Most Beautiful and Least Desirable Counties

California comes out on top

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The five most beautiful counties in the United States, based on natural amenities such as topography, lakes and rivers, and climate, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

1. Humboldt, California
2. Mendocino, California
3. Del Norte, California
4. Lake, Colorado
5. Calaveras, California

The five least desirable counties, based on amenity deprivation:

1. Red Lake, Minnesota
2. Wilkin, Minnesota
3. Norman, Minnesota
4. Mower, Minnesota
5. Pembina, North Dakota

—Source: American Demographics (Nov. 1999)