Alpine County, California

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Alpine County is the smallest county, by population, in the U.S. state of California. As of 2007, it had a population of 1,145, all rural. There are no incorporated cities in the county. The county seat is Markleeville. Over the past 7 years the population of Alpine County has decreased, from 1,208 in 2000 to the current figure of 1,145.

Alpine County is located in the Sierra Nevada, between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park.



Alpine County was created in 1854 during a silver boom in the wake of the nearby Comstock Lode discovery. The county was formed from parts of Amador, El Dorado, Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties. At its formation, the county had a population of about 11,000. By 1868 however, the local silver mines had proven unfruitful, and the population fell to about 1,200.

After the silver rush, Alpine County's economy consisted almost entirely of farming, ranching, and logging. By the 1920s, the population had fallen to just 200 people. With the construction of the Bear Valley and Kirkwood ski resorts in the late 1960s, the population increased to the present level.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 743 square miles (1,920 km2), of which 739 square miles (1,910 km2) is land and 5 square miles (13 km2) (0.61%) is water.

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