The Inland Empire, also known as “The IE,” is an area approximately 60 miles from north to south and some 50 miles wide. It spans Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. The area is surrounded by mountain ranges and hills on all sides, with only a few natural passes to Los Angeles and Orange County to the West. San Diego County lies to the South and Palm Springs to the East.
The natural beauty of the mountain rim on 320 degrees of the horizon is punctuated by a vertical elevation of over 10,000 feet in at least four places. The Inland Empire is perhaps the only place in the United States where you are 45 minutes from ski slopes and 45 minutes from the beach; during some times of the year, the weather allows both skiing and ocean swimming on the same day! The Inland Empire offers many outdoor sports such as snowboarding, motorcycling, biking, racing, and four-wheeling.
People have been attracted to the natural wonders of the area for two hundred years and continue to enjoy the natural amenities today in every conceivable way. With a rich history, natural wealth, and a robust economy, the Inland Empire is an area full of surprises.
The climate has long been a major reason for human occupation in the San Bernardino Valley. Its early Native American inhabitants followed the seasons up and down the elevations to suit their comfort and food-gathering habits. Later, the climate attracted those with health problems, and eventually the citrus industry made Redlands and Riverside famous worldwide. Today, the economy is one of the largest and fastest-growing in the nation and boasts the 13th-largest metropolitan market.