Ladies in 29 Palms.... — The Bump
Military Families

Ladies in 29 Palms....

Ok so we have the option to go to 29 Palms this fall and I wanted to get your thoughts about the area.  I kind of got the run down from another military spouse and her complaining about it is in the middle of nowhere and there is nothing to do yadah yadah, but there are always those who love/hate a particular base.  So tell me, how is on base living? Is there any employment opportunities in the surrounding areas?  How are the daycare facilities? What programs are offered for elementary school children?  How are the schools? Etc.  I checked out the MCCS website but I would like your opinions.  Anything would be helpful.

We are currently on Camp LeJeune and things are not bad here and H is not being CUT orders to go to 29 Palms but it is an option the monitor offered since his skills are needed there.

Thanks in advance for any input Smile

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Re: Ladies in 29 Palms....

  • If there is an option for him to go to Camp Pendleton instead, I think it would be better. We are at Pendleton, and I am from the area. I have been to 29 Palms many many times (my DH often goes for months to assist with things + training)...  I am from Southern California and very familiar with all the surrounding areas.

    29 Palms is in my opinion, one of the very worst places to be stationed. There is nothing surrounding the area except a rundown town. The housing is old and cramped. There is no beach within a 4 hour drive. The closest "city" you'll have is Palm Springs, which is well known as a retirement community.

    The MCX is very nice on base, because that is the only  shopping in the area. Forget any mainstream stores -- the best you'll get around there is Walmart/Kmart (which is at least 30 miles away).

    There are not any employment opportunities in the surrounding area unless you want to drive over an hour to Palm Springs and even there is not so great. Most people that live in that area (civilians) commute hours to get work. The cost of living is extremely low (because there is nothing around), but then again so is your BAH.

    Another thing most military may not know (I know because I even lived in the Riverside/San Bernadino area for a few years) is that Joshua Tree (which is pretty much where 29 palms is) is known/has been known as "Meth City" for many years.

    Joshua Tree National Park - nice place for a one, maybe two day visit -- but not a nice place to live. Do yourself and your kids a favor and don't move there. It seriously is a rundown sh*t hole... (google earth Joshua Tree) and you can see what I mean.

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  • I appreciate your response.  Like I said we dont HAVE to go but I didn;t feel like 29 palms would be much of anything after hearing from some of the military wives here in Camp LeJeune.  And again some people have good and bad things to say.
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  • I have never been to 29 Palms but my DH was born there and lived til he was 9. He went back to visit the area and family in DEC and said it was horrible. So run down, nothing there to do. He stayed 1 night and ended up driving to Huntington Beach to stay with family. He was very disspointed with what he saw. He even said the Base was run down from what he remember. Before his trip out, he thought about getting PCS orders there so we can be in CA but no way now will he go unless he has no choice.

     

    good luck with your move

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  • H was stationed in 29 for 4 years. 

    We loved it and would go back tomorrow if they wanted us to.

    I loved *LOVED* my house on base as did most of our friends who also lived on base. They do have off base housing that is called 801 that I wouldn't personally live in, but others I know have lived there and liked it. And they've been doing a lot around base to make it even better. They just opened a new MCX and from what I hear, it's pretty awesome. They were supposed to be building some awesome enlisted housing, but I don't know the status of it. It was supposed to start in 2009 or something and when we were there this past summer to visit, I didn't see it. But who knows. 

    Employment is scarce, which is why you will run into a ton of the momtographers or Scentsy salespeople. But, it's tough everywhere. I've been looking for a job since we got to San Diego in June and still nothing. If you're willing to drive to Palm Springs (about 45 minutes away), you will have more opportunities for work. There is also more available in Yucca Valley which is 30 minutes away.

    I heard the daycare and schools are pretty good. Of course, that's hearsay because we don't have kids, but I never heard any real complaints. 

    I'm typically over on TN on MN, so page me if you have any more questions! 

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  • imageExcited Mrs P:

    If there is an option for him to go to Camp Pendleton instead, I think it would be better. We are at Pendleton, and I am from the area. I have been to 29 Palms many many times (my DH often goes for months to assist with things + training)...  I am from Southern California and very familiar with all the surrounding areas.

    29 Palms is in my opinion, one of the very worst places to be stationed. There is nothing surrounding the area except a rundown town. The housing is old and cramped. There is no beach within a 4 hour drive. The closest "city" you'll have is Palm Springs, which is well known as a retirement community.

    The MCX is very nice on base, because that is the only  shopping in the area. Forget any mainstream stores -- the best you'll get around there is Walmart/Kmart (which is at least 30 miles away).

    There are not any employment opportunities in the surrounding area unless you want to drive over an hour to Palm Springs and even there is not so great. Most people that live in that area (civilians) commute hours to get work. The cost of living is extremely low (because there is nothing around), but then again so is your BAH.

    Another thing most military may not know (I know because I even lived in the Riverside/San Bernadino area for a few years) is that Joshua Tree (which is pretty much where 29 palms is) is known/has been known as "Meth City" for many years.

    Joshua Tree National Park - nice place for a one, maybe two day visit -- but not a nice place to live. Do yourself and your kids a favor and don't move there. It seriously is a rundown sh*t hole... (google earth Joshua Tree) and you can see what I mean.

     

    She pretty much summed it up well! I personally have never met a person who liked it there. I HATED it! Every time my husband was in the field for more than a few days I would fly home (East Coast). Everything sucks there, not many employment opportunities, no good food, shopping, houses, etc. There are new houses but I think they are for officers, not sure. We were offered a completely old run down house, I seriously don't know how it was considered liveable! I'm from the city so I know a completely different way of living. I don't know that just my opinion but that place is so depressing I couldn't get used to it. Oh and the summers are HOT!!!!! I would try to get Camp P if possible its really nice down there!

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  • imageKiller Cupcake:

    H was stationed in 29 for 4 years. 

    We loved it and would go back tomorrow if they wanted us to.

    I loved *LOVED* my house on base as did most of our friends who also lived on base. They do have off base housing that is called 801 that I wouldn't personally live in, but others I know have lived there and liked it. And they've been doing a lot around base to make it even better. They just opened a new MCX and from what I hear, it's pretty awesome. They were supposed to be building some awesome enlisted housing, but I don't know the status of it. It was supposed to start in 2009 or something and when we were there this past summer to visit, I didn't see it. But who knows. 

    Employment is scarce, which is why you will run into a ton of the momtographers or Scentsy salespeople. But, it's tough everywhere. I've been looking for a job since we got to San Diego in June and still nothing. If you're willing to drive to Palm Springs (about 45 minutes away), you will have more opportunities for work. There is also more available in Yucca Valley which is 30 minutes away.

    I heard the daycare and schools are pretty good. Of course, that's hearsay because we don't have kids, but I never heard any real complaints. 

    I'm typically over on TN on MN, so page me if you have any more questions! 

    This.  DH and I also found quite a few really good places to eat there.

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  • I think 29 Palms is what you make of it. We have been here for a little over 2 years. I didn't like living off base at all. I love my house on base. They just opened a new neighborhood and it's not officer housing. There are not many employment opportunities here...but I do have a lot of friends who have managed to find work. We just got a new MCX and it's really great. The commissary is nice too. I have a couple of friends who live in Joshua Tree and their houses are just fine. There are a mix of houses out here, that's for sure. You can have a really nice house next to a shack.You find that in Yucca Valley as well. I would definitely suggest living on base if you can. You will end up doing a lot of driving here, since Walmart is about 40 minutes from base and Palm Springs is just under an hour and a half. We just make sure we have several places we need to go when  we make a trip down to Palm Springs. You are about an hour and a half from Big Bear, 3 hours from Las Vegas, 3 hours from San Diego. So there are a lot of opportunities for weekend trips! I've made great friends here. The community is small and very supportive. Please feel free to message me if you have any questions! 
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  • I didn't read anyone else's responses, but I was stationed in 29 Palms for 3+ years.  It is a love/hate place.  I liked that you really have a sense of community, and that the units are generally very tight-knit.  In bigger cities people tend to do their own thing after work, but in 29 we all hung out together a lot. 

    One complaint is that medical facilities beyond routine care are all very far away.  The nearest off-base hospital is just over an hour away, and the San Diego Naval Hospital (for major stuff/specialists) is 200 miles.  So, if you have a need for medical care, prepare to drive A LOT. 

    I didn't have kids when I lived there, but the schools are not so hot.  Many families prefered to home-school, or go with a private school in Yucca Valley.  Compared to Lejeune, I liked 29 Palms much better.  But, it is an hour drive to Target (or any chain store/restaurant) so driving will be a big part of getting out.

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