Wheat Ridge is a Home Rule Municipality located in Jefferson County, Colorado, United States. Wheat Ridge is a western suburb of Denver. The Wheat Ridge Municipal Center is approximately 5 miles (8 km) west-northwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. The city had a population of 30,166 as of the 2010 Census.
Although Wheat Ridge is a relatively young incorporated city, it has a history based on agriculture and the community’s location along regional travel routes. It grew from a popular rest stop for travelers during the Gold Rush of the late 1850s to an agricultural and suburban community known as the “Carnation City” in the mid 1900s. As the residential areas of unincorporated Jefferson County grew to provide housing to the Denver workforce during the 1950s, the major transportation corridors extending from Denver developed with commercial services. During that era, the formation of numerous utility and fire protection districts provided these unincorporated areas with urban services. Eventually, due to the increasing annexation pressure from nearby municipalities, Wheat Ridge incorporated in 1969.
Wheat Ridge is located at 39°45′58″N 105°04′38″W (39.7660980, -105.0772063) at an elevation of 5,459 feet (1,664 m). Located at the junction of Interstate 70 and Colorado State Highway 391 in central Colorado, the city is immediately west of Denver and 66 miles (106 km) north-northwest of Colorado Springs.
Wheat Ridge is located in the Colorado Piedmont on the western edge of the Great Plains just east of the Front Range of the Southern Rocky Mountains. Clear Creek, a tributary of the South Platte River, flows east then northeast through the city. Lena Gulch, a tributary of Clear Creek, flows northeast through the southwest part of the city.
There are several small lakes and reservoirs in Wheat Ridge. Crown Hill Lake, Kestrel Pond, and North Henry Lee Reservoir are located in the south-central part of the city. West Lake, Tabor Lake, and Propsect Lake are located along Clear Creek in the west-central part of the city.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.55 square miles of which 9.30 square miles is land and 0.25 square miles of it (2.6%) is water.
As a suburb of Denver, Wheat Ridge is part of both the greater Denver metropolitan area and the Front Range Urban Corridor. It borders other communities on all sides including: Arvada to the north; Lakeside, Mountain View, and Denver to the east; Edgewater to the southeast; Lakewood to the south; Applewood to the southwest; and Fairmount to the northwest.
Wheat Ridge is home to the James H. Baugh house, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties. The Baugh House is an 1860 hand-hewn log cabin encased in a circa 1904 frame farmhouse, and is one of several historic structures in the Wheat Ridge Historic Park. The Wheat Ridge Historical Society, in cooperation with the Colorado Historical Society and the City of Wheat Ridge, restored the house, which was designated on August 14, 2012.