Located in Western Colorado along the Colorado Divide, River Bridge Regional Center serves Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, and Rio Blanco counties. These four counties are diverse in their geographical makeup, industry, and population. Garfield, Pitkin, and Rio Blanco counties are located in the 9th Judicial District and Eagle County is located in the 5th Judicial District of Colorado. Garfield County is centrally located amongst the four counties and is home to River Bridge Regional Center, located in Glenwood Springs.
From mountainous geography in the Central Rocky Mountains to semiarid desert in northwestern Colorado, the topographic makeup of Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, and Rio Blanco counties consists of an array of industry and unique characteristics.
Garfield County covers 2,958 square miles and in 2015 had an estimated population of 58,094 according to US Census Data. It is home to the second largest designated wilderness area in Colorado, the Flattops Wilderness, and nearly 60% of the county is federal public lands. Primary industry includes energy development, tourism, ranching, and farming. Garfield County consists of 6 municipalities: Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Carbondale, Silt, New Castle and Parachute, as well as Battlement Mesa, an unincorporated residential community. Approximately 19 persons reside per square mile in the county. The cost of living index in Garfield County is 129.4 compared to the United States average cost of living 100. The cost of living index shows the difference in living costs between counties based on the average cost of living in the US.
Eagle County covers 1,694 square miles and in 2015 had an estimated population of 52,576. It is made up of mountainous terrain and is economically rooted in the resort and tourism industry. Approximately 25 persons reside per square mile. The cost of living index in Eagle County is 176.3 compared to the US average of 100. Employment is centered on accommodation and food services, recreation and entertainment, retail trade, and construction sectors. Eagle County is widely known for its ski resorts Vail and Beaver Creek. It is made up of many small communities. Municipalities include Vail, Avon, Eagle, Gypsum, Minturn, Red Cliff, unincorporated Eagle-Vail, and Edwards. The mountainous terrain separates the southwestern corner of the county where Basalt and unincorporated El Jebel are located. 80% of the town of Basalt is located in Eagle County, an hour to an hour-and-a-half drive through Garfield County to reach this isolated region.
Covering 975 square miles Pitkin County is located in the Central Rocky Mountains and has an estimated population of 17,420 in 2015. Approximately 18 persons reside per square mile. The cost of living index in Pitkin County is 340.7 compared to the United States average of 100. Pitkin County is best known for its four ski resorts Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass. Tourism is the heart of the local economy. Employment is centered on accommodation and food services, recreation and entertainment, retail trade, and construction sectors. Pitkin County includes the communities of Aspen, Snowmass, Woody Creek, Old Snowmass, Meredith, Thomasville, Redstone, and portions of the Town of Basalt. Pitkin County is home to 6 mountains over 14,000 feet: Pyramid Peak, Snowmass Peak, Capitol Peak, Castle Peak, Maroon Peak, and North Maroon Peak.
Rio Blanco County
Rio Blanco County is located in rural northwestern Colorado and covers 3,228 square miles with a population of 6,712 in 2015. Approximately 75% of the county lands are federally owned and include White River National Forest and Routt National Forest. Rio Blanco has the lowest population density of the four counties served with 2 persons per square mile. Rio Blanco County is home to Meeker, Rangely, and unincorporated Buford. The primary industry in this rural area is agriculture, coal, nahcolite, natural gas, oil, oil shale, and recreation. The cost of living index in Rio Blanco County was 112.5 compared to the US average of 100.