County Seal

County Info


  • Total 1,230 sq mi (3,200 km2)
  • Land 1,006 sq mi (2,610 km2)
  • Water 223 sq mi (580 km2)

Highest elevation[2]    6,415 ft (1,955 m)

Population (April 1, 2010)[3]

  • Total 28,610
  • Estimate (2016)[3] 27,540
  • Density 23/sq mi (9.0/km2)


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 mid-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.

Del Norte County was established in 1857, from part of the territory of Klamath County following the great California Gold Rush. Klamath County itself ceased to exist in 1874.