Johannesburg is nestled against the side of the Rand Mountains in the Mojave Desert of southern California. Mining in the surrounding mountains brought settlers to the area, including also the nearby towns of Randsburg and Red Mountain. Unlike many mining towns, the streets of Johannesburg are laid out in a grid. U.S. Highway 395 passes through at the bottom of the hill, with the rest of the streets reaching up from there.
Gold was discovered near Johannesburg in 1895, lying on the ground. The Yellow Aster Mine was staked and by 1933, $25,000,000 in gold had been removed. The Randsburg-railway was built in 1897 to reach the mines, which had its terminus at Johannesburg and never actually reached Randsburg.
Johannesburg and Randsburg attract tourists to the area to see the environment of their early mining days which is preserved still today.
The population of Johannesburg is 176, as of the year 2000. The elevation is 3520 feet above sea level. Johannesburg is in Kern County, but the San Bernardino county line runs right down the east side of the town.
Coeur D'Alene Avenue
Mountain Wells Avenue
Saint Elmo Street