2006 Jackson County Needs Assessment
Most of Jackson County is a high,
relatively broad intermountain basin known as North Park
which covers 1,613 square miles. This basin opens north
into Wyoming and is rimmed on the west by the Park
Range, on the south by the Rabbit Ears Range and the
Never Summer Range, and on the east by the Medicine Bow
Range. Elevations range from 7,800 to 12,953 feet and
the county is the site of the headwaters of the North
Platte River. Walden, the county seat, is located 145
miles northwest of Denver.
There are approximately 1,300 people
residing in Jackson County. The racial makeup of the
county is 90.4% White, 0.3% Black or African American
and 1 % Native American. The Hispanic population is
Ranching is the main source of industry
in Jackson, followed by logging and tourism. Other
employers include the Pellet Mill, Session & Sons,
Praxair, various loggers, recreation based businesses
(hotels, restaurants, lodges), and retail stores.
In November, 1861, Colorado set up 17
counties for the state, including Larimer County. This
was where Jackson County would be carved out of in 1909.
Before then, both Grand and Larimer Counties claimed the
North Park area. In the beginning, no one paid much
attention to North Park because it was hunting grounds
of the Ute and Arapaho Indians. They fiercely defended
these lands, and the white settlers were often afraid to
venture in. When valuable minerals were discovered in
North Park, Grand County claimed the land because they
wanted the revenue it would provide. The residents of
North Park didn't care much because the county seat for
Grand County was closer than the one for Larimer County,
and all official business needed to be done at the
county seat. But, Larimer also claimed North Park, and
it was contested all the way to the Colorado Supreme
Court. In 1886, the court decided in favor of Larimer.
This did not make the North Park residents very happy,
and they pushed for their own county until Jackson
County was formed.
Jackson County is served by the North
Park Medical Clinic. The nearest hospital is located in
Steamboat Springs, 60 miles southwest of Walden. The
Yampa Valley Medical Center is a Trauma IV facility.
Nonprofit Organizations and Helpful Links
Jackson County School District
Walden Chamber of Commerce