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San Juan County is a county located in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Utahmarker. It is the largest county in terms of physical area in the state. In the 2000 census its population was 14,413, which by 2005 is estimated to have decreased to 14,104. Its county seat is Monticellomarker, while its most populous city is Blandingmarker .

It was named by the Utah State Legislature for the San Juan River, itself named by Spanishmarker explorer (in honor of Saint John).


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 7,933 square miles (20,547 km²), of which 7,820 mi² (20,254 km²) is land and 113 mi² (292 km²) (1.42%) is water. There are roughly 2 residents per square mile. The county's western and southern boundaries lie deep within gorges carved by the Coloradomarker and San Juan Rivers. Tributary canyons, cutting through rock layers of the surrounding deserts, have carved the land up with chasms, cliffs and plateaus. In the center of the county are Cedar Mesamarker, Comb Washmarker, Natural Bridgesmarker and Hovenweep National Monumentsmarker. Canyonlands National Parkmarker is primarily within the county borders. The Eastern side of Glen Canyon National Recreation Areamarker / Lake Powellmarker in also in San Juan County. Rising above all, the Blue Mountains reach to nearly and the La Sal Mountainsmarker rise to . Both ranges are covered with lush forests vividly contrasting with the scenery below. The elevation change within the county is from near in the La Sal Mountains to at Lake Powell, an elevation change of . The county is cut by deep and spectacular canyons, red rock and mountain meadows, desert, and evergreen forest. The towns run primarily on a north/south axis along U.S. Route 191 and U.S. Route 163 from La Sal in the north to Monument Valley in the south.

Natural Resources

The only operating Uranium Processing plant in the United States operates in the town of Blandingmarker.

San Juan County is home to numerous oil and gas fields that produce primarily from the Desert Creek and Ismay Formations.

Adjacent counties

San Juan County is bordered by more counties than any other county in the United States, at 13.

National protected areas


As of the census of 2000, there were 14,413 people, 4,089 households, and 3,234 families residing in the county. The population density was 2 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 5,449 housing units at an average density of 1 per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 40.77% White, 0.12% Black or African American, 55.69% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.70% from other races, and 1.51% from two or more races. 3.75% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,089 households out of which 47.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.40% were married couples living together, 14.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.90% were non-families. 18.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.46 and the average family size was 4.02.

In the county, the population was spread out with 39.30% under the age of 18, 10.00% from 18 to 24, 25.20% from 25 to 44, 17.10% from 45 to 64, and 8.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females there were 99.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,137, and the median income for a family was $31,673. Males had a median income of $31,497 versus $19,617 for females. The per capita income for the county was $10,229. About 26.90% of families and 31.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.70% of those under age 18 and 35.10% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns


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