World's Tallest Thermometer, 72155
Baker Blvd, Baker, CA ( I-15, Exit 246)
Baker, California, Home of the World's Largest Thermometer and
Gateway to Death
Valley National Park
is located on Interstate Highway 15 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
the 134-foot tall thermometer was erected in 1991 by a local resident
and entrepreneur named Will Herron. Constructed by Electric Sign Co. of
Las Vegas 33 tons of steel were used to build this monster beacon
broadcaster of heat and cold.
Approximately 5,000 lamps went into the
three-sided digital display and estimates of the cost for this monster
project are less than $1 million with one source stating $700K. Winds
once damaged the giant thermometer, requiring concrete reinforcement.
How hot is it?
Death Valley recorded a searing 134 degrees Fahrenheit in 1913. That's
enough heat to cook a meal in a skillet.
dream of becoming wealthy but Will Herron's aspirations took a slightly
different climb. For over 25 years he dreamt of the big one, a giant
thermometer rising into the sky to announce just how hot it really is in
Baker, California. This rugged region is a popular destination on
tours to Las Vegas gambling casinos. With little to look at but the
scattered cacti, rocks, shrubs and some small towns along the highway,
Herron's dream has become a success. It is recognized in nearly every
travel log for this region and many a tour group such as the popular
"Heaven and Hell" tours pass by, with some stopping at the restaurant,
shops and visitors center for the Mojave National Preserve in
Things to do in
Baker: Tourists use this rest stop on the I-15 freeway between Los
Angeles, California and Las Vegas, Nevada (two-thirds of the way to Las
Vegas from L.A.) to eat, shop and stretch their legs primarily.
Bun Boy restaurant, Alien Fresh Jerky and "World Famous" Mad Greek Cafe
road signs announce your arrival in this small town with around 1,000
population. If you are looking for a place to stay, the nearest cities
with choice accommodations include Barstow (1 hour by car, approx.) or
Las Vegas (1.5 hours by car).
Baker is located in
San Bernardino County and is part of the Riverside-San Bernardino,
California metro area. It was named after R.C. Baker, president of
the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad, in 1908. It is also the last
town for those traveling on CA-127 north to Death Valley National Park
or south to the Mojave National Preserve. The landscape in this arid
desert location appears earthen in color tones ranging from a dusty pale
brown to golden yellows and in the rainy season, even green in some
locations. The temperatures in the summer can be very hot and dry but at
night, the air cools and in the winter, can even become chilly.
You'll see some cacti
growing in the hillsides and unique trees and shrubs native to this
Southwestern region. It's stark beauty is worth a visit, though some
proclaim the trip between Los Angeles and Las Vegas passing through
Baker is boring.