About Ventura County:Ventura County is a county in the southern part of the U.S. state of California. It is located on California's Pacific coast. It is often referred to as the Gold Coast,and has a reputation of being one of the safest populated places and one of the most affluent places in the country. It is ranked as one of the 100 highest-income counties in the country and as the sixth wealthiest county in California by per capita income. This is partly because it is part of the Tech Coast Area, and has a large presence in technology corporations like telecommunications, healthcare, development, and especially biotech corporations, most of which are located in the Conejo Valley. As of December 2008, the median home price was $355,000.As of the 2010 census, the county had a population of 823,318. The county seat is the city of Ventura (formally known as San Buenaventura). Ventura County's largest city is Oxnard, with a population of about 200,000. According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 2,208.20 square miles (5,719.2 km2), of which 1,845.30 square miles (4,779.3 km2) (or 83.57%) is land and 362.90 square miles (939.9 km2) (or 16.43%) is water. Anacapa Island of Channel Islands National Park and San Nicolas Island are located in the county. Begg Rock, 8 miles (13 km) north west of the western tip of San Nicolas Island, has claimed one boat.
Most of the population of Ventura County lives in the southern (mainland) portion of the county. The major population centers are the Oxnard Plain and the Simi and Conejo Valleys. In local media, the county is usually split between the eastern portion, generally associated with the San Fernando Valley, and the western portion, often referred to as "Oxnard-Ventura." North of Highway 126 the county is mountainous and mostly uninhabited, and contains some of the most unspoiled, rugged and inaccessible wilderness remaining in southern California. Most of this land is in the Los Padres National Forest, and includes the Chumash Wilderness in the northernmost portion, adjacent to Kern County, as well as the large Sespe Wilderness and portions of both the Dick Smith Wilderness and Matilija Wilderness (both of these protected areas straddle the line with Santa Barbara County). All of the wilderness areas are within the jurisdiction of Los Padres National Forest.
The highest peaks in the county include Mount Pinos (8831', 2697 m), Frazier Mountain (8017', 2444 m), and Reyes Peak (7525', 2294 m), all except Reyes Peak in the San Emigdio Mountains (Pinos and Frazier Mountain are sometimes assigned to the Tehachapis). The uplands are well-timbered with coniferous forests, and receive plentiful snow in the winter. Mount Pinos is sacred to the Chumash Indians. It is known to them as Iwihinmu, and was considered to be the center of the universe; being the highest peak in the vicinity, it has a spectacular view, unimpeded in three directions. The Santa Clara River is the principal waterway. Lake Casitas, an artificial reservoir, is the largest body of water.
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