Driving pretty much anywhere on the Front Range of Colorado you are going to think to yourself that the state is overcrowded and I will agree with you on that. However, there are only certain portions of the state of Colorado that feel overpopulated.


Take a drive east or west and you will find far fewer people in Colorado. These counties are considered frontier counties. One could even say it's still the Wild West due to the lack of population.

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What is a Frontier County?

A frontier county is a county in a state that consists of three things according to the National Center For Frontier Communities.

  • Population density of only 12 to 20 persons per square mile
  • Distance to service or market between 30 and 90 miles
  • Travel time to service or market between 30 to 90 minutes

Counties in Colorado are classified into three categories by the Colorado Statewide Independent Living Council. Urban, Rural, and Frontier. Colorado has 64 counties in total and more than 35 percent of those counties are frontier counties in the state.

Mountain Frontier Counties of Colorado

  • Moffat
  • Rio Blanco
  • San Miguel
  • Solorad
  • San Juan
  • Hinsdale
  • Mineral
  • Gunnison
  • Saguache
  • Jackson
  • Custer
  • Costilla

Great Plains Frontier Counties of Colorado

  • Huerfano
  • Las Animas
  • Baca
  • Bent
  • Kiowa
  • Lincoln
  • Cheyenne
  • Kit Carson
  • Washington
  • Yuma
  • Sedgwick

There are a total of 23 counties in the state of Colorado that are classified as Frontier Counties. So if you are looking for a little more room to breathe, space to roam, and fewer people around, you could consider one of these Colorado counties as your next home. However, it will come with a price. Being further away from services and needs such as grocery stores, hospitals, and everyday services that we have all become accustomed to having in our lives.

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