Riverside County is located in Southern California, stretching from the Los Angeles metropolitan area to the Arizona border. It is a roughly rectangular county, covering 7,208 square miles (18,670 km). The county has a Mediterranean climate in the western part and a desert climate in the central and eastern parts. Joshua Tree National Park is mostly located in Riverside County, and the resort towns of Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage and Desert Hot Springs are located in the Coachella Valley region.
The county was named after the city of Riverside, which was founded in 1870 and received its name because of its location next to the Santa Ana River. The indigenous peoples of Riverside County are the Luiseño, Cupeño and Cahuilla Indians. The first European settlement in the county was a ranch or farm of the Saint Louis King Mission of France in the Luiseño village of Temescal. In 1819, Leandro Serrano was granted permission to occupy the land for grazing and agriculture purposes, and he established Rancho Temescal.
In 1893, seventy percent of voters approved the formation of Riverside County. Voters chose Riverside as the county seat by a wide margin. On May 9th, 1893, Riverside County was officially formed when the Board of Commissioners presented the final ballot count. Riverside County has been an important focal point of civil rights movements in the United States, especially for African-Americans living in Riverside and for Mexican-Americans living in the Coachella Valley.
Cesar Chavez visited these communities during his agricultural union struggle. The county has a diverse flora and fauna. Vegetative plant associations have a lot of desert flora, but there are also wooded areas within the county. California's endemic blue oak tree, Quercus douglasii, is found in the southernmost part of its range in Riverside County.
In terms of population demographics, 30.3 percent of people are under 18 years old; 9.2 percent are between 18 and 24; 28.9 percent are between 25 and 44; 18.9 percent are between 45 and 64; and 12.7 percent are 65 years old or older. The median age is 33 years old.The municipal departments within Riverside County include Banning, Beaumont, Blythe, Calimesa, Cathedral City, Corona, Desert Hot Springs, Hemet, Indio, Menifee, Murrieta, Palm Springs and Riverside Community College.Amtrak trains stop at Riverside and Palm Springs stations; Amtrak California also offers bus connections to San Joaquins at Riverside, Beaumont, Palm Springs, Thousand Palms, Indio, Moreno Valley, Perris, Sun City and Hemet.Riverside County has 12 federally recognized Indian reservations that link it to Sandoval County in New Mexico (which has two additional co-use areas shared between reserves). San Diego County has the most reservations with 18.Riverside is a city located in Riverside County with a population of more than 300,000 inhabitants. It is approximately 55 miles east of downtown Los Angeles and is a higher education center with a community college as well as two private universities: La Sierra University (1922; Seventh-day Adventist) and California Baptist University (1950).Riverside is also home to several law firms, accounting firms, engineering firms and banking firms.
It is organized as a general law county under California Government Code provisions.Riverside is the 61st largest city in the United States; it is also the twelfth largest city in California and the largest city in the Inland Empire metropolitan area of California.When California's initial 27 counties were established in 1850, what is now known as Riverside County was divided between Los Angeles County and San Diego County.In 1916 a community college was established in Riverside; this was followed by La Sierra University (1922) and California Baptist University (1950). In terms of politics Richard Roth represents Riverside in the 31st Senate District.Riverside could be perceived as a suburb of Los Angeles but its population would make it a substantial city virtually anywhere else; it is also home to more than 300 thousand people making it the twelfth largest city in California.After arriving at Ontario airport you can use Southern California's highway system to get to Riverside.Riverside voted 64.8% in favor of Proposition 8 which amended California's Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriages.Riverside Municipal Airport is an airport within city limits but does not have commercial airline service.