Introduction to Ridgecrest, California

Ridgecrest, California, in Kern county, is 69 miles NE of Lancaster, California and 113 miles N of Los Angeles, California. The city benefits from easy access to the nearby cities and towns with which it shares the Bakersfield metropolitan area. 

Ridgecrest History

Ridgecrest is located in the beautiful Indian Wells Valley, surrounded on all four sides by mountain ranges. The Sierra Nevada lies to the west, the Argus Range on the east, the Cosos on the north and the El Paso Mountains on the south. The evolution of Ridgecrest into a growing and dynamic city happened in the 1950s and '60s. It was incorporated in 1963, and provides housing and services to Federal employees and contractors. Ridgecrest is the only incorporated community in the Indian Wells Valley, and acts as the business and shopping center for Kern County.

Ridgecrest and Nearby Attractions

  • Satellite Lake.
  • Jornales Studio.
  • Grace Lutheran Church.
  • Desert Empire Fairgrounds.
  • Stauffer Park.
  • Sierra Vista Shopping Center.

Things To Do In Ridgecrest

Visitors at Ridgecrest can enjoy the picturesque beauty of Satellite Lake, or go shopping in the numerous plazas like the Heritage Square Shopping Center, the Sierra Vista Shopping Center or the Ridgecrest Plaza. Besides, there are quite a few parks in the neighboring area that offer excellent recreational facilities for adults and children alike. Art lovers can also take a tour of the Jornales Studio.

Ridgecrest Transportation

Air transportation is available from Edwards Afb Airport.

Ridgecrest Higher Education

The city is served by the Cerro Coso Community College.


Total Population 28,489
Male Share of the Population 51.3%
Female Share of the Population 48.7%
Senior Citizens 13.2%
Employed Population 16+ 12,285
Age of the Population 35


% of people married 50.7%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 28.2%
Median Earnings25+ $44,951
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $25,500
Median Earnings With High School Degree $30,793


Median Family Income $71,675
% Above Poverty Level 84.6%
% Below Poverty Level 15.4%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 15 minutes
% Working from Home 2.6%
% Walking and Biking to Work 3.7%
% Using Public Transportation 0.1%


People Living Alone 31%
Median Gross Rent $861
Median House Value $171,300


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 44.7%
US/American 0.2%
English 8.9%
Irish 10.5%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Ridgecrest Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 69 miles NE of Lancaster, California (center to center)
Nearest Large City 113 miles N of Los Angeles, California
County Kern
Metro Area Bakersfield
Standard Zip Codes 93555
P.O. Box Zip Codes 93556
Phone Area Codes 760
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 35.622
Longitude -117.67

Ridgecrest Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 8.5 miles
Jan Temp 31 to 60 F
Apr Temp 45 to 79 F
Jul Temp 66 to 103 F
Oct Temp 48 to 83 F
Annual Precip 4.7 inches
Station TRONA
Distance 18.9 miles
Jan Temp 36 to 56 F
Apr Temp 52 to 77 F
Jul Temp 75 to 100 F
Oct Temp 55 to 80 F
Annual Precip 4.1 inches
Station HAIWEE
Distance 38.7 miles
Jan Temp 29 to 53 F
Apr Temp 41 to 71 F
Jul Temp 62 to 96 F
Oct Temp 44 to 76 F
Annual Precip 7.3 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Ridgecrest, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

China Lake (93555)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Ridgecrest Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
(760) 446-3551
Emergency Service: Yes

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Ridgecrest High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,628 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 23.8

A Non-traditional School
Serves 143 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 15.9

Ridgecrest Colleges

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Ridgecrest Colleges
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