Walden, Colorado, in Jackson County, is situated in the center of a large open valley called North Park and people from Walden and the surrounding area refer to themselves as “North Parkers”.
The town is at an elevation of 8,099 feet (2469 meters) and occupies about a third of a square mile. Walden was established in 1889 and was incorporated in 1890, it being the only incorporated town in Jackson County. The community was named Walden to honor Marcus Aurelius Walden, a local area postmaster. Walden population declined from 734 people in 2000 to 608 at the 2010 census.
The primary economic activities in the area are cattle ranching and timber harvesting. Walden, the Jackson County seat, sits near the middle of North Park near the confluence of the Michigan and Illinois river
Located in the scenic north central portion of Colorado, North Park and Jackson County offer a wide range of outdoor recreation opportunities in spectacular mountain settings. Terrain varies from 12,000 feet glacier carved peaks to lush river valleys, even sand dunes. Be it summer, fall or winter you’ll find that North Park has a unique natural beauty and a down-home western atmosphere.
North Park’s mountain peaks and valleys receive some of the greatest annual snowfalls in Colorado, with many locations averaging over 300 inches per year. Plowed state and federal highways provide easy access to North Park’s miles of maintained snowmobile and cross-country skiing trails. Backcountry enthusiasts find a trackless deep powder wilderness. Poker Run, North Park Ice Fishing Contest or the Gould Ski Scramble provide plenty of things to do and see all winter. Summer days are pleasant and evenings cool. Average summer highs are 71 degrees in June, 78 in July and 75 in August.
Two motels and one bed and breakfast serve visitors to Walden. Five restaurants serve a variety of meals. Places of interest in town and nearby include the the interesting North Park Pioneer Museum in Walden; State Forest State Park, with excellent camping facilities; and the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge, a beautiful area, home to many species of birds and popular with bird viewers.
The North Park Chamber of Commerce, at 467 Main Street in Walden, 970-723-4600, is a resource for local residents as well as visitors.
Walden is proud of it Chamber Music Organization, www.waldenchambermusic.org, which brings excellent performers into town for two performances a year.
Walden schools include an elementary school and a combined junior-senior high school, serving the North Park area.
Walden can be reached from Fort Collins, Colorado, by way of Route 14, by driving through beautiful, scenic Roosevelt National Forest and Rocky Mountain National Park. From Denver Walden is accessed using Interstate 70 west, US Highway 40 north and State Route 125 north.