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Park County, Colorado facts for kids

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Park County
Old Park County Courthouse
Old Park County Courthouse
Map of Colorado highlighting Park County
Location within the U.S. state of Colorado
Map of the United States highlighting Colorado
Colorado's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Colorado
Founded November 1, 1861
Seat Fairplay
Largest town Fairplay
 • Total 2,211 sq mi (5,730 km2)
 • Land 2,194 sq mi (5,680 km2)
 • Water 17 sq mi (40 km2)  0.8%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 7.9/sq mi (3.1/km2)
Time zone UTC−7 (Mountain)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Congressional districts 2nd, 5th

Park County is a county located in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2020 census, the population was 17,390. The county seat is Fairplay. The county was named after the large geographic region known as South Park, which was named by early fur traders and trappers in the area.

Park County is included in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. A majority of the county lies within the boundaries of the South Park National Heritage Area.

The geographic center of the State of Colorado is located in Park County.

Park County has been and is the location of several important mines, including the defunct Orphan Boy, which was discovered near Alma in 1861 and produced gold, silver, lead, and zinc. The historic Sweet Home Mine, also near Alma, is a former silver mine now known for its rhodochrosite mineral specimens.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,211 square miles (5,730 km2), of which 2,194 square miles (5,680 km2) is land and 17 square miles (44 km2) (0.8%) is water.

The headwaters of the South Platte River are in Park County.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

State protected areas

Trails and byways


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 447
1880 3,970 788.1%
1890 3,548 −10.6%
1900 2,998 −15.5%
1910 2,492 −16.9%
1920 1,977 −20.7%
1930 2,052 3.8%
1940 3,272 59.5%
1950 1,870 −42.8%
1960 1,822 −2.6%
1970 2,185 19.9%
1980 5,333 144.1%
1990 7,174 34.5%
2000 14,523 102.4%
2010 16,206 11.6%
2020 17,390 7.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020

As of the census of 2000, there were 14,523 people, 5,894 households, and 4,220 families living in the county. The population density was 7 people per square mile (3/km2). There were 10,697 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile (2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.07% White, 0.50% Black or African American, 0.92% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.23% from other races, and 1.84% from two or more races. 4.32% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 5,894 households, out of which 30.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.10% were married couples living together, 4.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.40% were non-families. 21.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 3.20% 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 2.86.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.50% under the age of 18, 5.10% from 18 to 24, 33.40% from 25 to 44, 30.60% from 45 to 64, and 7.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 107.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $51,899, and the median income for a family was $57,025. Males had a median income of $41,480 versus $27,807 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,019. About 3.40% of families and 5.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.60% of those under age 18 and 5.70% of those age 65 or over.



Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

In popular culture

In the animated television series South Park, the fictional town of the same name is situated in Park County, Colorado. The police in South Park were a one-man South Park Police force at first, but it has since been phased out in favor of the Park County police.

In 1955, part of the film The Looters, co-starring Rory Calhoun, subsequently of the CBS western television series, The Texan, and the actress Julie Adams, was filmed in Park County. The Looters is the story of a plane crash in the Rocky Mountains. The filming was undertaken about Tarryall Creek. The advertising poster reads: "Five desperate men ... and a girl who didn't care ... trapped on a mountain of gale-lashed rock!"

Notable people

  • Gottlieb Fluhmann (Gottlieb Fluhmann disappeared in 1892 and his remains were found in a secluded cave in Park County in 1944 and the cause of his death remains unknown).
  • Samuel Hartsel
  • John J. Hoover
  • Sheldon Jackson
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