Gunnison County, Colorado
Gunnison County is the fifth-most extensive of the 64 counties in the U. S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,324; the county seat is Gunnison. The county was named for John W. Gunnison, a United States Army officer and captain in the Army Topographical Engineers, who surveyed for the transcontinental railroad in 1853. Archeological studies have dated the Ute people's appearance in the Uncompahgre region of Colorado as early as 1150 A. D. Possibilities exist that they are descendants of an earlier people living in the area as far back as 1500 B. C, they were a nomadic race of dark skin moving about the Western Slope of Colorado in the various parts of the year. In the early to mid-1600s the Spaniards of New Mexico introduced the horse which changed their patterns of hunting taking them across the divide to the eastern slopes and into conflict with the Plains Indians which soon became their bitter enemies; the first recorded expedition of Western Colorado wilderness was led by Don Juan Rivera in 1765.
In 1776, two Spanish priests, Fathers Escalante and Dominguez, led a party into the area around Montrose and Paonia. The 1830s brought the mountainmen into the area to trap beaver. An old cabin located on Cochetopa Creek discovered by Sidney Jocknick was most built between 1830 and 1840 and a rude fort was discovered on a tributary of Tomichi Creek bore signs of a conflict. In 1853, Capt. John W. Gunnison surveyed the area for the transcontinental railroad route. In 1858 gold was discovered near Denver bringing the white man across the divide into the western slope in search of the precious metal. In 1859 a party settled on Texas Gulch in Union Park. Placer gold was found at Washington Gulch in 1861 as part of the Colorado Gold Rush. In 1861 the Territory of Colorado was organized; the territorial governor was made ex officio Superintentant of Indian Affairs. A conference on October 1, 1863 established a boundary line for a reservation; this treaty averted a possible dangerous situation by giving the Utes some cattle and sheep, a blacksmith and 20,000 dollars a year in goods and provisions.
The government failed to fulfill any these obligations straining the relations further. The treaty of 1868 recognized Chief Ouray as the sole spokesman for seven tribes of the Ute People, he held this power over his people through understanding. The Los Pinos Agency was developed through the Treaties of 1868 and 1873; the first agent was 2nd Lieutenant Calvin T. Speer. In 1871 a cow camp was started near the present site of Gunnison with James P. Kelley in charge. In this year, Jabez Nelson Trask, a Harvard grad, relieved Speer as agent upon orders from Governor Edward M. McCook. In 1872 Trask was replaced by Charles Adams. In 1875 orders from Washington to move the agency to the Uncomphgre Valley were completed in November. In 1876 Colorado entered the Gunnison County was formed. 1879 was a year of expansion due to the miners and adventurers seeking wealth. The cattle industry was established by 1880; the short growing season was not conducive to farming and the ranchers had to level fields and construct irrigation ditches to water the fields for hay.
According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,260 square miles, of which 3,239 square miles is land and 21 square miles is water, it is the fifth-largest county by area in Colorado. The county seat is Gunnison, Colorado, located in a wide valley at the confluence of Tomichi Creek and Gunnison River; the county rests in the Gunnison Basin formed by the Continental Divide to the east, Collegiate Peaks Wilderness rises in the northeast, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness and the White River National Forest to the north, the West Elk Wilderness rises in the west of the county with Delta and Montrose Counties on its western slopes. The Uncompahgre Wilderness rises in the southwest of the county and the Powderhorn Wilderness east of there and Saquache County being south of Gunnison county eastward over to Marshall Pass southeast of the county. Taylor Park Reservoir is a man-made lake created by the Taylor Dam constructed in 1934 with appropriations of 2,725,000 dollars; as of the census of 2000, there were 13,956 people, 5,649 households, 2,965 families residing in the county.
The population density was 4 people per square mile. There were 9,135 housing units at an average density of 3 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 95.08% White, 0.49% Black or African American, 0.70% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.44% from other races, 1.72% from two or more races. 5.02% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 5,649 households out of which 24.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.20% were married couples living together, 5.40% had a female householder with no husband present, 47.50% were non-families. 27.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.60% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.84. In the county, the population was spread out with 17.90% under the age of 18, 21.10% from 18 to 24, 32.90% from 25 to 44, 21.20% from 45 to 64, 6.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years.
For every 100 females there were 118.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 120.90 males. The median income for a household in the county was $36,916, the median income for a family was $51,950. Males had a median income of $30,885 versus $25,000 for females; the per capita income for the county was $21,407. About 6.00% of families and 15.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.40% of those under age 18 and 7.20% of those age 65 or over. Total population for Gunnison Count
Colorado is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U. S. state. The estimated population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 13.25% since the 2010 United States Census. The state was named for the Colorado River, which early Spanish explorers named the Río Colorado for the ruddy silt the river carried from the mountains; the Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28, 1861, on August 1, 1876, U. S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed Proclamation 230 admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state. Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State" because it became a state one century after the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence. Colorado is bordered by Wyoming to the north, Nebraska to the northeast, Kansas to the east, Oklahoma to the southeast, New Mexico to the south, Utah to the west, touches Arizona to the southwest at the Four Corners.
Colorado is noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, high plains, canyons, plateaus and desert lands. Colorado is part of the western and southwestern United States, is one of the Mountain States. Denver is most populous city of Colorado. Residents of the state are known as Coloradans, although the antiquated term "Coloradoan" is used. Colorado is notable for its diverse geography, which includes alpine mountains, high plains, deserts with huge sand dunes, deep canyons. In 1861, the United States Congress defined the boundaries of the new Territory of Colorado by lines of latitude and longitude, stretching from 37°N to 41°N latitude, from 102°02'48"W to 109°02'48"W longitude. After 158 years of government surveys, the borders of Colorado are now defined by 697 boundary markers and 697 straight boundary lines. Colorado and Utah are the only states that have their borders defined by straight boundary lines with no natural features; the southwest corner of Colorado is the Four Corners Monument at 36°59'56"N, 109°2'43"W.
This is the only place in the United States where four states meet: Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The summit of Mount Elbert at 14,440 feet elevation in Lake County is the highest point in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains of North America. Colorado is the only U. S. state that lies above 1,000 meters elevation. The point where the Arikaree River flows out of Yuma County and into Cheyenne County, Kansas, is the lowest point in Colorado at 3,317 feet elevation; this point, which holds the distinction of being the highest low elevation point of any state, is higher than the high elevation points of 18 states and the District of Columbia. A little less than half of Colorado is flat and rolling land. East of the Rocky Mountains are the Colorado Eastern Plains of the High Plains, the section of the Great Plains within Nebraska at elevations ranging from 3,350 to 7,500 feet; the Colorado plains are prairies but include deciduous forests and canyons. Precipitation averages 15 to 25 inches annually. Eastern Colorado is presently farmland and rangeland, along with small farming villages and towns.
Corn, hay and oats are all typical crops. Most villages and towns in this region boast both a grain elevator. Irrigation water is available from subterranean sources. Surface water sources include the South Platte, the Arkansas River, a few other streams. Subterranean water is accessed through artesian wells. Heavy use of wells for irrigation caused underground water reserves to decline. Eastern Colorado hosts considerable livestock, such as hog farms. 70% of Colorado's population resides along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in the Front Range Urban Corridor between Cheyenne and Pueblo, Colorado. This region is protected from prevailing storms that blow in from the Pacific Ocean region by the high Rockies in the middle of Colorado; the "Front Range" includes Denver, Fort Collins, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and other townships and municipalities in between. On the other side of the Rockies, the significant population centers in Western Colorado are the cities of Grand Junction and Montrose.
The Continental Divide of the Americas extends along the crest of the Rocky Mountains. The area of Colorado to the west of the Continental Divide is called the Western Slope of Colorado. West of the Continental Divide, water flows to the southwest via the Colorado River and the Green River into the Gulf of California. Within the interior of the Rocky Mountains are several large parks which are high broad basins. In the north, on the east side of the Continental Divide is the North Park of Colorado; the North Park is drained by the North Platte River, which flows north into Nebraska. Just to the south of North Park, but on the western side of the Continental Divide, is the Middle Park of Colorado, drained by the Colorado River; the South Park of Colorado is the region of the headwaters of the South Platte River. In southmost Colorado is the large San Luis Valley, where the headwaters of the Rio Grande are located; the valley sits between the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and San Juan Mountains, consists of large desert lands that run into the mountains.
The Rio Grande drains due south into New Mexico and Texas. Across the Sangre de Cristo Range to the east of the S
Wetterhorn Peak is a fourteen thousand foot mountain peak in the U. S. state of Colorado. It is located in the Uncompahgre Wilderness of the northern San Juan Mountains, in northwestern Hinsdale County and southeastern Ouray County, 9 miles east of the town of Ouray, it lies 2.75 mi west of Uncompahgre Peak. Wetterhorn Peak, its neighbor Matterhorn Peak, 13,590 ft, are named after the Wetterhorn and the Matterhorn, two famous peaks in the Swiss Alps. Both Colorado peaks are pointed rock spires, whose shapes contrast with the broad bulk of the higher Uncompahgre Peak; the first recorded ascent of the peak was made in 1906 by George Barnard, C. Smedley, W. P. Smedley, D. Utter, but a previous ascent by miners working in the area in the 19th century is likely; the standard, only common, route on Wetterhorn Peak is the southeast ridge, accessed via the Matterhorn Creek drainage on the south side of the mountain. The trailhead is on the Henson Creek Road, accessible from Lake City; the route involves 3,535 ft of ascent from the trailhead and some exposed scrambling on the ridge itself.
The nearby east face is considered a high-quality advanced snow climb or extreme ski descent. List of mountain peaks of Colorado List of Colorado fourteeners Wetterhorn Peak on 14ers.com Wetterhorn Peak on Distantpeak.com
San Miguel County, Colorado
San Miguel County is one of the 64 counties of the U. S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,359; the county seat is Telluride. The county is named for the San Miguel River. San Miguel County was given the Spanish language name for "Saint Michael" due to the nearby San Miguel River. On 27 February 1883, Ouray County was split to form San Miguel County; the San Miguel County portion was to retain the name Ouray County with the new portion called Uncompahgre County. Mining operators in the San Juan mountain area of Colorado formed the San Juan District Mining Association in 1903, as a direct result of a Western Federation of Miners proposal to the Telluride Mining Association for the eight-hour day, approved in a referendum by 72 percent of Colorado voters; the new association consolidated the power of thirty-six mining properties in San Miguel and San Juan counties. The SJDMA refused to consider any reduction in hours or increase in wages, helping to provoke a bitter strike.
In 1875, the Smuggler gold vein was discovered near Telluride. The Smuggler-Union and Liberty Bell mines combined produced over a hundred tons of gold by 1920, third in the state of Colorado. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,289 square miles, of which 1,287 square miles is land and 2.0 square miles is water. Montrose County - north Ouray County - east San Juan County - southeast Dolores County - south San Juan County, Utah - west Lizard Head Wilderness Mount Sneffels Wilderness Old Spanish National Historic Trail Telluride National Historic District Uncompahgre National Forest Great Parks Bicycle Route San Juan Skyway National Scenic Byway Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway Western Express Bicycle Route As of the census of 2000, there were 6,594 people, 3,015 households, 1,423 families residing in the county; the population density was 5 people per square mile. There were 5,197 housing units at an average density of 4 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 93.57% White, 0.29% Black or African American, 0.85% Native American, 0.74% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 3.37% from other races, 1.11% from two or more races.
8.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 3,015 households out of which 22.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.30% were married couples living together, 5.40% had a female householder with no husband present, 52.80% were non-families. 32.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.50% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.77. In the county, the population was spread out with 17.60% under the age of 18, 9.90% from 18 to 24, 43.30% from 25 to 44, 25.80% from 45 to 64, 3.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 120.80 males. For every 100 females age eighteen 18 and over, there were 126.40 males. The median income for a household in the county was $48,514, the median income for a family was $60,417. Males had a median income of $35,922 versus $30,278 for females; the per capita income for the county was $35,329.
About 6.60% of families and 10.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.10% of those under age 18 and 8.00% of those age 65 or over. Mountain Village Norwood Ophir Placerville Sawpit Telluride Tomboy Outline of Colorado Index of Colorado-related articles National Register of Historic Places listings in San Miguel County, Colorado San Miguel County Government website Colorado County Evolution by Don Stanwyck Colorado Historical Society
Ouray County, Colorado
Ouray County is one of the 64 counties of the U. S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,436; the county seat is Ouray. Because of its rugged mountain topography, Ouray County is known as the Switzerland of America. Ouray County was formed out of San Juan County on 18 January 1877, the first county designated by the newly formed Colorado State Legislature, it was named for a distinguished Ute Indian chief. Ouray was designated county seat on 8 March 1877. On 19 February 1881, Dolores County was formed out of Ouray County. On 27 February 1883, Ouray County was split into San Miguel County and what is Ouray County; the portion that became San Miguel County retained the name Ouray County when the Colorado General Assembly renamed Ouray County as Uncompaghre County. Four days on 2 March 1883, the General Assembly changed its mind and changed the name of Uncompaghre County back to Ouray County; the Ouray County Courthouse was constructed in Ouray in 1888 and is located on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mining operators in the San Juan mountain area of Colorado formed the San Juan District Mining Association in 1903, as a direct result of a Western Federation of Miners proposal to the Telluride Mining Association for the eight-hour day, approved in a referendum by 72 percent of Colorado voters. The new association consolidated the power of thirty-six mining properties in San Miguel and San Juan counties; the SJDMA refused to consider any reduction in hours or increase in wages, helping to provoke a bitter strike. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 542 square miles, of which 542 square miles is land and 0.6 square miles is water. The highest mountain in Ouray County is Mount Sneffels at 14,150 feet above sea level. Many high peaks of more than 13,300 feet exist. Other prominent features in Ouray County include Pleasant Valley. Montrose County - north Gunnison County - northeast Hinsdale County - southeast San Juan County - south San Miguel County - southwest As of the census of 2000, there were 3,742 people, 1,576 households, 1,123 families residing in the county.
The population density was 7 people per square mile. There were 2,146 housing units at an average density of 4 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 96.34% White, 0.08% Black or African American, 0.94% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, 1.71% from two or more races. 4.06% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 1,576 households out of which 28.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.40% were married couples living together, 6.50% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.70% were non-families. 23.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.50% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.77. In the county, the population was spread out with 22.50% under the age of 18, 4.10% from 18 to 24, 27.20% from 25 to 44, 34.10% from 45 to 64, 12.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years.
For every 100 females there were 102.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.80 males. The median income for a household in the county was $42,019, the median income for a family was $49,776. Males had a median income of $35,141 versus $26,176 for females; the per capita income for the county was $24,335. About 6.00% of families and 7.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.00% of those under age 18 and 2.90% of those age 65 or over. Ouray County, named Switzerland of America, is home to many parks and hiking trails; the Ridgway State Park is located due north of Ridgway on the Ridgway Reservoir and includes a marina and camping facilities as well as an extensive trail system. Within and surrounding the county are the Uncompahgre National Forest, Mount Sneffels Wilderness, the Uncompahgre Wilderness. Leading through the county is the Bear Creek National Recreation Trail. Well known for its view of the San Juan Mountains and Cimarron Range, scenic highways such as the Alpine Loop National Scenic Back Country Byway and San Juan Skyway National Scenic Byway exist.
The Great Parks Bicycle Route and Western Express Bicycle Route go through Ouray County. The Elks Lodge of Ouray County is only one of a few surviving American locations for a bowling alley facility - a more famous one being Milwaukee, Wisconsin's Holler House - that uses human-operated pinsetting units to set the tenpins for bowling on its pair of vintage wood bowling lanes. Ouray County has two home rule municipalities, three census-designated places, four unincorporated communities; the home rule municipalities are the city of Ouray and town of Ridgway the most populous settlements in the county. Loghill Village is the next largest development and is a residential affluent, community in comparison to the rest of the county. Along with Loghill and Colona serve as census-designated places within Ouray County; the unincorporated communities within the county are Camp Bird, Dallas and Eldredge. All the communities, with the exception of Ridgway and Ouray, serve as residential communities, though Loghill Village maintains a small tourism sector.
Colona and Dallas are located in the northern reaches of the county along U. S. Highway 550, though Eldredge and Dallas are located within the valleys of the San Juan Mountains while Colona is in the short stretch of the Uncompahgre Valley within Ouray County. Portland is placed down valley of Ouray. Camp Bird and Thistled
San Juan Mountains
The San Juan Mountains are a high and rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico. The area is mineralized and figured in the gold and silver mining industry of early Colorado. Major towns, all old mining camps, include Creede, Lake City, Silverton and Telluride. Large scale mining has ended in the region, although independent prospectors still work claims throughout the range; the last large scale mines were the Sunnyside Mine near Silverton, which operated until late in the 20th century and the Idarado Mine on Red Mountain Pass that closed down in the 1970s. Famous old San Juan mines include the Camp Bird and Smuggler Union mines, both located between Telluride and Ouray; the Summitville mine was the scene of a major environmental disaster in the 1990s when the liner of a cyanide-laced tailing pond began leaking heavily. Summitville is in the Summitville caldera, one of many extinct volcanoes making up the San Juan volcanic field. One, La Garita Caldera, is 35 miles in diameter.
Large beds of lava, some extending under the floor of the San Luis Valley, are characteristic of the eastern slope of the San Juans. Tourism is now a major part of the regional economy, with the narrow gauge railway between Durango and Silverton being an attraction in the summer. Jeeping is popular on the old trails which linked the historic mining camps, including the notorious Black Bear Road. Visiting old ghost towns is popular, as is wilderness trekking and mountain climbing. Many of the old mining camps are now popular sites of summer homes. Though the San Juans are steep and receive a lot of snow, so far only Telluride has made the transition to a major ski resort. Purgatory Resort, once known as Durango Mountain Resort, is a small ski area 26 miles north of Durango. There is skiing on Wolf Creek Pass at the Wolf Creek ski area. Silverton Mountain ski area has begun operation near Silverton; the Rio Grande drains the east side of the range. The other side of the San Juans, the western slope of the continental divide, is drained by tributaries of the San Juan and Gunnison rivers, which all flow into the Colorado River.
The San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests cover a large portion of the San Juan Mountains. The San Juan Mountains are distinctive for their high altitude plateaus and peaks; as a result, facilities in the towns and cities of the region are among the highest in the nation. Telluride Airport, at an elevation of 9,070 feet, is the highest in the United States with scheduled commercial service. Note: This is only a partial list of important peaks in the San Juans, listing peaks by prominence only. There are dozens more summits over 12,000 feet. Mining operators in the San Juan mountain area formed the San Juan District Mining Association in 1903, as a direct result of a Western Federation of Miners proposal to the Telluride Mining Association for the eight-hour day, approved in a referendum by 72 percent of Colorado voters; the new association consolidated the power of thirty-six mining properties in San Miguel and San Juan counties. The SJDMA refused to consider any reduction in hours or increase in wages, helping to provoke a bitter strike.
Southern Rocky Mountains Sneffels Range Cimmaron Range Needle Mountains La Garita Mountains Cochetopa Hills La Plata Mountains Mountain ranges of Colorado Bove, D. et al.. Geochronology and geology of Late Oligocene through Miocene volcanism and mineralization in the western San Juan Mountains, Colorado. Washington, D. C.: U. S. Department of the Interior, U. S. Geological Survey. Lippman, P. W.. Geologic map of southwestern Colorado. Reston, VA: U. S. Department of the Interior, U. S. Geological Survey. Widerange.org: Photos of the San Juan Mountains San Juan Mountains @ Peakbagger Southern Rocky Mountains @ Peakbagger Rocky Mountains @ Peakbagger
Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway
Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway known at the Grand Mesa National Scenic and Historic Byway, is a scenic byway in Colorado. The byway runs north from Cedaredge along Highway 65, to the top of the Grand Mesa at more than 10,000 feet, it includes Land's End Road to the Land's End Observatory from Highway 65. The byway continues past Island Lake, one of more than 300 trout-filled lakes in Grand Mesa National Forest. On the north side of the Mesa are the towns of Mesa and Powderhorn Ski Resort; the byway continues along De Beque Canyon, with its colorful sandstone bluffs, meets Interstate 70 in the town of De Beque. Historic and scenic byway designations: National Scenic Byway received in 1996. Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway by the Colorado Department of Transportation received in 1991. Forest Service Byway received in 1992. Scenic Overlooks include: Cedaredge overlook - an easy access overlook Land O Lakes overlook - a 1/4 mile moderate walk by foot Island Lake - an easy access overlook with restrooms and accessible boat ramp Grand Mesa Visitor Center - easy to moderate access with restrooms Mesa Lakes Lodge area - an easy to moderate access with restrooms Jumbo Lakes area - an easy access overlook with restrooms Skyway Point - an easy access Powderhorn - an easy access overlook with restrooms I-70 pullout and interpretation information Grand Mesa National Forest Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway