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City of Ukiah
—  City  —
Location in Mendocino County and the State of California
Coordinates: 39°09′01″N 123°12′28″W / 39.15028°N 123.20778°W / 39.15028; -123.20778Coordinates: 39°09′01″N 123°12′28″W / 39.15028°N 123.20778°W / 39.15028; -123.20778
Country United States
State California
County Mendocino
 - Type Council-manager
 - Mayor Phil Baldwin
 - City Manager Jane Chambers
 - Total 4.73 sq mi (12.3 km2)
 - Land 4.73 sq mi (12.3 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation [1] 633 ft (193 m)
Population (2000)[2]
 - Total 15,500
 Density 3,275/sq mi (1,264.5/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 95418 and 95482
Area code(s) 707
FIPS code 06-81134
GNIS feature ID 277623

Ukiah (pronounced /juːˈkаɪ.ə/ ew-KYE; formerly, Ukiah City[3]) is the county seat and largest city of Mendocino County, California. With its accessible location (along the U.S. Route 101 corridor several miles south of CA 20), Ukiah serves as the city center for Mendocino County and much of neighboring Lake County. In 1996, Ukiah was ranked the #1 best small town to live in California and the sixth-best place to live in the United States.[4]



An aerial view of the City of Ukiah within the Ukiah Valley. The city boundaries are shown in yellow.

Ukiah is located in the Ukiah Valley at 39°09′01″N 123°12′28″W / 39.15028°N 123.20778°W / 39.15028; -123.20778, with an elevation of 633 ft (193 m) above sea level.[1] The city has a total area of 4.73 sq mi (12.3 km2), all land.[2]


Ukiah has a temperate Mediterranean climate. Average rainfall for the area is 36.96 in (939 mm) per year. Measurable precipitation occurs on an average of 82.1 days per year. The greatest monthly precipitation was 24.76 in (628.9 mm) in January 1995 and the greatest 24-hour precipitation was 6.18 in (157.0 mm) on December 22, 1964. Light snowfall occurs about every other year. The greatest recorded snowfall was 1.5 in (3.8 cm) on March 2, 1976.

Climate data for Ukiah, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Record high °F (°C) 82
Average high °F (°C) 56
Average low °F (°C) 35
Record low °F (°C) 10
Precipitation inches (mm) 7.96
Source: The Weather Channel.[5] September 2008

The average high temperature is 73.5 °F (23.1 °C). Average low temperature is 46.1 °F (7.8 °C). Temperatures reach 90 °F (32 °C) on an average of 65.6 days annually and 100 °F (37.8 °C) on an average of 14.4 days annually. Due to frequent low humidity, summer temperatures normally drop into the fifties at night. Freezing temperatures average 34.2 days per year. The record high temperature was 119 °F (48 °C) on July 22, 1995, and the record low temperature was 10 °F (−12 °C) on December 9, 1972. July is normally the hottest month with a normal high of 91.4 °F (33.0 °C) and a normal low of 55.3 °F (12.9 °C). December has normally the coldest temperatures with a normal high of 55.6 °F (13.1 °C) and a normal low of 36.2 °F (2.3 °C).[6]


This humorous spot of roadside Americana touts itself as the "World's Largest Redwood Tree Service Station" and is built largely from a massive section of Sequoia

When Ukiah was founded by European-American S. Lowry in 1856,[3] it was part of Sonoma County. When the state legislature created Mendocino County in 1859, Ukiah was chosen as the county seat.

Ukiah is located within an area known as the Yokayo Rancho, one of several Spanish land grants in Alta California. The Yokayo grant that makes up the majority of the Ukiah valley took its name from the Pomo word meaning "deep valley". It was also the basis for the city name, as Ukiah was an anglicized form of Yokayo.

The first post office opened in 1858.[3] Ukiah incorporated in 1876.[3]

Hops were once a predominant crop grown around Ukiah. A refurbished hop kiln can be seen at the north end of Ukiah east of Highway 101, where many of the old fields were. Much of Ukiah's early population was supported by the lumber boom of the late 1940s, with the logging of redwood being a major industry.

From 1965 - 1974, Jim Jones developed the congregation of his Peoples Temple in nearby Redwood Valley.[7][8] Many of these people accompanied him to Central America, where they were involved in the mass suicide at his colony of Jonestown.[9]

On July 19, 1984, twelve members of the white nationalist revolutionary group The Order (led by David Lane) robbed a Brink's armored car for $3.6 million in Ukiah.[citation needed]


As of the census[2] of 2000, inside the city limits, there were 15,497 people in the city limits, 5,985 households, and 3,656 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,275/sq mi (1,265/km²). There were 6,137 housing units at an average density of 1,296/sq mi (501/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.53% White, 0.96% African American, 3.79% Native American, 1.68% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 9.67% from other races, and 4.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.31% of the population.

There were 5,985 households out of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.2% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.9% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,707, and the median income for a family was $39,524. Males had a median income of $31,608 versus $24,673 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,601. About 13.2% of families and 18.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.4% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.

As a community, Ukiah has roughly twice the number of people (including Redwood Valley, Potter Valley, Calpella, and Talmage) than the census reports. During the business day, an average of 40,000 people work inside the city limits, or in the business and residential neighborhoods to the north and south.


In the state legislature, Ukiah is located in the 2nd Senate District, represented by Democrat Pat Wiggins, and in the 1st Assembly District, represented by Democrat Wes Chesbro. Federally, Ukiah is located in California's 1st congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +10[10] and is represented by Democrat Mike Thompson. Ukiah is the tribal headquarters for both the Pinoleville Pomo Nation and the Potter Valley Tribe.[11]


Ukiah is known for wine production. The Ukiah vicinity is now home to some of the most prestigious wine labels in the nation, including Fetzer, Fife, Parducci, Frey, and Bonterra. Ukiah vintners are known for innovating with organic and sustainable practices.

Ukiah is a major producer of pears. Alex R Thomas & Company owns hundreds of acres of Bartlett pear orchards on the east side of the Ukiah Valley. For nearly 90 years, many local residents and migrant workers have been employed packing the pears for domestic and foreign consumption. On December 1, 2008, the company announced it would be shutting down major operations at the end of the year. Smaller orchards are owned by other local families.

The Ukiah Valley is home to two breweries, the Mendocino Brewing Company and the Ukiah Brewing Company. The Ukiah Brewing Company is America's first certified organic brewpub, and the nation's second organic restaurant. The Mendocino Brewing Company is internationally renowned as a brewer of traditional ales. Established at Hopland in 1983 as the first California brewpub, they have now relocated the brewery to a state-of-the-art facility in Ukiah, with the brewpub remaining in Hopland.

Other important Ukiah products include marijuana, grapes (wine and non-wine use) and lumber. The Ukiah area is at the headwaters of the Russian River. Its rich bottomland supports many small, and mostly organic, farms that grow fruits and vegetables, and support sheep and cattle.

Arts and culture

Grace Hudson's Sun House; designed by Grace and John Hudson circa 1911 in the Craftsman style


  • Mayor for 2009- Phil Baldwin (appointed by council baised on seniority for one year term)
  • Councilmembers
    • Phil Baldwin (Elected 2000 - seat up for election 2010)
    • Mari Rodin (Appointed 2002 - seat up for election)
    • Douglas F. Crane (Elected 2004 - seat up for election 2012)
    • Benj Thomas (Elected 2006 - seat up for election 2010)
    • Mary Anne Landis (Appointed 2009 - seat up for election 2010)
  • City Manager- Jane Chambers (hired 2008)
  • City Treasurer- Allen Carter
  • City Clerk- Linda Brown
  • City Attorney- David Rapport



Ukiah Unified School District

  • Ukiah High School
  • Calpella Elementary School
  • Eagle Peak Middle School
  • Nokomis Elementary School
  • Oak Manor Elementary School
  • Pomolita Middle School
  • South Valley High
  • Yokayo Elementary School
  • Frank Zeek Elementary School
  • Tree of Life Montessori Charter School
  • Grace Hudson Elementary School
  • River Oak Charter School

Other K-12 schools

  • Accelerated Achievement Academy
  • Redwood Academy of Ukiah
  • St. Mary of the Angels Catholic School
  • Seventh Day Adventist Junior Academy
  • Trinity School


Mendocino College

Notable people


Facts about Ukiah

  • Ukiah is home to the Vichy Springs, known for their champagne baths. They claim to have the only naturally carbonated hot springs in North America. Visited by several notable figures of the 19th century, it is advertised as Jack London's 'favorite hot spot'.
  • Competing in the men's division III club level bracket, the Mendocino Steam Donkeys rugby union team, based in the Ukiah area are the first official NCRFU team in the county.


  1. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Ukiah
  2. ^ a b c "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b c d Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Quill Driver Books. p. 162. ISBN 9781884995149. 
  4. ^ Cramptin, Norman (1996). The 100 Best Small Towns in America. 
  5. ^ "MONTHLY AVERAGES for Ukiah, CA". The Weather Channel. Retrieved September 24 2008. 
  6. ^ National Climatic Center (
  7. ^ Catherine Wessinger (2000) How the Millennium Comes Violently: From Jonestown to Heaven's Gate ISBN 978-1889119243
  8. ^ "The Religious Movements Homepage Project: Peoples Temple". Archived from the original on 2006-09-07. 
  9. ^ ref|
  10. ^ "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. Retrieved 2007-10-20. 
  11. ^ California Tribes and Organizations. 500 Nations. (retrieved 3 August 2009)
  12. ^ Newton, Michael (1999). The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers. pp. 134. ISBN 0816039798. 
  13. ^ "AFI Biography". Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  14. ^ "Ghost Tigers: Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  15. ^ "Holly Near Biography". Retrieved 2007-12-01. 

External links


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