Tehachapi is one of those great California towns you might easily miss--it is located between the San Joaquin Valley and Mojave Desert in the Tehachapi Mountains at over 4,000 feet elevation. It isn't hard to see why the city's name may have come from a Native American term meaning "hard climb". To the untrained eye Tehachapi looks rather dry and barren. Locals say you have to stick around to appreciate the beauty of a star-filled sky on a winter night where you may see a falling star or experience a dusting of snow.
15,000 residents live life large and like to dream big dreams in Tehachapi, home to giant windmills, the Tehachapi Loop where trains pass by, and events such as the Pumpkin Run. Other events coming up include Halloween Trunk or Treat on Main Street (mainstreettehachapi.org), Star Light Ball on Nov. 3, and Santa's arrival with a hometown Christmas parade.
There are dozens of historically significant buildings and painted murals that track the city's place in development of the West, and it's all set to the most notable landmark, a water tower with the city's name painted on it. Slightly off the beaten path, Tehachapi isn't far from Edwards AF Base along route 58. Half-way between Bakersfield and Lancaster, Tehachapi is a hospitable city with a theater arts and concerts, outdoor markets, special events, and clear skies to watch the stars and planets so you can dream your very own dreams.
Things to see:
Tehachapi Loop (a popular railfan site)
Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm
Tehachapi State Prison provides jobs to the local economy, along with Edwards Air Force Base nearby.
Tehachapi is known for its four-season climate. It can be sunny and relatively warm in the morning, cloudy and windy by noon, and snowing by nightfall. The wet season is generally November through May, although thunderstorms are likely during the summer. Average temperatures range from 87 °F, and there is often around 15-20 inches of snow in the winter.
The city of Tehachapi, with the help of nonprofit groups, including Main Street, has
spent several years revitalizing the downtown area to make it a more attractive place for visitors. Downtown is the center of a community with events, murals and facade upgrades.