Aguanga is a unincorporated small town located within the Inland Empire, Riverside County, California. As of 1990, it had a population of 2,309. The community of Aguanga lies at the intersection of State Route 79 (SR 79) and State Route 371 (Cahuilla Road). This is along the historic Butterfield Overland Mail stage route. The area lies at about 1,940 feet (590 m) above mean sea level (AMSL) and is north of Cleveland National Forest. The straight-line distance to Palomar Observatory is 5.9 miles (9.5 km) south and the observatory site is about 3,500 feet (1,100 m) higher than the community. The town is also home to Cottonwood Elementary School (K-8) operated by the Hemet Valley Unified School District. The largest nearby town is Temecula, (along the Interstate 15 corridor), about 18 miles (29 km) west of Aguanga on SR 79. This area is in Temecula Creek canyon between Pechanga tribal lands and the San Diego County line. Official U.S. Geological Survey NAD27 coordinates for the community are 33°26′34″N 116°51′51″W﻿ / ﻿33.44278°N 116.86417°W﻿ / 33.44278; -116.86417. It is within area code 951 and shares its ZIP Code, 92536, with the San Diego County Community of Holcomb Village. The town gets it name from a former village of the native Luiseño people called awáanga, meaning 'dog place'.