Ridgecrest, formerly known as Crumville, was incorporated as a city in 1963. It is located in the Indian Wells Valley in northeastern Kern County, California adjacent to the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake (NAWS, or China Lake). Ridgecrest is the only incorporated city along US 395 in Kern County. The population was 24,927 at the 2000 census and reached 30,151 in 2008. The city of Ridgecrest is a largely "company" oriented community big enough to provide plenty of fine schools, shopping and health care. Ridgecrest is surrounded by four mountain ranges; the Sierra Nevada on the west, the Cosos on the north, the Argus Range on the east, and the El Paso Mountains on the south. It is approximately 80 miles (130 km) from the Lancaster/Palmdale area and approximately 115 miles (185 km) from both Bakersfield and San Bernardino, the three nearest major urban centers. Air travel in and out of the city is provided through the Inyokern Airport. Ridgecrest is within two hours of the highest and the lowest points in the continental U.S.