Baker is an unincorporated rural community located in San Bernardino County, California, USA. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 914. It is located in the Mojave Desert at the junction of Interstate 15 and CA-127 (Death Valley Road).
Baker's economy is based primarily on tourism. The town is frequently used as a rest stop by drivers on Interstate Highway 15 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Baker is approximately 90 miles southwest of Las Vegas. It is the last town for those traveling on CA-127 north to Death Valley National Park or south to the Mojave National Preserve. Baker can also be reached by Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach. For many years the National Park Service operated a desert information center in Baker. The center was closed in March 2006, and the staff moved to the refurbished railroad depot in Kelso.
The town's most prominent feature is a 134-foot (41m) thermometer, known as the "World's tallest thermometer", visible for miles. Its height commemorates the hottest temperature ever recorded in the United States, 134°F (56.6°C), measured in nearby Death Valley in 1913. Baker reached a temperature of 125°F (51.7°C) in the summer of 2007. It is also the home of the original Bun Boy restaurant - since converted into a Bob's Big Boy- Alien Fresh Jerky, and the "World Famous" Mad Greek Cafe, signs for which festoon the interstate for miles. Across from the Mad Greek Cafe is a store which has sold the most winning tickets in California Lottery history. In recent years Baker has experienced hard times, with casinos just across the Nevada border at Primm and Jean taking much of its motel trade.
Just a few miles to the west up I-15 lies the exit for Zzyzx Road. This dirt road leads to Soda Springs, the site of the health resort established by Curtis Springer in the late 1940s and now the Desert Study Center maintained by California State University.
Baker was named after R. C. Baker, president of the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad, in 1908.