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Dove Creek, Colorado
Statutory Town
Dove Creek CO.jpg
Pinto Bean Capital of the World
Location of the Town of Dove Creek in Dolores County, Colorado.
Location of the Town of Dove Creek in Dolores County, Colorado.
Dove Creek, Colorado is located in the United States
Dove Creek, Colorado
Dove Creek, Colorado
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  Colorado
County Dolores County seat
Incorporated June 15, 1939
 • Type Statutory Town
 • Total 0.573 sq mi (1.483 km2)
 • Land 0.573 sq mi (1.483 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0.000 km2)
6,844 ft (2,086 m)
 • Total 635
 • Density 1,109/sq mi (428/km2)
Time zone UTC−07:00 (MST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−06:00 (MDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 970
FIPS code 08-21265
GNIS feature ID 176436

Dove Creek is a Statutory Town that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Dolores County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 635 at the 2020 United States Census. The community takes its name from the nearby Dove Creek. Dove Creek is the self-proclaimed Pinto Bean Capital of the World.


Dove Creek is located in western Dolores County at 37°45′58″N 108°54′20″W / 37.76611°N 108.90556°W / 37.76611; -108.90556 (37.765994, -108.905691). According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.54 square miles (1.4 km2), all of it land.

The town is located on US 491 (formerly US 666) at the crossing of Dove Creek, the town's namesake. Dove Creek flows south to Cross Canyon, Montezuma Creek, Utah, and the San Juan River. The town is located on the northern portion of the Great Sage Plain, a large plateau covered in desert lands, bounded by the La Plata Mountains, Mesa Verde National Park, the La Sal Mountains, and the Abajo Mountains, and cut by dozens of deep canyons, which was and is a productive agricultural region. The plateau is dotted with numerous ruins of the Anasazi and other ancient people who took advantage of good soils and terrain, even with limited water resources.

The Dolores County Courthouse, built in 1957, replaces a temporary courthouse in the town used after voters of the county moved the county seat from Rico to Dove Creek in 1947, reflecting a shift in the original mining-oriented make-up of the county's population to the current situation in which farmers and a few ranchers outnumber the mountain-dwellers in the old mining districts of the eastern end of Dolores County. The courthouse is adjacent to Dolores County High School, and is part of the old business district located north of US 491; most business is now located on US 491 as it angles through the town from east-southeast to west-northwest. A regional landmark is the large concrete bean elevator located on the west edge of town, near the Dolores County Industrial Park.

SH 141 intersects US 491 just west of town, and provides access to the Paradox Valley, Nucla-Naturita, and the uranium mining and industrial area of Montrose County, Colorado, and Grand County, Utah.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1940 418
1950 702 67.9%
1960 986 40.5%
1970 619 −37.2%
1980 826 33.4%
1990 643 −22.2%
2000 698 8.6%
2010 735 5.3%
2020 635 −13.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
Dolores County High School 2
Dolores County High School

As of the census of 2000, there were 698 people, 285 households, and 202 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,322.5 people per square mile (508.5/km2). There were 326 housing units at an average density of 617.7 per square mile (237.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.28% White, 1.86% Native American, 0.29% from other races, and 1.58% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.87% of the population.

There were 285 households, out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% were non-families. 26.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 26.6% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.0 males. The median income for a household in the town was $27,500, and the median income for a family was $32,813. Males had a median income of $28,333 versus $17,500 for females. The per capita income for the town was $13,015. About 8.9% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.9% of those under age 18 and 16.0% of those age 65 or over.


The Old Spanish Trail trade route passed through the area of Dove Creek from 1829 into the 1850s.

A post office called Dove Creek has been in operation since 1915. The community takes its name from nearby Dove Creek.

There are several area prehistoric and historic sites listed on the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties:

  • Brewer Archaeological District of two large prehistoric settlement sites: Brewer Mesa Pueblo (11th century) and Brewer Canyon Pueblo (13th century)
  • Glade Ranger Station, dated before 1910
  • P.R. Butt & Sons Building, built in 1914, generally considered the town's second building


Bean Tower 1
Pinto bean silo to the west of Dove Creek

The Dolores County Industrial Park is located west of Dove Creek and is the site of a plant which began construction in 2007, which produces food-grade vegetable oil from sunflowers, safflower, and canola grown in the Dove Creek area, and will ultimately produce biodiesel. The industrial park is home to the community's first ready-mix plant in many decades, and other businesses. New housing developments have been permitted and platted in the Dove Creek area, anticipating growth due to efforts like this. On the eastern edge of the town is the headquarters and facility of Adobe Milling, a company marketing various locally-grown beans and other traditional Southwestern foods.

Dove Creek Superette
Dove Creek Superette, a gas station supermarket on U.S. Route 491

Major employers in the town include the county government and school district, and various other government agencies. Most businesses in town support agricultural operations; some provide transportation services for highway users.

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