Eagle County History

Eagle County, Colorado Historic Background

Historic Development of Eagle County

53,653 people live here. There are 26,635 households. During 2010, the assessed value for the County was $3,624,891,2902. (1) Originally, Eagle County was used by the Utes for hunting and fishing during the summer months. A European presence was documented in the area for the first time in the late 1840s, mainly for mining purposes. In 1879, Red Cliff was established as the first permanent mining camp.

Summit County was sectioned off as an official Colorado County, and Eagle County became an independent county in 1883 (2). It moved to the town of Eagle in 1921 after serving as county seat in Red Cliff until then. Vail became an important ski resort in the county in the 1930s. Camp Hale managed to train United States 10th Mountain Division ski troops for alpine warfare during World War II.

The 10th Mountain Division men and women returned to the area after the war to establish the Vail Ski Resort, which has become one of the world’s top ski destinations and an industry leader (3). Despite having only 4,832 residents, the town of Vail is recognized for being home to the most popular ski resort in Eagle County. Visitors to this resort town account for 60% of the airport’s arrivals.

There are a number of small communities spread out throughout Eagle County. Additionally, the town of Eagle is a ranching community with a population of about 6,000 and is the county seat. T Gypsum, the nearest town to the airport, has an estimated population of 4,600 and is known for its acclimate, western flare, and hometown feel.

Avon, with a population of approximately 6,100, is located further east along I-70. Historically, Avon has been considered the commercial center of the Eagle River Valley. There are 1,120 people living in the town of Minturn, which is located south of I-70 along Highway 24. Located 9 miles south of Minturn, Red Cliff has a population of 299 people (4).

A county seat since 1858, Red Cliff is the oldest town in the county. Basalt, with 3,169 residents, is found in southwest Eagle County. Basalt is technically in the county but is physically separated by Red Table Mountain and is located adjacent to State Highway 82 in the Roaring Fork Valley.

In Eagle County there are approximately 1,700 square miles and the county is situated on the western side of Colorado. Denver is 131 miles away from Eagle County, Colorado. Recreation and tourism are the most popular activities in the County, particularly skiing. The tourism industry in Eagle County is primarily driven by resorts like Vail and Beaver Creek.