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 9,499
(2000 Census) with 5580 registered voters. Most county residents
live in outlying areas and in small, unincorporated communities.
Cedarville has a population of approximately 800 residents with
Surprise Valley as a whole having approximately 1,500 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.
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.
Property Assessment: 1% of assessed valuation.
Personal income tax: progressive
State sales tax: 8.25%
Special taxes per household (pursuant to a Mello-Roos Community
Facility Act): $225 for the Surprise Valley Health Care District;
$18 for the Modoc County Library; $45 for solid waste operation
and management. Homes in State Responsibility Areas (SRA's) also
pay about $ 115.00 to Cal Fire.
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).
- Surprise Valley Joint Unified School District
Cedarville, Ca 96104 (530) 279-6141
- Surprise Valley Elementary School: 279-6161
- Surprise Valley High School: 279-6141
- Surprise Valley Pre-School: 279-2030
- Great Basin School: 279-2387
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,
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:
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.
- Alturas - 23 miles
- Klamath Falls, OR- 123 miles
- Lakeview, OR - 74 miles
- Reno, NV - 188 miles
- Redding - approx 170 miles.
- Susanville - approx 124 miles
- San Francisco -
about 400 miles via Redding and
approximately 420 miles via Reno
Cedarville Airport (279-2111)
This county airport has a 4400 foot lighted runway, and
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.
Cedarville Branch Library (530)279-2614.
Cedarville Park, site of the historic Cressler and Bonner
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
Indian Health Project: 279-6194
Bureau of Land Management, Surprise Field
California Department of Motor Vehicles: (800) 777-0133
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
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
US Forest Service, Warner Mountain Ranger District: 279-6116
US Post Offices
Fort Bidwell: 279-2196
Lake City: 279-2309
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
Northern California Traveler, published 10 times a years
at Cedarville, CA, with historical, recreational and real
estate items. Publisher, Dennis Smith
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
Charter Communications: (866) 731-5420
Frontier Communications: (866) 716-1619
High Desert Online: 233-4000
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: 279-2443
Fort Bidwell Indian Community Council: 279-6310
Scarlet Starlets, SV Chapter of the Red Hat Association:
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