Yucca Valley is an incorporated town located in San Bernardino County, California, United States. The population was 16,865 at the 2000 census. However, the town's highway sign lists the current population at 25,500. Yucca Valley lies west of Twentynine Palms, north of Palm Springs, south of Barstow via State Route 247, southeast of Lucerne Valley and east of the main city San Bernardino, California.
Bordered in the west by the San Bernardino Mountains and in the south by the Joshua Tree National Park, the Yucca Valley community is located above sea level. Clean air, low humidity and moderate temperatures make Yucca Valley a pleasant place for travelers and residents.
Yucca Valley is governed by a town council
whose mayor as of 2008
is Robert Leone. 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.
State and federal
In the state legislature
Yucca Valley is located in the 31st Senate
District, represented by Republican Robert Dutton
, and in the 65th Assembly
District, represented by Republican Paul Cook
. Federally, Yucca Valley is located in California's 41st congressional district
, which has a Cook PVI
of R +9 and is represented by Republican Jerry Lewis
There are several schools in Yucca Valley. Public education in Yucca Valley is under the administration of the Morongo Unified School District. Yucca Valley has 3 neighborhood elementary schools--Onaga Elementary, Yucca Mesa Elementary (K-8) and Yucca Valley Elementary; one middle school--La Contenta Middle School; and two high schools--Yucca Valley High School
and Sky Continuation High School. Private schools
in Yucca Valley include Our Lady of the Desert, a Christian school for K-12; 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. Adult tutoring
is also available in Yucca Valley, with tutoring information available at the Yucca Valley Public Library.
Grubstakes Day is a local festival celebrated on the day before Memorial Day
. On that day there is a parade
, a carnival
, and a rodeo
Yucca Valley has three major means of access; State Route 62 (Twentynine Palms Highway) runs east-west and is the main thoroughfare through town. State Route 247 (Old Woman Springs Road) begins in Yucca Valley and extends north through Barstow. Interstate access is southwest to I-10 or northwest approximately to I-15. The Basin Transit Authority (MBTA)
serves the area with scheduled bus service around town and to the lower desert.
Geography and terrain
According to the United States Census Bureau
, the town has a total area of 40.0 square miles
). 40.0 square miles (103.7 km²) 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.
The "high desert" community has an elevation (city hall) at above sea level. Snowfall occurs almost annually whenever the snow level drops to elevations under . 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 in the city and among the chaparral in the mountains outside of 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. In 1992, three earthquakes shook the city (6.4 on the Richter Scale
on April 22, 7.3 and 6.5 on June 28) from the community of Landers, California
. There was an earthquake (7.1) on Oct. 16, 1999 with an epicenter north of there. Fault lines criss-cross the city and the Morongo basin, north of the San Andreas fault, is predicted for an earthquake to register 7+ on the Richter scale
In 1992, three earthquakes shook the city (6.4 on the Richter Scale
on April 22, 7.3 and 6.5 on June 28.
There was an earthquake (7.1) on Oct. 16, 1999.
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.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 16,865 people, 6,949 households, and 4,489 families residing in the town. The population density
was 421.3 people per square mile (162.7/km²). There were 7,952 housing units at an average density of 198.7/sq mi (76.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 87.26% White
, 2.25% African American
, 1.35% Native American
, 1.29% Asian
, 0.30% Pacific Islander
, 4.58% from other races
, and 2.98% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 11.40% 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 2.38 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the town the population was spread out with 25.1% 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 median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.1 males. The Yucca Valley area is a popular destination for retirees to give it a large senior citizen population.
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.
Amenities include a public golf course, a bowling alley
, movie theater
, various retail stores on the eastern border of town, and an "Old Town" area. Yucca Valley is also physically close to Pioneertown
(which features both the International Date Festival and Coachella Valley Music Festival), Palm Springs
(with a number of resorts and hotels), 29 Palms
(Marine Air Base), and Morongo Valley (featuring Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa