Barstow is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. The population was 22,639 at the 2010 census. Barstow is located 55 miles (89 km) north of San Bernardino. Barstow is a major transportation center for the Inland Empire. Several major highways including Interstate 15, Interstate 40, California State Route 58, and U.S. Route 66 converge in the city. It is the site of a large rail classification yard, belonging to the BNSF Railway. The Union Pacific Railroad also runs through town using trackage rights on BNSF's main line to Daggett 10 miles (16 km) east, from where it heads to Salt Lake City and the BNSF heads to Chicago. Barstow is about 62 miles (100 km) from Baker, California and 111 miles (179 km) from Primm, Nevada. Barstow is almost exactly midway between Los Angeles, California (130 miles (210 km) southwest) and Las Vegas, Nevada (125 miles (201 km) northeast).
The settlement of Barstow began in the late 1840s in the Mormon Corridor. Every fall and winter, as the weather cooled, the rain produced new grass growth and replenished the water sources in the Mojave Desert. People, goods and animal herds would move from New Mexico and Utah to Los Angeles, along the Old Spanish Trail from Santa Fe, or from Salt Lake City along the Salt Lake Road. Trains of freight wagons traveled back to Salt Lake City and other points in the interior. These travelers followed the course of the Mojave River past the site of Barstow. In 1859, the Mojave Road followed a similar route to Fort Mojave and eastward on the Beale Wagon Road across northern New Mexico Territory to Santa Fe.