Park County Location
Park County is in the geographical center of Colorado. It is about an hour and a half travel on state highways from Denver or Colorado Springs. It covers over 2,200 square miles and is larger than the state of Delaware. It stretches just over 50 miles from north to south and about 40 miles from east to west.
Its two incorporated towns of Alma (it is the highest incorporated town in North America at 10,578 feet above sea level) and nearby Fairplay are less than 40 minutes from the ski resort town of Breckenridge, while the community of Bailey is about an hour’s drive from the heart of Denver.
Elevation & Climate
Park County ranges in elevation from just over 7,000 to over 14,000 feet above sea level. Because of the elevation, many people from lower elevations find themselves affected by altitude sickness, a condition that can range from headaches and bloody noses to severe respiratory problems. Drinking plenty of water and lowering exertion usually relieves the condition, but in some cases medical assistance is needed.
Summer temperature highs are in the 70s and winter lows can register more than 20 degree below zero.
Park County is a rural area with few paved roads. Drivers can find adventure in good weather with access to wilderness, historic mines and homesteads, and incredible views by following county roads that once were buffalo traces or Indian trails. Many county roads are snowed in for several days in the winter due to the frequent strong winds, so locals prepare by stocking up on food and fuel to last a number of days.
Summer activities include hiking, mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding, and 4x4 exploring over high passes, including the highest continuous automobile road in North America (13,000 feet above sea level), Mosquito Pass.
Winter recreation includes winter social events, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, back country skiing, and ice fishing.
There are four mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation and many more that rise above 13,000 feet. Picturesque Platte Canyon in the northeastern portion of the county provides the primary passage from Denver into the great high basin of the South Park, an area of wide vistas across short grass ranchland. Surrounding the 1,100-square-mile South Park are mountain ranges with colorful names like the Mosquito, Kenosha, Tarryall, and Park ranges.