Tehachapi was built by the Southern Pacific Railroad in the 1870s as a route to get from Southern California to the Bay Area. The Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railroads entered a joint agreement to operate the line around 1899. Our town was officially incorporated in 1909.
One possible origin of the name “Tehachapi” comes from the Kawaiisu language. It may be derived from the word for “hard climb” or “tihachipia.”
Our area gets roughly 11 inches of rain per year and 19 inches of snowfall. The number of days with any measurable precipitation is approximately 42. On average, there are 278 sunny days per year in our community. The July high is around 87 degrees, and the January low is about 30.
Tehachapi Unified School District operates three elementary schools, one middle school, an alternative education school and one comprehensive high school. Our town has several private schools for an alternative choice to a public education.
For higher-educational opportunities, our residents can choose from seven colleges and university within an hour-long drive of Tehachapi, including California State University - Bakersfield.
The medical needs of our residents are served locally by Tehchapi Hospital and three other medical centers within 35 miles of our community.
Our town is home to the Mountain Valley, Tehachapi Municipal & Psk Ranch airports, all with one to two runways.
Kern County is paradise for thrill-seekers with activities available on the ground, in the water or high in the air. Our area is a haven for off-road enthusiasts with state and federal off-highway vehicle parks found throughout the county. It’s also home of two of the state’s premier skydiving locations, catering to both newcomers and experienced jumpers. Go boating and fishing on three man-made lakes, and don’t miss the famous wild and scenic Kern River, one of the world’s premier white-water kayaking and rafting attractions. If the cold invigorates you, then enjoy our winter recreation areas for a day of skiing or snow play.
For quieter activities, the surrounding countryside offers plenty to see and do. Our area is known for its cattle, horse, ostrich and alpaca ranches. Tehachapi orchards grow about 20 different apple varieties. The Souza Family Vineyard produces a rich, full-bodied wine of exceptional character.
The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail crosses four designated wildernesses - the Bright Star, Kiavah, Owens Peak and Domelands. The Depot Museum houses several large collections of historic railroad artifacts, including antique railroad maintenance equipment and tools, dinnerware, signs and more. Also, be sure to pick up a walking tour map at the Tehachapi Museum.
Tehachapi boasts two local orchestras. The Tehachapi Community Orchestra, founded in 1998, produces five free-to-the public concerts each year. The newer Tehachapi Pops Orchestra plays an eclectic blend of popular and jazz music, as well as original compositions.
Featuring sparkling blue skies that turn into star-filled nights with unending depth, the beauty of Tehachapi is seen in every setting. Stop by our United Country office, and let us help you Find Your Freedom.