Seniors Visit Morongo Basin and Yucca Valley

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They say that…”There’s more than sand in the Desert” and that’s true in southern California. Often referred to as the “gateway” to California’s outback, the Morongo Basin is conveniently situated just a short drive to some of Southern California’s great outdoor destinations.

With the majestic Joshua Tree National Park on its southern border, the basin communities play host year-round to senior visitors and outdoor recreation enthusiasts from all over the world. The Joshua tree is said to have been given its name by early Mormon settlers. Its upraised limbs and bearded appearance reminded them of the prophet Joshua leading them to the promised land. It’s actually a treelike variety of yucca, a member of the agave family.

Shosone-speaking Chemuevi and Serrano Indians occupied the Morongo Basin, about half of which is occupied by the city of Yucca Valley, until small pox epidemic decimated them in the 1880s. By that time, the area was being prospected by Americans, Mexicans and Chinese.


The California Welcome Center is found on State Route 62 in Yucca Valley and offers senior visitors information and resources for the California Desert. From Idyllwild to Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms, from Palm Springs to Big Bear, the courteous Ambassadors at the Center will show you where to eat, where to stay, and where to play while you’re in the Basin and in Yucca Valley.

 Mild Weather, Clean Air Attracts Senior Visitors

Yucca Valley enjoys a unique combination of mild but seasonable weather and is proud of its clean air, dark night skies, spectacular vistas and casual lifestyle. Located in San Bernardino County the population today runs right at 22,000. The locals enjoy easy access to the Palm Springs resort communities, Big Bear mountain destinations, and the beaches of Southern California.

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Because the U.S. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center occupies hundreds of thousands of acres 20 miles to the north, the city of Yucca Valley is home to many military personnel. The Joshua Tree National Park attracts much of the tourism to the Morongo Basin and makes for some awesome scenery.

Yucca Valley started life as “Lone Star” in the early 1900s and served as a resting point for the horse-drawn supply trains between the town of Banning and the mining areas around Twentynine Palms. Development in the area started in 1923 with the first gas station at the “Lone Star Ranch.” Today Yucca Valley is considered the economic hub of the Joshua Tree Gateway Communities.

The endless hiking, camping, climbing and equestrian opportunities make the outdoors a way of life in Yucca Valley. With more than 320 days each year of sunny skies and clear nights, residents and visitors find plenty of time to enjoy nature walks, stargazing, and participating in a variety of special events in Yucca Valley and its neighboring communities.

Mayor Lombardo invites us all to come for a visit. jeb

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