Welcome to the beautiful High Desert!

The High Desert as it is commonly referred to encompasses the area roughly boarded by the San Gabriel and Tehachapi Mountains, and the Mojave Desert's Basin and Range Province to the east. There are many opinions though as to the borders of the area, below we have included information on Phelan, Pinon Hills, Apple Valley, Victorville, Hesperia, Barstow, Spring Valley Lake,Baldy Mesa, Silver Lakes, Summit Valley, Oro Grande, Lucerne Valley, Helendale, El Mirage or Wrightwood. As a whole, the High Desert of California offers a home town feel to its communities, ample shopping and a great climate friendly to year round recreation. From your home in Phelan, with its large lots, shopping friendly town and grand champange climate you are just a short drive up to Wrightwood and the sky lifts, or a bit longer to Big Bear. If you want to feel the sea breeze on your face, hop on to the freeway, you are aprox 90 miles to Newport Beach. Disneyland is a short 75 miles, and for more adult fun, Las Vegas is a short 3 hrs 15 minutes away according to Mapquest.

Film studios have long chosen the High Desert for its grand vistas and 'old west' feel-some of the films shot throughout the area are Some notable projects include:

  • Stagecoach - 1939; Lucerne Valley
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - 1948; Red Rock Canyon State Park
  • Westworld - 1973; Red Rock Canyon State Park
  • Bagdad Cafe - 1987; Newberry Springs
  • Jurassic Park - 1993; Red Rock Canyon State Park
  • Casino - 1995; Palmdale
  • Contact - 1997; Adelanto
  • Face/Off - 1997; Victorville
  • Jarhead - 2005; Victorville
  • Valkyrie - 2008; Victorville

The Alabama Hills and Red Rock Canyon have been filming locations for numerous Westerns. Southern California Logistics Airport (George Air Force Base, decommissioned in 1992) is used often for military dramas and action films. Boomtowns that prospered during Route 66 and Railroad travel in the early 20th Century including Amboy, Ludlow, and Cima are also used in principal photography and location shots. Space Cowboys - 2000; one of many examples that feature Edwards Air Force Base in the 1940s used in experimental test flights and for shuttle landings with the NASA Space Program.The western novel The Lonesome Gods by Louis L'Amour also uses features of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts in its narrative.

Come on up for a visit-or stay forever!



What is the Tri-Community?

The Tri-Community is located in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, northwest of the City of San Bernardino, including the mountain community of Wrightwood, and desert communities of Pinon Hills and Phelan.

All three areas have a local post office. Fire service is provided through the county, CDF and the Forest Service. Police protection is provided through the county Sheriff's Department.


Spread across the desert foothills of the eastern San Gabriel Mountains, between elevations of 3,000 and 4,000 feet, is Phelan California, an unincorporated San Bernardino County community enjoying over 350 sunny and beautiful days each year.
Only 90 minutes from Los Angeles, 30 minutes from San Bernardino and 15 minutes from Victorville, Phelan stands out as a down to earth community filled with pride. The rugged San Gabriel Mountains reach into the sky and provide a dramatic backdrop. Individual peaks, such as Wright, Pine and Table mountains define themselves as sentinals, keeping watch over this rural community. Phelan is approximately 20 minutes from the heart of Victorville and the local shopping mall, 10 minutes to Wrightwood and 90 minutes to Los Angeles with all its amenities. It is like the small towns of your childhood dreams, with good schools, community activities including clubs for the kids, parades, town wide festivals, soccer, baseball & football leagues and the annual Phelan Rodeo that draws many of the top rough stock riders from around the nation.

The town has everything you need, from a chain grocery & and drug store to both sit-down ethnic & family style restaurants. Fast food restaurants are there as well for your convenience. There are banks, hardware stores, physicians, dentists and veterinarians to care for all the members of your family. This is an area rich with history from the Mormon Rocks and Trail, Native Indian sites, early gold mines to old stage coach sites. Phelan, as well as Pinon Hills has an active Senior Center, Chamber of Commerce and Municipal Advisory Committees (MACs). Phelan and Pinon Hills offer homes with a choice of available acreage, from the most common lot size of 2.5 acres to neat and tidy condos within walking distance to town. Horses are allowed on the larger acreages, with all the trails and dirt roads in the area it is a true horseman's paradise. Mild 4 season climate means that you can play outside all through the year, enjoying your horseback riding, ATV’s dirt bikes and mountain bike.

Visit Phelan Chamber of Commerce



Pinon Hills 

Pinon Hills rests to the west of Phelan and is a quiet community of homes on larger parcels-some with dramatic valley and mountain views. It is located along Pearblossom Highway, 28 miles east of Palmdale, and 15 miles west of the Cajon Pass where Pearblossom Highway meets Interstate 15. .This makes it popular for commuters, as you can ride the Pearblossom Highway to the Interstate 15 or the opposite direction  to Hwy 14 and on to Interstate 5. A short ride to all the shopping of Phelan, it has lots of room for horseback riding, mountain biking and atv sports as well as an active Senior Center. Pinon Hills has a fine elementary school, with the older students taking the short bus ride to Serrano High School in Phelan.

Visit Pinon Hills Chamber of Commerce


Victorville is situated approximately 97 miles northeast of Los Angeles and 35 miles north of San Bernardino, just north of the San Bernardino Mountains, at the edge of the Mojave Desert.

Interstate 15 and State Highway 18 intersect near the center of Victorville and the city is bordered on the west by US Highway 395. Victorville is about 40 minutes drive from Ontario Airport, which offers passenger and commercial air cargo service to major U.S. cities and overseas.

The City of Victorville encompasses approximately 67.68 square miles of land & has experienced a substantial growth since 1980 bringing with it many of the big city amenities. Oro Grande lies within its boundaries. Victorville shopping and entertainment include chain restaurants, theaters, malls and warehouse stores such as Costco. Major retailers abound, and the city is constantly growing.

Visit the Victorville Chamber of Commerce

Hesperia, Summit Valley & Oak Hills 

The City Of Hesperia is located 35 miles north of San Bernardino, 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles, and 195 miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada. Hesperia is at an elevation of 3,250 feet at the intersection of I-15 and U.S. 395. The city's incorporated area is approximately 69 square miles, with an adopted sphere of influence of approximately 32 square miles.

Your housing dollar goes a long, long way in Hesperia's friendly, open neighborhoods. Hesperia is full of welcoming neighborhoods with nice new houses. Excellent schools, a wide variety of parks, new retail centers, and a general aviation airport enhance the community. It is also experiencing a housing boom, with new homes and retail centers going up all over the area.

The Hesperia High Desert is a place with four distinct seasons, and the air is clear in all of them. The city starts at 3,600 feet on the transcontinental slope of the San Bernardino Mountains, creating a year round dry, comfortable climate.

Visit the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce

Apple Valley

Apple Valley is located just east of Victorville. Clean air, low population density, low crime rates, excellent schools, and a suburban, semi-rural lifestyle are some of the reasons that families are attracted to the Town of Apple Valley. Spacious custom homes on large lots typify this premier residential community. Over 70 percent of the town's housing stock is owner-occupied.

Recreational opportunities abound in Apple Valley. Twelve parks are currently maintained by the Town of Apple Valley. Both the Apple Valley Country Club and Jess Ranch are flanked by 18-hole golf courses. The photo above is of Sun City.

Conveniently located just ten minutes from professional baseball and 45 minutes to an hour away from snow skiing, beaches, mountain resorts, and desert wilderness areas, Apple Valley is the ideal community for people with active life styles and a broad range of interests

Serving over 12,000 students, the Apple Valley Unified School District is a leader among school districts in technology and academic excellence. The District currently has nine elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools.

Apple Valley is home to the largest medical community in the High Desert. Anchoring the town's position as the High Desert's leader in health care is the $40 million expansion of the St. Mary Regional Medical Center providing advanced levels of service in cardiology, radiology, surgery, emergency care and patient care. Also home to such state-of-the-art facilities as the Apple Valley Radiology and Oncology Center, Apple Valley has emerged as the leader in advanced health care systems, from pediatric services to radiology to neurosurgery.

Visit the Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce

Spring Valley Lake  

Spring Valley Lake is a private recreational resort community. There is something special for the whole family.The sparkling crown of the community is a 200 surface acre fresh water lake with docks and beaches. You can play golf, enjoy the clubhouse and pool or play a round of tennis. The Equestrian area features a fully equiped Equestrian Center, Clubhouse and stables as well as miles of trails leading you out to Mojave Narrows State Park.
Spring Valley Lake's Recreation Department offers a variety of activities for all ages. Regular classes such as line dancing, fitness and taekwondo occur weekly at the Community Building and the parks. Spring Valley Lake's East and West Beach were in place before 1981.

The West Beach Park area measures 1-1/2 acres with picnic tables in place under the trees. The East Beach Park is around 1 acre. There is a grassy picnic area, playground for kids, basketball and volleyball court. Lifeguards are on duty Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the months between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Meadow Lark Park was built in 1998 and measures around 5 acres. This park holds a large playground as well as a smaller one for toddlers. There is also a baseball field. The park is located along Rolling Ridge Drive and is next to the Community Center, Code Enforcement and Public Safety building.

Longacre Park was established in 1984. It measures 1-1/2 acres. It is accessible through horse trails around the grassy area and has a basketball court. It is located at the Equestrian Estates side of Spring Valley Lake, across from the EQ Center, along Appalossa Road.The Equestrian Clubhouse is located in the EQ Center on Indian River Drive and has a maximum capacityof 50 & has access to the kitchen and patio.

Playfair park was built in 1983. It is approximately 2 acres. Playfair is also accessible via the horse trails. There is a playground on one side and a grassy area on the other. It is located in the Equestrian Estates of Spring Valley Lake off of Pimlico Road.


Adelanto, incorporated in 1970, is located on US Highway 395, in the California High Desert, 35 miles (56KM) north of San Bernardino via Interstate 15. The name Adelanto means progress or advance in Spanish, and was first given to the post office that was established on the site in 1917. Home to Mavericks Stadium, a city-owned $6.5 million dollar facility and the The High Desert Mavericks Professional Baseball Club, Adelanto   affords residents the experience of all seasons, from winter snow to warm summer sun. The area has seen significant growth in the last few years, new housing projects with affordable prices and attractive floor plans predominating. Handsome mountain views can be seen all around, and you are close to all the shopping and employment opportunities of Victorville.

Average temperatures range from a minimum of 30 F (-1 C) in January to a maximum of 96 F (36 C) in August. Average annual rainfall is 5.5 inches (14 cm) occurring primarily during the winter months with some additional accumulation from summer thunderstorms.

Visit the Adelanto Chamber of Commerce

Lucerne Valley  

Lucerne Valley is located at the crossroads of State Highways 18 and 247, just 25 miles from I-15 (Hesperia and Victorville), 34 miles from I-40 and one and a half hours Northeast of Palm Springs. All within 2 hours driving distance are the centers of population and commerce of Los Angeles and Orange Counties and the Inland Empire (SanBernardino/Riverside/Ontario), plus regional and international airports and transportation terminals.

A short run to Big Bear or Wrightwood, Lucerene Valley still holds the unspoiled look of the "old" High Desert, complete with lots of riding room and quaint restaurant & businesses. Large dry lakes are less than 10 minutes from the center of town and they have been successfully used for movie making and equipment testing. Properties tend to be on the larger size with relation to acreage, and attracts those seeking peaceful seclusion from the everyday world.


Sitting high above the desert floor is an oasis of pine and soft breezes- Wrightwood. There are no malls, not even a traffic light to impede your free movement among the majestic pine trees and ancient oaks, while experiencing the clean air under bright blue skies, as well as quiet beauty four seasons of the year.
Wrightwood is nestled 6,000 feet high in the east end of the San Gabriel Mountains. The average snowfall in this area is 53 inches per year. While there is plenty of snow, the temperatures rarely drop below the 20's. As quiet as snow will make a landscape, winter is Wrightwood's busiest season.
Mountain high and Ski Sunrise are the most convenient ski resorts for the largest concentration of skiers and snowboarders in the world. The roads are cleared quickly as ski rental shops, restaurants, a variety of lodging facilities, and residents prepare to welcome thousands of snow players, sledders, skiers and snowboarders.
Attractions in Wrightwood include lots of shops and restaurants, a museum, tons of hiking and horseback riding trails or spend the day on your canoe on Jackson Lake.

Visit Wrightwood Chamber of Commerce

Silver Lakes & Helendale 

Silver Lakes is a private residential community in the High Desert located near Helendale. It features a private 27 hole golf course, a clubhouse with swimming pools, two large lates for boating and fishing as well as an equestrian center. Close to all the amenities of Helendale, Silver Lakes is a beautiful place to call home. We have several listings in the Silver Lakes area, be sure to visit them on our Search For Homes page.

Visit Silver Lakes Association Web Site




The City of Barstow is located in the Inland Empire North region of San Bernardino County, midway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Barstow is centrally located in the western Mojave at the entrance to the Mojave National Preserve and is home to the U.S. Army National Training Center at Ft. Irwin; Marine Corps Logistics Base, Barstow; NASA's Goldstone Deep Space Network; Veterans Home of California, Barstow; and BNSF's classification yard.
With Interstates 15 and 40, and highways 58 and 247 all converging in Barstow, the city is a major transportation corridor with more than 60 million people in 19 million vehicles traveling through Barstow each year. The city is home to an Amtrak depot at its Historic Harvey House.

Visit Barstow Chamber of Commerce

Thanks to Wikipedia for the film information, shared via the Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.