China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, CA Image 1
    China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, CA Image 2

    China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, CA Local Information

    NAWS China Lake is in the area of Ridgecrest, Kern County, California, which has a population of about 27,600. Nearby communities are Inyokern (population 1,100), Mojave (4,240), California City (14,120), Tehachapi (14,400), and Caliente (1,020). With the exception of Ridgecrest and Inyokern which are directly outside base, the other communities are all about 50-90 miles away. The nearest major city is Bakersfield, which has a population of 347,485, and is located 104 miles southwest of base.

    Local Housing Rental Prices: The average price to rent a home in Ridgecrest is about $560 per month. Inyokern is about $400 per month.

    Local Housing Purchase Prices: The average cost to purchase a home in Ridgecrest is $188,300, compared to $370,900 for California.

    Short Description of the Area: China Lake is actually a part of 3 counties: Kern, San Bernardino, and Inyo Counties in eastern, central California. It is located in the high desert region near the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Indian Wells Valley in a fairly remote area. China Lake is 160 miles west of the border with Nevada, and 238 miles west of Las Vegas. The city of Los Angeles is 156 miles, or about 2.5 hours, south of base.

    Climate and Weather: The high desert environment gives China Lake a very arid climate, with hot summer days and cool nights, and cold winters with a wide range of temperatures throughout the year. The average high temperature in July is about 108 degrees Fahrenheit, with a low of 80. In January, the average high is 47 degrees with a low of 22. There is an annual precipitation of less than 6 inches, rain and snow combined. Though the chance of an earthquake here is much rarer than other parts of California, the average is higher than the rest of the United States and it is best to be prepared.