El Dorado County, California
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El Dorado County, California
El Dorado County, California
County of El Dorado
L StarksGradeBarn.jpg
Sugar Pine Point State Park 1.jpg
American river running through the El Dorado hills.jpg
Images, from top down, left to right: A barn in El Dorado County, the shore of Lake Tahoe in Ed Z'berg Sugar Pine Point State Park, the South Fork American River running through the El Dorado hills, Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park
Flag of El Dorado County, California
Official seal of El Dorado County, California
Location in the state of California
Location in the state of California
California's location in the United States
California's location in the United States
State California
RegionsNorthern California, Sierra Nevada, Gold Country
Metropolitan areaGreater Sacramento
IncorporatedFebruary 18, 1850[1]
Named forSpanish for "the golden" and El Dorado
County seatPlacerville
Largest citySouth Lake Tahoe
 o Total1,786 sq mi (4,630 km2)
 o Land1,708 sq mi (4,420 km2)
 o Water78 sq mi (200 km2)
Highest elevation10,886 ft (3,318 m)
 o Total181,058
 o Estimate 
 o Density100/sq mi (39/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific Time Zone)
 o Summer (DST)UTC−7 (Pacific Daylight Time)
ZIP code
Area code530, 916
FIPS code06-017
GNIS feature ID277273

El Dorado County, officially the County of El Dorado, is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 181,058.[3] The county seat is Placerville.[5]

El Dorado County is part of the Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is located entirely in the Sierra Nevada, from the historic Gold Country in the western foothills to the High Sierra in the east.

El Dorado County's population has grown as Greater Sacramento has expanded into the region. In the county's Lake Tahoe area, environmental awareness and environmental protection initiatives have grown along with the population since the 1960 Winter Olympics, hosted at Squaw Valley Ski Resort in neighboring Placer County.


The present-day site of El Dorado County was once home to the Maidu, Washoe, and Miwok Native American tribes, and is notable for being the site of the 1848 gold discovery that sparked the California Gold Rush.[6] The County of El Dorado was one of California's original 27 counties created effective February 18, 1850 (the number has risen to 58 today). Its name is derived from the Spanish meaning "the gilded/golden".[7]

The final segments of the Pony Express mail route ran through El Dorado County until its replacement with the telegraph service in 1861; U.S. Highway 50 follows the Pony Express route today.

Local landmarks:

The Placerville Mountain Democrat, California's oldest surviving newspaper, serves El Dorado County.

Government and Policing


The El Dorado County Sheriff provides court protection, county jail administration, and coroner service for all of the county and provides patrol and detective services for the unincorporated areas of the county. Placerville, population 11,000, has a municipal police department, as does South Lake Tahoe, population 22,000.


  • James Hume (18 Feb 1850- 7 Nov 1852)
  • Steven Charles Austin (7 Nov 1852- 7 Nov 1856)
  • William Tanner Henson (7 Nov 1856- 15 Sep 1859) - Resigned
  • Walter J. Burwell (15 Sep 1859- 15 Aug 1863) - Resigned
  • Henry Gooding (15 Aug 1863- 7 Nov 1867)
  • Jacob Hart Neff (7 Nov 1867- 7 Nov 1871)
  • Charles Benjamin Dunnam (7 Niv 1871- 7 Nov 1875)
  • Jason McCormick (7 Nov 1875- 7 Nov 1881)
  • George Burnham (7 Nov 1881- 7 Nov 1883)
  • Thomas Augustus Galt (7 Nov 1883- 7 Nov 1887)
  • George H. Hilbert (7 Nov 1887- 7 Nov 1898)
  • Archie Speer Bosquit (7 Nov 1898- 7 Nov 1907)
  • Gilbert Cook (7 Nov 1907- 9 May 1912) - Suicide
  • Albert George Bradshaw (9 May 1912- 7 Nov 1914)
  • Charles E. Hand (7 Nov 1914- 7 Nov 1925)
  • Charles F. Woods (7 Nov 1925- 7 Nov 1931)
  • George Martin Smith Sr. 7 Nov 1931- 7 Nov 1941)
  • Lowell Fred West (7 Nov 1941- 7 Nov 1949)
  • Rowland Lee Morris (7 Nov 1949- 7 Nov 1955)
  • Ernie Carlson (7 Nov 1955- 7 Nov 1965)
  • Robert Mitchum (7 Nov 1965- 7 Nov 1971)
  • Ernie Carlson (7 Nov 1971- 7 Nov 1975)
  • Al Coombs (7 Nov 1975-7 Nov 1977)
  • Richard "Dick" Pacileo (7 Nov 1977- 7 Nov 2001)
  • Jeff Neves ( 7 Nov 2001- 7 Nov 2010)'
  • John D. Agostini (7 Nov 2010- )


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,786 square miles (4,630 km2), of which 1,708 square miles (4,420 km2) is land and 78 square miles (200 km2) (4.4%) is water.[8]

The county, owing to its location in the Sierra Nevada, consists of rolling hills and mountainous terrain. The northeast corner is in the Lake Tahoe Basin (part of the Great Basin), including a portion of the lake itself. Across the Sierra crest to the west lies the majority of the county, referred to as the "western slope." A portion of Folsom Lake is in the northwest corner of the county.

Much of the county is public land. The Eldorado National Forest comprises a significant portion (approximately 43%) of the county's land area, primarily on the western slope. The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, formerly part of the Eldorado and two other National Forests, manages much of the land east of the crest. The Pacific Crest Trail runs through the eastern part of the county, along or roughly paralleling the Sierra crest. The county is home to the Desolation Wilderness, a popular destination for hiking, backpacking, and fishing.

Adjacent counties

Geographic features








Places by population, race, and income


The 2010 United States Census reported that El Dorado County had a population of 181,058. The racial makeup of El Dorado County was 156,793 (86.6%) White, 1,409 (0.8%) African American, 2,070 (1.1%) Native American, 6,297 (3.5%) Asian, 294 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 7,278 (4.0%) from other races, and 6,917 (3.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21,875 persons (12.1%).[21] The largest growth in the county has come in El Dorado Hills where the population grew by 24,092 residents to a total of 42,108 since 2000.[21]


As of the census[22] of 2000, there were 156,299 people, 58,939 households, and 43,025 families residing in the county. The population density was 91 people per square mile (35/km²). There were 71,278 housing units at an average density of 42 per square mile (16/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 89.7% White, 0.5% Black or African American, 1.0% Native American, 2.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.6% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. 9.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 14.9% were of German, 13.4% English, 10.3% Irish, 6.6% Italian and 6.6% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 90.5% spoke English and 6.5% Spanish as their first language.

There were 58,939 households out of which 34.2% had youngsters under the age of 18 living with them, 60.1% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.0% were non-families. 20.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the county, the population was spread out with 26.1% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 26.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.3 males.

The 2000 census also states that the median income for a household in the county was $51,484, and the median income for a family was $60,250. Males had a median income of $46,373 versus $31,537 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,560. About 5.0% of families and 7.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.6% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.


Voter registration statistics

Cities by population and voter registration


El Dorado is a predominantly Republican county in presidential and congressional elections. However, from 1892 until 1952, the county was a Democratic stronghold, with Theodore Roosevelt and Warren Harding being the only two Republicans to carry the county. Since 1952, however, El Dorado has gone Democratic only three times: in 1960 narrowly for John Kennedy, in 1964 in a landslide for Lyndon Johnson, and in 1976 narrowly for Jimmy Carter.

Presidential election results
Election results from statewide races
Year Office Results
2010 Governor Whitman 56.2 - 38.6%
Lieutenant Governor Maldonado 55.6 - 32.8%
Secretary of State Dunn 53.5 - 37.4%
Controller Chiang 46.1 - 45.7%
Treasurer Walters 51.3 - 41.0%
Attorney General Cooley 60.4 - 29.4%
Insurance Commissioner Villines 53.6 - 33.8%

The county is noted as a center of political concern with the United Nations non-binding sustainable development plan Agenda 21, which was on the County Board of Supervisors meeting Agenda on May 15, 2012. Concerns included the threat of U.S. Forest Service road closures and traffic roundabouts.[25] On February 19, 2013, 14 members of the El Dorado County Grand Jury resigned, forcing Supervising Judge Steven Bailey to dissolve it.[26]

El Dorado County is in California's 4th congressional district, represented by Republican Tom McClintock.[27] In the State Assembly, the county is split between the 5th Assembly District, represented by Republican Frank Bigelow and the 6th Assembly District, represented by Republican Kevin Kiley.[28] In the State Senate, it is in the 1st Senate District, represented by Republican Brian Dahle.[29]


The following table includes the number of incidents reported and the rate per 1,000 persons for each type of offense.

Cities by population and crime rates


Major highways

Map of El Dorado County in Northern California

Public transportation

  • El Dorado Transit[33] runs local service in Placerville and surrounding areas (as far east as Pollock Pines). Commuter service into Sacramento and Folsom is also provided.
  • BlueGo[34] is the transit operator for the South Lake Tahoe area. Service also runs into the state of Nevada.


General aviation airports include Placerville Airport, Georgetown Airport, Cameron Airpark and Lake Tahoe Airport.


Portions of El Dorado County are known to contain natural asbestos formations near the surface.[35] The USGS studied amphiboles in rock and soil in the area in response to an EPA sampling study and subsequent criticism of the EPA study. The study found that many amphibole particles in the area meet the counting rule criteria used by the EPA for chemical and morphological limits, but do not meet morphological requirements for commercial-grade-asbestos. The executive summary pointed out that even particles that do not meet requirements for commercial-grade-asbestos may be a health threat and suggested a collaborative research effort to assess health risks associated with naturally occurring asbestos.[36]

In 2003 after construction of the Oak Ridge High School (El Dorado Hills) soccer field, the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry found that some student athletes, coaches and school workers had received substantial exposures. The inside of the school needed to be cleaned of dust.[35]


El Dorado County Courthouse, Placerville

Sister relationships



Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of El Dorado County.[38]

+ county seat

Rank City/town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)

1 El Dorado Hills CDP 42,108
2 South Lake Tahoe City 21,403
3 Cameron Park CDP 18,228
4 Diamond Springs CDP 11,037
5 + Placerville City 10,389
6 Pollock Pines CDP 6,871
7 Shingle Springs CDP 4,432
8 Auburn Lake Trails CDP 3,426
9 Georgetown CDP 2,367
10 Camino CDP 1,750
11 Tahoma (partially in Placer County) CDP 1,191
12 Grizzly Flats CDP 1,066
13 Coloma CDP 529
14 Cold Springs CDP 446
15 Shingle Springs Rancheria[39] AIAN 102

See also


  1. ^ Other = Some other race + Two or more races
  2. ^ Native American = Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander + American Indian or Alaska Native
  3. ^ a b Percentage of registered voters with respect to total population. Percentages of party members with respect to registered voters follow.


  1. ^ "Chronology". California State Association of Counties. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ "Freel Peak". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2012-07-12. Retrieved .
  6. ^ Irish, Marc Charles. "Brief History of El Dorado County | El Dorado County, CAGenWeb | Marc Charles Irish". www.cagenweb.com. Retrieved .
  7. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 116.
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved 2015.
  9. ^ "Freel Peak : Climbing, Hiking & Mountaineering : SummitPost". www.summitpost.org. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B02001. American FactFinder Archived September 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  11. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B03003. American FactFinder Archived September 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  12. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19301. American FactFinder Archived September 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  13. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19013. American FactFinder Archived September 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  14. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19113. American FactFinder Archived September 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  15. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. American FactFinder Archived September 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  16. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B01003. American FactFinder Archived September 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  17. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  18. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 2015.
  19. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015.
  20. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved 2015.
  21. ^ a b "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau.
  22. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved .
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q California Secretary of State. February 10, 2013 - Report of Registration Archived November 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  24. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018.
  25. ^ Carlos Alcalá (May 24, 2012). "El Dorado County folks riled by U.N. agenda for sustainable growth". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 2013.[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ Cathy Locke (March 10, 2013). "The Public Eye: El Dorado County grand jury disbands after mass resignation". Sacramento Bee. Archived from the original on March 12, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  27. ^ "California's 4th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved 2013.
  28. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved 2013.
  29. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved 2013.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Office of the Attorney General, Department of Justice, State of California. Table 11: Crimes – 2009 Archived December 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  31. ^ Only larceny-theft cases involving property over $400 in value are reported as property crimes.
  32. ^ a b c United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Crime in the United States, 2012, Table 8 (California). Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  33. ^ "El Dorado Transit - El Dorado Transit: Public Transportation for El Dorado County, California". www.eldoradotransit.com. Retrieved 2018.
  34. ^ "BlueGo". bluego.org. Archived from the original on 19 February 2010. Retrieved 2018.
  35. ^ a b Raloff, Janet (July 8, 2006), "Dirty Little Secret", Science News, archived from the original (– Scholar search) on July 13, 2007
  36. ^ Meeker, G.P.; Lowers, H.A.; Swayze, G.A.; Van Gosen, B.S.; Stutley, S.J.; Brownfield, I.K. (December 2006), Mineralogy and Morphology of Amphiboles Observed in Soils and Rocks in El Dorado Hills, California, United States Geological Survey
  37. ^ https://www.sf.us.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/e_m07_06_01.html
  38. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-23. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  39. ^ Staff, Website Services & Coordination. "US Census Bureau 2010 Census Interactive Population Map". www.census.gov. Retrieved 2018.[permanent dead link]

External links

Coordinates: 38°47?N 120°32?W / 38.78°N 120.53°W / 38.78; -120.53

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