Last Updated on January 31, 2024

Apple Valley is a charming city in San Bernardino County, California. Located at the southern edge of the Mojave Desert, this vibrant city offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and modern amenities.

Proudly situated in the High Desert of California, Apple Valley showcases the captivating landscapes and unique ecosystem of this desert region.

The High Desert is known for its picturesque vistas, vast expanses of Joshua trees, and stunning desert sunsets.

With its higher elevation and drier climate, Apple Valley experiences hot summer days in the upper 90s, cold winter nights in the mid-30s, and limited rainfall throughout the year.

Despite its name, Apple Valley no longer cultivates apple orchards. However, its legacy as a former apple-growing region remains an important part of its history.

Apple Valley, San Bernandino County, California
Apple Valley, CA.

The History of Apple Valley

Prior to World War II, Apple Valley was renowned for its thriving apple industry and the production of award-winning apples.

The city’s fertile soil and favorable climate were perfect for apple cultivation, and local orchards flourished. However, the prosperity of the apple industry was soon challenged by a series of unfortunate events.

In the mid-1940s, a combination of fungal infections and extreme weather conditions devastated the local apple crops. Three consecutive years of poor harvests took a toll on the once-flourishing orchards. M

any apple farmers faced significant losses, and the apple industry in Apple Valley gradually declined.

Despite the challenges faced by the apple growers, the name “Apple Valley” continued to be recognized and associated with the area.

In 1949, the Postal Service approved the name for the local post office, which served as a reminder of the city’s agricultural heritage, even as the apple orchards disappeared.

Throughout its history, Apple Valley has also been linked to Hollywood’s golden era. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, legendary Western film stars, chose Apple Valley as their retirement home and final resting place.

Their decision to settle in Apple Valley further enhanced the city’s reputation and added to its cultural significance.

Today, Apple Valley thrives as a modern city with a diverse economy, offering its residents and visitors a wide range of attractions, amenities, and opportunities to explore the beauty of the Mojave Desert.

Exploring Apple Valley

Things to See

Apple Valley offers a variety of attractions that showcase its natural beauty and rich history. Here are some notable places to visit:

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum

Delve into the Western film era by visiting the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum. This museum is dedicated to preserving the memory of these beloved stars. Explore fascinating exhibits featuring memorabilia, photographs, and artifacts from their legendary careers.

Apple Valley Legacy Museum

Learn about the captivating history and culture of Apple Valley and the Mojave Desert region at the Apple Valley Legacy Museum.

Discover exhibits that highlight the area’s heritage, including its indigenous roots, early settlers, and local industries.

Mojave Narrows Regional Park

For outdoor enthusiasts, Mojave Narrows Regional Park is a must-visit destination.

This expansive park boasts picturesque lakes, scenic hiking trails, and well-maintained picnic areas.

Enjoy activities such as fishing, camping, and wildlife spotting amidst the stunning desert landscape.

Things to Do in Apple Valley

Apple Valley offers a range of activities for visitors of all ages. Here are some popular things to do:

Hiking and Biking Trails

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty surrounding Apple Valley by exploring its scenic hiking and biking trails.

From leisurely strolls to challenging treks, there are options for all skill levels.

Discover hidden gems, unique rock formations, and breathtaking vistas along the way.

Golf Courses

If you’re a golf enthusiast, Apple Valley won’t disappoint. The city is home to several well-maintained golf courses that offer challenging fairways and stunning views. Tee off amidst the serene desert landscape and enjoy a memorable round of golf.


Indulge in some retail therapy during your visit to Apple Valley. Explore local shops and boutiques that offer a diverse range of products, including unique handicrafts, artwork, clothing, and more.

Additionally, nearby retail centers provide an array of national and international brands to satisfy your shopping cravings.


Apple Valley offers a wide selection of dining options to satisfy various tastes and cravings. From fine dining establishments that serve exquisite cuisine to casual eateries offering comfort food, the city has something for everyone. You can also find popular fast food chains for quick and convenient meals.

What is Apple Valley Known For?

Apple Valley, California is known for its:

  • Western heritage: Apple Valley was once home to many working ranches, and it still retains a strong western flavor. There are several rodeos held in the area each year, and the town is home to the Apple Valley Western Heritage Museum.
  • Natural beauty: Apple Valley is located at the southern edge of the Mojave Desert, and it is surrounded by mountains. The town has several parks and recreation areas, including the Apple Valley Lake Park, the Victor Valley National Wildlife Refuge, and the Joshua Tree National Park.
  • Excellent schools: Apple Valley is home to several highly rated public schools, including the Lewis Center for Academic Excellence. The town is also home to a number of private schools.
  • Clean air and low crime rates: Apple Valley has some of the cleanest air in California, and it has a low crime rate. This makes it a desirable place to live for families and retirees.

Here are some other things that Apple Valley is known for:

  • The Concrete Dinosaurs: Apple Valley is home to a number of concrete dinosaurs, which were created by a local artist named Dennis Hanks. The dinosaurs are located in various locations around town, and they are a popular tourist attraction.
  • The Apple Valley Legacy Museum: The Apple Valley Legacy Museum is a museum that tells the history of Apple Valley. The museum is located in the old Apple Valley Town Hall, and it features exhibits on the town’s history, its western heritage, and its natural beauty.
  • The Jess Ranch Lakes: The Jess Ranch Lakes are a popular recreation area in Apple Valley. The lakes offer fishing, boating, and hiking opportunities.

Getting to Apple Valley

Apple Valley is conveniently accessible by various modes of transportation:

By Car

Apple Valley is located along California State Highway 18, about 7.5 miles (12 km) east of Interstate 15, midway between the cities of San Bernardino and Barstow.

If you’re driving from San Bernardino, the approximate travel time to Apple Valley is around 45 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. From Barstow, the drive takes approximately 30 minutes.

The city’s strategic location near major highways makes it easily accessible for visitors traveling by car.

By Air

If you’re traveling from a greater distance, the nearest major airport to Apple Valley is Ontario International Airport. Situated 55 miles (88.5 km) southwest of the city in Ontario, this bustling airport offers numerous flight options.

Upon arrival at Ontario International Airport, you can rent a car from one of the available car rental services or arrange for other ground transportation options to reach Apple Valley.

Additionally, for aviation enthusiasts or those with private planes, Apple Valley has its own public general aviation airport located less than 10 miles (16 km) from downtown.

By Rail

For those who prefer train travel, Amtrak’s Southwest Chief service stops in Victorville, which is approximately 7 miles (11 km) from Apple Valley.

From Victorville, you can continue your journey to Apple Valley using local transportation options such as taxis or rideshare services.

The train journey offers a scenic route and a relaxing travel experience for those who enjoy the comfort of rail travel.

Getting Around Apple Valley

Getting around Apple Valley is relatively easy, thanks to various transportation options:


The most convenient way to explore Apple Valley and its surroundings is by car. Renting a car or using your own vehicle provides flexibility and allows you to navigate the city at your own pace.


Local taxi services are available in Apple Valley, providing convenient transportation for short distances or when you prefer not to drive yourself.


Services like Uber and Lyft operate in Apple Valley, offering an alternative to traditional taxis.

Using rideshare apps, you can easily request a ride and travel to your desired destinations.

Public Transportation

The Victor Valley Transit Authority operates bus services within Apple Valley and the surrounding area.

Public transportation is a cost-effective option for getting around the city, especially if you prefer not to drive.

Apple Valley, San Bernandino County, California
Apple Valley is located in the High Desert of California.

Tips for Visiting Apple Valley

Here are some helpful tips to enhance your visit to Apple Valley:

  • Visit during the spring or fall for milder temperatures and comfortable weather conditions.
  • Be prepared for hot summer days and cool nights, as temperatures can vary significantly.
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the intense desert sun.
  • Stay hydrated by carrying a water bottle and drinking plenty of fluids, especially during outdoor activities.
  • Take precautions and be aware of the desert environment. Carry essential supplies, such as a map, compass, and extra water, if venturing into remote areas.

With its fascinating history, breathtaking landscapes, and a range of attractions and activities, Apple Valley offers a memorable experience for every visitor.

Immerse yourself in the city’s charm, explore its natural wonders, and discover the allure of the Mojave Desert.

Read also: The Mojave Road Guide: Info, Route, Landmarks & Map

Where is Apple Valley located?

Apple Valley is situated in San Bernardino County, California, United States. It is nestled in the Mojave Desert, approximately 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

Why is it called Apple Valley?

Originally named Appledale in the 1880s, the city was known for its abundant apple orchards. In 1949, the name was changed to Apple Valley, reflecting its agricultural heritage and the presence of thriving apple cultivation.

What is Apple Valley known for?

Apple Valley is renowned for its natural beauty, rich history, and charming downtown area.

The city offers various attractions, including the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum, the Apple Valley Historical Society Museum, and the Mojave Narrows Regional Park.

It is also a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for hiking, biking, golfing, fishing, camping, and rock climbing.

Is Apple Valley considered a low or high desert?

Apple Valley is located in the High Desert region of California. The High Desert is characterized by hot summers, cold winters, and limited rainfall.

With an elevation of around 3,600 feet, Apple Valley falls within the high desert category.

Is Apple Valley worth visiting?

Absolutely! Apple Valley offers a unique desert experience with its captivating attractions and diverse activities.

Whether you are interested in history, nature, or outdoor adventures, Apple Valley has something for everyone. Its rich heritage, scenic landscapes, and tranquil ambiance make it a worthwhile destination to explore.

When is the best time to visit Apple Valley?

The ideal time to visit Apple Valley depends on your personal preferences and interests.

If you enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, or golfing, the spring and fall seasons provide pleasant weather and milder temperatures.

For those seeking cultural experiences, winter offers a chance to participate in festivals and events hosted by the city. Regardless of the season, Apple Valley promises an unforgettable journey into the charm of the Mojave Desert.

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