Probably due to the wide open spaces in the hi-desert, along with the lack of transportation other than by personal car, private aviation has a long history here. On any given day you may see historic aircraft passing overhead, or military craft from the nearby Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC).

These are some highlight factoids:

Yucca Valley Airport(s)

  • It was a Hollywood destination back in the day, when Gene Autry, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and others flew in for work or leisure.
  • The current owners of the Red Dog in Pioneertown are reviving the Copper Room, the 1957 vintage restaurant at the airport that was a hot spot for everyone from Sinatra to Gram Parsons.
  • The site itself was first (after displacing indigenous people) a watering hole for passersby (site of “Warren’s Well”, a holding area for cattle), then a stagecoach stop, and became a public airport in 1956.
  • “Sky Corral,” a landing strip for aviators, stunt pilots, and movie stars, operated near the site of the current Sands Motel.

Twentynine Palms

  • Current airport is east of 29P, more a part of Wonder Valley.
  • Previously, 29P was served by Jack Cones Landing Field, founded by Jack Cones (“The Constable of 29 Palms”) on his thirty acre property near Adobe and Amboy (1940s). This later became the first public airstrip in 29P, now known as the “old airport.”
  • The radio (1947-1954) and television (1951-1966) serial “Sky King” is thought to be based on the adventures of Jack Cones.
  • Jack Cones died in an airplane crash in 1960. Kirby Grant (“Sky King”) died in a car crash in 1985.