and as low as 20 degrees in January. Low humidity provides a pleasant, year-round climate which allows everyone to enjoy their favorite outdoor sports. Average annual rainfall for the valley is 3.94 inches and the average temperature ranges from 46 degrees to 88 degrees maximum with daily sunshine being the norm rather than the exception.

The beauty of California City


There are numerous churches in town from which to choose. They are often the catalyst of social, cultural and family events. California City churches would happily welcome you to their congregation.

The city churches welcome you


Dial-a-ride is the local on-call transportation system. It provides service 6 days a week to all property owners. The Kern County Transit and Orange Belt AMTRAK Bus Services are available for out-of-town trips. The California City Municipal Airport provides flights to major cities for those who need to travel by plane. It has a 6,030 foot, night-lighted runway with restaurant and terminal facilities.

Dial-A-Ride, a local means of transportation


California City is part of the Mojave Unified School District. Robert P Ulrich School is the elementary school and the New California City Middle School serves the needs of students in grades 6 to 8. Secondary students enjoy a well-rounded education at Mojave High School which is 15 minutes away. New California City Secondary and Elementary Schools are in the planning stages.

Edwards Air Force Base offers evening classes which are open to the public. To further your education, you can attend Antelope Valley Junior College in Lancaster, California State University in Bakersfield, or Cerro Coso Community College in Ridgecrest and aboard Edwards Air Force Base.

California City Middle School boasts a gymnasium and auditorium with a raised stage and meeting rooms.

Shopping and Entertainment

Aspen Mall is the original shopping area for California City. The Village Center and Victor and Aloha Plazas are welcome newcomers. In our four shopping centers, you will find all the basic necessities and services needed for everyday living: market, hair-stylist, manicurist, florist, mini-mart and deli, cleaners, clothes boutique, children's clothing store, pet store, veterinary services, auto parts, building supplies, pharmacy and several fine restaurants and coffee shops.

New and old, east side or west side, you'll find what you need in California City. For more extensive shopping, Lancaster is just 40 minutes away.

Experience the local events through the The Antelope Valley Press and the Mojave Desert News.

California City has the largest skydiving club in the west--the Southern California Skydiving Club, located at the California City Airport. Gliders are also a popular sport. You can learn to glide or go for a ride in one. Renowned sailplane, hot air balloons and skydiving activities draw an international crowd year-round. While there, stop by the California City Air and Space Museum and watch it grow!

The Silver Saddle Ranch and Club is a special resort that combines the benefits of property ownership with membership in a private club. The resort's entertainment facilities include horseback riding, swimming and windsurfing on the two-acre lake, trap and skeet shooting, tennis, volleyball and archery, plus a western-theme saloon with live entertainment and a full-service restaurant.

The Desert Tortoise Natural Area, a Bureau of Land Management preserve with interpretative center, is a place where visitors can learn about the area's wildlife and habitat and perhaps catch a glimpse of a desert tortoise.

Desert Tortoise
Introduction | Business & Industry | Settling in Town | Points of Interest
Recreation  | The City Dream | History
Points of Interest
Recreation and Culture

California City is quickly becoming a destination for people seeking recreational activities in their own back yard. Within close proximity to dozens of natural and man-made wonders, you can spend many enjoyable hours discovering history as recent as last year or as ancient as the formation of the Sierras.


Just 30 minutes north of California City you can find yourself transported back in time while visiting the Rand Mining District. This area includes the towns of Randsburg, Red Mountain and Johannesburg. During the 19th century, in excess of $16 million dollars worth of gold, silver and tungsten were extracted from the mines. Today, you can catch an old-time melodrama ... or you might meet one of the 300+ old-timers still making a home there.

Water Quality

Since California City was incorporated as early as the mid 1960's, our City Fathers insured that toxic waste disposal was not allowed. We are fortunate that we have plentiful, good-quality water.

California City has good-quality water

Natural Resources

California City is known for its clear skies. Located in the clean air corridor of East Kern County, the city is also known for its pure and abundant water.

Red Rock Canyon

You've seen the 4,000 acre, glacier-carved Red Rock Canyon in hundreds of western movies. Now a state park, it offers excellent photography and climing opportunities.

Red Rock Canyon

Awe Inspiring ..Just 15 minutes north of California City, Red Rock Canyon is enjoyed by campers, cyclists and hikers.

Opal Canyon

Also north is Opal Canyon, where you can be a miner for a day, or dig for brilliant, rare gems while enjoying the outdoors.
Camping and Hiking

Lone Pine, a nearby recreational getaway

Centrally located, California City is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts. Fishing, hunting, hiking, rafting, rock hounding, and horseback riding can all be enjoyed close by. Lake Isabella and Kern River to the northwest are very picturesque and great for family camping. Off-road vehicles are welcome in areas designated by the Bureau of Land Management. Snow skiing can be found in the nearby Greenhorn Mountains and at Mammoth. As you can see, it's easier to become a participant than a spectator in California City.

Highest and Lowest Points

In California City you are less than three hours from the highest and lowest points in the Continental United States. Towering nearly 15,000 feet above sea level is Mount Whitney. Death Valley National Park features the lowest point at 282 feet below sea level and is enjoyed for its hauntingly beautiful scenery.

Museum of Air History

Housed at Edwards Air Force Base, you'll find actual airplanes at this museum which were developed and/or tested at Edwards from World War II to the present.

Edwards Air Force Base

Fossil Falls

Just 90 minutes north of California City, you can explore the black, dry river bed of Fossil Falls. Created some 10,000 years ago, this unusual formation was fashioned by a major volcanic eruption.

Trona Pinnacles

Travel northeast from California City, and you can climb the Trona Pinnacles. This site features the largest collection of tufa rocks in the western hemisphere.

Trona Pinnacles
Featured in Star Trek V, the hauntingly beautiful Trona Pinnacles were a "star" attraction.
Introduction | Business & Industry | Settling in Town | Points of Interest
Recreation  | The City Dream | History
City Recreational Program

The City has a unique and exciting recreation program for all residents and land owners.

The Central Park encompasses many facilities for the enjoyment of all age groups. These include a Community Center, an 18-acre lake, lakeside pavilions, a sports arena and marina.

Outdoor Swimming Pool

The marina features an outdoor swimming pool, picnic facilities with restrooms, children's playgrounds, horse shoe pits, shuffleboard, fishing and boating. For sports enthusiasts, we have fun and fitness trails, baseball diamonds, tennis, basketball and handball courts with all the necessary sports equipment. Want to try your luck at golf? Then give the 18-hole, night-lighted, Par 3 Golf Course a shot.

Recreational Program for Children

A complete city recreational program for children of all ages is available, as are city-sponsored jazzercise and karate classes, a weight room and game room. In addition, the thriving Senior Citizen's Center has a very active membership.

Active Seniors enjoy California City's many activities

Senior Citizens
Many come to California City to enjoy year-round sunshine and easy-to-afford homes.

Desert Jade Senior Center


For the more serious golfer, there is the Tierra del Sol PGA Championship Golf Course--an 18 hole course with a driving range which will play 6,800+ yards. It features 140 sculptured finger bunkers, many elevated tees and greens, as well as five large lakes affecting eight holes. Carts and instruction are available. The clubhouse with pro sports shop offers golf equipment, clothing, lockers, storage and a snack bar.

Enjoy Golfing at Tierra Del Sol

GOLF: California City has all THREE! Putting! Par 3! Championship Golf Course! All three are within a beautiful atmosphere of green grass and mature trees

Something for everyone, including children

Community Events

Many events take place during the year, but a few take precedent over all. Tortoise Days arrive the first weekend in May, midsummer brings the Fourth of July celebration with fireworks over the lake, and the old-fashioned Pioneer Days arrive in October. These are all held at Central Park, where everyone enjoys fun, good food, and comradery. Booths with various foods as well as arts and crafts from the local and surrounding areas are available. The last event of the year is the City's Anniversary of Incorporation held in December.

Join in the festivities during one of California City's many holiday celebrations
Introduction | Business & Industry | Settling in Town | Points of Interest
Recreation  | The City Dream | History
The City Dream
rowoftrees.JPG (18502 bytes)The Jewel of the Desert
Of those early days in the history of the Mojave desert, nothing much has been recorded. The local area was transversed by the nomadic Indians--the Shoshones, the Mojaves and the Piutes who roamed the upper desert. In 1776 Father Garces came to explore and to convert the Indians and the Mexicans of the area to Catholicism. It is said that Fremont climbed Turtle Back Mountain, now Galileo Hill, in 1884 to take a look around while on one of his mapping expeditions.

At the height of this activity, the Twenty Mule Team brought borax, a necessary ingredient in the making of glass and soap out of Death Valley, through California City and into Mojave along a route that is now preserved as a national trail. With the exception of some farming, little in the way of development occurred during the next few decades.

Local AreaThe big change of events occurred with the arrival of one practical, yet visionary man. In 1958, Nat Mendelsohn, a professor of sociology and specialist in land economics and demography, stood at the site of what is now California City and envisioned a city even larger than Los Angeles. This was to become one of the largest real estate ventures of its kind. Local farmers of alfalfa and cotton sold him their land, and along with additional undeveloped land, Mendelsohn started planning and grading the 186 square mile grid for his dream city. It was to include an 80-acre recreational area with a 20-acre lake, outdoor swimming pool, playing fields, par 3 golf course, picnic areas, tennis courts, indoor sports arena and community buildings. In short, the "most extraordinary recreational bargain" in Southern California.

People from all countries and all walks of life came to California City in droves. They came in buses or planes provided by Mendelsohn. By 1965, when the city was incorporated, there were more than 49,000 lots sold, but only 1200 people actually living in California City. It was the third largest city in California, but not by population.

Local WildlifeNot everyone came here to invest in speculative real estate. Some realized that the value of their investment consisted of a better place to live for themselves and their families. Still others came to get away from the problems of the big city and settle into country living. Several came to start their own businesses. They were truly pioneers and for years the city stayed quite small. With just a few phones in town, everyone talked to each other via CB radios. They created their own entertainment, including hayrides, dances, contests and enjoyment of the friendships and peaceful lifestyles they had acquired.

poppies.JPG (21997 bytes)In 1980, the population was recorded at 2,743. By 1990, it had increased 260% to a population of 7,159. With the Lancaster/ Palmdale area growing and filling in, many people have chosen to move to a quieter, less-crowded city. The dream that Nat Mendelsohn had envisioned of a bedroom community for the Los Angeles/Palmdale area is coming true. Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to see it become a reality. He died in 1984, but his dream is still very much alive in each resident of California City. Its progressive government and careful planning have made it the "jewel of the desert" as predicted.
Introduction | Business & Industry | Settling in Town | Points of Interest
Recreation  | The City Dream | History
Father Garces came to explore and to convert the Indians and Mexicans.
Borax was discovered in Death Valley. By 1883, the Twenty Mule Team Trail was started.
Fremont climbed Turtle Back Mountain (now Galileo Hill).
Gold and silver were discovered in El Paso, Rand and Piute Mountains. Randsburg, Cantil and Garlock towns were created.
Borax was discovered in Boron.
Deep Pit Mine was opened in 1957. It was the largest open pit mine in the world and boasted the third largest payroll in Kern County.
Construction began in January for a supermarket, gas station, motel and four stores.
Community Services District sold $400,000 in bonds to construct 160-acre Central Park,
Central Park Lake was filled.
Par 3 Golf Course was opened.
Mendelsohn opened 20 Mule Team Parkway to Galileo Hill. California City Airport opened.
Ground was broken for R.P. Ulrich School. California City was incorporated.
California City opened the new Sports Arena.
The Community Center, originally known as the Merbisc Building, opened on Central Park Lake.
Original Pro shop built on Par 3 Golf Course. It later burned down in 1981. Ground was broken for 4-story Holiday Inn on Central Park Lake.
Aspen Mall opened. Showcase Theater premiered with blockbuster movie, "Airport".
Medical Center on N. Loop opened. Space shuttle testing began at Edwards Air Force Base. City dedicated California City Airport.
Interior Secretary designated "20 Mule Team Trail" as a National Historic Site. New City Hall was opened on City's I0th anniversary with Les Brown playing at commemoration dance.
Tierra Del Sol Championship Golf Course opened.
Silver Saddle Resort at Galileo Hill was dedicated.
to present:     
Desert Jade Senior Complex opened. New airport terminal and restaurant was built. California City Middle School was dedicated. New police facility opened. Grand opening held for The Villages, a 300-acre residential/commercial development.