Park County, Colorado

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Park County, Colorado
Park County Courthouse and Jail.JPG
Park County Courthouse and Jail
Map of Colorado highlighting Park County
Location in the state of Colorado
Map of the United States highlighting Colorado
Colorado's location in the U.S.
Founded November 1, 1861
Seat Fairplay
Largest town Hartsel
 • Total 2,210.69 sq mi (5,726 km2)
 • Land 2,200.69 sq mi (5,700 km2)
 • Water 10.00 sq mi (26 km2), 0.14%
 • (2010) 16,206
 • Density 7/sq mi (3/km²)
Congressional districts 2nd, 5th
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6

Park County is the 17th most extensive of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States. The county was named after the large geographic region known as South Park, which was named by early fur traders and trappers in the area. A majority of the county lies within the boundaries of the South Park National Heritage Area. The geographic center of the State of Colorado is located in Park County. The county population was 16,206 at U.S. Census 2010.[1] The county seat is Fairplay. Despite its location in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Park County is part of the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Denver-Aurora-Boulder Combined Statistical Area.

Park County has been and is the location of several important mines, including the defunct Orphan Boy, which was discovered near Alma in 1861 and produced gold, silver, lead, and zinc. The historic Sweet Home Mine, also near Alma, is a former silver mine now known for its rhodochrosite mineral specimens.


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 2,210.69 square miles (5,725.7 km2), of which 2,200.69 square miles (5,699.8 km2) (or 99.55%) is land and 10.00 square miles (25.9 km2) (or 0.45%) is water.[2]

The headwaters of the South Platte River are in Park County.

Adjacent counties[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 447
1880 3,970 788.1%
1890 3,548 −10.6%
1900 2,998 −15.5%
1910 2,492 −16.9%
1920 1,977 −20.7%
1930 2,052 3.8%
1940 3,272 59.5%
1950 1,870 −42.8%
1960 1,822 −2.6%
1970 2,185 19.9%
1980 5,333 144.1%
1990 7,174 34.5%
2000 14,523 102.4%
2010 16,206 11.6%
Est. 2012 16,029 −1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[3]
2012 Estimate[4]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 14,523 people, 5,894 households, and 4,220 families residing in the county. The population density was 7 people per square mile (3/km²). There were 10,697 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.07% White, 0.50% Black or African American, 0.92% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.23% from other races, and 1.84% from two or more races. 4.32% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 5,894 households out of which 30.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.10% were married couples living together, 4.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.40% were non-families. 21.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.86.

In the county the population was spread out with 23.50% under the age of 18, 5.10% from 18 to 24, 33.40% from 25 to 44, 30.60% from 45 to 64, and 7.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 107.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $51,899, and the median income for a family was $57,025. Males had a median income of $41,480 versus $27,807 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,019. About 3.40% of families and 5.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.60% of those under age 18 and 5.70% of those age 65 or over.

Towns and Communities[edit]

State parks[edit]

National forests and wildernesses[edit]


Bicycle routes[edit]

Scenic byway[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

In the animated television series South Park, the fictional town of the same name is situated in Park County, Colorado.[6] The police in South Park were a one-man South Park Police force at first,[7] but it has since been phased out in favor of the Park County police.[8]

In 1955, part of the film The Looters, co-starring Rory Calhoun, subsequently of the CBS western television series, The Texan, and the actress Julie Adams, was filmed in Park County. The Looters is the story of a plane crash in the Rocky Mountains. The filming was undertaken about Tarryall Creek. The advertising poster reads: "Five desperate men ... and a girl who didn't care ... trapped on a mountain of gale-lashed rock!"[9]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Annual County Population Estimates and Estimated Components of Change: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006 (CO-EST2006-alldata)" (CSV). 2006 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2007-03-22. Retrieved 2007-05-10. 
  2. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  3. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Towelie". South Park. Season 5. Episode 8. August 8, 2001. Comedy Central.
  7. ^ "Chickenlover". 
  8. ^ "Li'l Crime Stoppers". Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  9. ^ Laura King Van Dusen, "Movie Making", Historic Tales from Park County: Parked in the Past (Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press, 2013), ISBN 978-1-62619-161-7, pp. 182-183.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°07′N 105°43′W / 39.12°N 105.71°W / 39.12; -105.71