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Established in the 1870s, Caliente was originally named Allens Camp for a cattle rancher and settler named Gabriel Allen. Later, the name Agua Caliente, coming from hot springs in the area, was proposed and may have been used. This name conflicted with the community of the same name in Sonoma County. With the railroad's arrival in 1875, the shortened name Caliente was adopted. Caliente prospered during Southern Pacific Railroad's construction of Tehachapi Pass line.

For a time, the Telegraph StaThe sound of diesel locomotives and railroad horns are present day and night. The community is along the track of the Union Pacific Railroad, Mojave Subdivision. The track loops around the post office as it winds through the local hills. Trains climb toward the Tehachapi summit eastbound or descend toward Bakersfield if westbound. California State Route 58 is about two driving miles south of Caliente.

Caliente is an unincorporated community in Kern County, California. It is located 22 miles east-southeast of Bakersfield, at an elevation of 1,312 feet. Caliente has a population of 1,019. Telephone numbers in Caliente follow the format 867-xxxx and the ZIP Code is 93518. It is located south of a small community named Walker Basin in the same telephone exchange area.

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