Baker, California

San Bernardino County


Baker is a settlement ( unincorporated area) in San Bernardino County in the U.S. state of California. The small village is located about 160 kilometers (100 miles) south of Death Valley National Park.

  • 4.1 traffic 4.1.1 Road Traffic
  • 4.1.2 Rail transport
  • 4.1.3 Air Traffic
  • 5.1 City consumption
  • 5.2 Ambient



Baker is located in the northeastern part of San Bernardino County, the second largest county by area in the United States. The village is in the middle of the Mojave Desert at the intersection of Interstate 15 and California State Route 127 ( Death Valley Road), the southern route to the nearby Death Valley National Park. The village is located about halfway between the Southern California metropolis of Los Angeles and the city of Las Vegas. South of Baker extends to the Mojave National Preserve is a large nature reserve, which includes a portion of the Mojave Desert.

Neighboring communities

The Near Baker is a sparsely populated desert landscape. The nearest major town is Barstow, about 70 miles (112 km) west of I- 15th The largely abandoned settlements Kelso and Cima are around 45 each miles ( 72 km ) to the southeast in the Mojave National Preserve.


End of the 1880s acquired a certain Francis Marion Smith several mines in the vicinity of Death Valley. In some of the wells borax was mined, that enjoyed at this time of great demand. In order to transport the recovered material better, they decided to build a railway line. 1906, the first rails of the newly founded Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad were laid. The tracks led from Ludlow to Beatty in the neighboring state of Nevada.

On the territory of the present town of Baker was in the construction of the railway line a passing place, the first was called " Berry Siding ". In 1908 she was finally to Richard C. Baker, president and principal investor of the railway company, renamed.

In 1913, the 56.6 degrees Celsius ( 134 degrees Fahrenheit ) was highest temperature ever measured in the United States achieved in nearby Death Valley. Shortly thereafter, began gradually tourism traffic to Death Valley, the area became increasingly infrastructure of roads. The small settlement grew Baker now resistant. Heavy rains damaged the end of the 1930s the railway line, which eventually went bankrupt in 1940 and was demolished.

Due to its convenient location to several natural parks of tourism for the city has become an important support. So Baker is also referred to as the "Gateway to Death Valley." The village is also since the construction of Interstate 15, the mid- 1960s, a popular rest stop on the way through the Mojave Desert between Southern California and Southern Nevada. The city center along the Baker Boulevard is characterized by a variety of motels, gas stations and fast food restaurants.


According to the 2000 census, the municipality had 914 inhabitants, while this number according to the 2010 census, only stood at 735.

Economy and infrastructure



Baker is located at the intersection of Interstate 15 and California State Route 127 ( Death Valley Road), on the Death Valley National Park can be reached from the south. A few miles to the west begins the famous Zzyzx Road, to which you can reach via an exit off of I -15. Just south of the village leads the Kelbaker Road through the Mojave National Preserve to the small, located in the desert settlements Kelso and Cima.

The company Thruway Motorcoach maintains on behalf of Amtrak two bus stops on Baker Boulevard. Is operated the route between Bakersfield and Las Vegas.

Rail transport

Between the years 1906 and 1940 consisted of Baker Following the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad, which ran from Ludlow to Beatty, Nevada. In today's local area of ​​Baker there was a passing place called " Berry Siding ," but this was in 1908 renamed " Baker Siding " and thus made ​​the city its present name. The railway line was exclusively for the carriage of goods, it was mainly funded in the surrounding mines mineral resources, mainly borax, transported. With the collapse of the railway company in 1940, the line was finally closed down and the tracks removed completely.


On the northern edge of the town on the California State Route 127 is the Baker Airport. The small landing pad has a 962 -meter-long paved airstrip. The Baker Airport has an average number of 42 flight movements per month.


City consumption

The buildings in the town center itself are rare. Special mention, however, the World's tallest thermometer ( "largest thermometer in the world" ). It is considered the symbol of the community and can already be seen from a great distance. The approximately 42 meters (134 feet) high structure was built in memory of the highest ever measured in the United States temperature. In nearby Death Valley, a temperature of 57 degrees Celsius ( 134 degrees Fahrenheit ) was reached in 1913. In the summer of 1980, also measured in Baker itself a temperature of 51.1 degrees Celsius ( 124 degrees Fahrenheit).


In the vicinity of Baker there is also a wealth of impressive natural monuments. So the city is a conveniently situated starting point to several natural parks, including:

  • The Death Valley National Park, about 181 kilometers (113 miles) north of Baker. There is also the lowest point in the United States.
  • South of the town the Mojave National Preserve spreads. The nature reserve in the Mojave Desert covers an area of ​​approximately 6,200 square kilometers, a visitor center has recently been incorporated in the old station of Kelso.
  • A few miles west of Baker on I- 15 is the exit for Zzyzx Road. The dirt road leading to an oasis, where Curtis Howe Springer, built by the end of the 1960s, a resort hotel. Today it houses the Desert Study Center at California State University.
  • About 50 km ( 31 miles) north lie the Dumont Dunes, a collection of sand dunes, which can be navigated with quads.

Baker in the media

Baker is the main character Raoul Duke ( Johnny Depp ) is mentioned in the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ( 1998) as a stopover on his way from Las Vegas back to Los Angeles. The film itself is based on the book by Hunter S. Thompson. The sci-fi film The Big Empty (2003) plays mostly in Baker and was shot on location.