The Poverty Bar valley with Hahns Peak

Poverty Bar derived its name from a mine at this location during the gold digging days. Today, you can still see some remnants of the mining times when taking a hike up Hahnís Peak. Just past Hahns Peak Village (see Map), you will find the Steamboat Lake Visitors Center where you can find pictures of the original Poverty Bar mine.

Men seeking gold were the first settlers in the area. In 1862, Joseph Hahn and two companions found gold in the vicinity of Hahns Peak. The first mining district was established in the Hahns Peak area in 1866. On January 29, 1877, Routt County was established and named after John Long Routt, the last territorial and first state governor of Colorado. Hahns Peak was the county seat from 1882 - 1916. Today the county seat is in Steamboat Springs.

Although no more gold is seriously mined here, the economy is still dependant on mining. The main sources of revenue are today coal-mining, agriculture and tourism. As an example Routt County is Colorado's largest coal producing county, and during the winter months it is estimated that between 300,000 - 350,000 people visit the county. The corresponding figure during the summer is approx. 200,000 - 255,000. This could be because a local legend says that the Yampa Valley holds a curse: "Once you visit the valley your heart will be forever captivated, and be compelled to return again and again."

For more information about Routt County, click here to visit the official Routt County website.



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