Beautiful sunshine 90 percent of the year and clear high desert air means Apple Valley is ideally suited for the outdoor enthusiast. From its central location, you can drive to the beach, the mountains or both—in one day! Or stick close to home and enjoy the myriad opportunities at your doorstep.
A unique feature of the community is a network of equestrian trails that allow easy travel by horseback through many areas of the town. Horse enthusiasts will find a very active equestrian community, with many planned events at Horsemen’s Center (a town-owned facility featuring arenas and riding trails). If you prefer traveling by golf cart rather than horseback, Apple Valley is home to one public and one private golf course. Beautiful greens and outstanding courses offer challenges for the advanced golfer, while still providing an enjoyable experience for beginners. Many famous golfers and celebrities have tried their hand at the Apple Valley Country Club’s golf course, including Lloyd Mangrum (1914-1973) who was ranked 10th on the all-time list of PGA tour wins at his induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1998. Across town, the scenic vistas of the public Jess Ranch Golf Course make for a great day of golfing, regardless of the final score! For variety, the avid golfer can also try one of the other half dozen golf courses in neighboring communities, including Spring Valley Lake, Victorville Municipal Golf Course and the Hesperia Golf Course.
Local fishing opportunities abound at the Jess Ranch trout farm, Hesperia Lakes and in the numerous local mountain lakes, providing relaxing fun for the entire family.
With great expanses of natural desert at Apple Valley’s back door, local groups of conservationists and outdoor enthusiasts regularly organize hikes to view everything from wildflowers to historic sites. Some may prefer to go exploring on their own, and will be thrilled to rediscover mysterious petroglyphs carved into desert boulders and cliffs along the Mojave River by early inhabitants (whose only other memorials are a few primitive tools left near ancient campsites). Calico Early Man Site is another must-see for visitors to the high desert. This was the only New World archaeology project undertaken by the renowned archaeologist/paleontologist Dr. Louis S. B. Leakey. The site is located about 15 miles northeast of Barstow off Interstate 15. The history of this site dates back to 1942 when amateur archaeologists discovered what they believed to be primitive stone tools in this area—fragments of which were embedded in the sediments of an ancient Pleistocene Era lake shoreline called Lake Manix.
Off-road vehicle riding is popular and welcome in nearby designated areas. Sand washes, dunes and mesquite thickets cover the 22,500-acre Rasor Road open area 45 miles northwest of Barstow. Rolling hills and open valleys invite riders willing to travel to this remote area. Elevations range from 2,427 square feet down to 1,275 feet at the Mojave River. The area also offers opportunities for hiking, rock scrambling, rock hounding and plant, bird and wildlife watching. Keep an eye out for the desert tortoise, a state and federally listed threatened species. Also, riders are urged to stick to the designated riding areas to avoid the many deep mine shafts in the vicinity. Locally, the Town of Apple Valley Parks and Recreation Department offers a wide variety of recreation and sports activities for all ages—from special interest classes to sports leagues to after school programs to excursions. A quarterly Recreation Activity Guide is mailed to residents to keep them apprised of the fun.
Some of the classes offered through the department include painting, dancing, computers and even “Puppy Kindergarten!” A comprehensive pee-wee sports program teaches three- to five-year olds the building blocks of sport skills and teamwork in a non-competitive environment. Open rides and campfires at Horsemen’s Center bring the equestrian community together, and day camps offer kids a fun and safe place to go during school breaks.
A year-round calendar of town-wide special events provides fun in a family environment. Events include Jazz Night Street Fairs, the Fourth of July Freedom Festival (an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration) and the Apple Valley Round Up—a tradition begun in 1947 that features a parade, 5/10K run, carnival and entertainment stretching over an entire weekend every September. The department also manages 15 parks and special use facilities throughout the town.
The ski and recreation areas of Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead and Wrightwood are only an hour’s drive from Apple Valley. These resort areas offer skiing in the winter and boating and lake activities in the summer. Oktoberfest is celebrated in Big Bear in traditional German fashion with music and beer halls. Lake Arrowhead offers outstanding shopping opportunities and a robust cultural environment with many music and art festivals.
In addition to being close to nature, Apple Valley is a short drive from the entertainment opportunities of Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Less than a two-hour drive will bring you to the beaches and major attractions of the L.A. area. An easy three-hour drive on I-15 will put you in the glow of the casino lights at Stateline and Las Vegas, where visitors can enjoy a variety of top entertainment and family recreation in addition to gambling.
Apple Valley is a great place to live and play. Don’t miss the opportunity to find out what our founders knew…Apple Valley is a great place to raise a family in the wide, open spaces—a place for “A Better Way of Life.”