Surprise Valley Chamber of Commerce
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Newcomer's guide


Surprise Valley is located within the high desert region known as the Great Basin. We enjoy a four-season climate with dry, warm summers and cold, wet winters. High/low temperatures average 40/16 in January and 88/45 in July. Annual precipitation: 12-16 inches, valleys, 35 inches, mountains. Valley elevation averages 4,700 feet.


The total population of Modoc County is 9,682 (2010 Census) with 5580 registered voters. Most county residents live in outlying areas and in small, unincorporated communities. Cedarville has a population of approximately 520 residents with Surprise Valley as a whole having approximately 1,300 residents.


The local growing season is 100 to 130 days. Most vegetables and many fruit trees thrive in the valley. The most popular commercial crops include alfalfa and grass hay, various grains, onions, garlic and potatoes. Cattle, sheep and horses are raised here commercially as well.

Local Government

The valley elects a supervisor every four years to serve on the five-member County Board of Supervisors. The county seat is Alturas, 23 miles west of Cedarville. There are no city governments, but numerous special districts for fire protection and cemeteries, and a hospital district.


Property Assessment: 1% of assessed valuation.
State income tax: progressive
State sales tax: 7.25%
Special taxes per household:
  $225 for the Surprise Valley Health Care District
  $18 for the Modoc County Library;
  $45 for solid waste operation and management.

Area Code

The area code for all Modoc County phone numbers is (530).


Public education is offered at an elementary school and high school located in Cedarville. A community college outreach program and university extension courses are available either online or in Alturas. Local manpower training and job assistance are available through the Business Career Network (221 N Main St. in Alturas, (530) 279-4161).


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Cedarville: 279-6347
Church of Saint James (Roman Catholic), Cedarville: 233-2119
Church of the Trumpet, Cedarville: 279-6103
Community Bible Church of Lake City: 279-2228
Fort Bidwell Peoples’ Church: 279-2160
Surprise Valley Community Church, Cedarville: 279-6225
Surprise Valley Seventh Day Adventist Church, Cedarville: 279-2169


Homes in town range from $50,000 to $200,000. Average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment countywide is $400 per month. The value of rural property is determined to a large extent on total acreage, water availability, location, usage and improvements and varies tremendously. Consult a local realtor for current listings.


Ground: Highway 299 traverses Cedar Pass (elevation 6,305 feet) into the heart of Surprise Valley. It bisects Modoc County Road 1 in Cedarville then continues 8 miles east to the Nevada state border. Modoc County Road 1 runs the length of the 70+-mile long valley, from Ft. Bidwell in the north, through Eagleville at the southern end, terminating at the Nevada border where it becomes Nevada State Route 447. In the valley, the speed limit on MC Road 1 is 55 MPH.



Cedarville Airport (279-2111)
This county airport has a 4400 foot lighted runway, and overnight parking.
There is a 3500 foot gravel airstrip North of  Fort Bidwell.

Other airports serving the Modoc County area include: Alturas Municipal Airport, Reno Tahoe International Airport, Kingsley International Airport (Klamath Falls, OR). Major west coast terminals include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Portland and Seattle-Tacoma International Airports.


Water: Cedarville County Water District for Cedarville residents; private wells in outlying areas.
Electricity: Pacific Power and Light; Surprise Valley Electrification Corporation.

Community Facilities

Cedarville Branch Library (530)279-2614.
Cedarville Park, site of the historic Cressler and Bonner Trading Post
Eagleville Community Hall
Fort Bidwell Civic Club and Community Hall
Modoc District Fairgrounds, RV Park, and Four Seasons Banquet and Meeting Facility
Surprise Valley Community Health Care District
Surprise Valley Senior Center

Medical and Veterinary Services

Surprise Valley Health Care District: 279-6111
     (Hospital, Skilled Nursing Facility, Medical Clinic)
Surprise Valley Veterinary Clinic: 279-2141
Warner Mountain Indian Health Project: 279-6194

Government Offices

Bureau of Land Management, Surprise Field Office: 279-6101
California Department of Motor Vehicles: (800) 777-0133 (Alturas)
Cedarville Rancheria Tribal Office: 233-3969
Cedarville Water District: 279-2310
Cedarville Volunteer Fire Department: 279-2311
Fish and Wildlife Department: 233-3572
Fort Bidwell Indian Community Council: 279-6310
Fort Bidwell Volunteer Fire Department
Modoc County Public Health Services: 233-6311
Modoc County Public Works Department: 233-6430
Modoc County Road Department: 233-6403
Modoc County Sheriff: 233-4416
Political Representatives and Contacts
US Forest Service, Warner Mountain Ranger District: 279-6116

US Post Offices

Cedarville: 279-2316
Eagleville: 279-2440
Fort Bidwell: 279-2196
Lake City: 279-2309


Cedarville Cemetery (District Secretary, Regina Pratt, 640-2444)
Eagleville Cemetery (District Secretary, Angela Benner, 279-6220)
Fort Bidwell Cemetery (District Contact, Dana Cary, 640-0183)
Lake City Cemetery  (District Secretary, Bonnie Bunyard, 279-2071)


The Modoc County Record is published weekly.
Rick and Jane Holloway, Publishers.
Excerpts are available online at: 

The Herald and News is a daily paper published in Klamath Falls, Oregon and serves all of Modoc County. Many local events and historical articles are archived at their website and may be accessed by typing in the name of the pertinent town:

KDUP 88.1 FM, Cedarville (
Radio: KKFJ 570AM, Alturas
KCNO 94.5 FM, Alturas
KALT 106.5 FM , Alturas
KVIP 89.3FM, Redding (

Outlying areas use satellite dish systems successfully.
DirecTV (888) 783-1376
Dish Network (888) 330-1931

Phone: Frontier Communications (800) 921-8101

Internet Providers:
Charter Communications: (866) 731-5420
Frontier Communications: (877) 649-2713
Surprise Valley Internet (aka "Derk Net")

Community Organizations

Beta Sigma Phi Sorority: 279-6382
Boy Scout Troop 48: 279-6376
Cedarville Country Jam: 279-2375
Eagleville Community Hall: 279-2203
Fort Bidwell Civic Club: 640-0643
Fort Bidwell Indian Community Council: 279-6310
Scarlet Starlets, SV Chapter of the Red Hat Association: 279-2050
Surprise Valley 4-H: 233-6400
Surprise Valley Quilters Club: 279-2182
Surprise Valley Acoustic Jam Sessions: 279-2375
Surprise Valley Chamber of Commerce: 936-7822
Surprise Valley High School FFA Chapter: 279-6141
Surprise Valley Hospital Auxiliary: 279-6155 or 279-6121
Surprise Valley "Valley 50" Club: 279-2355
Surprise Valley Chapter of Rotary International: 279-6364
Veterans of Foreign Wars: 775-557-4001
VFW Women's Auxiliary: 279-2531


Page modified: 19 Feb 2024 09:39:35 -0800

Surprise Valley Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 518, Cedarville, California 96104

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