By Kevin Lankes


Fort Irwin is located in San Bernardino County, California. As of the 2010 census, the population was just under 9,000. It’s not inside a city or town, and is its own census-designated place inside the Mojave Desert. The fort is 36 miles from the nearest city of Barstow. Baker, to the east, is even farther. This is a very isolated locale. To tell you exactly how remote it is, the closest activity to Fort Irwin is an experimental NASA research facility that aims to mimic life on Mars. The Mojave National Preserve is nearby via I-15 N. Though the desert presses in from all sides, the narrow width of the state of California becomes a valuable asset to civilization seekers at Fort Irwin, and Los Angeles is only a 2 and a half hour drive southwest from post. Because of this fact, and the unique landscape in which you’ll find yourself, PCSing to Fort Irwin can offer up many unique experiences. Continue reading for our in-depth guide on Fort Irwin to help aid you in your transition to your new home. 1. Where Is Fort Irwin? 2. Google Map View 3. Getting There – Directions to the Base 4. Entering Fort Irwin and Base Amenities 5. Where Should I Live Near Fort Irwin? 6. What Schools are Near Fort Irwin? 7. What’s the Weather Like in Fort Irwin? 8. Things to Do Near Fort Irwin

Where is Fort Irwin?

Fort Irwin

983 Inner Loop Rd Fort Irwin, CA 92310


1 (760) 380-4218

Fort Irwin Map

Fort Irwin Directions

The closest major transportation hub to Fort Irwin is Los Angeles. Here you can get a flight into LAX, or find an Amtrak train or Greyhound bus into the city. From there, you’ll take I-15 N to exit 189 and follow Fort Irwin Road to the gate. There’s also a Greyhound bus stop in Barstow, which is 45 minutes away by car.

Fort Irwin Transportation Office

Of course, the best way to plan your route to the post is by reaching out to the transportation office. The staff here has been involved with assisting countless soldiers PCS to Fort Irwin and possess a wealth of resources to help you transition seamlessly. They can give you directions based on your specific circumstances and take the stress out of your move.

Fort Irwin Transportation Office

F Avenue Building #105 Fort Irwin, CA 92310


1 (760) 380-4252


Monday through Friday 0600 to 1800

Entering Fort Irwin and Post Amenities

You’ll need a photo ID and several other documents to gain access to Fort Irwin the first time. Make sure you bring your orders so they can verify that you are where you’re supposed to be. You’ll also need your driver’s license and registration if you’re driving onto base, or the rental agreement if you’re driving a rental car.

Check-in Procedures for Incoming Personnel

The first thing you’ll do after gaining entry to post is to report to your individual command. From there, you’ll receive clarity on the next steps and will be allowed to settle in. It’s important to get the administrative steps out of the way first so that you can begin to relax in your new environment.

Fort Irwin Visitor Center

The visitor center on post is the place for family and friends coming by for the day to get a pass to be allowed on the grounds. You’ll find information about things to do and see at Fort Irwin and in the surrounding area.

Fort Irwin Visitor Center

Fort Irwin Rd Building 9 Fort Irwin, CA 92310


1 (760) 380-6750

DEERS Fort Irwin

The DEERS office on post is where you’ll go to get yourself set up with a military ID, or to replace one that you’ve lost. It’s also where your family members will apply for their dependent ID cards that will let them enter and exit the premises and access the amenities available for military personnel and their families.

Fort Irwin DEERS Office

1st Street Building 108 Fort Irwin, CA 92310


1 (760) 380-3100

Fort Irwin Gate Hours

  • Fort Irwin Gate:

    Open 24/7
Fort Irwin Commissary

Fort Irwin Commissary

The commissary on post is a great place to get stocked up with all the stores you’ll need to keep up with a healthy diet. You’ll find a large selection of regular grocery items at affordable prices, and that makes shopping at the commissary a very attractive solution.

Fort Irwin Commissary

3920 Inner Loop Rd Bldg. 920 Fort Irwin, CA 92310


1 (760) 380-3559

Fort Irwin Commissary Hours

  • Daily:

    1030 to 2000

Fort Irwin PX

The Fort Irwin exchange is a shopping center with a host of services available. You’ll find a lot of your needs met here with services and stores like a food court, barber shops, rental cars, clothing and tactical gear, and so much more. Stop by the exchange for awesome gear at great prices.

Fort Irwin Exchange

Langford Lake Rd. Building 918 Ft Irwin, CA 92310


1 (760) 386-2060

Fort Irwin Exchange Hours

  • Daily:


Fort Irwin Barber Shops

1. Barber Shop

Main Exchange


1 (760) 386-2770

2. Dustbowl Barbershop

PX Building 6075



Fort Irwin Post Office

The post office on the grounds of Fort Irwin provides full service packaging and mailing. This includes the sale of stamps and other supplies. You’ll have access to all services you’ve come to expect from the U.S. Postal Service.

Fort Irwin Post Office

306 Langford Lake Rd Bldg 306 Fort Irwin, CA 92310


1 (800) 275-8777 Fort Irwin Finance Office

Fort Irwin Finance Office

The Finance Office at Fort Irwin is such a great resource and should be taken advantage of without hesitation. The incredibly knowledgeable staff can provide guidance about basic operations like opening a checking account to more advanced future proofing like creating a budget and preparing for retirement. Empower yourself to use your resources wisely and keep your family safe and secure long into the future.

Fort Irwin Finance Office

Building #110 Fort Irwin, CA 92310


1 (760) 380-4291

Fort Irwin Finance Office Hours

Please call 1 (760) 380-4291 for hours of operation. The legal assistance office at Fort Irwin is a great resource for a wealth of legal necessities. Whether you need to notarize documents or schedule a consultation with an attorney, this is the place to go. Make sure to secure an appointment before you come in.

Fort Irwin Legal Assistance Office

Barstow Road Building 288 Fort Irwin, CA 92310


1 (760) 380-5321

Fort Irwin Legal Assistance Office Hours

  • Monday through Wednesday, Friday:

    0900 to 1600
  • Thursday:

    1200 to 1600

Fort Irwin Library

The Fort Irwin Post Library provides a massive collection of books, magazines, DVDs, and other materials for personnel to check out. Many resources are also available online. There’s a dedicated children’s library, and resources for college students and prospective college students. You can bring your own device to connect to the library’s wifi.

Fort Irwin Post Library

Second St. Building 331 Fort Irwin, CA 92310


1 (760) 380-3462 Fort Irwin Hotels

Fort Irwin Hotels

1. Landmark Inn Fort Irwin

39 Inner Loop Rd Fort Irwin, CA 92310


1 (760) 386-4040

2. Best Western Desert Villa Inn

1984 E Main St Barstow, CA 92311


1 (760) 256-1781

3. Rodeway Inn Barstow

1261 E Main St Barstow, CA 92311


1 (760) 256-7581 Download MyBaseGuide’s Relocation Guide for information about hotels nearby.

Hot Tip: Download MyBaseGuide’s Fort Irwin Military Relocation Guide for information about hotels nearby.

Where to Live Near Fort Irwin?

Where to Live Near Fort Irwin?

To be honest, there aren’t a ton of options off post. If you don’t like any of the smallish cities and other communities scattered around the desert close to the post, you can always petition NASA to live inside their Mars habitat simulation.

Cities Near Fort Irwin

There aren’t many cities nearby. The closest is Barstow. Another option is Hesperia. Los Angeles is 2 and a half hours away, and while it’s among the largest metro areas known to man, the commute will probably be a major turnoff.

Best Places to Live Near Fort Irwin


Barstow is a small city with a population of around 23,000 people. It was first settled in the 1830s. Back then, it was a major connection hub for transportation and settlers in the Mojave Desert, and today it still serves as the junction of several highways and railways. The city is home to a lively cultural scene, several museums, a performing arts center, the Barstow mall, and more. New construction is planned for the near future to ensure an economic boost. Fort Irwin is the largest employer by far.


Hesperia is a larger city that sits farther away from post. A commute by car would take about an hour and a half. The population here is around 95,000. The city has a long history that begins in 1781. Boxing legend Jack Dempsey was among the developers in the 1950s who began to attract visitors and residents to the area through various new properties and amenities. There’s decent economic activity here, with employers representing sectors in education, civil authority, retail, and food service.

Newberry Springs

Newberry Springs is one of a handful of unincorporated communities in the Mojave Desert near base. It sits inside a desert oasis with mineral springs among the many natural features you’ll find. It was historically a source of water for the area, and to this day it still supports local farms and ranches. There are several options for outdoor entertainment in the area, and ESPN has hosted ski tournaments here.


Yermo is a town east of Barstow. The population here is under 2,000 people. It’s a small community with a ghost town close by and access to the Calico Mountains.


Daggett is another unincorporated community close to post. It’s also east of Barstow. The population in 2000 was just 200 people. Daggett has a history of industry in the area and became the site of major solar energy installations before they were decommissioned. Look for homes and apartments for rent or sale on AHRN.com.

Hot Tip: Look for Fort Irwin homes and apartments for rent or sale, and find BAH, PCS, TLA & ETS military housing information at AHRN.com.

Fort Irwin Schools

Fort Irwin Schools

The Silver Valley Unified School District serves children of parents living and working at Fort Irwin. The district includes 7 schools and caters to children from grades K-12. Childcare options on base include the Child Development Center and the School Age Center. There are also public options available in nearby Barstow. For detailed information on Fort Irwin schools, read our complete guide here.

Fort Irwin Weather

It’s extremely dry in the Mojave Desert all year round. The summers are very uncomfortable, and the temperature can rise into the low 100s. Winter is much more bearable and even pleasant in comparison since the cold weather tends to stay in the 30s and there isn’t much precipitation to speak of. And you won’t have to worry about humidity at all in the desert. Fort Irwin Things to Do

Fort Irwin Things to Do

There are a handful of interesting museums and other cultural sites nearby, and a plethora of natural resources to explore. From caverns to wildlife preserves, the outdoor lover will be one happy camper after PCSing to Fort Irwin. Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave Desert National Preserve are both great examples of what you can look forward to here. For a complete list of things to do near Fort Irwin, check out our guide here and more on nearby National Parks here. Connect with military-trusted businesses and deals exclusively at MyBaseGuide.com

Hot Tip: Connect with military-trusted businesses and deals exclusively for Fort Irwin at MyBaseGuide.


Life in the desert doesn’t have to be a drag. At Fort Irwin, there are plenty of things to see and do while you assimilate to the dry climate and take in the natural vistas. The choices for living off post aren’t extensive, but the few options you do have should cater to all your needs. And, if you’re in desperate need of civilization, Los Angeles is still fairly close by. Make sure to protect yourself from the heat and the sun in the summers and stay hydrated while taking advantage of all the outdoor recreation the landscape has to offer.  

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.


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