Phelan is an unincorporated community in San Bernardino County, California, in the Victor Valley of the Mojave Desert, north of the San Gabriel Mountains. The population was 14,304 at the 2010 census.
Situated south of State Route 18 and northeast of State Route 138. the town is 30 miles (48 km) east of Palmdale and 18 miles (29 km) west of Victorville. The area around it is nearly flat desert country dotted with joshua trees and heavy brush. The Colorado River Aqueduct runs through the northern half of the town, eleven miles (18 km) from State Route 18 and ten miles (16 km) from Phelan Road. Its elevation is 3,993 feet (1,217 m) above sea level. The town center is at the corner of Phelan and Sheep Creek roads. Most businesses are situated in strip malls dotted along the sides of Phelan Road.
In 2001, according to a feature in the Los Angeles Times, the town was a "wind-swept, tiny unincorporated town nestled in the shadow of a mountain ski resort, just above the vast expanse that is the Mojave Desert. . . . There are no shopping malls here, and the closest movie theater is in Victorville, about 15 miles away." Another Times feature said in 1990: