Dolores County is the seventh-least populous of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,064. The county seat is Dove Creek.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,068 square miles (2,770 km²), of which 1,067 square miles (2,760 km²) is land and 1.0 square mile (2.6 km²) (0.1%) is water. Dolores County, like other counties in Colorado along its border with Utah, is split into two geographically distinct regions, and in fact, under normal travel conditions, it is necessary to leave the county to travel between the two regions. The western portion of the county (east of the Dolores River Canyon and along the Utah border) is the northern portion of the Great Sage Plain, relatively low (6500–7500 feet in elevation) and flat (but cut by large canyons, including that of the Dolores River itself), and consists of irrigated and dryland farming areas; it is especially well known for the cultivation of various varieties of beans, including pinto beans and many variety of old Anasazi beans. The central portion of the county has higher open grasslands with forested hills, ravines, and canyons, used for livestock raising. The eastern portion of the county is located in the highest peaks of the San Juan Mountains, around the old mining and modern tourist town of Rico, and except for cattle grazing in the San Juan National Forest, has virtually no agriculture, in part because its elevations range from 9,000 to 14,000+. Rico is developing in many ways as a bedroom community for the much wealthier town of Telluride in San Miguel County to the north.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,844 people, 785 households, and 541 families residing in the county. The population density was 2 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 1,193 housing units at an average density of one per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.28% White, 0.05% Black or African American, 1.95% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.60% from other races, and 1.68% from two or more races. 3.85% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 785 households out of which 24.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.70% were married couples living together, 8.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.00% were non-families. 26.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.82.
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