Alma is a statutory town
located in Park County
, United States. The town population was 270 at the 2010 United States Census
At an elevation of approximately , it is the highest incorporated municipality
in the United States when considering only areas with permanent residents.
Its United States Post Office
is located at the highest elevation of any in the country. Alma, which is considered a town and not a city, does not take the title of "highest incorporated city" from Leadville, Colorado
. Using administrative boundaries as a measure, not settled areas, in 2006 Winter Park, Colorado
became the highest incorporated town due to its annexation of a ski area. Beyond the official limits of Alma is a residential area which extends to above sea level on Mountain View Drive. However, this area uses Fairplay, Colorado
addresses, despite being slightly closer to Alma.
The town was named by a merchant named Mr. James, after his wife.
Another tradition states the town was named for the daughter of a resident.
Alma is located at ,
along State Highway 9
According to the United States Census Bureau
, the town has a total area of , almost all of it land.
Alma has a subarctic climate
), or what could be called a subalpine climate
due to its elevation, with only two months above the 50° isotherm. Alma is the coldest inhabited town in the Lower 48
, having a lower yearly mean than other towns known for their extreme cold temperatures, such as Embarrass, Minnesota
. Summers are pleasant, with mild days and chilly nights and have no real growing season due to frosts and occasional summer snow. The wettest months are July and August due to thunderstorm activity. Spring and Autumn are both short, but pleasant overall with cool days and cold nights below freezing. Winters are very cold and snowy, lasting from the end of October to well into April some years. Winter highs are almost always below freezing and lows remaining around zero for 1/3 of the year. Alma's snowpack is usually established during October or very early November and lasts into June most years due to heavy snowfall and low night temperatures allowing the snowpack to keep re-freezing overnight. Alma's high elevation and location helps to limit both extreme minima and maxima. Interestingly, April averages the most snowfall out of any month of the year.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 179 people, 94 households, and 40 families residing in the town. The population density
was 523.6 people per square mile (203.3/km). There were 147 housing units at an average density of 430.0 per square mile (166.9/km). The racial makeup of the town was 92.74% White
, 2.23% Native American
, 0.56% Asian
, 3.35% from other races
, and 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos
of any race were 3.35% of the population.
There were 94 households, of which 18.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.2% were married couples
living together, 2.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 57.4% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 1.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.90 and the average family size was 2.63.
The age distribution was 12.8% under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 53.1% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 4.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 132.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 140.0 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $41,563, and the median income for a family was $59,688. Males had a median income of $28,750 versus $26,563 for females. The per capita income
for the town was $25,165. None of the families and 4.3% of the population were living below the poverty line
Approximately two miles from Alma are the remains of the defunct Orphan Boy mine
(founded 1861), which produced gold, silver, lead, and zinc over a number of decades.
[Laura King Van Dusen, "Early Days at the Orphan Boy: Fire in December 2011 Not Only Fire at Mine; Gold Production Worth $486 Million in 2013 Dollars", ''Historic Tales from Park County: Parked in the Past'' (Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press, 2013), , pp. 37-43.]
The historic Sweet Home Mine
near Alma, formerly a silver mine, now produces spectacular rhodochrosite
File:Alma colorado.jpg|Alma Town Sign
File:London mine assay office? CO.jpg|London mine building, near Alma
File:The Searchlight Rhodochrosite Crystal.jpg|Rhodochrosite specimen from the Sweet Home mine, near Alma
File:Alma, Colorado - c. 1870s.jpg|Alma, c. 1870s
*Outline of Colorado
**Index of Colorado-related articles
*State of Colorado
**Colorado cities and towns
***Park County, Colorado
**Colorado metropolitan areas
***Front Range Urban Corridor
***North Central Colorado Urban Area
***Denver-Aurora-Boulder, CO Combined Statistical Area
***Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area
*List of highest towns by country
Town of Alma
WebsiteCDOT map of the Town of Alma
Category:Towns in Park County, Colorado
Category:Towns in Colorado