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Crissy Supples
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T: 719-530-2651

Leah Rausch
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T: 303-623-1540 x 170

Delta County

Delta County

Named for its location on the delta of the Uncompahgre River, Delta County is located in a large mountain valley at the confluence of the Gunnison and Uncompahgre Rivers and is surrounded by some of Colorado’s richest ranch land. The area was first explored in 1853 by Captain John Gunnison of the Army Topographical Engineers, who was surveying the region for a suitable route for a transcontinental railroad. Delta County was officially created by the Colorado legislature in 1883 from portions of Gunnison County.

The city of Delta is the headquarters for the Grand Mesa – the world’s largest flat-top mountain – and the Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests. Delta County offers a mild climate with warm, dry summers and moderate winters, making the Delta area ideal for year-round outdoor activities including skiing, gold-medal fishing, hiking, and hunting.

Delta County’s wide range of elevation, with a low of 4,758 feet and a high of 11,396, allows for secluded valleys within the county. These sheltered, quiet valleys provide a perfect environment for growing unique fruits and vegetables that grow in few places in the world. Agriculture is, in fact, one of the main industries of Paonia – Spanish for “peony” – which is known for producing delicious peaches, apples, and other fruits.

Delta County showed steady growth in the number of farms between 1987 and 1997; in 1987, the number of farms in the region was 900, but had reached 1,041 by 1997.


Delta County has a population of 30.401 persons (2006 U.S. Census estimate) and six unique communities: Cedaredge, Crawford, Delta, Hotchkiss, Orchard City, and Paonia (24% urban, 76% rural). Over one-third of the population lives within five miles of the town of Delta, the county seat and largest incorporated community in the county. Almost 20% of the people of Delta County are 65 or older, and over 18% are persons with disabilities.


Although steadily improving, Delta County’s Median Household Income remains about 30% below the state and national averages, with 12.5% below poverty level.

With adequate water sources, a diverse climate, and over 281,000 acres dedicated to agriculture, Delta County has always been a major producer of high-quality produce and livestock. Mining, retail trade, healthcare, and government are major sources of employment in addition to agriculture. Agritourism is a significant contributor to commerce in the county, with ready access to organic farms, ranches, wineries, art studios, bed and breakfasts, and many outdoor activities.

2008 cost of living index in Delta: 86.0 (U.S. average is 100).

Health and Emergency Services

Delta County has the lowest healthcare costs of any county in Colorado. A modern JCAHO-accredited 50-bed hospital built in 2004 offers general and specialized medical services.

Delta County is equipped with a 911 system that routes calls to the Delta County Sheriff’s Office, located in the City of Delta. The Delta Ambulance Service is a 24-hour advanced life support service serving the City of Delta and surrounding areas. The North Fork Ambulance Association, Inc., an all volunteer nonprofit, serves the areas of Hotchkiss, Paonia, and Crawford.

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