About Larimer County
Larimer County is one of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 299,630. The county seat and most populous city is Fort Collins. Larimer County is named after General William Larimer, 1809-1875. He was an early settler of Denver and the county was named after him as a ‘thank you’.
Larimer County was created in 1861 as one of seventeen original counties in the Colorado Territory; however, its western boundary was disputed. Controversy existed as to whether Larimer County ended at the Medicine Bow Range or at the Continental Divide thirty miles farther west. An 1886 Colorado Supreme Court decision set the boundary at the Continental Divide, although the land between the Medicine Bow Range and the divide was made part of Jackson County in 1909.
Unlike that of much of Colorado, which was founded on the mining of gold and silver, the settlement of Larimer County was based almost entirely on agriculture, an industry that few thought possible in the region during the initial days of the Colorado Gold Rush. The mining boom almost entirely passed the county by. It would take the introduction of irrigation to the region in the 1860s to bring the first widespread settlement to the area.
Larimer County is located in north central Colorado. It is the sixth largest county in Colorado based on population. The county extends to the Continental Divide and includes several mountain communities and Rocky Mountain National Park. The County encompasses 2,640 square miles that include some of the finest irrigated farmland in the state, as well as vast stretches of scenic ranch lands, forests and high mountain peaks. Over 50% of Larimer County is publicly owned, most of which is land within Roosevelt National Forest and Rocky Mountain National Park. In addition to these federal lands, Colorado State Parks and Recreation, and Larimer County Parks and Open Spaces combine to provide a wide spectrum of recreational opportunities that are enjoyed by both residents and visitors.
Major attractions in the area include the Poudre River Canyon, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado State University, and The Ranch – Larimer County’s Fairgrounds and Events Complex.
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