El Centro, California

Imperial County

Location / Description

The City of El Centro is located 128 miles east of San Diego, 60 miles west of Yuma, Arizona and 10 miles north of Mexicali, Mexico. It is accessible via Interstate 8, State Highway 86 and State Highway 111. Its name, "El Centro" is Spanish for "The Center". It is the county seat of the Imperial Valley, which is primarily an agricultural community created when Colorado River water was diverted for this purpose in the early part of the 20th century. (Click here to read more about the history of irrigation in the Imperial Valley.)

Population / Elevation

Population 44,000
Total area: 10.257 square miles
El Centro is located at 32°47′17″N, 115°33′29″W(32.788139, -115.557966)
Sea Level: 52 feet below

Weather / Climate

The largest city in the United States below sea level, El Centro is located in the Sonoran Desert and typically receives less than 3 inches of rain a year. Temperatures are in the 70s and 80s in the winter, rising to the 90s and mid-100s in the summer.

 

Monthly Normal Temperatures

 

 Jan

 Feb

 Mar

 Apr

 May

 Jun

 Jul

 Aug

 Sep

 Oct

 Nov

 Dec

 High °F

70

75

79

86

94

103

107

106

101

91

78

70

 Low °F

41

45

49

54

61

68

76

77

71

59

47

41

Avg. Rain

0.51

0.36

0.31

0.05

0.03

0.01

0.06

0.32

0.36

0.35

0.17

0.43


Click for El Centro, California Forecast


Lodging

Hotels/Motels

There are hotels and motels in El Centro, with something for every taste and price range.

 

Camping & RV Parks

There are commercial and public locations for camping and RVs in and near El Centro. For a complete list contact:

El Centro Area Chamber of Commerce
1095 South 4th Street
El Centro, CA 92243
Phone: 760.352.3681 • Fax: 760.352.3246

History

El Centro's history is entwined with the colorful history of the irrigation of the desert. Inhabited only by a few surveyors before the Colorado River's diversion through canals, "...by 1905, the residents numbered 12,000. Irrigated acreage had increased from 1,500 acres to 67,000 acres." (El Centro Chamber of Commerce) The city was incorporated in 1908. Since then, it has become an important agricultural area with over 500,000 acres in production. Goethermal, manufacturing and other industries are also finding a home here.


Things To Do

The Imperial Valley has many golf courses, some in Holtville and Brawley and two in and around El Centro. El Centro is not far from the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area, which is popular not only with OHV enthusiasts, but offers a myriad of photographic opportunities. Bird watching and nature viewing at the Salton Sea are also popular pursuits. Its proximity to Mexico makes trips across the border an attractive option.

Events Calendar

January: Snowbird Breakfast for winter visitors, Imperial Valley Business Showcase, Carnivale on Main at the Plaza Park in Brawley, Niland Sportsmen & Tomato Festival
February: Salton Sea International Bird Festival (annually near Presidents Day weekend)
March: California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta, Blue Angels Air Show
April: Mariachi Festival Sin Fronteras
May: Calico's Annual Spring Festival & Cook-off (Mothers Day weekend)
June:
July: Freedom Fest Independence Day Celebration
August:
September: 16th of September Fiesta in Calexico
October:
November: Cattle Call
December: Los Vigilantes/Merchants Christmas Parade

Resources & Nearby Attractions

Resources


Cities & Towns

  • 128 miles east of San Diego
  • 60 miles west of Yuma, Arizona
  • 10 miles north of Mexicali, Mexico

Parks & Monuments

Wilderness & Recreation Areas

  • Imperial Sand Dunes BLM Recreation and Wilderness Area - 45 miles east
  • Heber Sand Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area - 14 miles southeast
  • Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area - 60 miles northwest
  • Colorado River
    • Senator Wash Reservoir – about 60 miles east
    • Squaw Lake – 78 miles east
    • Walters Camp– 71 miles northeast

Historic & Points of Interest

  • Salton Sea - 48 miles north
  • Tumco Ghost Town - 44 miles east

 

      
Related DesertUSA Pages

 

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