Ridgecrest - The Commercial Center for Eastern Kern County


(source: http://www.ci.ridgecrest.ca.us)

Sales Tax continues to be the City’s significant source of revenue.  The most recent (Calendar Third Quarter of 2005) MBIA Sales Tax Audit yielded the following results:

Cash collections for the Quarter 2005/3 compared to the same quarter in 2004/3 were up by 23.9%!

  • Fiscal Year to Date Cash Collections show an increase of 19.8% when compared to the same period in the prior fiscal year.
  • Economic Adjustments (after BoE movements and State and County Pool Allocations are done) reflect an increase of 13.1% for the same period one year ago.

Overall Sales Tax is growing robustly!

This is a sign of a thriving economy within the City of Ridgecrest!

 Amid The Vastness and Magnificent of Nature..... 

Death Valley National Park Panamint SpringsDeath Valley National Park Paramint Sand Dunes

Quality of Life in Ridgecrest is unparalleled!

Vagabond Inn Ridgecrest`Furnace Creek InnFurnace Creek Inn Pool

Quality of Life

Adult and family recreational choices include hiking, mountain climbing, fishing, boating and kayaking, hunting, bird watching, off-road vehicles and mountain biking, golf, bowling, softball, camping, and motocross. Numerous fairs and festivals, public libraries, amateur theatrics, orchestral and musical events, antique shopping, tours of ghost towns, mining, petroglyph tours, and a variety of museums (Maturango Historical, U.S. Naval Museum of Armament and Technology, Twenty Mule Team Museum, and Kern Valley Museum) offer additional activities to enjoy within the Indian Wells Valley.

Air Quality

Clean air is one of the hallmarks of the Indian Wells Valley. The Valley’s location just east of the Sierra Nevada affords it excellent weather and about 350 days of sunshine per year.


Growth in the Indian Wells Valley has been, and will continue to be, conducted with great respect for the natural environment. All development permits are conditional on full compliance with the applicable environmental laws and regulations of federal, state, and county entities.


For more than 100 years, the inhabitants of the Indian Wells Valley have faced the future with a positive attitude—and a keen awareness of their good fortune. We welcome people to join our community and share our vision of a future that is vibrant, healthy, and exciting.



A Report by

Base Industries: Ridgecrest was incorporated in 1963. Prior to the establishment of the Naval Ordnance Test Station (NOTS) at Inyokern in 1941, Ridgecrest, then known as "Crumville," consisted of a few scattered farms and homesteads. During the 1950's and 1960's, Ridgecrest developed as a support community to NOTS by providing housing and services for Federal employees and contractors. NOTS, later China Lake Naval Weapons Center (NWC), and now the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) is home to the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) Weapons Division. It continues to be the major source of employment for Ridgecrest residents. At the same time, NAWS depends increasingly upon Ridgecrest for support services. The economic stability Ridgecrest has enjoyed as a service community for the NAWS has been essential to its success as a community.

The major employer is the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake, which has 3,213 civilian jobs and 880 military positions. Military oriented support services include Jacobs Sverdrup Naval Systems Group, Titan National Security Solutions/EC3, and Lockheed Martin.  Other major employers include Searles Valley Minerals, Sierra Sands Unified School District, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, Advanced Information Engineering Serives, Wal-Mart, and the Cerro Coso Community College.


Vitality of Economy: As the only incorporated community in the Indian Wells Valley, Ridgecrest acts as the urban center for northeastern Kern, Inyo and San Bernardino Counties.

The City's incorporated area includes approximately 13,300 acres. Ridgecrest is home to the federal research and development laboratory at China Lake. It is located in the Mojave Desert east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and west of Death Valley National Park.

The value of Ridgecrest building permits dropped significantly from 1992 to 1997, then leveled off through 2000. Then, in 2000, the building permit values increased dramatically up through 2004. 

Gross taxable sales in Ridgecrest were stable from 1993 to 1996, then dipped in 1997-98. From 1998 to current, gross taxable sales have shown a steady increase.

From 2000 to date, the average home sale price has shown significant increases, rising to over $120,000 by 2003, and $250,000 by 2005.