Jurupa Valley is a city in Southern California where the West’s Old World charm is very much alive. The town is surrounded by San Bernardino County to the north and west, Riverside to the south and east, and Eastvale to the west.
There’s a lot of debate about the origins of the name behind Jurupa Valley. Some historians claim that this name is derived from Ranch Jurupa, which was a piece of land granted to Juan Bandini in 1838, by Juan Bautista Alvarado, the Mexican governor of California at the time. That name also has its own origins. “Jurupa” has been used to refer to the Native American inhabitants of the area who called the valley home. The valley is located smack dab in between the territories of two different tribes: Gabrielino and Serrano.
The Serrano (Taquatam) historically lived in the San Bernardino Mountains and other parts of Southern California, including the Mojave Desert. The name itself translates to “highlander.”
The Gabrielino, on the other hand, inhabited the Los Angeles basin and the Channel Islands. They were primarily known as Tongva. The name Gabrielino is derived from the Spanish missionary outpost Mission San Gabriel Arcángel.
It is believed that the word Jurupa refers to the phrase with which the native peoples greeted the first Spanish missionary who visited and subsequently settled in the area. This phrase referenced peace and friendship.
However, other accounts claim that the name is derived from Juru, the California Sagebrush that thrives in the area. “Juru” is said to have Gabrielino origins, and the Serrano people use “pa” to denote a location.
Spanish rule in the area ended in 1821 as a result of the Mexican War of Independence. It was subsequently ruled as part of the Department of California under Mexico until the territories were ceded to the United States in 1848.
BECOMING A CITY
The people of Jurupa valley have been carving their place in the world even before the earliest settlers from Europe arrived in the 1870s. However, by the late 19th century, the valley fell under the shadow of a city rising to the east: Riverside.
While settlements initially formed in the Jurupa Valley, many eventually fell under the administration of Riverside. In fact, many of the outlying suburbs that used to be administered as part of Riverside are part of Jurupa Valley today.
On July 1, 2011, Jurupa Valley became a city. However, this is not the first time that the city attempted to incorporate. Residents voted in 1992, but the attempt to incorporate the city was rejected.
This time, the decision was the result of the initiative of passionate community volunteers. They desired autonomy over zoning and planning issues, and had hopes of furthering growth and development and improving the quality of life in the area.
Jurupa Valley became the 482nd city in California and the 28th City of Riverside County.
Jurupa valley spans 44 square miles and encompasses Jurupa Hills, Mira Loma, Rubidoux, Pedley, Indian Hills, Belltown, Glen Avon, Sunnyslope, and Crestmore Heights.
THE CITY TODAY
Today, the City of Jurupa Valley is home to about 106,000 people and has forged its own place in Southern California culture.
With the 2011 incorporation, Jurupa Valley is poised to enjoy enhanced police services as well as better city planning and zoning. The community enjoys many government services that came with the change.
Two transportation corridors connect Jurupa to the rest of the United States: Interstate 15, which runs north and south; and State Highway 60, which runs east and west.
The economic activity in the area near these highways spurred growth, and now the city has enhanced capacity for residential and commercial expansion. In spite of this growth, the city has somehow maintained an Old World charm. It is horse-friendly, and horses are still very much a part of the locals’ everyday lives. They are part of the local commute, and many shops are in the business of selling hay and other related supplies.
Jurupa Valley features a mix of communities, including farming communities and high and low-density residential development. The local economy is diverse, comprising industrial, retail, and agrarian sectors.
While the city was traditionally viewed as a place for people who wanted to place their roots in a more laidback community, in light of the suburban development, the city is also moving towards another goal. It has become the ideal destination for businesses who want to relocate operations, especially those who are in the finance and logistics industries.
THINGS TO DO
Way before its incorporation, Jurupa Valley had a reputation for being a city of equestrians. Horseback riding remains a popular pastime. Visitors who want to experience the area’s horse-riding trails will be treated to a magnificent view of the local wilderness.
The wilderness on the outskirts of the city is also a popular destination for people who love the outdoors. This is the valley’s main draw. It is the jump-off point for those looking to explore Mount Rubidoux Trail, a hiking trail that gives a stunning view of Riverside. The path provides a good workout, but it can be traversed even by kids.
The recent growth also came with the development of entertainment options. The Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center offers an array of outdoor activities for the entire family and features displays of sculptures of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs.
It’s also home to the Ruth and Sam Kirby Earth Science Museum, which has a remarkable collection of fossils, Indian artifacts, and fluorescent minerals on display.
Gardening enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Granite Hills Nursery.
In addition to numerous public parks, there are also five golf courses in the area.
GREEN SPACES AND PARKS
The Jurupa Area Recreation and Park District and the Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District jointly manage the city’s outdoor recreational areas. There are ten parks in the city limits, all of which are under the care of the city’s park district.
The Jurupa Area Recreation and Park District facilitates many community programs, including community runs, basketball programs for young people and adults, and skate parks.
One popular destination is the Rancho Jurupa Regional Sports Park, which features multiple playing fields for various sports, a landscaped plaza, picnic shelters, a snack bar, and playgrounds.
There’s also the Rancho Jurupa Regional Park, located near the riverbanks, which features a staggering 200 acres of recreational space. Visitors can go rock climbing and fishing or use the splash pad. There are rental cabins and a campground for RVs for those who want to enjoy modern comforts, as well as a campsite for tent campers for those who’d like to rough it out.
If you have never visited Jurupa Valley, it’s a great place to see. Check out our Community Link for more information on this fantastic newly incorporated City. If you have any comments, please share them below.