San Bernardino County, California
Location of San Bernardino in California:
San Bernardino County is a county located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,035,210, making it the fifth-most populous county in California, and the 12th-most populous in the United States. The county seat is San Bernardino.
San Bernardino County is included in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, also known as the Inland Empire, as well as the Los Angeles–Long Beach, CA Combined Statistical Area.
With an area of 20,105 square miles, San Bernardino County is the largest county in the United States by area, although some of Alaska’s boroughs and census areas are larger. It is larger than each of the nine smallest states, larger than the four smallest states combined, and larger than 70 sovereign nations.
Located in southeast California, this vast county stretches from where the bulk of the county population resides (in two Census County Divisions, holding 1,422,745 people as of the 2010 Census, covering the 450 square miles (1,166 km2)), across the thinly populated deserts and mountains. It spans an area from south of the San Bernardino Mountains in San Bernardino Valley, to the Nevada border and the Colorado River.
|• Total||20,105 sq mi (52,070 km2)|
|• Land||20,057 sq mi (51,950 km2)|
|• Water||48 sq mi (120 km2)|
|Highest elevation||11,503 ft (3,506 m)|
Places of interest
- The Mojave National Preserve
- Calico Ghost Town— northeast of Barstow via Interstate 15
- Zzyzx— a small desert settlement that used to be a health spa and is now the Desert Studies Center
- Joshua Tree National Park
- San Bernardino National Forest— home to Big Bear Lake outdoor activities
- Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex
- Snow Summit and Bear Mountain (Ski Area) are home to Southern California’s premier winter ski resorts. Mountain High, although technically located in Los Angeles County, is also an alternative to Snow Summit and Bear Mountain because of its proximity to San Bernardino County.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 20,105 square miles (52,070 km2), of which 20,057 square miles (51,950 km2) is land and 48 square miles (120 km2) (0.2%) is water. It is the largest county by area in California and the largest in the United States (excluding boroughs in Alaska). It is slightly larger than the states of New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island combined. It borders both Nevada and Arizona.
The bulk of the population, roughly two million, live in the roughly 480 square miles south of the San Bernardino Mountains adjacent to Riverside and in the San Bernardino Valley. Over 300,000 others live just north of the San Bernardino Mountains, agglomerating around Victorville covering roughly 280 square miles in Victor Valley, adjacent to Los Angeles County. Roughly another 100,000 people live scattered across the rest of the sprawling county.
The Mojave National Preserve covers some of the eastern desert, especially between Interstate 15 and Interstate 40. The desert portion also includes the cities of Needles next to the Colorado River and Barstow at the junction of Interstate 15 and Interstate 40. Trona is at the northwestern part of the county west of Death Valley. This national park, mostly within Inyo County, also has a small portion of land within the San Bernardino County. The largest metropolitan area in the Mojave Desert part of the county is Victor Valley, with the incorporated localities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, Hesperia, and Victorville. Further south, a portion of Joshua Tree National Park overlaps the county near the High Desert area, in the vicinity of Twentynine Palms. The remaining towns make up the remainder of the High Desert: Pioneertown, Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, Landers, and Morongo Valley.
The San Bernardino Valley is at the eastern end of the San Gabriel Valley. The San Bernardino Valley includes the cities of Ontario, Chino, Chino Hills, Upland, Fontana, Rialto, Colton, Grand Terrace, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Loma Linda, Highland, Redlands, and Yucaipa.
National protected areas
- Angeles National Forest(part)
- Death Valley National Park(part)
- Havasu National Wildlife Refuge(part)
- Joshua Tree National Park(part)
- Mojave National Preserve
- San Bernardino National Forest(part)
There are at least 35 official wilderness areas in the county that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. This is the largest number of any county in the United States (although not the largest in total area). The majority are managed by the Bureau of Land Management, but some are integral components of the above listed national protected areas. Most of these wilderness areas lie entirely within the county, but a few are shared with neighboring counties (and two of these are shared with the neighboring states of Arizona and Nevada).
Except as noted, these wilderness areas are managed solely by the Bureau of Land Management and lie entirely within San Bernardino County:
- Bigelow Cholla Garden Wilderness
- Bighorn Mountain Wilderness(part)
- Black Mountain Wilderness
- Bristol Mountains Wilderness
- Cadiz Dunes Wilderness
- Chemehuevi Mountains Wilderness
- Cleghorn Lakes Wilderness
- Clipper Mountain Wilderness
- Cucamonga Wilderness
- Dead Mountains Wilderness
- Death Valley Wilderness(part)
- Golden Valley Wilderness
- Grass Valley Wilderness
- Havasu Wilderness(part)
- Hollow Hills Wilderness
- Joshua Tree Wilderness(part)
- Kelso Dunes Wilderness
- Kingston Range Wilderness
- Mesquite Wilderness
- Mojave Wilderness
- Newberry Mountains Wilderness
- North Mesquite Mountains Wilderness
- Old Woman Mountains Wilderness
- Pahrump Valley Wilderness(part)
- Piute Mountains Wilderness
- Rodman Mountains Wilderness
- Saddle Peak Hills Wilderness(part)
- San Gorgonio Wilderness(part)
- Sheep Mountain Wilderness(part)
- Sheephole Valley Wilderness
- Stateline Wilderness
- Stepladder Mountains Wilderness
- Trilobite Wilderness
- Turtle Mountains Wilderness
- Whipple Mountains Wilderness
- I-15 Bus.
- US 95
- US 395
- SR 2
- SR 18
- SR 38
- SR 58
- SR 60
- SR 62
- SR 66
- SR 71
- SR 83
- SR 127
- SR 138
- SR 142
- SR 173
- SR 178
- SR 189
- SR 247
- SR 259
- SR 330
- Barstow Area Transit serves Barstow and the surrounding county area.
- Morongo Basin Transit Authority provides bus service in Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms (including the Marine base). Limited service is also provided to Palm Springs.
- Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority (MARTA) covers the Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear regions. Limited service is also provided to Downtown San Bernardino.
- Needles Area Transit serves Needles and the surrounding county area.
- Omnitrans provides transit service in the urbanized portion of San Bernardino County, serving the City of San Bernardino, as well as the area between Montclair and Yucaipa.
- Victor Valley Transit Authority operates buses in Victorville, Hesperia, Adelanto, Apple Valley and the surrounding county area.
- Foothill Transit connects the Inland Empire area to the San Gabriel Valley and downtown Los Angeles.
- OCTA connects Chino to Irvine and Brea.
- RTA connects Montclair to Riverside County.
- San Bernardino County is also served by Greyhound buses and Amtrak Metrolink commuter trains connect the urbanized portion of the county with Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties.
- Commercial passenger flights are available at Ontario International Airport.
- San Bernardino International Airport is being remodeled and is expected to serve the region as an international airport. The airport will have access through interstate I-215 and I-10 through Mill Street. Terminal construction recently finished, and commercial flights are planned, awaiting carriers to select SBD as a destination city.
- Southern California Logistics Airport (Victorville) is a major cargo and general aviation airport.
- The County of San Bernardino owns six general aviation airports: Apple Valley Airport, Baker Airport, Barstow-Daggett Airport, Chino Airport, Needles Airport, and Twentynine Palms Airport.