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Colorado Facts

Colorado

Colorado is a popular tourist destination for bikers, skiers, climbers, and anyone who loves the outdoors. The state is known for its natural beauty, with scenic mountains, deserts, rivers, and more.

It boasts four national parks, including one of the most popular, the Rocky Mountain National Park. Wildlife includes bighorn sheep, mountain goats, mountain lions, black bears, prairie dogs, and bison.

seal-of-colorado

Quick Facts

  • Capital: Denver
  • Population: 5.6 million
  • Nickname: The Centennial State
  • Key Cities: Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora, Fort Collins, Aspen
  • Postal Abbreviation: CO
  • Major Industries: Agriculture, manufacturing, mining, tourism

History

  • How did Colorado get its name: The state’s name comes from the Spanish language and means “colored red.” Spanish explorers came up with this name after seeing the reddish silt in the Rio Colorado (a river). In 1861, the United States used this name to refer to the entire territory.
  • Date admitted to the Union: Tuesday, August 1, 1876

Geography

  • Size: 104,185 sq. miles
  • Lowest point: Arikaree River at 3,315 feet
  • Highest point: Elbert at 14,433 feet
  • Counties: 64
  • Famous locations: Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Pikes Peak, Vail, San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway

Famous Coloradans

  • Tim Allen- actor
  • Jack Dempsey- boxer
  • Gene Fowler- writer
  • Kristin Davis- actress
  • Chris Fowler- sports broadcaster
  • Chauncey Billups- basketball player

Fun Facts

  • The name “cheeseburger” was first coined in Denver, Colorado in 1935 by Louis Ballast, owner of the “Humpty Dumpty Drive-In.” Jolly Ranchers, too, were invented by a Colorado resident (Bill Harmsen) in 1949.
  • At Colorado’s Picketwire Canyon, you can find one of the world’s largest preserved sets of dinosaur tracks. You can follow the dino prints for more than 1,300 steps across 0.25 miles.
  • Colorado is called the Centennial State because it officially joined the Union 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed.
  • In the United States, there are a total of 91 “fourteeners” (mountain peaks taller than 14,000 feet). 56 of them are in Colorado. In fact, Colorado contains 75% of land area over 10,000 feet in the United States. It’s no wonder that the state is best known for its mountains!
  • Colorado is the only state in history to turn down the Olympics. Denver was set to host the Olympics in 1976, but 62% of state voters rejected the idea because of cost, pollution, and an increased population.
  • The tallest sand dune in America is located in Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Monument. The 700-foot sand peaks were formed by ocean waters and wind more than one million years ago!