High Desert (California)
The High Desert refers to a subregion located mostly in
Southern California's San Bernardino County, in the United States Fact|date=April 2008. It is part of the Inland Empire area of southern California, the 14th largest metropolitan area in the nation. It makes up the northern portion of the vast desert region of Southern California, with the Low Desertmaking up the southern portion.
Depending on how the boundaries of the
Mojave Desertand the Sonoran Desertare drawn, the High Desert is either defined as including the "entire" Mojave Desert (using a smaller geographic designation for the Mojave Desert), or as including the "northern portion" of the Mojave Desert (using a larger geographic designation for the Mojave Desert which encroaches onto area that is also considered to be part of the Sonoran Desert).
The loosely defined region encompasses most of San Bernardino County, northeastern
Los Angeles County, and eastern Kern County. A somewhat more broadly defined boundary would also include the southern portion of Inyo Countyto the north of San Bernardino County, as well as parts of northern Riverside County to the south of San Bernardino County.
The name of the region comes from both its more northern latitude, in contrast with the more southerly Low Desert, as well as its relatively higher elevations compared with the Low Desert (much of which is below sea level).
Though very sparsely populated, small communities dot the region, especially along Interstate 15,
Interstate 40, and US Highway 395, with towns like Baker having an economy that exists almost entirely to provide service for highway travelers, especially those traveling to or from Las Vegas and Southern California's major population centers.
Two such communities, Victorville and Barstow, have transformed from service stops along Interstate 15 to full-fledged cities that are home to retirees and long-distance commuters who work in the urban portion of San Bernadino County and Riverside Counties (known as the Inland Empire), and elsewhere on the seaward side of the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains that separate the High Desert from Southern California's major urban centers. The Victor Valley area, which includes such areas as Apple Valley and Lucerne Valley, boasts a population around 300,000, while the city of Victorville has a population of 100,000, as of 2007. The Barstow area has a population around 60,000.
The High Desert is often featured in American movies and television. Some notable films include
1987's Bagdad Cafeand 2000's Erin Brockovich (film), which centered around a manmade environmental disaster in the town of Hinkley, about seven miles west of Barstow.
List of main towns and cities
* [http://www.hidesertnewsonline.com/ High Desert News]
* [http://www.highdesertcommunity.com/ High Desert Edge Webcast]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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