The Town of Apple Valley is located in the Victor Valley of San Bernardino County, in the U.S. state of California. It was incorporated on November 14, 1988, and is one of the twenty-two incorporated municipalities in California that uses "town" in its name instead of "city". As of 2006 the population was estimated to be 67,507. The town is 10 miles (20 km) east of neighboring Victorville, 37 miles (60 km) south of Barstow and 46 miles (74 km) north of San Bernardino through the Cajon Pass.
In the early 1900s, resident Ursula M. Poates planted three apple trees in her yard to help convince prospective land-owners that fruit could be grown in this part of the Mojave Desert. She called the area Apple Valley and the name was officially recognized when a post office was established in 1949.
Apple Valley is governed by a town council, whose 2007 mayor is Rick Roelle. The Mayor changes each December by a vote of the five-member Council.
Apple Valley was home to Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, whose museum was first established in Apple Valley (in 1967) before the museum was relocated to Victorville in 1976. Since 2003 the museum has been in Branson, Missouri, United States and was moved there because the Town Council in 2003 would not allow it to continue to be there for reasons that never have been fully known. Apple Valley is the final resting place for both Roy and Dale. There are reminders of the Rogers everywhere one turns including roads and highways. Roy and Dale created St. Hillary's Episcopal Church, founded a home for boys, a juvenile detention center and while they were living took in some 20-40 children and raised them as their own.
Apple Valley was also where most location filming was done for the Sky King TV series in the late 1950s.
Apple Valley is located at the southern edge of the Mojave Desert. It is bordered by Victorville on the west and Hesperia on the south sides. These three towns are commonly known as the Victor Valley. The primary thoroughfare through Apple Valley is State Route 18, which is known locally as the "Happy Trails Highway," named after the theme song of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Its downtown area is split currently between State Route 18 and Bear Valley Road (both roads are parallel until they intersect in the east outside of town).
The elevation of Apple Valley is approximately 2,900 feet (880 m) above sea level.
As of the census of 2000, there were 54,239 people, 18,557 households, and 14,363 families residing in the town. The population density was 285.6/km² (739.6/mi²). There were 20,163 housing units at an average density of 106.2/km² (275.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 76.42% White, 7.89% African American, 0.98% Native American, 2.21% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 7.92% from other races, and 4.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.56% of the population.
There were 18,557 households out of which 38.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.8% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.6% were non-families. 18.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.90 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the town the population was spread out with 31.6% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $40,421, and the median income for a family was $45,070. Males had a median income of $41,144 versus $30,249 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,830. About 13.3% of families and 17.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.6% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over.
Apple Valley has been featured as a hot filming spot for many movies, TV shows, and commercials, including the late 1950s show "Sky King", several commercials for companies such as GoDaddy.com and celebrities such as Danica Patrick, and the movie Eagle Eye, starring Shia LaBeouf.