Yucca Valley, California
View of Yucca Valley (left) and St. Mary of the Valley Church (right).
Town of Yucca Valley, CA seal
Location in San Bernardino County and the state of California
Location in San Bernardino County and the state of California
Coordinates: 34°06′51″N 116°25′56″W / 34.11417°N 116.43222°W / 34.11417; -116.43222[1]
CountryUnited States
CountySan Bernardino
IncorporatedNovember 27, 1991[2]
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • MayorRick Denison
 • Total39.83 sq mi (103.16 km2)
 • Land39.83 sq mi (103.16 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
Elevation3,258 ft (993 m)
 • Total21,701
 • Estimate 
 • Density546.73/sq mi (211.10/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific Time Zone)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
Area codes442/760
FIPS code06-87056
GNIS feature IDs2413524[4]

Yucca Valley is an incorporated town in San Bernardino County, California, United States. The population was 20,700 as of the 2010 census. Yucca Valley lies 20 miles (32 km) north of Palm Springs, and 103 miles (166 km) east of Los Angeles. Bordered to the south by the Joshua Tree National Park and to the west by the San Bernardino Mountains, the town of Yucca Valley is located in the Mojave Desert at roughly 3,300 feet (1,000 m) above sea level.


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Norman J. Essig was key in the late 1950s in working towards establishing Yucca Valley as a place for entertainment celebrities to come and live in privacy. He personally acquired hundreds of acres of land during this time and owned and ran Glenn Realty. He helped to put in the main roads that are running throughout the town off of Hwy 62. He was personal friends with Jimmy Van Heusen the composer and gave him prime real estate in Yucca Valley to build his house which can still be seen atop the highest hill in the center of the town.

In 1992, three large earthquakes occurred near the city, the magnitude 6.1 Joshua Tree earthquake on April 22, and on June 28 the 7.3 Landers and 6.5 Big Bear earthquakes.

The 7.1 magnitude Hector Mine earthquake on October 16, 1999, had an epicenter 30 miles (48 km) north of town.

On July 11, 2006, a wildfire started by lightning raced through neighboring Pioneertown. The blaze, named the Sawtooth Complex fire, also burned into Yucca Valley and nearby Morongo Valley and destroyed roughly 64,000 acres (26,000 ha) of desert landscape.


Yucca Valley looking north from the intersection of Highways 62 and 247

Yucca Valley lies in the middle of the Morongo Basin at a base elevation of 3,300 feet. Joshua Tree National Park is adjacent to its southern border.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 40.0 square miles (104 km2). All of it is land and none of it is covered in water. Yucca Valley is located north of the Joshua Tree National Park, while the Little San Bernardino Mountains and many hills cover a large percentage of city area.

This High Desert community has an elevation (city hall) at 3,224 feet (983 m) above sea level. Snowfall occurs almost annually whenever the snow level drops to elevations under 4,000 feet (1,200 m). The area's terrain is prone to wildfires (such as the Pioneertown fire in July 2006), resulting from plant growth during the rainy seasons and flash floods. The plants within the town and among the chaparral in the mountains outside of the San Bernardino National Forest wilt and perish from the summer heat, providing ample fuel during a fire.

Yucca Valley has experienced high levels of seismic activity. Fault lines criss-cross the town and the Morongo basin.


According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Yucca Valley has a cold desert climate, abbreviated "BWk" on climate maps.[6]

Climate data for Yucca Valley, CA
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 61.1
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 38.5
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.7
Source: Weatherbase[7]


Historical population
2019 (est.)21,777[5]5.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]


The 2010 United States Census[9] reported that Yucca Valley had a population of 20,700. The population density was 517.3 inhabitants per square mile (199.7/km2). The racial makeup of Yucca Valley was 17,280 (83.5%) White (73.7% Non-Hispanic White),[10] 666 (3.2%) African American, 232 (1.1%) Native American, 469 (2.3%) Asian, 44 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 1,185 (5.7%) from other races, and 824 (4.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3,679 persons (17.8%).

The Census reported that 20,481 people (98.9% of the population) lived in households, 166 (0.8%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 53 (0.3%) were institutionalized.

There were 8,274 households, out of which 2,512 (30.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 3,661 (44.2%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,116 (13.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 477 (5.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 604 (7.3%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 83 (1.0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 2,387 households (28.8%) were made up of individuals, and 1,163 (14.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48. There were 5,254 families (63.5% of all households); the average family size was 3.03.

The population was spread out, with 4,937 people (23.9%) under the age of 18, 1,772 people (8.6%) aged 18 to 24, 4,676 people (22.6%) aged 25 to 44, 5,495 people (26.5%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,820 people (18.5%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.

There were 9,558 housing units at an average density of 238.9 per square mile (92.2/km2), of which 5,256 (63.5%) were owner-occupied, and 3,018 (36.5%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 4.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 9.6%. 12,220 people (59.0% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 8,261 people (39.9%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Yucca Valley had a median household income of $42,962, with 17.0% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[10]

The Joshua Tree is an indigenous tree in Yucca Valley, and surrounding communities, such as Landers, California, and Joshua Tree, California


As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 16,865 people, 6,949 households, and 4,489 families residing in the town. The population density was 421.3 inhabitants per square mile (162.7/km2). There were 7,952 housing units at an average density of 198.7 per square mile (76.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 87.3% White, 2.3% African American, 1.4% Native American, 1.3% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 4.6% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.4% of the population.

There were 6,949 households, out of which 27.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.1% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.4 and the average family size was 2.9.

In the town 25.1% of the population was under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 22.6% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 22.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The average number in the US over 65 was 12.4%.[12] The median age was 42 years, at a time when the average age in the US was 35.3.[12] For every 100 females, there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.1 males.


Personal income

The median income for a household in the town was $30,420, and the median income for a family was $36,650. Males had a median income of $35,037 versus $25,234 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,020, lower than most of Southern California. About 16.2% of families and 19.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.3% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.


Yucca Valley has the Twentynine Palms Base (US Marine Corps) 20 miles to the east and the Morongo Basin is home to temporary residents who work on the base.[13]


A Joshua Tree National Park border sign in Yucca Valley, CA
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Yucca Valley borders Joshua Tree National Park. Amenities include a bowling alley, various retail stores and an "Old Town" area. The Sky Village weekend open-air market is another popular attraction. On Grubstakes Day, held the day before Memorial Day, there is a parade.

Old Town Yucca Valley is located on Highway 62 at the intersection of Pioneertown Road.[14] The California Welcome Center is located at 56711 Twentynine Palms Highway in Yucca Valley; it provides information on where to stay, eat and play while in the area.

Yucca Valley is home to the Desert Christ Park sculpture garden, as well as the geoglyph "Atlatl", created by artist Andrew Rogers.



Yucca Valley is governed by a Town Council. The community's Mayor is Robert Lombardo. Other town council members are Mayor pro tem Jeff Drozd and Council Members Merl Abel, Jim Schooler and Rick Denison.[15]

Yucca Valley contracts its police and public safety services from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. Fire suppression and ambulance services are provided by the San Bernardino County Fire Department and Cal Fire.

State and federal

In the California State Legislature, Yucca Valley is in the 16th Senate District, represented by Democrat Melissa Hurtado, and in the 42nd Assembly District, represented by Independent Chad Mayes.[16]

In the United States House of Representatives, Yucca Valley is in California's 23rd congressional district, represented by Republican Jay Obernolte.[17]


Public education in Yucca Valley is under the administration of the Morongo Unified School District. Yucca Valley has three neighborhood elementary schools (Onaga Elementary, Yucca Mesa Elementary, and Yucca Valley [Hope] Elementary), one middle school (La Contenta Middle School), and two high schools (Yucca Valley High School and Black Rock Continuation High School).

Private schools in Yucca Valley include Our Lady of the Desert, a Christian school for K–12; Valley Community Chapel School and Daycare offering Preschool, Kindergarten and before and after school Daycare; Joshua Springs Christian School, non-denominational affiliation for PK–12; Grace Christian School, Brethren affiliation for K–12; Hi-Desert SDA Elementary, a 1–6, Seventh Day Adventist affiliation school; and Yucca Valley Christian School, affiliated with The Assembly of God, for PK–12. Hope Academy lost its charter with the Morongo Unified School District in 2016 and was unable to find another charter and subsequently closed. Adult tutoring is also available in Yucca Valley, with tutoring information available at the Yucca Valley Public Library.


Yucca Valley has two major means of highway access; California State Route 62 (Twentynine Palms Highway) runs east–west and is the main thoroughfare through town and terminates at the south end at Interstate 10 and Parker Dam on the Arizona border at the east end. California State Route 247 (Old Woman Springs Road) begins in Yucca Valley and extends north through Barstow and terminates at Interstate 15. The Morongo Basin Transit Authority (MBTA)[18] serves the area with scheduled bus service around town and the lower desert. The service connects passengers to the Palm Springs International Airport direct bus lines to Los Angeles.[19] The area is served locally by the Yucca Valley Airport.


Yucca Valley is served by the bi-weekly Hi Desert Star newspaper.

There are several commercial radio stations with studios located in the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs) with local broadcast signals located in the Morongo Basin.

There is one local station on 107.7 KCDZ (z107) with studios located in Joshua Tree.

There are several county run television repeaters (from Palm Springs, Riverside/San Bernardino and Greater Los Angeles) broadcasting from Pinto Mountain south of Twentynine Palms that can be received in the Yucca Mesa area but not in the city proper. Television service (and high speed cable internet) in town is provided by Charter Spectrum. WISP (wireless internet service provider) is offered from Mojave WiFi, Frontier and Flashbyte Digital.


  1. ^ "Yucca Valley". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  2. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date". California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Archived from the original (Word) on October 17, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  3. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  4. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Yucca Valley, California
  5. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  6. ^ "Climate Summary for Yucca Valley, California". WeatherBase.com. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  7. ^ "Yucca Valley, California Travel Weather Averages (Weatherbase)".
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA – Yucca Valley town". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Yucca Valley (town), California". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 2, 2012. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  12. ^ a b "Yucca Valley, California Census and Community Profile". November 17, 2009.
  13. ^ "Marines". United States Marine Corps. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  14. ^ "Old Town Yucca Valley Antique Malls – California Welcome Center".
  15. ^ "Yucca Valley Town Council". Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  16. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  17. ^ "California's 23rd Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC.
  18. ^ "Morongo Basin Transit Authority". The Basin Transit Authority (MBTA). Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  19. ^ "Yucca Valley.org". Retrieved November 12, 2014.