Golden-crowned Emerald is endemic to western Mexico. It occurs on the Pacific slope from Sinaloa south to eastern Oaxaca, and occurs inland up the Balsas drainage to southern Morelos (Friedmann et al. 1950, Howell 1993, Howell and Webb 1995). Golden-crowned Emerald generally is resident, but at least locally some populations may make seasonal movements (DesGranges and Grant 1980, Arizmendi and Ornelas 1990).
The elevational distribution of Golden-crowned Emerald is from sea level up to 1800 m (Howell 1993, Howell and Webb 1995).