Apple Valley is an incorporated town in the Victor Valley of San Bernardino County, in the U.S. state of California. It was incorporated on November 14, 1988, and is one of the twenty-two incorporated municipalities in California that uses "town" in its name instead of "city". The town is east of and adjoining to the neighboring cities of Victorville and Hesperia, 35 miles (56 km) south of Barstow, and 49 miles (79 km) north of San Bernardino through the Cajon Pass. The population was 69,135 at the 2010 census. Apple Valley is governed by a town council. The mayor changes each December. Apple Valley was home to Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, whose museum was first established in Apple Valley (in 1967) before the museum was relocated to Victorville in 1976. In 2003, the museum moved again, to Branson, Missouri. The move was made in hopes of reaching more fans; however, the museum closed for financial reasons on December 12, 2009.
Apple Valley is located at the southern edge of the Mojave Desert. It is bordered by the cities of Victorville on the west and Hesperia on the southwest sides, with the census-designated place of Lucerne Valley a distance to the east and the city of Barstow about 30 miles (48 km) to the north. Apple Valley, along with Victorville, Hesperia, Adelanto, and immediate surrounding areas, are commonly known as the Victor Valley. The primary thoroughfare through Apple Valley is State Route 18, which was given the moniker "Happy Trails Highway" within Apple Valley town limits, after the theme song of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, who once resided on Outer Highway 18. The commercial area is split currently between State Route 18 and Bear Valley Road (the two roads are near parallel until they intersect in the east, outside of town). The Mojave River that borders the west side of Apple Valley flows south-to-north. The town is bounded on its southern edge by the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 73.5 square miles (190 km2), of which 73.2 square miles (190 km2) are land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2), or 0.45%, is covered by water. The elevation of Apple Valley is about 2,900 ft (880 m) above sea level.
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