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Colorado Counties

Colorado currently has sixty-four counties. In February 1866, the first new county, Las Animas, was created. Alamosa was created in 1913, and in 2001, Broomfield was recognized as a city-county, bringing a total of 64 counties.

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Colorado Counties: History and Information

Find a brief history of Colorado CountiesBrief history of Colorado Counties: Flags of Our Nation

The geography of the state of Colorado is diverse, encompassing both rugged mountainous terrain, vast plains, desert lands, desert canyons, and mesas . The state was named for the Colorado River, which Spanish explorers named the Rio Colorado for the ruddy (Spanish: colorado) silt the river carried from the mountains. On August 1, 1876, US President Ulysses S. Grant signed a proclamation admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state. Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State" because it became a state in the centennial year of the United States Declaration of Independence.

This is a list of the 64 counties of the US State of Colorado. The counties of Colorado are important components of government since the state has no secondary civil subdivisions such as townships.

 When the Colorado Territory first began creating counties in 1861, 17 counties (Summit, Larimer, Weld, Boulder, Gilpin, Clear Creek, Jefferson, Arapahoe, Douglas, Lake, Conejos, Costilla, Park, Fremont, El Paso, Pueblo, and Huerfano) and a Cheyenne Reserve were formed. In February 1866, the first new county, Las Animas, was created, followed by Saguache in December of that year. Bent County was created in February 1870, followed by Greenwood the following month. On February 2, 1874, Grand County and Elbert County were formed, and on February 10, La Plata, Hinsdale, and Rio Grande counties were created. Greenwood was absorbed into Bent on February 5. The last county to be created under the Colorado Territory name was San Juan County, created three months before statehood. By the time Colorado became a state on August 1, 1876, it had only 26 counties. In January 1877, Routt and Ouray were formed, which was followed by Gunnison and Custer counties in March. In February 1879, Chaffee County was created. From February 8?#8364;"10, 1879, Lake county was renamed Carbonate County. In 1881, Dolores County and Pitkin County were created. In 1883, Montrose, Mesa, Garfield, Eagle, Delta, and San Miguel counties were formed, leaving the total number of counties at 39. The number rose to 40 in 1885 with the creation of Archuleta County on April 14. Washington County and Logan County were both created in 1887. Between February 19 and April 16 in 1889, Morgan, Yuma, Cheyenne, Otero, Rio Blanco, Phillips, Sedgwick, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Prowers, Baca, and Montezuma counties were formed, bringing the total to 55. By 1900, Mineral County and Teller County had been added. On November 15, 1902, Arapahoe County split into Adams in the north and Denver was recognized as a consolidated city-county. By 1912, Jackson County, Moffat County, and Crowley County had been created. Alamosa was created in 1913, and in 2001, Broomfield was recognized as a city-county, bringing a total of 64 counties

As an administrative branch of government, counties do not have a court system of their own. They possess no inherent legislative powers and may exercise only those delegated to them by the General Assembly

The basic organizational structure of all Colorado counties is the same, except for the home rule counties and the City and County of Denver, Pitkin County and Weld County. Denver is organized under a charter pursuant to article XX of the Colorado Constitution. Pitkin and Weld counties are organized pursuant to article XIV, section 16, of the Colorado Constitution and C.R.S. 30-11-501, et seq., which allow voters of a county to adopt a home rule charter establishing the organization and structure of county government, and pursuant to C.R.S 30-35-101, et seq., which further implement constitutional provisions regarding home rule.

History of Colorado Counties
County 2000
County Seat Created
Adams County 363,857 1,192 Brighton 1901
Alamosa County 14,966 723 Alamosa 1913
Arapahoe County 487,967 803 Littleton 1861
Archuleta County 9,898 1,349 Pagosa Springs 1885
Baca County 4,517 2,556 Springfield 1889
Bent County 5,998 1,514 Las Animas 1870
Boulder County 291,288 742 Boulder 1861
Broomfield City and County 38,282 34 Broomfield 2001
Chaffee County 16,242 1,014 Salida 1861
Cheyenne County 2,231 1,782 Cheyenne Wells 1889
Clear Creek County 9,322 396 Georgetown 1861
Conejos County 8,400 1,287 Conejos 1861
Costilla County 3,663 1,227 San Luis 1861
Crowley County 5,518 789 Ordway 1911
Custer County 3,503 739 Westcliffe 1877
Delta County 27,834 1,142 Delta 1883
Denver City and County 554,636 153 Denver 1901
Dolores County 1,844 1,067 Dove Creek 1881
Douglas County 175,766 840 Castle Rock 1861
Eagle County 41,659 1,688 Eagle 1883
El Paso County 516,929 2,127 Colorado Springs 1861
Elbert County 19,872 1,851 Kiowa 1874
Fremont County 46,145 1,533 Canon City 1861
Garfield County 43,791 2,948 Glenwood Springs 1883
Gilpin County 4,757 150 Central City 1861
Grand County 12,442 1,850 Hot Sulphur Springs 1874
Gunnison County 13,956 3,239 Gunnison 1877
Hinsdale County 790 1,118 Lake City 1874
Huerfano County 7,862 1,591 Walsenburg 1861
Jackson County 1,577 1,613 Walden 1909
Jefferson County 527,056 772 Golden 1861
Kiowa County 1,622 1,771 Eads 1889
Kit Carson County 8,011 2,161 Burlington 1889
La Plata County 43,941 1,692 Durango 1874
Lake County 7,812 377 Leadville 1861
Larimer County 251,494 2,601 Fort Collins 1861
Las Animas County 15,207 4,773 Trinidad 1866
Lincoln County 6,087 2,586 Hugo 1889
Logan County 20,504 1,839 Sterling 1887
Mesa County 116,255 3,328 Grand Junction 1883
Mineral County 831 876 Creede 1893
Moffat County 13,184 4,742 Craig 1911
Montezuma County 23,830 2,037 Cortez 1889
Montrose County 33,432 2,241 Montrose 1883
Morgan County 27,171 1,286 Fort Morgan 1889
Otero County 20,311 1,263 La Junta 1889
Ouray County 3,742 542 Ouray 1877
Park County 14,523 2,201 Fairplay 1861
Phillips County 4,480 688 Holyoke 1889
Pitkin County 14,872 970 Aspen 1881
Prowers County 14,483 1,640 Lamar 1889
Pueblo County 141,472 2,389 Pueblo 1866
Rio Blanco County 5,986 3,221 Meeker 1889
Rio Grande County 12,413 913 Del Norte 1874
Routt County 19,690 2,362 Steamboat Springs 1877
Saguache County 5,917 3,169 Saguache 1866
San Juan County 558 388 Silverton 1876
San Miguel County 6,594 1,286 Telluride 1861
Sedgwick County 2,747 548 Julesburg 1889
Summit County 23,548 608 Breckenridge 1861
Teller County 20,555 557 Cripple Creek 1899
Washington County 4,926 2,521 Akron 1887
Weld County 180,936 3,993 Greeley 1861
Yuma County 9,841 2,366 Wray 1889

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