Hinsdale County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 843, making it the third-least populous county in Colorado. With a population density of only , it is also the least-densely populated county in Colorado. The county seat and only incorporated municipality in the county is Lake City. The county is named for George A. Hinsdale, a prominent pioneer and former Lieut. Governor of Colorado Territory.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of , of which is land and (0.5%) is water. Hinsdale County is one of the most remote counties in Colorado and the United States. The county is covered by mountains, including multiple fourteeners, and contains one of the most roadless areas in the country. The continental divide crosses the county twice. Most of the county is divided among several different national forests and the Weminuche Wilderness area.

Adjacent counties

*Gunnison – north *Saguache – northeast *Mineral – east *Archuleta – southeast *La Plata – southwest *San Juan – west *Ouray – northwest

Major Highways

* State Highway 149


As of the census of 2000, there were 790 people, 359 households, and 246 families living in the county. The population density was 0.7 people per square mile (0.3/km2). There were 1,304 housing units at an average density of 1.2 per square mile (0.5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.34% White, 1.52% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 0.38% from other races, and 0.51% from two or more races. 1.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 359 households, out of which 23.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.0% were married couples living together, 4.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.20% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 3.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.2 and the average family size was 2.6. In the county, the population was spread out, with 19.5% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 34.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 105.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 109.9 males. The median income for a household in the county was $37,279, and the median income for a family was $42,159. Males had a median income of $26,210 versus $23,750 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,360. About 4.5% of families and 7.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 2.2% of those age 65 or over.


Republican presidential nominees have carried Hinsdale County since Franklin Delano Roosevelt defeated Alf Landon by eight votes in 1936. Along with Elbert County and Washington County it was one of three Colorado counties to vote for Barry Goldwater over Lyndon Johnson in 1964. The last Democrat to carry Hinsdale County in a statewide election was John Hickenlooper in the 2010 gubernatorial contest, and the only other case since at least 1980 have been Democratic senator Ben “Nighthorse” Campbell, who was later to shift to the Republican Party, in 1992, alongside popular Governor Roy Romer, who carried all but three counties statewide, in 1990.


National forests

*Gunnison National Forest *Rio Grande National Forest *San Juan National Forest *Uncompahgre National Forest

National wilderness areas

*La Garita Wilderness *Powderhorn Wilderness *Uncompahgre Wilderness *Weminuche Wilderness


*Colorado Trail *Continental Divide National Scenic Trail *West Lost Trail Creek National Recreation Trail

Scenic byways

*Alpine Loop National Scenic Back Country Byway *Silver Thread Scenic Byway



*Lake City

Census-designated places

*Cathedral *Piedra

Ghost towns

*Beartown *Burrows Park *Capitol City *Carson *Henson *Old Carson

See also

*Outline of Colorado *Index of Colorado-related articles *Colorado census statistical areas *National Register of Historic Places listings in Hinsdale County, Colorado


External links

Hinsdale County Government websiteOfficial Tourism website for Lake City Hinsdale County Marketing Committee and Chamber of Commerce

Hinsdale County and Lake City Museum

Lake City Downtown Improvement and Revitalization Team (Official Main Street Program)

Lake City Area Medical CenterColorado Historical Society
{{authority control Category:Colorado counties Category:1874 establishments in Colorado Territory Category:Populated places established in 1874