A rich history, quiet tree-lined street, and a robust mix of businesses are a few defining characteristics of the thriving Arvada community. Located just northwest of Denver, Arvada is a community unlike most. Despite being one of Denver’s first-ring suburbs, it still manages to maintain its unique, small-town charm. Residents here take pride in their community. They work to build a diverse locale with a wonderful balance of entertainment, recreation, and economic opportunity. Because of this dedication, Arvada was even named one of 2017’s Top Ten Most Livable Cities in the U.S by 24/7 Wall St.
Arvada Gold Rush
Arvada’s claim to fame is the site of the first documented gold discovery in the Rocky Mountain region. On June 22nd, 1850, in a small stream near the mouth of Clear Creek, Lewis Ralston found about 1/4 ounce of gold, which was then worth about five dollars. His companions later named the stream Ralston’s Creek in his honor. However, Ralston did not stay to enjoy the spoils of his discovery but continued to the gold fields of California.
He later returned in 1858 with the Green Russell party in hopes of finding richer deposits. At the confluence of Clear Creek and Ralston Creek they did find gold, but not enough to make a profit. So, they started moving upstream. And at Gregory Gulch, they indeed struck gold with the famous find that started the Gold Rush of 1859.
The canals dug during the Gold Rush became invaluable to the agricultural future of Arvada. With the Colorado Central railroad reaching Arvada by 1870, there was an influx of people moving to the area. Benjamin Franklin Wadsworth was the leading citizen at the time and asked his wife to pick the name for their new community. She chose Arvada in honor of her brother-in-law Hiram Arvada Haskin. The town was officially plotted in 1870 with a population of 100 people.
Today, Arvada encompasses nearly 23,000 acres and has a population of around 108,530. It’s also home to one of Colorado’s top twenty wealthiest zip codes. Three nearby interstates provide easy access to downtown Denver, DIA, and popular mountain communities. The area boasts a highly educated workforce, low crime rates, and an excellent quality of life.
Residents enjoy a unique array of amenities, including a historic downtown. Old Town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and provides and eclectic shopping and dining experience. Soon, it will be one of three area transit stops part of the metropolitan FasTracks light rail system which is currently under development. Arvada also boasts easy access to world-class research institutions including the University of Colorado and Colorado School of Mines.
Within the city limits there are three skate parks, three golf courses, 51 playgrounds, 29 undeveloped open spaces, and 653 acres of landscaped areas. The community is also home to an extensive trail system that connects residents to the larger regional trail system. It includes 125 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails. And the park system includes 90+ neighborhood parks, one within a ten-minute walk of every residence in the community.
Arvada also takes pride in the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, which is one of the largest multi-disciplinary art and culture centers in the country. The Center offers everything from award-winning theater productions and concerts to educational classes for all ages. There are also year-round theater series and several art gallery exhibitions annually.
The ease of access to recreation, economic development, and exceptional quality of life in Arvada makes it one of the most attractive cities to live in the Centennial State.