Hemet is a city in the San Jacinto Valley in Riverside County, California. It covers a total area of 27.8 square miles (72 km2), about half of the valley, which it shares with the neighboring city of San Jacinto. The population was 78,657 at the 2010 census.
The founding of Hemet, initially called South San Jacinto, predates the formation of Riverside County, when the land was still part of San Diego County. The formation of Lake Hemet helped the city to grow and stimulated agriculture in the area. The city is known for being the home of The Ramona Pageant, California's official outdoor play. Started in 1923, the play is one of the longest running outdoor plays in the United States. Hemet has been named a Tree City USA for 20 years by the Arbor Day Foundation for its dedication to the local forest. The city is home to the Hemet Valley Medical Center, a 320-bed general hospital.
Hemet received its name from the company that founded the town, The Lake Hemet Land Company. The company drew its name from Hemet Valley, now called Garner Valley, located in the San Jacinto Mountains.