Arvada is located primarily in Jefferson County, Colorado. Jefferson County is the largest county in Colorado with a population estimated at 535,000. General boundaries for the county are W. 120th Ave. on the north, Sheridan Blvd. on the east, and Pike National Forest to the south. The county extends west into the mountains to meet Gilpin, Clear Creek and Park Counties.

A small portion of southeast of Arvada is located in Adams County, Colorado.


In 2016, Arvada and CU Denver formed the second Hometown Colorado Initiative Partnership. Through this partnership, an interdisciplinary collection students and professors at CU Denver have been developing solutions to improve livability in Arvada. Faculty and Project Partners at Arvada have crafted five courses to be taught in the fall and spring of the  2016-2017 school year. These courses will challenge students to create new information and ideas through in-depth research and creative problem solving. Students will present their findings to Arvada city staff and residents and will also produce a final report of their findings for each course.

Quick Facts
  • Arvada was the site of the first gold strike in Colorado.  On June 22, 1850, a wagon train, bound for California, crossed the Platte River just north of the confluence with Clear Creek, following Clear Creek west for six miles.  The members of the wagon train rested for a day, and Lewis Ralston dipped his gold pan in an unnamed mountain stream.  He found almost $5 in gold in his first pan.  The stream was later named Ralston Creek in his memory.
  • Arvada is named after the brother-in-law of its founder.  Benjamin F. Wadsworth filed a town plat in 1870 and Mary, Wadsworth’s wife, named the new town in honor of her brother-in-law, Hiram Arvada Haskin.
  • In the early years, Arvada was famous for its pascal celery, which was served for holiday dinners at the White House in the early 1900s.  In fact, Arvada was once known as the “Celery Capital of the World.”
  • The first King Soopers was in Olde Town Arvada in 1947.  Lloyd J. King was the owner.
  • Louis Larsen, an Arvadan, was the railroad engineer who took the first train through the Moffat Tunnel in 1938.
Source: City of Arvada website

2016-2017 Projects

The projects that the Hometown Colorado Initiative and the City of Arvada have partnered on this year support the goals of Arvada’s recently updated comprehensive plan. Priority projects focus on water conservation and housing. The Hometown Colorado 2016-17 Annual Report is now available here.

The five final reports can be viewed below:

Alice Sweet Thomas Park

Garden In A Box

Arvada Housing Sites

Arvada Housing Survey

Arvada Water Budget Analysis

2017-18 Projects

A total of sixteen projects are being planned for the 2017-18 academic year, with faculty from across the CU Denver campus incorporating projects into existing courses.