Del Norte County
|County of Del Norte|
Interactive map of Del Norte County
Location in the state of California
|Incorporated||March 2, 1857|
|Named for||Its location, "Of the North" (Spanish: Del norte), in California|
|County seat||Crescent City|
|Largest city||Crescent City|
|• Total||1,230 sq mi (3,200 km2)|
|• Land||1,006 sq mi (2,610 km2)|
|• Water||223 sq mi (580 km2)|
|Highest elevation||6,415 ft (1,955 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||23/sq mi (9.0/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (Pacific Time Zone)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (Pacific Daylight Time)|
|GNIS feature ID||1682074|
Del Norte County (/dɛl nɔɹt/) is a county at the far northwest corner of the U.S. state of California, along the Pacific Ocean adjacent to the Oregon border. As of the 2010 census, the population was 28,610. The county seat and only incorporated city is Crescent City. Del Norte was pioneered and settled by Azorean Portuguese explorers and dairy farmers, which may account for the local pronunciation of the county name. Locals pronounce the county name as Del Nort, not Del Nor-teh as would be expected in Spanish.
Del Norte County comprises the Crescent City, CA Micropolitan Statistical Area.
The rural county is notable for forests containing giant Coast Redwoods, with some attaining heights over 350 feet (110 m). This northernmost county on the California coast also has scores of unique plants and flowers, dozens of species of coastal birds and fish, rocky primitive beaches and sea stacks, pristine rivers, and historic lighthouses. Del Norte is also known among Bigfoot enthusiasts as the location of the famous Patterson–Gimlin film, as well as being the location of some of the forest scenes used in Return of the Jedi.
The area that is now known as Del Norte was and still is inhabited by the Yurok (Klamath River Indians) and Tolowa Nations of indigenous peoples. The first European American to explore this land was pioneer Jedediah Smith in the early-19th century. He was the first European American to reach the area overland on foot in a time before the European Americans knew anything about such a distant territory. For him it was literally "Land's End" — where the American continent ended at the Pacific Ocean. In 1855 Congress authorized the building of a lighthouse at "the battery point" (a high tide island on the coast of Crescent City) which is still functioning as a historical landmark.
The mountainous terrain associated with the Coastal Range and the Klamath Mountains dominates Del Norte County's geography. Elevation ranges from sea level to over 6,400 feet. Although much of the county is made up of steep terrain, there are small patches of flat terrain along the coast and in isolated mountain valleys. There are 37 miles of coastline in the county, forming a coastal zone that covers approximately 51,000 acres (80 square miles). A broad coastal plain can be found in the northwest portion of the county with the western edge of the Klamath Mountains as its easterly boundary. Rising abruptly from the coastal plain, the Klamath Mountains extend north into Oregon and are situated between the Cascade Range to the east and the Coast Range to the north.
- Curry County, Oregon - northwest
- Josephine County, Oregon - northeast
- Siskiyou County - east
- Humboldt County - south
- Klamath - one of the longest in California.
- Smith - a crown jewel of the National Wild and Scenic River program.
- Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park
- Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
- Redwood National Park
- Tolowa Dunes State Park
- Ruby Van Deventer County Park
- Florence Keller County Park
There is a diversity of flora and fauna within Del Norte County. Vegetative plant associations feature several forest types including mixed oak forest. The California endemic Blue oak, Quercus douglasii is at the northernmost part of its range in Del Norte County. The Black Oak and Douglas-fir are also found in Del Norte County.
|Population, race, and income|
|Black or African American||937||3.3%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||1,571||5.5%|
|Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander||271||0.9%|
|Some other race||2,343||8.2%|
|Two or more races||1,744||6.1%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||5,003||17.5%|
|Per capita income||$19,247|
|Median household income||$37,588|
|Median family income||$52,076|
Places by population, race, and income
|Places by population and race|
|Asian||Black or African
|Hispanic or Latino|
(of any race)
|Places by population and income|
|Place||Type||Population||Per capita income||Median household income||Median family income|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
The 2010 United States Census reported that Del Norte County had a population of 28,610. The racial makeup of Del Norte County was 21,098 (73.7%) White, 993 (3.5%) African American, 2,244 (7.8%) Native American, 965 (3.4%) Asian, 32 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 1,980 (6.9%) from other races, and 1,298 (4.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5,093 persons (17.8%).
|Population reported at 2010 United States Census|
(of any race)
|Del Norte County||28,610||21,098||993||2,244||965||32||1,980||1,298||5,093|
(of any race)
(of any race)
(of any race)
|All others not CDPs (combined)||15,924||12,477||76||1,158||523||22||941||727||2,008|
As of the census of 2000, there were 27,507 people, 9,170 households, and 6,290 families residing in the county. The population density was 27 people per square mile (11/km2). There were 10,434 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 78.9% White, 4.3% Black or African American, 6.4% Native American, 2.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.9% from other races, and 4.1% from two or more races. 13.9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.2% were of German, 11.3% English, 9.1% Irish and 7.4% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 91.6% spoke English and 6.2% Spanish as their first language.
There were 9,170 households, out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.08.
The age distribution was 25.1% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 32.2% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 123.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 130.3 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $29,642, and the median income for a family was $36,056. Males had a median income of $40,072 versus $22,212 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,573. About 16.4% of families and 20.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.7% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over.
Del Norte County has one of just five combined county office of education-unified school district learning educational agencies (LEA) in the state of California, with one elected Board of Trustees that serves both agencies, and one superintendent overseeing both the County Office of Education, and the Unified School District.
The Del Norte County Unified School District provides public education to the children of Del Norte County through the twelfth grade. The only high school in Del Norte County is Del Norte High School, whose school mascot is the Warrior. There are also five K-5 elementary schools (Bess Maxwell, Joe Hamilton, Margaret Keating, Mary Peacock, Pine Grove), three K-8 elementary schools (Mountain, Redwood, Smith River), and one middle school (Crescent Elk).
The County Office of Education provides special education services to the county, as well as alternative learning options that includes Community Day and juvenile detention. Alternative educational facilities are Del Norte Community Day, Elk Creek detention center, and Sunset Continuation High School.
Del Norte is traditionally a strongly Republican county in Presidential and congressional elections. The last Democrat to win a majority in the county was Jimmy Carter in 1976; even so, Bill Clinton received a plurality in 1992. In 2016, with Orange County flipping, Del Norte county was the only county on California's coast to vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. In 2020, it remained the only coastal county won by Trump over Democrat Joe Biden.
|2014||50.4% 3,539||49.6% 3,488|
|2010||41.2% 3,373||50.0% 4,093|
|2006||54.9% 3,639||38.2% 2,531|
|2003||55.0% 3,522||25.5% 1,634|
|2002||45.8% 3,093||43.3% 2,922|
|1998||41.5% 3,087||51.3% 3,820|
|1994||61.8% 4,626||31.7% 2,372|
|1990||53.2% 3,615||40.0% 2,717|
|1986||65.8% 4,213||31.6% 2,026|
|1982||51.3% 3,355||44.9% 2,934|
|1978||49.9% 2,933||41.7% 2,451|
|1974||46.1% 1,921||51.6% 2,149|
|1970||57.1% 2,755||41.0% 1,977|
|1966||64.0% 3,409||36.0% 1,918|
|1962||45.9% 2,418||52.0% 2,741|
The county has almost an even split in Democratic and Republican voter registration. As of May 2008, approximately 67% of eligible voters are registered to vote in Del Norte County, with approximately 38% registered as Democrats and approximately 38% registered as Republicans, with the State of California reporting 32 more Republicans than Democrats on April 7, 2010. Third party affiliation accounts for approximately 6% of all registered voters in the county.
In the State Assembly, Del Norte County is in the 2nd Assembly District, represented by Democrat Jim Wood. In the State Senate, the county is in the 2nd Senate District, represented by Democrat Mike McGuire.
Voter registration statistics
|Population and registered voters|
|Registered voters[note 3]||12,239||42.9%|
|Peace and Freedom||49||0.4%|
|No party preference||2,462||20.1%|
Cities by population and voter registration
|Cities by population and voter registration|
|Democratic||Republican||D–R spread||Other||No party preference|
The following table includes the number of incidents reported and the rate per 1,000 persons for each type of offense.
|Population and crime rates|
|Motor vehicle theft||73||2.56|
Cities by population and crime rates
|Cities by population and crime rates|
|City||Population||Violent crimes||Violent crime rate
per 1,000 persons
|Property crimes||Property crime rate|
per 1,000 persons
Contour Airlines conducts passenger flights to and from Jack McNamara Field Airport, operating one daily round trip flight to Oakland International Airport. Flights are largely subsidized by an Alternate Essential Air Service grant approved by the United States Department of Transportation and issued to the Border Coast Regional Airport Authority in 2020.
The Crescent City Harbor serves as a commercial fishing port for salmon, shrimp, tuna, cod, and dungeness crab commercial fishing boats. Nearly 50% of all dungeness crab served in California restaurants is off-loaded in this harbor. The harbor is also home to multiple fishing and non-fishing related businesses and harbor governmental offices. The harbor also has several pleasure boat docks.
Other unincorporated communities
† county seat
|Rank||City/Town/etc.||Municipal type||Population (2010 Census)|
|1||† Crescent City||City||7,643|
|3||Yurok Reservation (partially in Humboldt County)||AIAN||1,238|
|9||Smith River Rancheria||AIAN||113|
|10||Elk Valley Rancheria||AIAN||99|
- Hiking trails in Del Norte County
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Del Norte County, California
- Things to Do, Outdoor Recreation & Visitor Information
- Other = Some other race + Two or more races
- Native American = Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander + American Indian or Alaska Native
- Percentage of registered voters with respect to total population. Percentages of party members with respect to registered voters follow.
- "Del Norte County". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
- "Bear Mountain". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016 Estimates". Retrieved April 27, 2017.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved December 3, 2019.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on October 13, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- Genzoli, Andrew (November 1971). "When the Portuguese Pioneered". Humboldt Historian. 19 (6): 8.
- Roberts, Rich (April 10, 1991). "A California Time Capsule : Pristine Version of State Awaits in Smith River Recreation Area". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
- "Del Norte Fire Safe Plan" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 25, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
- C. Michael Hogan. 2008. Blue Oak: Quercus douglasii, GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. N. Stromberg Archived February 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B02001. U.S. Census website . Retrieved October 26, 2013.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B03003. U.S. Census website . Retrieved October 26, 2013.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19301. U.S. Census website . Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19013. U.S. Census website . Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19113. U.S. Census website . Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. U.S. Census website . Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B01003. U.S. Census website . Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
- Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
- "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
- Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 3, 2008. Retrieved September 4, 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "California's 2nd Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
- "Senators". State of California. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
- California Secretary of State. February 10, 2013 - Report of Registration Archived November 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
- Office of the Attorney General, Department of Justice, State of California. Table 11: Crimes – 2009 Archived December 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- Only larceny-theft cases involving property over $400 in value are reported as property crimes.
- United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Crime in the United States, 2012, Table 8 (California). Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- "2010 U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
- "2010 Census Interactive Population Search : Yurok Reservation". Census.gov. Retrieved November 7, 2017.[permanent dead link]
- "2010 Census Interactive Population Search : Smith River Rancheria". Census.gov. Retrieved November 7, 2017.[permanent dead link]
- "2010 Census Interactive Population Search : Elk Valley Rancheria". Census.gov. Retrieved November 7, 2017.[permanent dead link]
- "2010 Census Interactive Population Search : Resighini Rancheria". Census.gov. Retrieved November 7, 2017.[permanent dead link]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Del Norte County, California.|
- Official website
- Del Norte County & Crescent City Tourism and Travel website
- Chamber of Commerce website
- "DNCWOW.COM" Wiki-website devoted to Del Norte County
- Del Norte Historical Society