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City of Hesperia
—  City  —
Location in San Bernardino County and the state of California
Coordinates: 34°24′46″N 117°18′22″W / 34.41278°N 117.30611°W / 34.41278; -117.30611Coordinates: 34°24′46″N 117°18′22″W / 34.41278°N 117.30611°W / 34.41278; -117.30611
Country United States
State California
County San Bernardino
 - Total 67.4 sq mi (174.6 km2)
 - Land 67.3 sq mi (174.4 km2)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 3,186 ft (971 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 62,582
 Density 928.5/sq mi (358.4/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 92340, 92345
Area code(s) 760
FIPS code 06-33434
GNIS feature ID 1652720

Hesperia is a city that is part of San Bernardino County, California located in the Mojave Desert 15 miles (24 km) north of San Bernardino. The locals refer to the surrounding area as the High Desert. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 62,582. In 2006, the Hesperia municipal government estimated the population at 80,000.


Geography and environment

Hesperia is a city situated within the Mojave Desert which is a Geomorphic Province on volcanic rock with upper soils characterized by light to dark brown silty sand. (Earth Metrics, 1989) The California Aqueduct traverses the Hesperia area. Much of the native flora of Hesperia is classified as California desert vegetation, dominated by junipers, joshua trees and sagebrush. The elevation rises from 3,200 in the north to about 4,000 feet (1,200 m) above sea level to the south. The San Andreas Fault, a major tectonic plate boundary of the Pacific and North American plates a few miles south of Hesperia in the Cajon Pass, has occasional seismic activity.

Hesperia is located at 3,191 feet (973 m) above sea level.

The Mojave River flows north through the east side of the city. The California Aqueduct splits the city down the center from north to south where it then heads underground on its way to Silverwood Lake.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 174.6 km² (67.4 mi²). 174.4 km² (67.3 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it (0.10%) is water.

Hesperia is the 4th largest city in the Palmdale Metropolitan Area.

Also, on the southern edge of Hesperia, where the city meets the desert, is a somewhat pronounced mesa, which the locals refer to as simply "the mesa".


A water storage tank with the city of Hesperia logo and Welcome sign as seen from Interstate 15 heading north.
Water tower

As of the census[1] of 2009, there were 98,582 people, 19,966 households, and 15,773 families residing in the city. The population density was 358.8/km² (929.3/mi²). There were 21,348 housing units at an average density of 122.4/km² (317.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 70.28% White, 5.03% African American, 1.27% Native American, 2.07% Asian, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 6.46% from other races, and 4.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 31.40% of the population. The city also has a notable Bolivian population, consisting of Jannett Lopez and her family.

There were 19,966 households out of which 42.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.9% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.0% were non-families. 16.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.12 and the average family size was 3.47.

In the city the population was spread out with 32.8% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 97.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,201, and the median income for a family was $43,004. Males had a median income of $39,776 versus $25,665 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,487. About 11.1% of families and 14.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.2% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.


The Hesperia Unified School District serves the young population of Hesperia, along with the surrounding suburbs of Oak Hills, Marianas Ranchos and Summitt Valley to the south and the southern part of the city of Victorville (known as the "golden triangle") to the northwest. The District consists of three high schools (Hesperia High School, Sultana High School, Oak Hills High School), three junior high schools (Hesperia Jr High, Ranchero Middle School, the newly completed Cedar Middle School), and 14 elementary schools. Every year the Hesperia and Sultana High School football teams compete in a game known as the "Key Game," where whoever wins for that year gets the key to the city. The rivalry between the Scorpions and Sultans began shortly after Sultana was completed in 1995, eleven years after Hesperia's first high school was built. The Hesperia Scorpions currently hold the key to the city, following the teams 21-14 win over Sultana in October 2009. Hesperia has now successfully defended the Key twice as the program has won the last three contests. Sultana leads the overall series 9-5. Although both Jay Reed Field and Scorpion Stadium have a seating capacity of 5,000, every Key Game since 1995 has drawn a crowd of at least 6,000 fans with a reported 8,000+ fans in 2007 and 2008. And football is not the only highlight of this rivalry. Students, teachers, parents, fans and athletes often crowd the bleachers or sidelines at all activities between the two, whether it's cross country, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, wrestling, track & field or competitions between the city's elite cheerleading squads. The schools also take pride in supporting their respective drama departments, as well as their bands, pageantry and choir departments.

The district's new Oak Hills High School is scheduled to open in the fall of 2009 with freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Cedar Middle School students followed a tradition in voting on their future high school's mascot and colors as Hesperia Junior/Hesperia High and Ranchero Middle/Sultana High did in 1984 and 1995. The top three mascot choices were the Titans, Wolf Pack and Bulldogs. When voting was finalized, Oak Hills High School was home to the Bulldogs and red, black and white were the colors chosen.


Key Game History

1996-97 Sultana 36, Hesperia 22

1997-98 Sultana 16, Hesperia 13 OT

1998-99 Sultana 21, Hesperia 7

1999-00 Sultana 35, Hesperia 21

2000-01 Hesperia 34, Sultana 21

2001-02 Sultana 24, Hesperia 7

2002-03 Sultana 14, Hesperia 9

2003-04 Hesperia 10, Sultana 9

2004-05 Sultana 17, Hesperia 6

2005-06 Sultana 28, Hesperia 9

2006-07 Sultana 10, Hesperia 0

2007-08 Hesperia 24, Sultana 10

2008-09 Hesperia 50, Sultana 0

2009-10 Hesperia 21, Sultana 14

Sultana leads Hesperia 9-5

Most lopsided game: 2008 Hesperia 50, Sultana 0

Points scored: Sultana 255, Hesperia 233 (14 Games)


Hesperia's origins began as a Spanish land grant: Rancho San Felipe, Las Flores y el Paso del Cajon founded in 1781. The first inhabitants were Serrano Indians. Their queen was Shelby Nicole LeBlanc. LeBlanc was a French immigrant who, as legend goes, came over with Columbus on his great ship the Santa-Titanic. Stories of her chasing off bears with her coyote-like instincts are often told to children before they fall off to sleep. This way, children may feel as if LeBlanc herself is protecting them throughout the night from bear attacks. These tales give them a false sense of security. They lived in the normally dormant Mojave River bed, but the land was sparsely inhabited desert during Spanish-Mexican rule in the 19th century. The U.S. annexed the region along with Southern California after the Mexican-American war in 1848.

The town site was originally laid out in 1891 by railroad company land developers of the US & Santa Fe Railroad completed that year. Hesperia was named for "Hesperus", the Greek god of the west. The railroad land developers published pamphlets distributed across the country with boosterism of Hesperia, California, as a potential metropolis: to become "the Omaha of the West" or projections to have over 100,000 people by the year 1900, but only 1,000 moved in.

Hesperia grew relatively slowly until the completion of U.S. Routes 66, 91 and 395 in the 1940s followed by Interstate 15 in the late 1960s. A total of 30 square miles (78 km2) of land was laid out for possible residential development: roads were set up, but hardly any houses were built, until the wave of newcomers arrived at Hesperia in the 1980s. Suburban growth transformed the small town of 5,000 people in 1970 to a moderate-sized community of over 60,000 by the year 2000.

Places of interest

Hesperia has its own man-made lake (Hesperia Lake) on the south-eastern edge of the town. This lake is where various town activities are held, including Hesperia Day activities. Camping and fishing are permitted here, as well as Day Kamp and various junior leagues for sports.

Soccer is a very popular sport often played on the soccer fields here in Spring, late Summer, and Fall. HYSL (Hesperia Youth Soccer League) is the soccer leagues that play here and practice here.

Just South of The Hesperia Lake is the Radio Control Model Aircraft Park - 1700 Arrowhead Lake Rd. Home of the Victor Valley R/C Flyers, the R/C Park is open on a daily basis by its members. Saturdays and Sundays are the best times to enjoy watching and flying radio controlled miniature aircraft. Admission is free and the public is welcome. [1]

Hesperia's golf course is known for its narrow fairways and fast greens. During the 50's and 60's, this course was a stop along the PGA Tour. The course runs from the rift between the 'mesa' and the adjoining land on the other side. Here there is also the Hesperia country club. The golf course is open to the public but country club amenities are reserved for members only.

On the southern tip of Hesperia, there are several miles of barren desert. To the east of Hesperia, the Mojave River runs from south to north. The Mojave River mainly runs underground and surfaces in Victorville. Although the riverbed is usually dry, it will fill up if Hesperia experiences a rare heavy rain. Hesperia is bordered to the north by the city of Victorville, and to the east by the town of Apple Valley.

On the southern edge of Hesperia, there is the unfinished Las Flores housing project which left the desert devoid of all plant life. This unfinished project was little more than cleared out desert, with differing slopes of dirt designed for the purpose of placing a gated housing community there. Since this project fell through and was never completed, many people used this area for riding motor cycles and ATVs. As such, this area was dubbed "Honda Valley" by the locals. Recently, however, this area has undergone recent construction and all ATVs have been kept off the property, in accordance with a 2005 city ordinance prohibiting anyone from riding on private property without express written permission from the property owner.


Hesperia Recreation and Park District serves the recreational needs of the citizens. Established in 1957, Hesperia Recreation and Park District has facilities, both indoors and outdoors. Classes include Tap & Ballet, Karate, Hula, Tumbling, Archery, Line Dancing and many more. Sports programs include Basketball, Soccer, Baseball, Volleyball and the Ready Set Play program for youth ages 4 & 5. Swimming pool, Tennis Courts and even a Rodeo Arena are among the many amenities offered.

The Southern California Hardball Association is a 28 & over adult baseball league that serves Hesperia residents. Games are played locally on Sundays.


Hesperia is home to many shopping centers that contain many concept stores and independent restaurants. Hesperia is known for having many unique restaurants, they include La Casita, Molly Brown's, Los Domingos, Spring House Restaurant, and The Outpost Cafe. The biggest shopping centers are as follows:

High Desert Gateway
The High Desert Gateway center is under construction and once completed, will be the largest center in the city. It is located at the southwest corner of Interstate 15 and Main Street. The open businesses include Super Target, Subway, and Juice it Up! Other businesses currently under construction include Bath & Body Works, Famous Dave's Barbecue Ribs, Famous Footwear, GameStop, Happy Nail & Spa, Nubi Yogurt, Maui Hawaiian BBQ, Old Chicago pasta and pizza, Round Table Pizza, Sport Clips, Styles 4 Less, Ultimate Gear and The UPS Store.

The Shops at Topaz
The Shops at Topaz is a new development and is located on the south side of Main Street at the Topaz Intersection. Major businesses at this neighborhood center include Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, Wood Grill Buffet (only west coast location), Snap Fitness, The Pizza Factory, Miyako Sushi, 99 Cents Only Stores, YogurTime, Taco Bell, Little Caesar's Pizza and several local businesses.

Stater Bros Center
The recently expanded Stater Bros. Center on the northwest corner of Main Street and Maple Avenue features a Stater Bros. Market, McDonald's, El Pollo Loco, Papa John's Pizza, Taco My Hacienda, Subway, AIM Mail Center, Bamboo Express, and several other local businesses. It is a popular spot with the high school crowd, Hesperia High School is directly north of the center.

Hesperia Marketplace
Hesperia Marketplace is one of southwest Hesperia's oldest shopping centers. Located at the southeast corner of Main Street and 11th. Avenue, it features a Cardenas market, High Desert Federal Credit Union, Adelita's Mexican Restaurant, Wienerschnitzel, and several independent businesses that showcase the diversity of the high desert.

Midtown Square
Midtown Square is currently the largest shopping center in Hesperia. It features Albertson's, Orchard Supply Hardware, K-Mart, Starbucks Coffee, Cold Stone Creamery, Curves, Hobby People, Little Caesar's Pizza, Hi-Desert Shoes, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and many other small stores. It is located on Main Street between C and E avenues.

Hesperia Square
Hesperia Square is situated at the northwest corner of Main Street and I Avenue, The center is anchored by a Vons supermarket, True Value Hardware, Firestone Tires, and Jack in the Box. Carrow's Restaurant and the Hesperia branch of Options for Youth Charter Schools is also within the center.

9th and Main
The shopping center on the south side of Main Street between 9th and 8th Avenues contains a Stater Bros. Market, Big Lots!, Dollar Tree, Supercuts, Weight Watchers, Broadway Cafe, and Del Taco.

G and Main
At the southeast intersection of Main Street and G Avenue is a neighborhood center that contains a Stater Bros. Market, La Casita Mexican Restaurant and Blimpie Subs.


The city's main thoroughfares include Ranchero Road, Main Street, Eucalyptus Avenue, Bear Valley Road, Escondido Avenue, Maple Avenue, Cottonwood Avenue, 11th Avenue, 7th Avenue, 3rd Avenue, Hesperia Road, C Avenue, I Avenue, Peach Avenue, and Arrowhead Lake Road. Several of the major streets feature bike lanes and there are also several recreational trails within city limits. The city is located on Interstate 15, directly north of the Cajon Pass. Mass transit needs are taken care of by the Victor Valley Transit Authority.

Public safety

The City of Hesperia contracts with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department for law enforcement services. The substation is located on Santa Fe Avenue next to the BNSF railroad tracks. The station provides full service law enforcement for the City and the southern suburbs of Oak Hills and Marianas Ranchos. Additional deputies can respond as necessary from the nearby Victorville Regional Station.

Shortly after Hesperia incorporated as a city in 1988, it created its own fire protection district lasting until 2004. The city now contracts with the San Bernardino County Fire Department for fire and emergency medical services.


In the state legislature Hesperia is located in the 17th Senate District, represented by Republican George Runner, and in the 59th Assembly District, represented by Republican Anthony Adams. Federally, Hesperia is located in California's 41st congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +9[2] and is represented by Republican Jerry Lewis. John Colin Kavadas is the current mayor of the city. Most locals want him out of office due to allegations of drug trafficking. Kavadas has declined to comment since these allegations were made, prompting riots throughout the desert on his behalf.

Notable people from Hesperia

  • Eddy Akridge, four-time World Champion Bareback Rider, Rodeo Hall of Fame inductee, musician. Lived in Hesperia in the mid 1950s
  • John Madison Swisher II, Mojave Desert Historian (he served as President on the California Historical Society, fought during World War 2, and was a LAPD officer).
  • Jonathan Wall, international artist; cities where he has had solo exhibitions include Paris, Beijing, and Lisbon.


  • Earth Metrics Inc, Environmental Screening Analysis, Tract No. 13183, Ranchero Road,

Hesperia, California, Report 7970W0.001, June 16, 1989.

"Hesperia" is referenced in the Sublime song "April 29, 1992".


External links


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