15 Best Things to Do in Hesperia, CA

Hesperia, CA
Felipe Sanchez / shutterstock.com

In the highlands of the Mojave Desert, you’ll find the rugged and beautiful city of Hesperia.

It stands in stark contrast to what most people might associate with California: golden coasts, bustling metropolitan cities, and vineyards all around.

Instead, this unassuming city has a mild desert climate, dry mountains and plains, and the unique flora of the Mojave.

Because of these features, the Hesperia has many outdoor attractions that take advantage of the unique terrain.

There are also indoor attractions and green spaces that provide much-needed relief from the hot California sun.

So if you’re looking for a desert destination that’s just an hour away from Los Angeles, this is the place to be.

Here are the 15 best things to do in Hesperia, CA:

Take a Cooling Dip at Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area

Scenic View of Silverwood Lake at Hesperia, California
inkknife_2000 (7.5 million views +), CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A little farther from the city center is the magnificent Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area.

It’s located along the Pacific Crest Trail, with the eponymous lake as the destination’s most prominent feature.

Aside from the gorgeous body of water, there are small patches of forests, grassy slopes, and winding trails within the 976 acres of land.

You’re welcome to explore these areas on foot, horseback, or an ATV.

Then there’s Silverwood Lake, sought after for its cool waters that offer relief from the desert heat.

It’s open for swimming, kayaking, and various other water-related activities.

The banks of the lake also have many campsites where you can stay.

Camping here makes nearby trails and mountains more accessible, so bring your RV or tent and spend a few nights in this tranquil attraction.

Join the Festivities at Hesperia Lake Park

The scenic Hesperia Lake Park is arguably the top community gathering place in the city, all thanks to its many features and modern amenities.

This attraction is a manmade park created for the city’s residents, with many sections dedicated to specific activities.

Hesperia Lake is open for various water-related activities, with fishing being the most popular.

Since the lake is regularly stocked with trout, families and friends gather on its banks to try their hand at shore fishing.

Another section of the park is dedicated to camping, with many sites accommodating both traditional tents and RVs.

If you’re lucky or have great scheduling skills, you can catch the Hesperia Days Festival held annually in the park.

It’s one of the most anticipated events in the city, bringing together the whole community for parades, live music concerts, and other fun activities.

See Exotic Animals at Hesperia Zoo

Another well-known family destination in the city is Hesperia Zoo, located at the northeastern edge of Hesperia.

This 10-acre facility was established in 2001 and has since expanded into the flourishing attraction it is today.

Here, you’ll find exotic and endangered animals from the six continents housed in habitats that ward off the desert climate.

From large primates to intimidating big cats, from majestic birds to native forest dwellers, you’ll find an array of animals living in comfort at the zoo.

Walk-ins are not allowed, so you have to reserve a spot on one of the regular guided tours to explore the facility.

On occasion, the management holds special events that allow visitors to interact with animals and learn more about them.

Check out their calendar today and plan ahead if you want to participate in these activities.

Go Camping at Mojave River Forks Regional Park

The serene Mojave River Forks Regional Park is an expansive natural attraction located on Summit Valley.

It’s near the southern edges of Hesperia, serving as a gateway to the Pacific Coast Trail and the San Bernardino State Forest.

Within the wide, open spaces of the park, you’ll find campsites that cater to modern RVs and traditional tents.

Many people use the regional park as a basecamp for their adventures into the nearby mountains.

And you can too!

The location has many trailheads perfect for horseback riding—a favorite activity by residents and visitors alike.

Biking and hiking are also encouraged on the trails, but take enough water as the routes can be hot during summer.

Practice Your Putting Skills at Hesperia Golf & Country Club

Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’ll have a great gameplay at the scenic Hesperia Golf & Country Club.

This classic golf course was once a PGA Tour Stop, preferred for the luxuriant fairways and legendary holes.

Set in the high desert regions of the Mojave, this 18-hole championship course offers panoramic views and a challenging layout sought after by golfing enthusiasts.

It was once ranked as the seventh toughest public course in Southern California, so you’re going to need every ounce of strategy and skill to win.

And since it's a public golf course, you can book a tee time anytime you want!

Don’t forget to visit the pro shop if you need more equipment like clubs, balls, and golfing attire.

Play or Relax at Lime Street Park

Set in the middle of suburban neighborhoods, Lime Street Park is one of the most accessible attractions in Hesperia.

That’s why you’d find many families visiting the park to have fun and bond with loved ones.

Filled with modern amenities and facilities, the destination offers various activities for all ages and preferences.

The tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and basketball courts are ideal for those who want to work up a sweat.

And for those who want to shred on their skateboards, the attraction has a skatepark with concrete ramps, rails, and other features.

Then there are the scenic fitness trails, which wind around the park’s perimeter—great for quick jogs or sightseeing.

You’ll also find a well-equipped and shaded playground, ideal for those bringing kids to their Hesperia adventures.

Visit Unique Dwellings at Cal-Earth Institute

Upon arrival to the unusual Cal-Earth Institute, you might think you’re in an alien world or a far-off civilization.

The striking domed houses will be the first objects you’ll notice, standing like giant anthills beside each other.

These were designed to use local materials and eco-friendly principles.

Using their patented SuperAdobe building system, the architects were able to construct these sustainable and comfortable houses.

You’re welcome to tour this small community of homes and examine the exteriors and interiors.

In addition, you can join the education programs and events where you can learn more about the homes and the efforts to make them accessible to those who need affordable housing.

Stay Awhile at Malibu Park

The charming Malibu Park is another neighborhood green space considered as one of the newer parks in Hesperia.

While it’s small, this destination has many attractions that make for a worthwhile visit.

There’s an expansive field with verdant grass, which stands in contrast to the perpetually dry grounds of the surrounding area.

On two corners of the field are baseball diamonds, perfect for an afternoon of catching and hitting.

Basketball enthusiasts will also find the well-maintained court a great place to dribble and shoot.

Then there’s the playground, with shaded equipment for protection against the sun.

It’s an excellent section where you can let your kids play and socialize with other children.

Immerse in History at Harrison Exhibit Center

To better understand Hesperia’s past and how it shaped the city's current state, make a stopover at the Harrison Exhibit Center.

This attraction details the heritage and history of the town, Victor Valley, and the surrounding areas.

So you can expect to see collections of Native American artifacts, railroad infrastructure documentation, and even items from the Stone Age.

Whether you’re a history buff or a budding natural history expert, you’ll have a fun time perusing the glass shelves and exhibits on the small building.

Every first Saturday of the month, a HARD Foundation Director, Gary "Griz" Drylie, visits to give engaging lectures and classes.

He is an accomplished historian who has in-depth knowledge about the city.

So if you have time to spare, join one of his sessions and learn more about the vibrant past of Hesperia.

Catch a Game at Hesperia Community Park

There’s a thriving sporting culture in Hesperia, with America’s greatest pastime as one of the favorite athletic activities.

One place where baseball is taken to the next level is the magnificent Hesperia Community Park.

There are eight baseball/softball fields on this park, all well-maintained to host a game anytime!

And that’s saying something, as it’s not easy to maintain the verdant grass in the arid desert climate of the city.

On these diamonds, the talented local athletes of Hesperia practice and play matches with other teams.

So if you want to catch an exhilarating baseball or softball game while in town, this place is your best bet.

Chug a Cold Drink at Oak Hills Brewing Company

To cap off your adventures in Hesperia, visit Oak Hills Brewing Company, the city’s premier destination for alcoholic drinks.

Nothing compares to a cold mug of beer after touring the desert, and they have just what you’re looking for.

Their hip brewery offers a selection of homemade beverages, all created with fine ingredients for maximum depth of flavor.

You can sample some of them by joining the tasting room, then proceed to the bar for a beer on tap!

On occasion, the facility hosts food trucks offering American staples and other dishes.

The cold drinks are the perfect complement to these tasty meals!

Before leaving, don’t forget to bring home a pack or two to open during lazy days or special occasions.

Other Things to Do Nearby

After your tour of Hesperia, why not visit these other attractions just a few minutes away?

Make a Stopover at California Route 66 Museum

View outside the California Route 66 Museum.
Carl DeAbreu Photography / shutterstock.com

There’s lots of history on the U.S. Route 66, a once-major road that served as a vital artery for transport and trade in the first half of the 20th century.

It passed many iconic destinations, establishments, and landmarks, making it a significant road connecting California and Arizona.

Victorville has one famous stop along Route 66, the Red Rooster Cafe.

It’s well known as the location for The Jazz Singer, a film that spawned one of the most successful film soundtrack albums.

Vintage truck in front of California Route 66 Museum.
Angel DiBilio / shutterstock.com

Today, the building has been turned into the California Route 66 Museum.

Here, you’ll find documents and artifacts that detail the impact of the highway on the local culture and economy.

There are three main display rooms as well as a gift shop where you can buy trinkets and souvenirs.

Go Fishing at Mojave Narrows Regional Park

Neighboring Victorville has many hidden wonders that you’re welcome to visit after touring Hesperia.

One of the favorites is the majestic Mojave Narrows Regional Park, just 12 minutes away from the city.

This expansive attraction has plenty of land and water features, with Horseshoe Lake being the most prominent.

It’s shaped exactly as its name suggests, frequented for camping and fishing opportunities.

Thanks to the resources from these bodies of water, the regional park has dense forests and wetlands where lush plants grow.

These serve as the habitat to many native animals, with more than 1,500 species to watch out for while you explore the trails.

Marvel at the Installation Art at Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch

Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch on a fine afternoon.
Mr.C / Shutterstock.com

There’s another iconic attraction on Route 66 that’s less than 30 minutes away from Hesperia: the intriguing Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch.

From afar, you might think you’re looking at an unusual forest with glistening leaves.

Upon closer inspection, you’d find that these leaves are multicolored glass bottles stuck on high vertical posts.

Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch on a fine afternoon.
Mr.C / shutterstock.com

Adorning these “trees” are various other artistic elements like skeletons of animals, wooden wheels, and old rifles.

These all add up to create a unique sight that you’d find nowhere else, adding to the novelty of the whole scene.

Bond With Loved Ones at Scandia Family Fun Center

If you’re looking for a thrilling experience that will have you screaming in excitement, make a stopover at Scandia Family Fun Center.

This exhilarating amusement park is located in Victorville and is just 10 minutes away from Hesperia.

So whether you’re looking for a breathtaking ride or an addictive arcade game, this is the place to be!

They have bumper boats, dizzyingly high towers, and other rides that are sure to make your heart race and your stomach queasy.

If these extreme rides are not for you, you can test your putting skills in the 18-hole minigolf course.

Then there’s the arcade section, offering old classics and new versions that you’re welcome to play for as long as you like.

If you need to refuel between games or rides, visit the in-house restaurant for refreshing drinks and energizing snacks!

Final Thoughts

The rugged high desert setting of Hesperia makes the city a hotspot for outdoor adventures and recreational activities like hiking, horseback riding, and sightseeing.

But it also has manmade attractions where history, culture, and talent are preserved and showcased.

To make sure that all the top spots of this city are on your itinerary, reference this list today!