The key to Apple Valley’s history and current prosperity is transportation. With the Mojave River and the Cajon Pass running through it, our area is the natural corridor to Southern California. Spanish priests, Mormon settlers and the railroads knew our area was the safest and fastest way to travel to and from Southern California. In fact, the existence of water in the Mojave River had made this a natural route for Native Americans over the centuries. The coincidence of the location of Cajon Pass near the source of the Mojave River is a history-making combination.
In 1769, Lt. Pedro Fages led the first Spanish exploration through the Cajon Pass. The following year, Juan Bautista de Anza opened the Santa Fe Trail across the desert from the missions of Arizona and Sonora, and Francisco Garces led a party up the Colorado River to Needles and across the desert to the Victor Valley in 1776. Explorer John Fremont traveled throughout much of the territory. In 1844, he returned to Washington after traveling across the Cajon Pass and along the “Mohahve” River.
Eventually, the railroad came to Victor Valley. Overcoming a difficult task of engineering, the first track climbed and wound over Cajon Pass from San Bernardino to arrive in 1883. Built by the California Southern Railroad (later AT&SF) under the supervision of L. N. Victor, the line reached the Atlantic & Pacific (UPRR) junction at Barstow/Daggett in 1885. In 1923, the road crossing the pass was paved for the first time.
The area has always been known as the gateway to North America, and, as the facilities become more congested in Southern California, business and industry are turning their attention northward. Less congestion means faster movement of goods, and savings to companies who have to compete in the national and international market.
Highways: Apple Valley is served by a modern, well-coordinated highway system. Interstate 15 extends southward to San Diego, connecting with Interstate 10 and 215 and State Routes 60 and 91.
Northbound, I-15 runs to Las Vegas, and connects with State Route 58 and Interstate 40.
State Route 18 is the major northern east-west corridor in Apple Valley, and its proposed realignment — along with intermodal transportation facilities in Barstow (20 minutes) and San Bernardino (40 minutes) — will significantly enhance the region’s already formidable presence in the transportation of goods and services in and out of the Los Angeles basin.
Rail: Amtrak passenger services are available at the Victorville Transit Center (16838 D St., Victorville).
Trucks: Roadway Express, Inc. (located 20 minutes away from Apple Valley) and Yellow Freight Systems, Inc. (one hour away from Apple Valley), serve the major trucking needs of the area.
Air: The newly expanded Ontario International Airport, a one-hour drive from Apple Valley on Interstate 10, handles passenger travel for Apple Valley.
Apple Valley Airport is the gem of the county’s high desert, located in the Town of Apple Valley. Built in 1970, it is the gateway to the Victor Valley region and offers a year-round VFR. Flight services available at Apple Valley Airport include fuel, food, maintenance, charters, rentals and flight training.
Southern California Logistics Airport is located 10 miles from Apple Valley. The City of Victorville and Stirling, a Foothill Ranch, California-based development company, has a public/private partnership arrangement to redevelop the former George Air Force Base into Global Access. The partnership is dedicated to creating jobs and economic activity in the region. At completion, Global Access is anticipated to create more than 24,000 jobs and support another 18,500 jobs in the surrounding area. Global Access in Victorville, California, is an 8,500-acre multi-modal freight transportation hub supported by air, ground and rail connections.
The largest fully integrated commercial development in the region, Global Access, consists of three development divisions which include:
- Southern California Logistics Airport, a 2,500-acre world-class aviation and air cargo facility serving domestic and international needs.
- Southern California Logistics Centre, a 2,500-acre commercial and industrial complex totaling 60 million square feet of diverse development.
- Southern California Rail Complex, a planned 3,500-acre inter-modal rail and multi-modal complex including rail-served facilities.
Bus: Victor Valley Transit Authority provides local bus services. Apple Valley is also served by the Greyhound Bus Lines at the Victorville Transit Center (16838 D St., Victorville). Charter bus service is also available.
Ports: The nearest ports are at Los Angeles-Long Beach.