China Lake, Kern County, California

Summary

China Lake
China Lake is located in California
China Lake
China Lake
Location in California
China Lake is located in the United States
China Lake
China Lake
China Lake (the United States)
Coordinates: 35°39′03″N 117°39′42″W / 35.65083°N 117.66167°W / 35.65083; -117.66167Coordinates: 35°39′03″N 117°39′42″W / 35.65083°N 117.66167°W / 35.65083; -117.66167
CountryUnited States
StateCalifornia
CountyKern County
Elevation2,264 ft (690 m)
Indian Wells Valley, showing Ridgecrest, California and the China Lake area.

China Lake is an unincorporated community in Kern County, California.[1] It is located 2.5 miles (4 km) north-northeast of Ridgecrest,[2] at an elevation of 2264 feet (690 m).[1] The place is on China Lake, a dry lake on the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.[2]

The first post office at China Lake opened in 1948.[2]

Prehistory

The locale was originally settled by the Coso People, who were prolific artisans in creating rock art. The Coso left archaeological evidence substantiating trade between the Coso and other Native American tribes. For example, distant trade with the Chumash People is confirmed by archaeological recovery of obsidian that has been linked to the Cosos and was discovered as far away as coastal California prehistoric sites in San Luis Obispo County.[3]

Climate

The area around China Lake has a hot desert climate (BWh) typical of the Mojave Desert with very hot, dry summers and cool winters. Most rain falls in the winter.

Climate data for China Lake NAF, California (normals 1981-2010, extremes 1945-2020, precipitation 1944-1973)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 89
(32)
91
(33)
92
(33)
104
(40)
109
(43)
118
(48)
119
(48)
119
(48)
114
(46)
103
(39)
93
(34)
81
(27)
119
(48)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 72
(22)
77
(25)
85
(29)
94
(34)
102
(39)
108
(42)
113
(45)
111
(44)
106
(41)
96
(36)
83
(28)
71
(22)
113
(45)
Average high °F (°C) 60.3
(15.7)
64.4
(18.0)
71.1
(21.7)
77.8
(25.4)
87.9
(31.1)
96.9
(36.1)
103.3
(39.6)
101.7
(38.7)
93.9
(34.4)
81.5
(27.5)
68.9
(20.5)
59.0
(15.0)
80.6
(27.0)
Daily mean °F (°C) 45.2
(7.3)
49.8
(9.9)
55.8
(13.2)
62.1
(16.7)
71.7
(22.1)
79.8
(26.6)
86.2
(30.1)
84.5
(29.2)
76.7
(24.8)
64.7
(18.2)
52.9
(11.6)
44.3
(6.8)
64.5
(18.1)
Average low °F (°C) 30.1
(−1.1)
35.2
(1.8)
40.6
(4.8)
46.3
(7.9)
55.4
(13.0)
62.7
(17.1)
69.1
(20.6)
67.3
(19.6)
59.5
(15.3)
47.9
(8.8)
36.8
(2.7)
29.6
(−1.3)
48.4
(9.1)
Mean minimum °F (°C) 20
(−7)
23
(−5)
29
(−2)
34
(1)
44
(7)
51
(11)
60
(16)
57
(14)
49
(9)
37
(3)
24
(−4)
19
(−7)
18
(−8)
Record low °F (°C) 6
(−14)
12
(−11)
21
(−6)
27
(−3)
35
(2)
42
(6)
50
(10)
51
(11)
39
(4)
20
(−7)
16
(−9)
8
(−13)
6
(−14)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.45
(11)
0.62
(16)
0.20
(5.1)
0.13
(3.3)
0.11
(2.8)
0.01
(0.25)
0.13
(3.3)
0.10
(2.5)
0.22
(5.6)
0.12
(3.0)
0.55
(14)
0.50
(13)
2.90
(74)
Average precipitation days 2.0 2.9 1.4 1.0 0.8 0.3 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.8 2.0 2.0 15.4
Source: NOAA[4]


Origin of name

Chinese prospectors harvested borax from the dry lake bed approximately 1.5 miles south of Paxton Ranch. The operation was known locally as “The Little Chinese Borax Works’’.[5][6]

References

  1. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: China Lake, Kern County, California
  2. ^ a b c Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 1016. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
  3. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2008. Morro Creek, ed. by A. Burnham
  4. ^ "China Lake NAF - NWS Hanford CA NOAA Online Weather Data". Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  5. ^ Panlaqui, Carol, What’s in a Name?, Maturango Museum, Ridgecrest, California (undated single sheet).
  6. ^ Allan, Lois (Summer 2013). "China Lake Personal History" (PDF). Newsletter of the China Lake Museum Foundation. Vol. 19 no. 3. China Lake Museum Foundation. Retrieved 25 January 2021. the name, which comes from the Chinese workers who toiled in the potash mines in the area early in the 20th century, has become the unofficial and more commonly used identification