(pronounced You-kai-uh ) is the county seat
and largest city of Mendocino County, California
. With its accessible location (along the U.S. Route 101
corridor several miles south of State Route 20
), Ukiah serves as the city center for Mendocino County and much of neighboring Lake County
. In 1996, Ukiah was ranked the #1 best small town to live in California
and the sixth best place to live in the United States.
Ukiah is located in the Ukiah Valley at (39.148761, -123.208612), with an average elevation of above sea level. The city has a total area of , all land.
Ukiah has a temperate Mediterranean climate. Average rainfall for the area is per year. Measurable precipitation occurs on an average of 82.1 days per year. The greatest monthly precipitation was in January 1995 and the greatest 24-hour precipitation was on December 22, 1964. Light snowfall occurs about every other year. The greatest recorded snowfall was on March 2, 1976.
The average high temperature is 73.5 °F (23.1 °C). Average low temperature is 46.1 °F (7.8 °C). Temperatures reach 90 °F (32 °C) on an average of 65.6 days annually and 100 °F (37.78 °C) on an average of 14.4 days annually. Due to frequent low humidity, summer temperatures normally drop into the fifties at night. Freezing temperatures average 34.2 days per year. The record high temperature was on September 3, 1995, and the record low temperature was on December 9, 1972. July is normally the hottest month with a normal high of and a normal low of . December has normally the coldest temperatures with a normal high of and a normal low of .
When Ukiah was founded in 1856, it was part of Sonoma County. When the state legislature created Mendocino County in 1859, Ukiah was chosen as the county seat.
Ukiah sits in an area known as the Yokayo Rancho, one of several Spanish land grants in Alta California. The Yokayo grant that makes up the majority of the Ukiah valley takes its name from the Pomo word meaning "deep valley" and lends it to the name of the city itself, Ukiah being an anglicized form of Yokayo.
Hops were once a predominant crop grown around Ukiah and, indeed, a refurbished hop kiln can be seen at the north end of Ukiah east of Highway 101 where many of the old fields were. Much of Ukiah's early population was supported by the lumber boom of the late 1940s, with the logging of redwood being a major industry.
On July 19, 1984, 12 members of the white nationalist revolutionary group The Order (led by David Lane) robbed a Brink's armored car for $3.6 million in Ukiah.
As of the census
of 2000, inside the city limits, there were 15,497 people in the city limits, 5,985 households, and 3,656 families residing in the city. The population density
was 3,275/sq mi (1,265/km²). There were 6,137 housing units at an average density of 1,296/sq mi (501/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.53% White
, 0.96% African American
, 3.79% Native American
, 1.68% Asian
, 0.10% Pacific Islander
, 9.67% from other races
, and 4.27% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 19.31% of the population.
There were 5,985 households out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.2% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.9% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $32,707, and the median income for a family was $39,524. Males had a median income of $31,608 versus $24,673 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,601. About 13.2% of families and 18.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.4% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.
As a community, Ukiah has roughly twice the number of people (including Redwood Valley, Potter Valley, Calpella, and Talmage) than the census reports. During the business day an average of 40,000 people work inside the city limits, or in the business and residential neighborhoods to the north and south.
In the state legislature
Ukiah is located in the 2nd Senate
District, represented by Democrat Pat Wiggins
, and in the 1st Assembly
District, represented by Democrat Patty Berg
. Federally, Ukiah is located in California's 1st congressional district
, which has a Cook PVI
of D +10 and is represented by Democrat Mike Thompson
Ukiah is known for wine production and the Ukiah vicinity is now home to some of the most prestigious wine
labels in the nation, including Fetzer,Fife, Parducci, Frey, and Bonterra. Ukiah vintners are known for innovating with organic and sustainable
Ukiah is also a major producer of pears. The Alex R. Thomas Company owns hundreds of acres of Bartlett pear orchards on the east side of the Ukiah Valley. Many local residents and migrant workers are employed packing the pears for export around the United States and the world. Other, smaller orchards are owned by other local families.
The Ukiah Valley is home to two breweries, the Mendocino Brewing Company and the Ukiah Brewing Company. The Ukiah Brewing Company is America's first certified organic brewpub, and the nation's second organic restaurant. The Mendocino Brewing Company is internationally renowned as a brewer of traditional ales. Established in 1983 as the first California Brewpub in Hopland, they have now relocated to Ukiah with a state-of-the-art brewery.
Other important Ukiah products include grapes (wine and non-wine use) and lumber. The Ukiah area is at the headwaters of the Russian River (California) and its rich bottomland supports many small and mostly organic farms that grow fruits and vegetables and supports sheep and cattle.
Arts and Culture
- Home to the Ukiah Players Theatre
- Home to The Mendocino Ballet
- Home to Ukiah Civic Light Opera
- Home to the Grace Hudson Museum
- Home to the Ukiah Symphony Orchestra
- Home to the School of Performing Arts and Cultural Education (SPACE)
- The alternative-rock/punk band AFI formed in Ukiah.
- Home to the improv/sketch groups "Hooligans", "Broken Window Productions", and "Conundrums"
- Ukiah is Haiku spelled backwards, and the city has held a "ukiaHaiku" festival annually since 2000.
- Mayor- Douglas F. Crane
- Mari Rodin
- Phil Baldwin
- John McCowen
- Benj Thomas
- City Manager- Jane Chambers
- City Treasurer- Allen Carter
- City Clerk- Linda Brown
Ukiah Unified School District
- Ukiah High School
- Calpella Elementary School
- Eagle Peak Middle School
- Nokomis Elementary School
- Oak Manor Elementary School
- Pomolita Middle School
- South Valley High
- Yokayo Elementary School
- Frank Zeek Elementary School
- Tree of Life Charter School
- Grace Hudson Elementary School
- River Oak Charter School
Other K-12 schools
- Accelerated Achievement Academy
- Redwood Academy of Ukiah
- St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School
- Seventh Day Adventist Junior Academy
- Trinity School
Facts about Ukiah
- Ukiah is home to the world-famous Vichy Springs, known for their champagne baths. They claim to have the only naturally-carbonated hot springs in North America. Visited by several notable figures of the 19th century, it is advertised as Jack London's 'favorite hot spot'.
- "Ukiah" is the name and subject of a song on the 1973 Doobie Brothers album "The Captain and Me".
- Ukiah is featured prominently in C.D. Payne's novel "Youth in Revolt."
- One of the 6 original locations of an International Latitude Observatory.
- The Ukiah area suffers from naturally-occurring asbestos (NOA) in the soil, as do many parts of California. For more information, see the Air Quality District's page on NOA.
- Competing in the mens division III club level bracket, the Mendocino Steam Donkeys rugby union team are the first official NCRFU team in the county, and are based in the Ukiah area.
- Just east of Ukiah is the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, one of the largest Mahayana Buddhist communities in the Western Hemisphere. North of town is Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery, a community in the Thai Forest Tradition of Theravada Buddhism.
- The People's Temple took hold in nearby Redwood Valley before moving to San Francisco, later to Jonestown, Guyana, where the cult committed the largest mass suicide-murder in recordable history.
- Ukiah's newspaper is the Ukiah Daily Journal.