About This Place
Los Banos is a city in Merced County, California, near the junction of State Route 152 and Interstate 5. Los Banos is located 26 miles (42 km) southwest of Merced, at an elevation of 118 feet (36 m). The population was 35,972 at the 2010 census, up from 25,869 at the 2000 census. The name los banos has its origins with Spanish and was named after a natural water spring that feeds natural wetlands in the western San Joaquín Valley. The original Spanish spelling was Los Baños, meaning "the baths" in reference to the adjacent water source. Its official spelling is without the eñe. Official signs do not insert the tilde above the n. It can be pronounced as if the eñe were present as in "los banyos," or as it is spelled - an anglicized "loss bannos", though the latter is often preferred[by whom?]. The city is served by Los Banos Municipal Airport for air transport access.
Los Banos is located on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley in an area north of the Westlands Water District at 37°03′30″N 120°51′00″W / 37.05833°N 120.85°W / 37.05833; -120.85. To the west is the San Luis Reservoir and Interstate 5, which runs north-to-south between the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Los Banos is located next to coastal range mountains and hills.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.1 square miles (26.2 km²), of which, 10.0 square miles (25.8 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (1.22%) is water. It sits approximately fifty feet above sea level in elevation.