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 codes 442/760
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, Adelanto and Hesperia. The population was 5,811 at the 2010 census.

On June 11, 2013, Lucerne Valley and Johnson Valley were merged under the same Municipal Advisory Council, which serves as an advisory reporting agency to the County of San Bernardino District Supervisor concerning the region.[4] On August 14, 2013, Johnson Valley was sworn in to the same Municipal Advisory Council as Lucerne Valley.[5] CSA 29's borders, however, remain unchanged from the move.


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 transportation nexus of Lucerne Valley is located where State Route 247 (Old Woman Springs Road / Barstow Road) and State Route 18 are joined by Old Woman Springs and Barstow Roads (serving as continuation roads as the two highways do not physically junction).

Distant surrounding communities include Yucca Valley which lies 45 miles east via State Route 247/Old Woman Springs Road, and Barstow, which is 26 miles north via State Route 247/Barstow 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, 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 at Old Woman Springs Ranch as the eastern boundary.[6]

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


According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Lucerne Valley has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.[7]


The 2010 United States Census[8] 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),[9] 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.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Lucerne Valley had a median household income of $30,142, with 18.4% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[9]

Recent development[edit]

Housing and commercial[edit]

The majority of Lucerne Valley's zoning is Rural Living (in West, East and Northeast areas), Resource Conservation (throughout the area, primarily in surrounding mountains), and Agricultural zones (running North to Southeast). The business corridor is primarily on State Route 18, between Custer and Barstow Roads with outlying businesses within a mile of the eastern half of the Old Woman Springs/Barstow Road junction. All residential zones are classified as Rural, Single or Medium density. Industrial Zoning is predominantly in the Southern border of the community on the North-facing slopes of the San Bernardino mountains.[10] An attempt to construct a golf course and install utilities for residential/commercial zones called "Rancho Lucerne"[11] began grading north of the High School location before embezzlement charges filed against the financier caused the project to shut down in 2001.[12]

Commercial development is focused on mixed-use development, with storefronts facing the highway and a private residence on the same property behind the business on the same lot. Traditional retail construction has been restrained in the latter half of the 20th Century to keep the rural character of the town intact,[10] but in September 2015 a Dollar General store[13] opened within the town limits, marking the first non-franchise retailer to enter town limits.

Most housing developments are tract-based and were completed prior to the 1990s. No further tract-based construction projects have occurred in 20 years, with most new construction done individually on privately owned lots.[10]


Other development projects are meeting with mixed reactions from residents and state/county officials, including Solar Power and Wind Turbine plants[14] as well as Water Drilling proposals, all of which transport local resources for statewide use (power added to state grid through CalISO) or to metropolitan areas (water rights for cooling purposes with power projects, or for direct use through Los Angeles Department of Water and Power). In 2012, LADWP cancelled an attempt to install a 2 mile wide water and power corridor in the Southern half of the town.[15]


Lucerne Valley Unified School District operates three school campuses. Lucerne Valley Elementary School, built in 1952, is a 1/4 mile north of Old Woman Springs and Barstow Road and serves grades K-5. Lucerne Valley Middle was built in 1986 on State Route 18 and services grades 6-8. Lucerne Valley Middle School later merged with Lucerne Valley High School. Lucerne Valley High School built in 1992, is on Rabbit Springs Road east of State Route 247 and services grades 9-12. The first graduating class was in 1995. The District Office, Community Day School, and Mountain View High School all moved into the former Middle School site.

Lucerne Valley Unified School District has had difficulty in recent years with financial issues[16][17] and lower than average test scores compared to San Bernardino County schools,[18][19] which has contributed to the low student population. The School District reported a student population of less than 800 pupils as of September 2015.[20]

Public safety & amenities[edit]

San Bernardino County requires cities and towns to be incorporated, therefore community services and responsibility is organized by the County within each County Service Area.[6]

San Bernardino County operates a Sheriff Substation and a full-time staffed fire station within town limits. The same Fire Station serves as the CSA 29 Field Office, which operates a Parks and Recreation Department to maintain the town parks, county facilities including two community centers and the county library, an ATSC translator tower, and a public cemetery. 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.

CSA 29 has started Digital TV service on August 2012 to replace existing analog channels on or around September 2013 by FCC Mandate. The licenses are to repeat Los Angeles Metro Area TV signals and utilize subchannels to deliver various broadcast stations.[21]

Sites of interest[edit]

Blackhawk Landslide, seen from the air
  • 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 and mimicked the Iraqi desert in the movie Hot Shots. Also, actress and singer Selena Gomez shot her music video for A Year Without Rain. A variety of small meteorites have been found and documented from these two dry lakes.[22]
  • 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.[23]
  • Chimney Rock, a registered landmark of the State of California, is located on the mountains north of the Rabbit Dry Lake and 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.[24]
  • Two parks exist in Lucerne Valley:[25]
    • 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.
    • Work will commence on a third facility, Visalia Park (formerly known as the Lucerne Springs Recreational Park which was privately owned), in October 2015 after a transfer of ownership is completed.[26]
  • The Johnson Valley OHV Area, which is bordered by Lucerne Valley to the west of the area and mostly within Johnson Valley is a popular off-road vehicle recreation area with trails known for its steep, rocky mountains and several additional 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 Johnson Valley that brings annual business to Lucerne Valley.[27]


Lucerne Valley High School offers many sports including Football, Volleyball, Cross Country, Basketball, Wrestling, Baseball, Softball and Track and Field. Lucerne Valley High School has won several league championships:


1996 - Freedom League Champions

1997 - Freedom League Champions[28] (CIF Southern Section Division XIII Semi-Finalists)

2013 - Agape League (8-Man) Champions (CIF Southern Section 8 Man Division 1 Semi-Finalists)

2015 - Agape League (8-Man) Co-Champions (With Upland Christian)


1996 - De Anza League Champions

2003 - Desert Mountain League Champions

2004 - Desert Mountain League Champions

2005 - Desert Mountain League Champions

2006 - Desert Mountain League Champions

2007 - Desert Mountain League Champions

2008 - Desert Mountain League Champions

2009 - Desert Mountain League Champions

2015 - Agape League Champions


Ron Peavy Field - Located at Lucerne Valley High School, it hosts football, soccer and track and field. Named after former LVUSD Superintendent Ron Peavy, who lobbied for the building of Lucerne Valley High School.

SGT Brian L Walker Gym - Located at Lucerne Valley High School, it hosts basketball, volleyball and wrestling. Named after former student SGT Brian L Walker who gave his life in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.


  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. ^ Day, Peter. "County approves new MAC format". Lucerne Valley Leader. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  5. ^ Day, Peter. "Ramos swears in seven to new regional MAC". Lucerne Valley Leader. Local Media Group. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Reilly, Kris. "Answering basic questions". Lucerne Valley Leader. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Climate Summary for Lucerne Valley, California
  8. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Lucerne Valley CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "". 
  10. ^ a b c County of San Bernardino. "Lucerne Valley Community Plan" (PDF). County of San Bernardino. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Day, Peter. "Dollar General store under construction". Lucerne Valley Leader. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Reilly, Kris. "Grand jury critical of LVUSD strategy". Lucerne Valley Leader. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  17. ^ Reilly, Kris. "Schools looking at $800k in cuts". Lucerne Valley Leader. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  18. ^ Day, Peter. "School district STAR scores drop". Lucerne Valley Leader. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  19. ^ Day, Peter. "Statewide test scores released". Lucerne Valley Leader. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  20. ^ "District Office". Lucerne Valley Unified School District. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  21. ^ Millington, Tim. "TV Districts Will Discontinue Analog Service In Place Of New Digital Service Capability" (PDF). County Service Area 29. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ Day, Peter. "Visalia Park project delayed six months". Lucerne Valley Leader. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  27. ^ "Off-roaders voice displeasure with Marine Corps plan". Lucerne Valley Leader. Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
  28. ^ "Facts And Figures / 1997 In Review". Los Angeles Times (in en-US). 1998-09-08. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2015-11-23. 

External links[edit]