Palmdale is a city in northern Los Angeles County in the U.S. state of California. The city lies in the Antelope Valley region of Southern California. The San Gabriel Mountains separate Palmdale from the Los Angeles Basin to the south.
On August 24, 1962, Palmdale became the first community in the Antelope Valley to incorporate. Forty-seven years later, in November 2009, voters approved making it a charter city. Palmdale's population was 152,750 at the 2010 census, up from 116,670 at the 2000 census. Palmdale is the 35th most populous city in California. Together with its immediate northern neighbor, the city of Lancaster, the Palmdale/Lancaster urban area had an estimated population of 513,547 as of 2013.
Palmdale was first inhabited by Native Americans. Populated by different cultures for an estimated 11,000 years, the Antelope Valley was a trade route for Native Americans traveling from Arizona and New Mexico to California's coast.
Spanish soldier Captain Pedro Fages explored the Antelope Valley in 1772. The opening of California to overland travel through the forbearing desert was due to Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and Father Francisco Garces, a Spanish padre.