Ridgecrest is a city in Kern County, California, United States. It is located along U.S. Route 395 in the Indian Wells Valley in northeastern Kern County, adjacent to the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake (NAWS, or China Lake). The population was 27,616 at the 2010 census, up from 24,927 at the 2000 census. The city of Ridgecrest is a largely "company" oriented (China Lake, above) community big enough to provide plenty of schools, shopping and health care. It was incorporated as a city in 1963.
Ridgecrest is surrounded by four mountain ranges; the Sierra Nevada on the west, the Cosos on the north, the Argus Range on the east, and the El Paso Mountains on the south. It is approximately from the Lancaster/Palmdale area and approximately from both Bakersfield and San Bernardino, the three nearest major urban centers. Air travel in and out of the city is provided through the Inyokern Airport.