Acton, California

Coordinates: 34°29′N 118°11′W / 34.48°N 118.19°W / 34.48; -118.19
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Acton, California
View from Route 14 of Acton and the surrounding valley with Mt. Gleason and the San Gabriel Mountains in the background.
View from Route 14 of Acton and the surrounding valley with Mt. Gleason and the San Gabriel Mountains in the background.
Location of Acton in Los Angeles County, California
Location of Acton in Los Angeles County, California
Acton is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
Location of Acton in Los Angeles County, California
Acton is located in California
Location of Acton in California
Acton is located in the United States
Location of Acton in the USA
Coordinates: 34°29′N 118°11′W / 34.48°N 118.19°W / 34.48; -118.19
Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
Named forActon, Massachusetts
 • Total39.28 sq mi (101.74 km2)
 • Land39.26 sq mi (101.68 km2)
 • Water0.02 sq mi (0.06 km2)  0.06%
Elevation2,710 ft (826 m)
 • Total7,431
 • Density189.28/sq mi (73.08/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP Code
Area code661
FIPS code06-00212
GNIS feature IDs1660228, 2407697

Acton (pronunciation) is an unincorporated census-designated place in Los Angeles County, California, near the Antelope Valley. According to the 2010 census, Acton had a population of 7,596.

Acton is a small residential community located between the Sierra Pelona Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains. It is off the Antelope Valley Freeway (California State Route 14) south of Palmdale. Acton is roughly 20 miles (32 km) northeast of the San Fernando Valley, and 47 miles (76 km) north of downtown Los Angeles by highway. The town has a rural western theme which can be seen in its homes, commercial buildings and historical buildings, some of which date back to the late 1800s. The homes in the mountains around Acton have views of the valley below. In the valley are ranch style homes, often with equestrian facilities. While Acton is not a part of the Antelope Valley, it is grouped together with the Valley in the General Plan. Acton has a Metrolink commuter rail station on its border with Palmdale that is themed in an "old western" style and has been seen in various movies and commercials.


Acton was founded in 1887 by gold miners who were working in the Red Rover Mine. It was named after Acton, Massachusetts by one of the miners. Two of the best-known gold mines located in Acton were the Red Rover mine and the Governor mine. Mining of gold, copper, and titanium ore continued into the early 1900s.[citation needed] The town originally had served as a railroad camp from 1873 to 1876 when the Saugus-Mojave section of the Southern Pacific Railroad was under construction.[3]

Acton was once considered for the State capital of California. California Governor Henry T. Gage (1899–1903) owned the Governor Mine, hence the name, and sought to relocate the capital to Acton. This effort ultimately failed and the capital was not moved from Sacramento. In the late 1880s, Acton started to become more of a ranching and farming community. In 1889 Acton's first hotel and its first saloon, the "49er" (formerly Sutter's Mill), was opened and is still in business today.


Acton is located at 34°28′22″N 118°11′1″W / 34.47278°N 118.18361°W / 34.47278; -118.18361 (34.472777, -118.183696),[4] 20 miles (32 km) east of Santa Clarita and 8 miles (13 km) south of Palmdale. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 39.3 square miles (102 km2), over 99% of it land. Mount Gleason, one of the peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains, is located 7 miles (11 km) south of Acton and can be seen in the town or by passersby on the 14.


This region experiences warm (but not very hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Acton has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.[5] Summer month days average 88 °F and above.

Climate data for Bear Valley Springs, California (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 60.3
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 38.9
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.26
Average snowfall inches (cm) 0.1
Source: NOAA[6]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

The 2010 United States Census[8] reported that Acton had a population of 7,596. The population density was 193.4 inhabitants per square mile (74.7/km2). The racial makeup of Acton was 6,564 (86.4%) White (76.1% Non-Hispanic White),[9] 57 (0.8%) African American, 70 (0.9%) Native American, 155 (2.0%) Asian, 5 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 451 (5.9%) from other races, and 294 (3.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,373 persons (18.1%).

The Census reported that 7,596 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 2,660 households, out of which 901 (33.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,771 (66.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 194 (7.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 116 (4.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 108 (4.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 30 (1.1%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 436 households (16.4%) were made up of individuals, and 143 (5.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86. There were 2,081 families (78.2% of all households); the average family size was 3.21.

The population was spread out, with 1,672 people (22.0%) under the age of 18, 660 people (8.7%) aged 18 to 24, 1,394 people (18.4%) aged 25 to 44, 3,037 people (40.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 833 people (11.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.7 males.

There were 2,814 housing units at an average density of 71.6 per square mile (27.6/km2), of which 2,386 (89.7%) were owner-occupied, and 274 (10.3%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 7.4%. 6,852 people (90.2% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 744 people (9.8%) lived in rental housing units.

Mapping L.A.[edit]

According to Mapping L.A., German and Irish were the most common ancestries in 2000. Mexico and Canada were the most common foreign places of birth.[10]


Median earnings per worker in Acton in 2015 were $75,714 compared to the United States average of $44,178. Acton has $84,375 median earnings for men, 55% greater than the $54,384 median for women. 22% of the people in Acton report self-employment income, twice the U.S. average of 11%.

6.9% of the population of Acton lives in poverty. Of those, 17% are employed. Just 1% of Acton households use some form of public assistance, compared to the United States average of 14%.

7% of Acton workers carpool to work, less than the U.S. average of 10%. Acton has a large number of people who are able to work from home at 12% versus 4% for the U.S. The average commute to work in Acton is 46 minutes, much longer than the U.S. average of 26 minutes.[11]

Parks and recreation[edit]

Farm Sanctuary[edit]

Farm Sanctuary, founded here in 1986, was America's first shelter for farmed animals.

Shambala Preserve[edit]

The Shambala Preserve, a wild animal nature park run by actress Tippi Hedren, is located near Acton.[12] Ventures on Hedren's 80-acre (320,000 m2) wild animal compound include a Safari at the authentic African-style haven for more than 70 African lions, Royal Bengal and Siberian tigers, spotted and black leopards, cougars, and African elephants.

Parker Mountain[edit]

Acton is home to Parker Mountain, the mecca for a style of radio-controlled aircraft flying called "dynamic soaring" and where at one time the world speed record of 302 mph (486 km/h) was achieved.[13]


In the California State Legislature, Acton is in the 21st Senate District, represented by Republican Scott Wilk, and in the 34th Assembly District, represented by Republican Tom Lackey.[14]

In the United States House of Representatives, Acton is in California's 27th congressional district, represented by Republican Mike Garcia.[15]

Acton is part of the unincorporated portion of Los Angeles County and is in the 5th Supervisorial District. At the local level, the community is represented by the Acton Town Council, an advisory group of citizens made up of 7 members.


Acton is within the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District.[16] There are three schools in Acton: Meadowlark Elementary School,[17] High Desert Middle School,[18] and Vasquez High School.


The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Antelope Valley Health Center in Lancaster, serving Acton.[19]

Southern California Edison's Vincent Substation, a major node in the California Independent System Operator's transmission system, lies just to the east of the Acton CDP. It is a key node in the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project, connecting via 500 kV lines to: SCE's Whirlwind substation in the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area; the Mesa substation on the border of the Los Angeles Basin and the San Gabriel Valley; the Pardee substation in Santa Clarita; and the Lugo substation just north of Cajon Pass.[citation needed]

Filming location[edit]

Movies: Acton was one of the filming locations for Steven Spielberg's TV movie Duel, and the Clint Eastwood movie Blood Work. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was partially filmed at the local AM-PM Gas Station, located on the south side of Highway 14. Acton is also where Little Miss Sunshine was filmed along highway 14 near Red Rover Mine Road. Large parts of the movie Wind Talkers were also shot in Acton. Some of the underwater scenes of the Titanic sinking were filmed in a specially constructed pool on a mesa by Mill Creek and Soledad Canyon Road on the Pölsa Rosa Movie Ranch. Army of Darkness was filmed near Acton.

TV Series: Multiple shows such as Malcolm in the Middle, Sons of Anarchy, Reno 911, and Falling Skies have filmed various episodes off Crown Valley Rd.

Music Videos: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Swingin" music video was filmed along Escondido Canyon Road. Metallica filmed the music video for the song "The Day That Never Comes" in Acton. Taylor Swift filmed parts of her music video for "I Knew You Were Trouble" in Acton. Chet Faker filmed the "Gold" skate video on a road near Acton.


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  2. ^ "Acton". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  3. ^ David W. Kean, Wide Places in the California Roads: The encyclopedia of California's small towns and the roads that lead to them (Volume 1 of 4: Southern California Counties), p. 11
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  5. ^ Climate Summary for Acton, California
  6. ^ Climate in Acton, California
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  8. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Acton CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 20, 2016. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  9. ^ "Acton CDP QuickFacts". US Census Bureau. 2014. Archived from the original on June 11, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  10. ^ "Acton Profile - Mapping L.A. - Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times.
  11. ^ "Acton California Economy data". Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  12. ^ Feinberg, Scott (July 25, 2016). "Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve Not Evacuated Because of Santa Clarita Fire". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  13. ^ [1] Archived January 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2014.
  15. ^ "California's 27th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC.
  16. ^ "Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District". Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  17. ^ "Meadowlark School". 2014. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  18. ^ "High Desert School". Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  19. ^ "Antelope Valley Health Center." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 18, 2010.

External links[edit]