Lucerne Valley, California

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Lucerne Valley
census-designated place
Official seal of Lucerne Valley
Lucerne Valley is located in California
Lucerne Valley
Lucerne Valley
Location within the state of California
Coordinates: 34°26′38″N 116°58′1″W / 34.44389°N 116.96694°W / 34.44389; -116.96694Coordinates: 34°26′38″N 116°58′1″W / 34.44389°N 116.96694°W / 34.44389; -116.96694
Country  United States
State  California
County San Bernardino
 • Managed by County of San Bernardino, 5th District (town has advisory capacity through their Municipal Advisory Council)
 • Total 105.590 sq mi (273.477 km2)
 • Land 105.590 sq mi (273.477 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation[2] 2,953 ft (900 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 5,811
 • Density 55/sq mi (21/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 92356
Area code(s) 760
GNIS Feature IDs 272271; 2627937
U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lucerne Valley, California; U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lucerne Valley, California

Lucerne Valley is a census-designated place[3] located in the Mojave Desert of western San Bernardino County, California. It lies east of the Victor Valley, whose population nexus includes Victorville, Apple Valley, and Hesperia. The population was 5,811 at the 2010 census.


Lucerne Valley is located 19 miles east of Apple Valley and 20 miles downhill north of Big Bear in the southern reaches of the Mojave Desert. It is surrounded by several mountain ranges which include the Granite mountain range, the Ord mountain range, and the San Bernardino mountain range. The heart of Lucerne Valley is located on the crossroads of State Route 247 (Old Woman Springs Road / Barstow Road) and State Route 18. Yucca Valley lies 45 miles east via Route 247/Old Woman Springs Road.

In San Bernardino County, Lucerne Valley's area is also identified as County Service Area 29. While Lucerne Valley's "town limit" signs are within 2 miles of each other (technically the signs are just "community markers", because San Bernardino County requires cities and towns to be incorporated, and the County doesn't recognize villages or townships) the County Service Area Limits are much larger: in the west to Joshua Road (unpaved road east of Milpas Rd. on Hwy. 18), to the north at the 4000 foot height of Ord Mountain on Highway 247, to the south at the entrance to Cushenbury Canyon on Highway 18, and 2.5 miles east of Camp Rock Road.[citation needed]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP covers an area of 105.6 square miles (273.5 km²), all of it land.


The 2010 United States Census[4] reported that Lucerne Valley had a population of 5,811. The population density was 55.0 people per square mile (21.2/km²). The racial makeup of Lucerne Valley was 4,507 (77.6%) White (66.8% Non-Hispanic White),[5] 170 (2.9%) African American, 106 (1.8%) Native American, 90 (1.5%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 676 (11.6%) from other races, and 262 (4.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,447 persons (24.9%).

The Census reported that 5,780 people (99.5% of the population) lived in households, 31 (0.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 2,176 households, out of which 685 (31.5%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 954 (43.8%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 280 (12.9%) had a female householder with no husband present, 157 (7.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 146 (6.7%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 14 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 632 households (29.0%) were made up of individuals and 255 (11.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66. There were 1,391 families (63.9% of all households); the average family size was 3.28.

The population was spread out with 1,424 people (24.5%) under the age of 18, 452 people (7.8%) aged 18 to 24, 1,214 people (20.9%) aged 25 to 44, 1,780 people (30.6%) aged 45 to 64, and 941 people (16.2%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.7 years. For every 100 females there were 106.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.4 males.

There were 2,949 housing units at an average density of 27.9 per square mile (10.8/km²), of which 1,454 (66.8%) were owner-occupied, and 722 (33.2%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 4.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 9.0%. 3,800 people (65.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 1,980 people (34.1%) lived in rental housing units.

Recent development[edit]

An attempt to construct a golf course and install utilities for residential/commercial zones called "Rancho Lucerne"[6] began grading north of the High School location before embezzlement charges filed against the financier caused the project to shut down in 2001.[7]

Other projects are meeting with mixed reactions from residents and state/county officials, including Solar Power and Wind Turbine plants[8] as well as Water Drilling proposals for the Los Angeles' centric Department of Water and Power, who recently cancelled an attempt to install a 2 mile wide water and power corridor in the Southern half of the town to transport distant resources into Los Angeles.[9]

Public safety[edit]

San Bernardino County operates a Sheriff Substation and a full-time staffed fire station within town limits. Cal Fire also has a fire station east of the Town between Lucerne Valley and Johnson Valley. California Highway Patrol provides traffic enforcement and investigation.

Sites of interest[edit]

  • Johnson Valley to the east of Lucerne Valley is a popular off-road vehicle recreation site known for its steep, rocky mountains and several dry lakes. Recent expansion plans for the Twentynine Palms Ground Combat center from the United States Marine Corps threatens to close the majority of the OHV area for 25 years or longer, including a seasonal race called "The Hammers" a few miles north of the town that brings annual business to Lucerne Valley.[10]
  • Lucerne Valley's two dry lakes, Lucerne Dry Lake and Rabbit Springs Dry Lake are used for various activities. The Dry Lakes are used frequently in filming projects; notably Rabbit Springs Dry Lake was the scene for the attack sequence in Stagecoach filmed in 1938. Also, actress and singer Selena Gomez shot her music video for A Year Without Rain here. A variety of small meteorites have been found and documented from these two dry lakes. [11]
  • Chimney Rock, a registered landmark of the State of California, is located on the mountains north of Highway 18 at the Rabbit Springs Road junction as the site of the last battle between settlers and Indians in the Mojave Desert. An official landmark is at Highway 18 next to the welcome sign at the western border of town.[12]
  • Two parks exist in Lucerne Valley:[13]
    • Pioneer Park (next to the County Fire Station), which is the main park for San Bernardino County CSA 29 used in most public events. Lucerne Valley Museum is also located at Pioneer Park with self-directed tours.
    • Midway Park (at Midway and Rabbit Springs Roads), which has the Midway Schoolhouse and Equestrian Arena.
  • Blackhawk Landslide, a prehistoric landslide that is one of the largest known in North America can be found in the southeast corner of Lucerne Valley.[14]

Notable people[edit]

  • Jordan Romero, former resident who is currently the youngest person to climb Mt. Everest.[15]
  • Thora Birch, actress.
  • Harry Abdul, father of Paula Abdul, who started a bottled water company called Crystal Hills based in Lucerne Valley's foothills. (The company was sold to a private firm and closed in 2005.)


  1. ^ U.S. Census
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lucerne Valley, California
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lucerne Valley, California
  4. ^ All data are derived from the United States Census Bureau reports from the 2010 United States Census, and are accessible on-line here. The data on unmarried partnerships and same-sex married couples are from the Census report DEC_10_SF1_PCT15. All other housing and population data are from Census report DEC_10_DP_DPDP1. Both reports are viewable online or downloadable in a zip file containing a comma-delimited data file. The area data, from which densities are calculated, are available on-line here. Percentage totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. The Census Bureau defines families as a household containing one or more people related to the householder by birth, opposite-sex marriage, or adoption. People living in group quarters are tabulated by the Census Bureau as neither owners nor renters. For further details, see the text files accompanying the data files containing the Census reports mentioned above.
  5. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
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  7. ^
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  10. ^ "Off-roaders voice displeasure with Marine Corps plan". Lucerne Valley Leader. Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
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  15. ^ Jordan Romero reaches summit of Mt. Everest, Accessed June 6, 2010.

External links[edit]