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.

San Juan County, Colorado

San Juan County Education, Geography, and HistorySan Juan County, Colorado Courthouse

San Juan County is one of the 64 counties of the state of Colorado. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 699, making it the least populous county in Colorado. The county seat and the only incorporated municipality in the county is Silverton. San Juan County was created on January 31, 1876 from Lake County. The county name is the Spanish language name for "Saint John", the name Spanish explorers gave to a river and the mountain range in the area.

With a mean elevation of 11,240 feet (3426 meters), San Juan County is the highest county in the United States.

Etymology - Origin of San Juan County Name

San Juan County is named for the San Juan River and San Juan Mountains.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

San Juan County History

San Juan County was created in 1876 from parts of La Plata and Lake counties. In 1877 most of San Juan was split off to form Ouray County with a small piece going to the new Gunnison County.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 388 square miles (1,006 km2), of which, 387 square miles (1,003 km2) of it is land and 1 square miles (2 km2) of it (0.22%) is water. The County is located in the heart of the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, with numerous peaks above 14,000 feet in height.

San Juan county is located in southwest Colorado. The Alpine Loop National Back Country Byway, Colorado Trail, Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, and San Juan Skyway National Scenic Byway are located in San Juan county.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Ouray County
  • East: Hinsdale County
  • Southwest: La Plata County; Montezuma County
  • West: Dolores County
  • Northwest: San Miguel County


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