Colorado Counties
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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.

La Plata County, Colorado

La Plata County Education, Geography, and HistoryLa Plata County, Colorado Courthouse

La Plata County is one of the 64 counties in the state of Colorado. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 51,334. The county seat is Durango. La Plata County was created on February 10, 1874 from Lake County and Conejos County.  The county is named for the La Plata River and the La Plata Mountains. "La Plata" is the Spanish language word for "silver".

La Plata County comprises the Durango, CO Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The county is home to Durango Rock Shelters Archeology Site, the type site for the Basketmaker II period of Anasazi culture.

Etymology - Origin of La Plata County Name

La Plata County is named from the Spanish word for silver. Deposits of that mineral were found in the area during the 18th century.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

La Plata County History

La Plata County was created in 1874 from parts of Lake and Conejos Counties. In 1876 the northern part was split off to form San Juan County. In 1889 western La Plata County was split off to form Montezuma County.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,700 square miles (4,403 km2), of which, 1,692 square miles (4,383 km2) of it is land and 8 square miles (20 km2) of it is water. The total area is 0.46% water.

La Plata county is located in southwest Colorado. The La Plata Mountains have fairly low summits. Above the timberline, there is a wide variety of ridge traverses, scrambles, and pure exposure.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Northeast: San Juan County; Hinsdale County
  • East: Archuleta County
  • Southwest: San Juan County, N.M.
  • West: Montezuma County
  • Northwest: Dolores County


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