Colorado

Colorado

Overview
Colorado is a U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

 as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau
Colorado Plateau
The Colorado Plateau, also called the Colorado Plateau Province, is a physiographic region of the Intermontane Plateaus, roughly centered on the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States. The province covers an area of 337,000 km2 within western Colorado, northwestern New Mexico,...

 and the western edge of the Great Plains
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

. Colorado is part of the Western United States
Western United States
.The Western United States, commonly referred to as the American West or simply "the West," traditionally refers to the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. Because the U.S. expanded westward after its founding, the meaning of the West has evolved over time...

 and the Mountain States
Mountain States
thumb|300px|Regional definitions vary from source to source. The states shown in dark red are always included, while the striped states are usually considered part of the same region called the Mountain States....

.

The state was named for the Colorado River
Colorado River
The Colorado River , is a river in the Southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, approximately long, draining a part of the arid regions on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. The watershed of the Colorado River covers in parts of seven U.S. states and two Mexican states...

, which early Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 explorers named the Río Colorado for the red colored silt the river carried from the mountains. On August 1, 1876, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

 signed a proclamation admitting Colorado as the 38th state.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Colorado'
Start a new discussion about 'Colorado'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Timeline

1806   Pike expedition: Lieutenant Zebulon Pike sees a distant mountain peak while near the Colorado foothills of the Rocky Mountains (it is later named Pikes Peak).

1850   The Compromise of 1850 transfers a third of Texas's claimed territory (now parts of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyoming) to federal control in return for the U.S. federal government assuming $10 million of Texas's pre-annexation debt.

1858   Denver, Colorado is founded.

1861   Colorado is organized as a United States territory.

1876   Colorado is admitted as the 38th U.S. state.

1889   In Colorado, Nicholas Creede strikes it rich in silver during the last great silver boom of the American Old West.

1893   Women in the U.S. state of Colorado are granted the right to vote.

1894   Governor Davis H. Waite orders the Colorado state militia to protect and support the miners engaged in the Cripple Creek miners' strike.

1914   Forty-five men, women, and children die in the Ludlow Massacre during a Colorado coal-miner's strike.

1954   President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes the creation of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.

 
Encyclopedia
Colorado is a U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

 as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau
Colorado Plateau
The Colorado Plateau, also called the Colorado Plateau Province, is a physiographic region of the Intermontane Plateaus, roughly centered on the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States. The province covers an area of 337,000 km2 within western Colorado, northwestern New Mexico,...

 and the western edge of the Great Plains
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

. Colorado is part of the Western United States
Western United States
.The Western United States, commonly referred to as the American West or simply "the West," traditionally refers to the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. Because the U.S. expanded westward after its founding, the meaning of the West has evolved over time...

 and the Mountain States
Mountain States
thumb|300px|Regional definitions vary from source to source. The states shown in dark red are always included, while the striped states are usually considered part of the same region called the Mountain States....

.

The state was named for the Colorado River
Colorado River
The Colorado River , is a river in the Southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, approximately long, draining a part of the arid regions on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. The watershed of the Colorado River covers in parts of seven U.S. states and two Mexican states...

, which early Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 explorers named the Río Colorado for the red colored silt the river carried from the mountains. On August 1, 1876, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

 signed a proclamation admitting Colorado as the 38th state. Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State" because it was admitted to the Union
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 as the 38th state in 1876, the centennial year
Century
A century is one hundred consecutive years. Centuries are numbered ordinally in English and many other languages .-Start and end in the Gregorian Calendar:...

 of the United States Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

.

Colorado is bordered by the northwest
Northwestern United States
The Northwestern United States comprise the northwestern states up to the western Great Plains regions of the United States, and consistently include the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, to which part of southeast Alaska is also sometimes included...

 state of Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

 to the north, the midwest
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

 states of Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

 and Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

 to the northeast and east, on the south by New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

 and a small portion of the southern
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 state of Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

, and on the west by Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

. The four states of Colorado, New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

, and Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

 meet at one common point known as the Four Corners, which is known as the heart of the American Southwest
Southwestern United States
The Southwestern United States is a region defined in different ways by different sources. Broad definitions include nearly a quarter of the United States, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah...

. Colorado is one of only three U.S. states with no natural borders, the others being neighboring Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

 and Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

.

Colorado is noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, forests, high plains
High Plains (United States)
The High Plains are a subregion of the Great Plains mostly in the Western United States, but also partly in the Midwest states of Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota, generally encompassing the western part of the Great Plains before the region reaches the Rocky Mountains...

, mesa
Mesa
A mesa or table mountain is an elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs. It takes its name from its characteristic table-top shape....

s, canyon
Canyon
A canyon or gorge is a deep ravine between cliffs often carved from the landscape by a river. Rivers have a natural tendency to reach a baseline elevation, which is the same elevation as the body of water it will eventually drain into. This forms a canyon. Most canyons were formed by a process of...

s, plateau
Plateau
In geology and earth science, a plateau , also called a high plain or tableland, is an area of highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain. A highly eroded plateau is called a dissected plateau...

s, river
River
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

s, and desert lands
Desert
A desert is a landscape or region that receives an extremely low amount of precipitation, less than enough to support growth of most plants. Most deserts have an average annual precipitation of less than...

. The 2010 United States Census tallied the state population at 5,029,196 as of April 1, 2010, an increase of 16.92% since the 2000 United States Census. Denver is the capital and the most populous city of Colorado. Residents of the state are properly known as "Coloradans", although the archaic term "Coloradoan" is still used.

Geography


The borders of Colorado were originally defined to be lines of latitude and longitude, making its shape a latitude-longitude* quadrangle which stretches from 37°N
37th parallel north
The 37th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 37 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Africa, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

 to 41°N
41st parallel north
The 41st parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 41 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

 latitude and from 102°03'W
25th meridian west from Washington
The 25th meridian of longitude west from Washington is a line of longitude approximately 102.05 degrees west of the Prime Meridian of Greenwich...

 to 109°03'W
32nd meridian west from Washington
The 32nd meridian of longitude west from Washington is a line of longitude approximately 109°02′48″ west of the Prime Meridian of Greenwich. In the United States of America, the meridian 32 degrees west of the Washington Meridian defines the western boundaries of the State of Colorado and the...

 longitude (25°W
25th meridian west from Washington
The 25th meridian of longitude west from Washington is a line of longitude approximately 102.05 degrees west of the Prime Meridian of Greenwich...

 to 32°W
32nd meridian west from Washington
The 32nd meridian of longitude west from Washington is a line of longitude approximately 109°02′48″ west of the Prime Meridian of Greenwich. In the United States of America, the meridian 32 degrees west of the Washington Meridian defines the western boundaries of the State of Colorado and the...

 from the Washington Meridian
Washington meridian
The Washington meridian was one of four prime meridians of the United States which passed through Washington, D.C.. The four which have been specified are:# through the Capitol# through the White House# through the old Naval Observatory...

). Colorado, Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

 and Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

 are the only states which have boundaries defined solely by lines of latitude and longitude. When placing the border markers for the Territory of Colorado, minor surveying
Surveying
See Also: Public Land Survey SystemSurveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, and science of accurately determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional position of points and the distances and angles between them...

 errors resulted in several small kinks, most notably along the border with the Territory of Utah. Once agreed upon by the federal, state, and territorial governments, those surveyors' benchmarks
Benchmark (surveying)
The term bench mark, or benchmark, originates from the chiseled horizontal marks that surveyors made in stone structures, into which an angle-iron could be placed to form a "bench" for a leveling rod, thus ensuring that a leveling rod could be accurately repositioned in the same place in the future...

, became the legal boundaries for the Colorado Territory, kinks and all.


The summit of Mount Elbert
Mount Elbert
Mount Elbert is the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains of North America, at , the highest of the fourteeners in Colorado, and the high point of the Sawatch Range. It is located in Lake County, approximately southwest of Leadville...

 at 14440 feet (4,401 m) in elevation in Lake County is the highest point of Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. Colorado is the only U.S. state that lies entirely above 1000 metres (3,281 ft) elevation. The point where the Arikaree River
Arikaree River
The Arikaree River is a tributary of the Republican River that starts near Limon in Lincoln County, Colorado. The river flows east into Kansas, crossing the extreme northwestern corner of that state before entering Nebraska...

 flows out of Yuma County, Colorado
Yuma County, Colorado
Yuma County is the 14th most extensive of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States. The county population was 9,841 at U.S. Census 2000...

, and into Cheyenne County, Kansas
Cheyenne County, Kansas
Cheyenne County is a county located in Northwest Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 2,726. Its county seat and most populous city is St...

, is the lowest point in Colorado at 3317 feet (1,011 m) elevation. This point holds the distinction of being the highest low elevation point of any state.
A little over one third of the area of Colorado is flat and rolling land. East of the Rocky Mountains are the Colorado Eastern Plains
Colorado Eastern Plains
The Eastern Plains of Colorado refers to a region of the U.S. state of Colorado east of the Rocky Mountains and east of the population centers of the Front Range.-Geography:...

 of the High Plains
High Plains (United States)
The High Plains are a subregion of the Great Plains mostly in the Western United States, but also partly in the Midwest states of Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota, generally encompassing the western part of the Great Plains before the region reaches the Rocky Mountains...

, the section of the Great Plains within Colorado at elevations ranging from roughly 3350 to 7360 ft (1,021.1 to 2,243.3 m). The midwest plains states of Kansas and Nebraska border Colorado to the east and northeast. The Colorado plains are usually thought of as prairie
Prairie
Prairies are considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type...

s, but actually they have many patches of deciduous forests, butte
Butte
A butte is a conspicuous isolated hill with steep, often vertical sides and a small, relatively flat top; it is smaller than mesas, plateaus, and table landform tables. In some regions, such as the north central and northwestern United States, the word is used for any hill...

s, and canyons, much like the high plains in New Mexico as well. Eastern Colorado is presently mainly covered in farmland, along with small farming villages and towns. Precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 is fair, averaging from 15 to 25 in (381 to 635 mm) annually. The summers in the plains are normally hot and dry, while the winters are often quite cold, snowy, and icy. Corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

, wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

, hay
Hay
Hay is grass, legumes or other herbaceous plants that have been cut, dried, and stored for use as animal fodder, particularly for grazing livestock such as cattle, horses, goats, and sheep. Hay is also fed to pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs...

, soybeans, and oats
OATS
OATS - Open Source Assistive Technology Software - is a source code repository or "forge" for assistive technology software. It was launched in 2006 with the goal to provide a one-stop “shop” for end users, clinicians and open-source developers to promote and develop open source assistive...

 are all typical crops, and most of the villages and towns in this region boast both a water tower
Water tower
A water tower or elevated water tower is a large elevated drinking water storage container constructed to hold a water supply at a height sufficient to pressurize a water distribution system....

 and a grain elevator
Grain elevator
A grain elevator is a tower containing a bucket elevator, which scoops up, elevates, and then uses gravity to deposit grain in a silo or other storage facility...

. As well as the farming of crop
Crop
Crop may refer to:* Crop, a plant grown and harvested for agricultural use* Crop , part of the alimentary tract of some animals* Crop , a modified whip used in horseback riding or disciplining humans...

s, Eastern Colorado has a good deal of livestock
Livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

 raising, such as at cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

 ranches and hog farm
Intensive pig farming
Intensive piggeries are a type of factory farm ' specialized in the raising of domestic pigs up to slaughter weight...

s and irrigation
Irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

 water is available from the South Platte, the Arkansas River, and a few other streams, and also from subterranean sources, including artesian wells. However, heavy use of ground water from wells for irrigation has caused underground water reserves to decline.


Most of Colorado's population resides along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in the Front Range Urban Corridor
Front Range Urban Corridor
The Front Range Urban Corridor is an oblong region of urban population located along the eastern face of the Southern Rocky Mountains in the U.S. states of Colorado and Wyoming. The corridor derives its name from the Front Range, the mountain range that defines the west central boundary of the...

 between Cheyenne, Wyoming
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Cheyenne is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Wyoming and the county seat of Laramie County. It is the principal city of the Cheyenne, Wyoming, Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Laramie County. The population is 59,466 at the 2010 census. Cheyenne is the...

, and Pueblo, Colorado
Pueblo, Colorado
Pueblo is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Pueblo County, Colorado, United States. The population was 106,595 in 2010 census, making it the 246th most populous city in the United States....

. This region is partially protected from prevailing storms that blow in from the Pacific Ocean region by the high Rockies in the middle of Colorado. The only other significant population centers are at Grand Junction and Durango in far western Colorado.


To the west of Great Plains of Colorado rises the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. Notable peaks of the Rocky Mountains include Longs Peak
Longs Peak
Longs Peak is one of the 53 mountains with summits over 14,000 feet in Colorado. It can be prominently seen from Longmont, Colorado, as well as from the rest of the Colorado Front Range. It is named after Major Stephen Long, who explored the area in the 1820s...

, Mount Evans
Mount Evans
Mount Evans is a mountain in the Front Range region of the Rocky Mountains, in Clear Creek County, Colorado. It is one of 54 fourteeners in Colorado, and the closest fourteener to Denver...

, Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak is a mountain in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, west of Colorado Springs, Colorado, in El Paso County in the United States of America....

, and the Spanish Peaks
Spanish Peaks
The Spanish Peaks are a pair of volcanic mountains located in southwestern Huerfano County, Colorado. The Ute indians named them Huajatolla , meaning "two breasts". The Spanish name translates as "Breasts of the Earth". The two peaks, West Spanish Peak and East Spanish Peak, are the easternmost...

 near Walsenburg
Walsenburg, Colorado
The City of Walsenburg or Los Leones is a Statutory City that is the county seat and the most populous city of Huerfano County, Colorado, United States...

, in southern Colorado. This area drains to the east and the southeast, ultimately either via the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 or the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
The Rio Grande is a river that flows from southwestern Colorado in the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way it forms part of the Mexico – United States border. Its length varies as its course changes...

 into the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

.

The Continental Divide
Continental Divide
The Continental Divide of the Americas, or merely the Continental Gulf of Division or Great Divide, is the name given to the principal, and largely mountainous, hydrological divide of the Americas that separates the watersheds that drain into the Pacific Ocean from those river systems that drain...

 extends along the crest of the Rocky Mountains. The area of Colorado to the west of the Continental Divide is called the Western Slope of Colorado
Colorado Western Slope
The Western Slope of Colorado refers to a region of the U.S. state of Colorado incorporating everything in the state west of the Continental Divide. The Colorado River and its tributaries divide the region into north and south at Grand Junction, Colorado...

. Drainage water west of the Continental Divide flows to the southwest via the Green River
Green River (Utah)
The Green River, located in the western United States, is the chief tributary of the Colorado River. The watershed of the river, known as the Green River Basin, covers parts of Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. The Green River is long, beginning in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming and flowing...

 and the Colorado River into the Gulf of California
Gulf of California
The Gulf of California is a body of water that separates the Baja California Peninsula from the Mexican mainland...

.

Within the interior of the Rocky Mountains are several large so-called "parks" or high broad basins. In the north, on the east side of the Continental Divide is the North Park of Colorado
North Park (Colorado basin)
North Park is a high, sparsely populated basin in the Rocky Mountains in north central Colorado in the United States. It encompasses a wide valley in Jackson County rimmed by mountain ranges at the headwaters of the North Platte River and several smaller tributaries, including the Michigan River,...

. The North Park is drained by the North Platte River
North Platte River
The North Platte River is a major tributary of the Platte River and is approximately long counting its many curves, It travels about distance. Its course lies in the U.S...

, which flows north into Wyoming and Nebraska. Just to the south of North Park, but on the western side of the Continental Divide, is the Middle Park of Colorado
Middle Park (Colorado basin)
Middle Park is a high basin in the Rocky Mountains of north-central Colorado in the United States. It is located in Grand County, on the southwest slope of Rocky Mountain National Park, approximately 50 miles west of Boulder.-Description:The basin surrounds the headwaters of the Colorado River...

, which is drained by the Colorado River. The South Park of Colorado
South Park (Colorado basin)
South Park is a high intermontane grassland basin, approximately 10,000 ft in elevation, in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado. It encompasses approximately 1,000 square miles around the headwaters of the South Platte River in Park County approximately 60 mi southwest of Denver...

 is the region of the headwaters of the South Platte River.

In southmost Colorado is the large San Luis Valley
San Luis Valley
The San Luis Valley is an extensive alpine valley in the U.S. states of Colorado and New Mexico covering approximately and sitting at an average elevation of above sea level. The valley sits atop the Rio Grande Rift and is drained to the south by the Rio Grande River, which rises in the San Juan...

, where the headwaters of the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
The Rio Grande is a river that flows from southwestern Colorado in the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way it forms part of the Mexico – United States border. Its length varies as its course changes...

 are located. The valley sits between the Sangre De Cristo Mountains
Sangre de Cristo Mountains
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are the southernmost subrange of the Rocky Mountains. They are located in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico in the United States...

 and San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains
The San Juan Mountains are a high and rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado. The area is highly mineralized and figured in the gold and silver mining industry of early Colorado. Major towns, all old mining camps, include Creede, Lake City, Silverton, Ouray, and...

, and consists of large desert lands that eventually run into the mountains. The Rio Grande drains due south into New Mexico, Mexico, and Texas. Across the Sangre de Cristo Range
Sangre de Cristo Range
The Sangre de Cristo Range, called the East Range locally in the San Luis Valley, is a narrow mountain range of the Rocky Mountains running north and south along the east side of the Rio Grande Rift in southern Colorado in the United States...

 to the east of the San Luis Valley lies the Wet Mountain Valley
Wet Mountain Valley
The Wet Mountain Valley is a high elevation mountain valley located in Custer County in south-central Colorado. The towns in the valley are Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, which are at an elevation of just under 8,000 feet...

. These basins, particularly the San Luis Valley, lie along the Rio Grande Rift
Rio Grande Rift
The Rio Grande Rift is a north-trending continental rift zone. It separates the Colorado Plateau in the west from the interior of the North American craton on the east. The rift extends from central Colorado in the north to the state of Chihuahua, Mexico in the south. The rift zone consists of four...

, a major geological formation of the Rocky Mountains, and its branches.

The Rocky Mountains within Colorado contain about 54 peaks that are 14000 feet (4,267 m) or higher in elevation above sea level, known as fourteeners. These mountains are largely covered with trees such as conifers and aspen
Aspen
Populus section Populus, of the Populus genus, includes the aspen trees and the white poplar Populus alba. The five typical aspens are all native to cold regions with cool summers, in the north of the Northern Hemisphere, extending south at high altitudes in the mountains. The White Poplar, by...

s up to the tree line, at an elevation of about 12140 feet (3,700 m) in southern Colorado to about 10500 feet (3,200 m) in northern Colorado. Above this only alpine vegetation grows. Only small parts of the Colorado Rockies are snow-covered year round. Much of the alpine snow melts by mid-August with the exception of a few snowcapped peaks and a few small glaciers. The Colorado Mineral Belt
Colorado Mineral Belt
The Colorado Mineral Belt is an area with abundant ore deposits. The area stretches north-east from the La Plata Mountains in Southwestern Colorado to the Front Range near Boulder, Colorado...

, stretching from the San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains
The San Juan Mountains are a high and rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado. The area is highly mineralized and figured in the gold and silver mining industry of early Colorado. Major towns, all old mining camps, include Creede, Lake City, Silverton, Ouray, and...

 in the southwest to Boulder and Central City on the front range, contains most of the historic gold- and silver-mining districts of Colorado.
The 30 highest major summits of the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

 of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 all lie within the state. Colorado is home to four national parks, six national monuments, two national recreation areas, two national historic sites, three national historic trails, a national scenic trail, 11 national forests, two national grasslands, 41 national wilderness areas, two national conservation areas, eight national wildlife refuges, 44 state parks, a state forest, 323 state wildlife areas, and numerous other scenic, historic, and recreational attractions.

The Western Slope of Colorado is drained by the Colorado River and its tributaries (primarily the Green River
Green River (Utah)
The Green River, located in the western United States, is the chief tributary of the Colorado River. The watershed of the river, known as the Green River Basin, covers parts of Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. The Green River is long, beginning in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming and flowing...

 and the San Juan River), or by evaporation in its arid areas. Prominent in the southwestern area of the Western Slope are the high San Juan Mountains, a rugged mountain range, and to the west of the San Juan Mountains, the Colorado Plateau
Colorado Plateau
The Colorado Plateau, also called the Colorado Plateau Province, is a physiographic region of the Intermontane Plateaus, roughly centered on the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States. The province covers an area of 337,000 km2 within western Colorado, northwestern New Mexico,...

, a high arid region that borders Southern Utah. The city of Grand Junction, Colorado
Grand Junction, Colorado
The City of Grand Junction is the largest city in western Colorado. It is a city with a council–manager government form that is the county seat and the most populous city of Mesa County, Colorado, United States. Grand Junction is situated west-southwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. As...

, is the largest city on the Western Slope, Grand Junction and Durango are the only major centers of radio and television broadcasting, newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

s, and higher education on the Western Slope. The Mesa State College
Mesa State College
Colorado Mesa University is a public comprehensive university in Grand Junction, Colorado. The university has its primary campus in central Grand Junction. The university also has other campuses as well; Bishop Campus, which houses Western Colorado Community College in northwestern Grand Junction...

 in Grand Junction, Western State College in Gunnison, and Fort Lewis College in Durango are the only four-year colleges in Colorado west of the Continental Divide
Continental Divide
The Continental Divide of the Americas, or merely the Continental Gulf of Division or Great Divide, is the name given to the principal, and largely mountainous, hydrological divide of the Americas that separates the watersheds that drain into the Pacific Ocean from those river systems that drain...

.
Grand Junction is located along Interstate 70
Interstate 70 in Colorado
Interstate 70 is a transcontinental Interstate Highway in the United States, stretching from Cove Fort, Utah to Baltimore, Maryland. In Colorado, the highway traverses an east–west route across the center of the state. In western Colorado, the highway connects the metropolitan areas of Grand...

, the only major highway of Western Colorado. Grand Junction is also along the major railroad of the Western Slope, the Union Pacific, which also provides the tracks for Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

's California Zephyr
California Zephyr
The California Zephyr is a long passenger train route operated by Amtrak in the midwestern and western United States.It runs from Chicago, Illinois, in the east to Emeryville, California, in the west, passing through the states of Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California...

 passenger train, which crosses the Rocky Mountains between Denver and Grand Junction via a route on which there are no continuous highways.

To the southeast of Grand Junction is the Grand Mesa
Grand Mesa
The Grand Mesa is a large mesa in western Colorado in the United States. It has an area of about and stretches for about east of Grand Junction between the Colorado River and the Gunnison River, its tributary to the south. The north side of the mesa is drained largely by Plateau Creek, a...

, said to be the world's largest flat-topped mountain. Other towns of the Western Slope include Glenwood Springs with its resort hot springs, and the ski resort
Ski resort
A ski resort is a resort developed for skiing and other winter sports. In Europe a ski resort is a town or village in a ski area - a mountainous area, where there are ski trails and supporting services such as hotels and other accommodation, restaurants, equipment rental and a ski lift system...

s of Aspen, Breckenridge, Vail, Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs, and Telluride.
The northwestern corner of Colorado is a sparsely-populated region, and it contains part of the noted Dinosaur National Monument
Dinosaur National Monument
Dinosaur National Monument is a National Monument located on the southeast flank of the Uinta Mountains on the border between Colorado and Utah at the confluence of the Green and Yampa Rivers. Although most of the monument area is in Moffat County, Colorado, the Dinosaur Quarry is located in Utah...

, which is not only a paleontological
Paleontology
Paleontology "old, ancient", ὄν, ὀντ- "being, creature", and λόγος "speech, thought") is the study of prehistoric life. It includes the study of fossils to determine organisms' evolution and interactions with each other and their environments...

 area, but is also a scenic area of high, rocky hills, canyons, and streambeads. Here, the Green River briefly crosses over into Colorado.

From west to east, the land of Colorado consists of desert lands and desert plateaus, then alpine mountains with National Forests, then some scattered desert land in the southern mountain areas in the state, and then the relatively-flat grasslands and scattered forests of the Great Plains
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

. The famous Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak is a mountain in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, west of Colorado Springs, Colorado, in El Paso County in the United States of America....

 is located just west of Colorado Springs. Its isolated peak is visible from nearly the Kansas border on clear days, and also far to the north and the south. The desert lands in Colorado are located in and around areas such as, the Royal Gorge
Royal Gorge
The Royal Gorge is a canyon on the Arkansas River near Cañon City, Colorado. With a width of at its base and a few hundred feet at its top, and a depth of in places, the 10-mile-long canyon is a narrow, steep gorge through the granite of Fremont Peak...

, Pueblo
Pueblo, Colorado
Pueblo is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Pueblo County, Colorado, United States. The population was 106,595 in 2010 census, making it the 246th most populous city in the United States....

, Canon City
Cañon City, Colorado
The City of Cañon City is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Fremont County, State of Colorado. The United States Census Bureau estimated that the city population was 16,000 in 2005. Cañon City is noted for being the location of nine state and four ...

, Florence
Florence, Colorado
The City of Florence is a Statutory City located in Fremont County, Colorado, United States. The population was 3,653 at the 2000 census.ADX Florence, the only federal Supermax prison in the United States, is located south of Florence in an unincorporated area in Fremont County...

, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
-Other features:The park also contains alpine lakes and tundra, six peaks over 13,000 feet in elevation, ancient spruce and pine forests, large stands of aspen and cottonwood, grasslands, and wetlands — all habitat for diverse wildlife and plant species.One of the most unusual features of...

, San Luis Valley
San Luis Valley
The San Luis Valley is an extensive alpine valley in the U.S. states of Colorado and New Mexico covering approximately and sitting at an average elevation of above sea level. The valley sits atop the Rio Grande Rift and is drained to the south by the Rio Grande River, which rises in the San Juan...

, Cortez
Cortez, Colorado
The city of Cortez is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Montezuma County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 8,482 at the 2010 census...

, Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, Hovenweep National Monument
Hovenweep National Monument
Hovenweep National Monument is located on land in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah, located between Cortez, Colorado and Blanding, Utah on the Cajon Mesa of the Great Sage Plain...

, Ute Mountain
Ute Mountain
Ute Mountain , is a peak within the Ute Mountains, a small mountain range in the southwestern corner of Colorado. It is on the northern edge of the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation. The Reservation forms the southwestern corner of the state and of Montezuma County.Nomenclature for this peak and its...

, Delta
Delta, Colorado
The City of Delta is the county seat and the most populous city of Delta County, Colorado, United States. The population was 8,915 at the 2010 census...

, Grand Junction
Grand Junction, Colorado
The City of Grand Junction is the largest city in western Colorado. It is a city with a council–manager government form that is the county seat and the most populous city of Mesa County, Colorado, United States. Grand Junction is situated west-southwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. As...

, Colorado National Monument
Colorado National Monument
- Trails :The Monument contains many hiking trails, with lengths and difficulties to suit all tastes. Summer storms can cause flash floods as well as dangerous trail conditions. Rattlesnakes are found on the Monument, and rough terrain exists everywhere, but most trails are well-maintained...

, Roan Plateau
Roan Plateau
The Roan Plateau, located in western Colorado, USA, near Rifle, contains a variety of natural resources and scenic terrain: high ridges, deep valleys, desert lands, waterfalls, cutthroat trout, mountain lions, bears, rare plants, and oil and natural gas...

, and other areas surrounding the Uncompahgre Plateau
Uncompahgre Plateau
The Uncompahgre Plateau in western Colorado is a distinctive large uplift part of the Colorado Plateau. Uncompahgre is a Ute Indian word that describes the water: "Dirty Water" or "Rocks that make Water Red"....

 and Uncompahgre National Forest
Uncompahgre National Forest
Uncompahgre National Forest is a U.S. National Forest covering 955,229 acres in parts of Montrose, Mesa, San Miguel, Ouray, Gunnison, San Juan, and Delta Counties in western Colorado...

.

Colorado is one of four states in the United States that share a common geographic point the Four Corners, together with Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. At this intersection, it is possible to stand in four states at once.

Climate



The climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

 of Colorado is quite complex compared to most of the United States. Unlike in other states, southern Colorado is not necessarily warmer than northern Colorado. Most of Colorado is made up of mountains, foothills, high plains, and desert lands. Mountains and surrounding valleys greatly affect local climate. As a general rule, with an increase in elevation comes a decrease in temperature
Temperature
Temperature is a physical property of matter that quantitatively expresses the common notions of hot and cold. Objects of low temperature are cold, while various degrees of higher temperatures are referred to as warm or hot...

 and an increase in precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

. Northeast, east, and southeast Colorado are mostly the high plains, while Northern Colorado is a mix of high plains, foothills, and mountains. Northwest and west Colorado are predominantly mountainous, with some desert lands mixed in. Southwest and southern Colorado are a complex mixture of desert and mountain areas.

Eastern Plains


The climate of the Eastern Plains is semi-arid (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 BSk) with low humidity
Humidity
Humidity is a term for the amount of water vapor in the air, and can refer to any one of several measurements of humidity. Formally, humid air is not "moist air" but a mixture of water vapor and other constituents of air, and humidity is defined in terms of the water content of this mixture,...

 and moderate precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

, usually from 15 to 25 in (381 to 635 mm) annually. The area is known for its abundant sunshine and cool clear nights, which give this area a great average diurnal temperature range
Diurnal temperature variation
Diurnal temperature variation is a meteorological term that relates to the variation in temperature that occurs from the highs of the day to the cool of nights.-Temperature lag:Temperature lag is an important factor in diurnal temperature variation...

. In summer, this area can have many days above 95 °F (35 °C) and sometimes 100 °F (37.8 °C),. Although 105 °F (40.6 °C) is the maximum in the front range cities above 5000 ft (1,524 m), front range cities sitting just below 5000 ft (1,524 m) have reached 112 °F (44.4 °C),. In the plains, the winter extremes can be from 0 °F (-18 °C) to -10 °F. About 75% of the precipitation falls within the growing season, from April to September, but this area is very prone to droughts. Most of the precipitation comes from thunderstorm
Thunderstorm
A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm, a lightning storm, thundershower or simply a storm is a form of weather characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere known as thunder. The meteorologically assigned cloud type associated with the...

s, which are often severe, and from major snowstorms that occur most often in the early spring, late autumn, and winter. Otherwise, winters tend to be mostly dry and cold. In much of the region, March and April are the snowiest months. April and May are normally the rainiest months, while April is the wettest month overall. The Front Range cities closer to the mountains tend to be warmer in the winter due to chinook wind
Chinook wind
Chinook winds , often called chinooks, commonly refers to foehn winds in the interior West of North America, where the Canadian Prairies and Great Plains meet various mountain ranges, although the original usage is in reference to wet, warm coastal winds in the Pacific Northwest.Chinook is claimed...

s which warm the area, sometimes bringing temperatures of 70 °F (21.1 °C) or higher in the winter,. The average July temperature is 55 °F (12.8 °C) in the morning and close to 90 °F (32.2 °C) in the afternoon. The average January temperature is 18 °F (-7.8 °C) in the morning and 45 °F (7.2 °C) in the afternoon, although variation between consecutive days can be 40 °F (22 °C).

West of the plains and foothills


West of the plains and foothills, the weather of Colorado is much less uniform. Even places a few miles apart can experience entirely different weather depending on the topography of the area. Most valleys have a semi-arid climate, which becomes an alpine climate
Alpine climate
Alpine climate is the average weather for a region above the tree line. This climate is also referred to as mountain climate or highland climate....

 at higher elevations. Humid microclimate
Microclimate
A microclimate is a local atmospheric zone where the climate differs from the surrounding area. The term may refer to areas as small as a few square feet or as large as many square miles...

s also exist in some areas. Generally, the wettest season in western Colorado is winter while June is the driest month. This is the opposite of precipitation patterns in the east. The mountains have cool summers with many days of high temperatures around 60 °F (15.6 °C) to 70 °F (21.1 °C), although frequent thunderstorms can cause sudden drops in temperature. Summer nights are cool or even cold at the highest elevations, which sometimes get snow even in the middle of the summer. The winters bring abundant, powdery snowfall to the mountains with plenty of sunshine in between major storms. The western slope has high summer temperatures similar to those found on the plains, while the winters tend to be slightly cooler due to the lack of warming winds common to the plains and Front Range. Other areas in the west have their own unique climate.

Extreme weather


Extreme weather is a common occurrence in Colorado. Thunderstorms are common east of the Continental divide in the spring and summer, and Colorado is one of the leading states in deaths due to lightning
Lightning
Lightning is an atmospheric electrostatic discharge accompanied by thunder, which typically occurs during thunderstorms, and sometimes during volcanic eruptions or dust storms...

. Hail
Hail
Hail is a form of solid precipitation. It consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice, each of which is referred to as a hail stone. Hail stones on Earth consist mostly of water ice and measure between and in diameter, with the larger stones coming from severe thunderstorms...

 is a common sight in the mountains east of the divide and in the northwest part of the state. The Eastern Plains have some of the biggest hail storms in North America. Also the Eastern Plains are part of Tornado Alley
Tornado Alley
Tornado Alley is a colloquial and popular media term that most often refers to the area of the United States where tornadoes are most frequent. Although an official location is not defined, the area between the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains is usually associated with it.The areas...

 and produce some of the deadliest U.S. tornadoes. Some damaging tornadoes in the Eastern Plains include the 1990 Limon F3
Fujita scale
The Fujita scale , or Fujita-Pearson scale, is a scale for rating tornado intensity, based primarily on the damage tornadoes inflict on human-built structures and vegetation...

 tornado and the 2008 Windsor EF3
Enhanced Fujita Scale
The Enhanced Fujita Scale rates the strength of tornadoes in the United States based on the damage they cause.Implemented in place of the Fujita scale introduced in 1971 by Ted Fujita, it began operational use on February 1, 2007. The scale has the same basic design as the original Fujita scale:...

 tornado, which devastated the town.
The plains are also susceptible to flood
Flood
A flood is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land. The EU Floods directive defines a flood as a temporary covering by water of land not normally covered by water...

s, which are caused both by thunderstorms and by the rapid melting of snow in the mountains during warm weather. Denver's record in 1921 for the number of consecutive days above 90 °F (32.2 °C) was broken during the summer of 2008. The new record of 24 consecutive days surpassed the previous record by almost a week. Much of Colorado is a relatively dry state averaging only 17 inches (431.8 mm) of rain per year statewide and rarely experiences a time when some portion of the state is not in some degree of drought. The lack of precipitation contributes to the severity of wildfire
Wildfire
A wildfire is any uncontrolled fire in combustible vegetation that occurs in the countryside or a wilderness area. Other names such as brush fire, bushfire, forest fire, desert fire, grass fire, hill fire, squirrel fire, vegetation fire, veldfire, and wilkjjofire may be used to describe the same...

s in the state such as the Hayman Fire
Hayman fire
The Hayman Fire was a forest fire that started southwest of Denver, Colorado and northwest of Colorado Springs on June 8, 2002, and became the largest fire in the state's recorded history. Hundreds of forestry officials and firefighters fought the fast-moving inferno, which caused nearly $40...

, one of the largest wildfires in American history, and the Fourmile Canyon Fire of 2010, the most destructive wildfire in Colorado's recorded history.

However, there are some of the mountainous regions of Colorado which receive a huge amount of moisture via winter snowfalls. The spring melts of these snows often cause great waterflows in such rivers as the Yampa River
Yampa River
The Yampa River is a tributary of the Green River, approximately 250 mi long, in the U.S. state of Colorado. It's located in the Southwestern United States...

, the Grand River
Colorado River
The Colorado River , is a river in the Southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, approximately long, draining a part of the arid regions on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. The watershed of the Colorado River covers in parts of seven U.S. states and two Mexican states...

, the Colorado River, the Rio Grande, the Arkansas River, Cherry Creek
Cherry Creek (Colorado)
Cherry Creek is a tributary of the South Platte River, long, in Colorado in the United States.-Location:Cherry Creek rises in the high plateau, east of the Front Range, in northwestern El Paso County...

, the North Platte River, and the South Platte River. Water flowing out of the Colorado Rocky Mountains is a very significant source of water for the farms, towns, and cities of fellow southwest states of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, as well as midwest like Nebraska and Kansas, and also southern states like Oklahoma and Texas. A significant amount of water is also diverted for use in California; occasionally (formerly naturally and consistently) the flow of water reaches northern Mexico.

Records


The highest temperature recorded in Colorado was 118 °F (47.8 °C) on July 11, 1888, at Bennett
Bennett, Colorado
The town of Bennett is a Statutory Town in Adams and Arapahoe counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the town had a population of 2,536 in 2005...

, whereas the lowest was -61 °F on February 1, 1985, at Maybell
Maybell, Colorado
Maybell is an unincorporated town and a U.S. Post Office in Moffat County, Colorado, United States. The Maybell Post Office has the ZIP Code 81640.The lowest temperature ever recorded in the state of Colorado was -61°F at Maybell on February 1, 1985....

.
Monthly normal high and low temperatures for various Colorado cities (°F)
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Alamosa 35/−2 40/6 51/17 60/24 70/33 79/41 83/47 80/46 73/37 62/25 47/12 36/1
Colorado Springs 43/18 45/20 52/26 60/33 69/43 79/51 85/57 82/56 75/47 63/36 51/25 42/18
Denver 44/19 46/21 54/27 61/35 71/44 82/53 89/59 86/58 78/49 65/37 52/26 43/18
Grand Junction 38/18 46/25 57/32 66/39 76/48 88/57 94/64 90/62 81/53 67/41 51/29 39/19
Pueblo 47/14 51/18 60/26 68/34 77/44 88/53 93/59 90/58 82/48 70/34 57/23 46/14


Earthquakes


On August 22, 2011, a 5.3 magnitude
Seismic scale
A seismic scale is used to calculate and compare the severity of earthquakes....

 earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

 occurred nine miles WSW
Boxing the compass
Boxing the compass is the action of naming all thirty-two points of the compass in clockwise order. Such names are formed by the initials of the cardinal directions and their intermediate ordinal directions, and are very handy to refer to a heading in a general or colloquial fashion, without...

 of the city of Trinidad
Trinidad, Colorado
The historic City of Trinidad is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Las Animas County, Colorado, United States...

. No casualties and only small damage was reported. It was the second largest earthquake in Colorado since a magnitude 5.7 earthquake was recorded in 1973.

History




The region that is today the state of Colorado has been inhabited by Native Americans
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 for more than 13 millennia. The Lindenmeier Site
Lindenmeier Site
The Lindenmeier Site is a stratified multi-component archaeological site most famous for its Folsom component. It is located on the former Lindenmeier Ranch, now the Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, in northeastern Larimer County, Colorado, United States. The site contains the most extensive...

 in Larimer County contains artifacts
Artifact (archaeology)
An artifact or artefact is "something made or given shape by man, such as a tool or a work of art, esp an object of archaeological interest"...

 dating from approximately 11200 BCE to 3000 BCE. The eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

 was a major migration route
Human migration
Human migration is physical movement by humans from one area to another, sometimes over long distances or in large groups. Historically this movement was nomadic, often causing significant conflict with the indigenous population and their displacement or cultural assimilation. Only a few nomadic...

 that was important to the spread of early peoples throughout the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

. The Ancient Pueblo Peoples
Ancient Pueblo Peoples
Ancient Pueblo People or Ancestral Pueblo peoples were an ancient Native American culture centered on the present-day Four Corners area of the United States, comprising southern Utah, northern Arizona, northwest New Mexico, and southern Colorado...

 lived in the valley
Valley
In geology, a valley or dale is a depression with predominant extent in one direction. A very deep river valley may be called a canyon or gorge.The terms U-shaped and V-shaped are descriptive terms of geography to characterize the form of valleys...

s and mesa
Mesa
A mesa or table mountain is an elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs. It takes its name from its characteristic table-top shape....

s of the Colorado Plateau
Colorado Plateau
The Colorado Plateau, also called the Colorado Plateau Province, is a physiographic region of the Intermontane Plateaus, roughly centered on the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States. The province covers an area of 337,000 km2 within western Colorado, northwestern New Mexico,...

. The Ute Nation inhabited the mountain valleys of the Southern Rocky Mountains
Southern Rocky Mountains
The Southern Rocky Mountains are a major subregion of the Rocky Mountains of North America located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Wyoming, the central and western portions of Colorado, the northern portion of New Mexico, and extreme eastern portions of Utah...

 and the Western Rocky Mountains. The Arapaho Nation and the Cheyenne Nation moved west to hunt across the High Plains
High Plains (United States)
The High Plains are a subregion of the Great Plains mostly in the Western United States, but also partly in the Midwest states of Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota, generally encompassing the western part of the Great Plains before the region reaches the Rocky Mountains...

.

The United States acquired a territorial claim to the eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains with the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

 from France in 1803. This U.S. claim conflicted with the claim of Spain to a huge region surrounding its colony
Colony
In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception....

 of Santa Fé de Nuevo Méjico as its sovereign
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 trading zone with native peoples. Zebulon Pike
Zebulon Pike
Zebulon Montgomery Pike Jr. was an American officer and explorer for whom Pikes Peak in Colorado is named. As a United States Army captain in 1806-1807, he led the Pike Expedition to explore and document the southern portion of the Louisiana Purchase and to find the headwaters of the Red River,...

 led a U.S. Army reconnaissance expedition
Pike expedition
The Pike Expedition was a military effort authorized by the United States government to explore the south and west of the recent Louisiana Purchase. Roughly contemporaneous with the Lewis and Clark Expedition, it was led by United States Army Captain Zebulon Pike, Jr...

 into the disputed region in 1806. Colonel Pike and his men were arrested by Spanish cavalrymen in the San Luis Valley
San Luis Valley
The San Luis Valley is an extensive alpine valley in the U.S. states of Colorado and New Mexico covering approximately and sitting at an average elevation of above sea level. The valley sits atop the Rio Grande Rift and is drained to the south by the Rio Grande River, which rises in the San Juan...

 the following February, taken to Chihuahua
Chihuahua, Chihuahua
The city of Chihuahua is the state capital of the Mexican state of Chihuahua. It has a population of about 825,327. The predominant activity is industry, including domestic heavy, light industries, consumer goods production, and to a smaller extent maquiladoras.-History:It has been said that the...

, and then expelled from Mexico the following July.


The United States relinquished its claim to all land south and west of the Arkansas River
Arkansas River
The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. The Arkansas generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's initial basin starts in the Western United States in Colorado, specifically the Arkansas...

 and south of 42nd parallel north
42nd parallel north
The 42nd parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 42 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and west of the 100th meridian west
100th meridian west
The meridian 100° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, North America, the Pacific Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 as part of its purchase of Florida from Spain with the Adams-Onís Treaty
Adams-Onís Treaty
The Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty or the Purchase of Florida, was a treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819 that gave Florida to the U.S. and set out a boundary between the U.S. and New Spain . It settled a standing border dispute between the two...

 of 1819. The treaty took effect February 22, 1821. Having settled its border with Spain, the United States admitted the southeastern portion of the Territory of Missouri to the Union
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 as the state of Missouri on August 10, 1821. The remainder of the Missouri Territory
Missouri Territory
The Territory of Missouri was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from June 4, 1812 until August 10, 1821, when the southeastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Missouri.-History:...

, including what would become northeastern Colorado, became unorganized territory, and would remain so for 33 years over the question of slavery. After 11 years of war, Spain finally recognized the independence of Mexico with the Treaty of Córdoba
Treaty of Córdoba
The Treaty of Córdova established Mexican independence from Spain at the conclusion of the Mexican War of Independence. It was signed on August 24, 1821 in Córdoba, Veracruz, Mexico. The signatories were the head of the Army of the Three Guarantees, Agustín de Iturbide, and acting on behalf of the...

 signed on August 24, 1821. Mexico eventually ratified the Adams-Onís Treaty in 1831. The Texian Revolt of 1835–1836 fomented a dispute between the United States and Mexico which eventually erupted into the Mexican-American War in 1846. Mexico surrendered its northern territory to the United States with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is the peace treaty, largely dictated by the United States to the interim government of a militarily occupied Mexico City, that ended the Mexican-American War on February 2, 1848...

 at the conclusion of the war in 1848.

Most American settler
Settler
A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established permanent residence there, often to colonize the area. Settlers are generally people who take up residence on land and cultivate it, as opposed to nomads...

s traveling overland west to the Oregon Country
Oregon Country
The Oregon Country was a predominantly American term referring to a disputed ownership region of the Pacific Northwest of North America. The region was occupied by British and French Canadian fur traders from before 1810, and American settlers from the mid-1830s, with its coastal areas north from...

, the new goldfields of California, or the new Mormon
Mormon
The term Mormon most commonly denotes an adherent, practitioner, follower, or constituent of Mormonism, which is the largest branch of the Latter Day Saint movement in restorationist Christianity...

 settlements of Deseret
State of Deseret
The State of Deseret was a proposed state of the United States, propositioned in 1849 by Latter-day Saint settlers in Salt Lake City. The provisional state existed for slightly over two years and was never recognized by the United States government...

 in the Salt Lake Valley
Salt Lake Valley
Salt Lake Valley is a valley in Salt Lake County in the north-central portion of the U.S. state of Utah. It contains Salt Lake City and many of its suburbs, notably West Valley City, Murray, Sandy, and West Jordan; its total population is 1,029,655 as of 2010...

, avoided the rugged Southern Rocky Mountains
Southern Rocky Mountains
The Southern Rocky Mountains are a major subregion of the Rocky Mountains of North America located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Wyoming, the central and western portions of Colorado, the northern portion of New Mexico, and extreme eastern portions of Utah...

, and instead followed the North Platte River
North Platte River
The North Platte River is a major tributary of the Platte River and is approximately long counting its many curves, It travels about distance. Its course lies in the U.S...

 and Sweetwater River
Sweetwater River (Wyoming)
The Sweetwater River is a tributary of the North Platte River, long, in the U.S. state of Wyoming. Its waters eventually reach the Atlantic Ocean. The Sweetwater rises in southwestern Fremont County, at the continental divide near South Pass Wyoming, on the southern end of the Wind River Range...

 to South Pass
South Pass
South Pass is two mountain passes on the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Wyoming. The passes are located in a broad low region, 35 miles broad, between the Wind River Range to the north and the Oregon Buttes and Great Divide Basin to the south, in southwestern Fremont...

, the lowest crossing of the Continental Divide
Continental Divide
The Continental Divide of the Americas, or merely the Continental Gulf of Division or Great Divide, is the name given to the principal, and largely mountainous, hydrological divide of the Americas that separates the watersheds that drain into the Pacific Ocean from those river systems that drain...

 between the Southern Rocky Mountains and the Central Rocky Mountains. In 1849, the Mormons of the Salt Lake Valley organized the extralegal State of Deseret
State of Deseret
The State of Deseret was a proposed state of the United States, propositioned in 1849 by Latter-day Saint settlers in Salt Lake City. The provisional state existed for slightly over two years and was never recognized by the United States government...

, claiming the entire Great Basin
Great Basin
The Great Basin is the largest area of contiguous endorheic watersheds in North America and is noted for its arid conditions and Basin and Range topography that varies from the North American low point at Badwater Basin to the highest point of the contiguous United States, less than away at the...

 and all lands drained by the Green
Green River (Utah)
The Green River, located in the western United States, is the chief tributary of the Colorado River. The watershed of the river, known as the Green River Basin, covers parts of Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. The Green River is long, beginning in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming and flowing...

, Grand
Colorado River
The Colorado River , is a river in the Southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, approximately long, draining a part of the arid regions on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. The watershed of the Colorado River covers in parts of seven U.S. states and two Mexican states...

, and Colorado
Colorado River
The Colorado River , is a river in the Southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, approximately long, draining a part of the arid regions on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. The watershed of the Colorado River covers in parts of seven U.S. states and two Mexican states...

 rivers. The federal government of the United States flatly refused to recognize the new Mormon government, because it was theocratic and sanctioned plural marriage. Instead, the Compromise of 1850
Compromise of 1850
The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five bills, passed in September 1850, which defused a four-year confrontation between the slave states of the South and the free states of the North regarding the status of territories acquired during the Mexican-American War...

 divided the Mexican Cession
Mexican Cession
The Mexican Cession of 1848 is a historical name in the United States for the region of the present day southwestern United States that Mexico ceded to the U.S...

 and the northwestern claims of Texas into a new state and two new territories, the state of California, the Territory of New Mexico, and the Territory of Utah. On April 9, 1851, Mexican American
Mexican American
Mexican Americans are Americans of Mexican descent. As of July 2009, Mexican Americans make up 10.3% of the United States' population with over 31,689,000 Americans listed as of Mexican ancestry. Mexican Americans comprise 66% of all Hispanics and Latinos in the United States...

 settlers from the area of Taos
Taos, New Mexico
Taos is a town in Taos County in the north-central region of New Mexico, incorporated in 1934. As of the 2000 census, its population was 4,700. Other nearby communities include Ranchos de Taos, Cañon, Taos Canyon, Ranchitos, and El Prado. The town is close to Taos Pueblo, the Native American...

 settled the village of San Luis
San Luis, Colorado
The Town of San Luis is a statutory town that is the county seat and the most populous town of Costilla County, Colorado, United States. The population was 739 at the 2000 census.-History:...

, then in the New Mexico Territory
New Mexico Territory
thumb|right|240px|Proposed boundaries for State of New Mexico, 1850The Territory of New Mexico was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from September 9, 1850, until January 6, 1912, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of...

, later to become Colorado's first permanent Euro-American
European American
A European American is a citizen or resident of the United States who has origins in any of the original peoples of Europe...

 settlement.


In 1854, Senator Stephen A. Douglas
Stephen A. Douglas
Stephen Arnold Douglas was an American politician from the western state of Illinois, and was the Northern Democratic Party nominee for President in 1860. He lost to the Republican Party's candidate, Abraham Lincoln, whom he had defeated two years earlier in a Senate contest following a famed...

 persuaded the U.S. Congress to divide the unorganized territory east of the Continental Divide
Continental Divide
The Continental Divide of the Americas, or merely the Continental Gulf of Division or Great Divide, is the name given to the principal, and largely mountainous, hydrological divide of the Americas that separates the watersheds that drain into the Pacific Ocean from those river systems that drain...

 into two new organized territories, the Territory of Kansas and the Territory of Nebraska, and an unorganized southern region known as the Indian territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

. Each new territory was to decide the fate of slavery within its boundaries, but this compromise merely served to fuel animosity between free soil and pro-slavery factions.

Gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 was discovered along the South Platte River
South Platte River
The South Platte River is one of the two principal tributaries of the Platte River and itself a major river of the American Midwest and the American Southwest/Mountain West, located in the U.S. states of Colorado and Nebraska...

 then in western Kansas Territory
Kansas Territory
The Territory of Kansas was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 30, 1854, until January 29, 1861, when the eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Kansas....

 in July 1858, precipitating the Pike's Peak Gold Rush. The placer gold deposits
Placer deposit
In geology, a placer deposit or placer is an accumulation of valuable minerals formed by gravity separation during sedimentary processes. The name is from the Spanish word placer, meaning "alluvial sand". Placer mining is an important source of gold, and was the main technique used in the early...

 along the rivers and streams of the region rapidly played out, but prospectors
Prospecting
Prospecting is the physical search for minerals, fossils, precious metals or mineral specimens, and is also known as fossicking.Prospecting is a small-scale form of mineral exploration which is an organised, large scale effort undertaken by mineral resource companies to find commercially viable ore...

 soon discovered far more valuable seams of hard rock gold in the nearby mountains.


The gold seekers organized the Provisional Government of the Territory of Jefferson
Jefferson Territory
The Provisional Government of the Territory of Jefferson was an extralegal and unrecognized United States territory that existed from October 24, 1859 until the creation of the Colorado Territory on February 28, 1861...

 on August 24, 1859, but this new territory failed to secure approval from the Congress of the United States embroiled in the debate over slavery. The election of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 for the President of the United States on November 6, 1860, led to the secession
Secession
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

 of nine southern slave states and the threat of civil war among the states
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. Seeking to augment the political power of the Union states, the Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 dominated Congress quickly admitted the eastern portion of the Territory of Kansas into the Union
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 as the free State of Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

 on January 29, 1861, leaving the western portion of the Kansas Territory, and its gold-mining areas, as unorganized territory.

Thirty days later on February 28, 1861, outgoing U.S. President James Buchanan
James Buchanan
James Buchanan, Jr. was the 15th President of the United States . He is the only president from Pennsylvania, the only president who remained a lifelong bachelor and the last to be born in the 18th century....

 signed an Act of Congress organizing the free Territory of Colorado. The original boundaries of Colorado remain unchanged today. The name Colorado was chosen because it was commonly believed that the Colorado River
Colorado River
The Colorado River , is a river in the Southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, approximately long, draining a part of the arid regions on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. The watershed of the Colorado River covers in parts of seven U.S. states and two Mexican states...

 originated in the territory. In 1776, Spanish priest Silvestre Vélez de Escalante recorded that Native Americans
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 in the area knew the river as el Rio Colorado for the red-brown silt that the river carried from the mountains. In 1859, a U.S. Army topographic
Topography
Topography is the study of Earth's surface shape and features or those ofplanets, moons, and asteroids...

 expedition led by Captain John Macomb located the confluence of the Green River
Green River (Utah)
The Green River, located in the western United States, is the chief tributary of the Colorado River. The watershed of the river, known as the Green River Basin, covers parts of Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. The Green River is long, beginning in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming and flowing...

 with the Grand River in what is now Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park is a U.S. National Park located in southeastern Utah near the town of Moab and preserves a colorful landscape eroded into countless canyons, mesas and buttes by the Colorado River, the Green River, and their respective tributaries. The park is divided into four districts:...

 in Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

. The Macomb party designated the confluence as the source of the Colorado River.
On April 12, 1861, South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 artillery opened fire on Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter is a Third System masonry coastal fortification located in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. The fort is best known as the site upon which the shots initiating the American Civil War were fired, at the Battle of Fort Sumter.- Construction :...

 to start the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. While many gold seekers held sympathies for the Confederacy
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

, the vast majority remained fiercely loyal to the Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 cause. In 1862, a force of Texas cavalry invaded the Territory of New Mexico and captured Santa Fe
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe is the capital of the U.S. state of New Mexico. It is the fourth-largest city in the state and is the seat of . Santa Fe had a population of 67,947 in the 2010 census...

 on March 10. The object of this Western Campaign
New Mexico Campaign
The New Mexico Campaign was a military operation of the American Civil War from February to April 1862 in which Confederate Brigadier General Henry Hopkins Sibley invaded the northern New Mexico Territory in an attempt to gain control of the Southwest, including the gold fields of Colorado and the...

 was to seize or disrupt the gold fields of Colorado and California and to seize ports on the Pacific Ocean for the Confederacy. A hastily organized force of Colorado volunteers force-marched from Denver City, Colorado Territory, to Glorieta Pass
Glorieta Pass
Glorieta Pass is a high mountain pass in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico. The pass is at a strategic location near at the southern end of the Sangre de Cristos in east central Santa Fe County southeast of the city of Santa Fe.Historically, the pass provided the most direct...

, New Mexico Territory, in an attempt to block the Texans. On March 28, the Coloradans and local New Mexico volunteers stopped the Texans at the Battle of Glorieta Pass
Battle of Glorieta Pass
The Battle of Glorieta Pass, fought from March 26 to 28, 1862 in northern New Mexico Territory, was the decisive battle of the New Mexico Campaign during the American Civil War. Dubbed the "Gettysburg of the West" by some historians, it was intended as the killer blow by Confederate forces to break...

, destroyed their cannon and supply wagons, and ran off 500 head of their horses and mules. The Texans were forced to retreat to Santa Fe. Having lost the supplies for their campaign and finding little support in New Mexico, the Texans abandoned Santa Fe and returned to San Antonio in defeat. The Confederacy made no further attempts to seize the Southwestern United States
Southwestern United States
The Southwestern United States is a region defined in different ways by different sources. Broad definitions include nearly a quarter of the United States, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah...

.

In 1864, Territorial Governor
Governor of Colorado
The Governor of Colorado is the head of the executive branch of Colorado's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Colorado General Assembly, to convene the...

 John Evans
John Evans (governor)
John Evans was a U.S. politician, physician, railroad promoter, Governor of the Territory of Colorado, and namesake of Evanston, Illinois; Evans, Colorado; and Mount Evans, Colorado...

 appointed the Reverend John Chivington
John Chivington
John Milton Chivington was a colonel in the United States Army who served in the American Indian Wars during the Colorado War and the New Mexico Campaigns of the American Civil War...

 as Colonel of the Colorado Volunteers with orders to protect white settlers from Cheyenne
Cheyenne
Cheyenne are a Native American people of the Great Plains, who are of the Algonquian language family. The Cheyenne Nation is composed of two united tribes, the Só'taeo'o and the Tsétsêhéstâhese .The Cheyenne are thought to have branched off other tribes of Algonquian stock inhabiting lands...

 and Arapaho
Arapaho
The Arapaho are a tribe of Native Americans historically living on the eastern plains of Colorado and Wyoming. They were close allies of the Cheyenne tribe and loosely aligned with the Sioux. Arapaho is an Algonquian language closely related to Gros Ventre, whose people are seen as an early...

 warriors who were accused of stealing cattle. Colonel Chivington ordered his men to attack a band of Cheyenne and Arapaho encamped along Sand Creek
Sand Creek Massacre
As conflict between Indians and white settlers and soldiers in Colorado continued, many of the Cheyenne and Arapaho, including bands under Cheyenne chiefs Black Kettle and White Antelope, were resigned to negotiate peace. The chiefs had sought to maintain peace in spite of pressures from whites...

. Chivington reported that his troops killed more than 500 warriors. The militia returned to Denver City in triumph, but several officers reported that the so called battle was a blatant massacre
Sand Creek Massacre
As conflict between Indians and white settlers and soldiers in Colorado continued, many of the Cheyenne and Arapaho, including bands under Cheyenne chiefs Black Kettle and White Antelope, were resigned to negotiate peace. The chiefs had sought to maintain peace in spite of pressures from whites...

 of Indians at peace, that most of the dead were women and children, and that bodies of the dead had been mutilated and desecrated in hideous manner. Three U.S. Army inquiries condemned the action, and incoming President Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States . As Vice-President of the United States in 1865, he succeeded Abraham Lincoln following the latter's assassination. Johnson then presided over the initial and contentious Reconstruction era of the United States following the American...

 asked Governor Evans for his resignation, but none of the perpetrators was ever punished.


In the midst and aftermath of Civil War, many discouraged prospectors returned to their homes, but a determined few stayed on to develop mines, mills, farms, ranches, roads, and towns in the Territory. On September 14, 1864, James Huff discovered silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

 near Argentine Pass
Argentine Pass
Argentine Pass, elevation , is a high mountain pass that crosses the Continental Divide in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado in the United States....

, the first of many silver strikes. In 1867, the Union Pacific Railroad
Union Pacific Railroad
The Union Pacific Railroad , headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, is the largest railroad network in the United States. James R. Young is president, CEO and Chairman....

 laid its tracks west to Weir
Julesburg, Colorado
The historic town of Julesburg is a statutory town that is the county seat of Sedgwick County, Colorado, United States. The town is located on the north side of the South Platte River. The population was 1,467 at the U.S. Census 2000...

, now Julesburg
Julesburg, Colorado
The historic town of Julesburg is a statutory town that is the county seat of Sedgwick County, Colorado, United States. The town is located on the north side of the South Platte River. The population was 1,467 at the U.S. Census 2000...

, in the northeast corner of the Territory. The Union Pacific linked up with the Central Pacific Railroad
Central Pacific Railroad
The Central Pacific Railroad is the former name of the railroad network built between California and Utah, USA that formed part of the "First Transcontinental Railroad" in North America. It is now part of the Union Pacific Railroad. Many 19th century national proposals to build a transcontinental...

 at Promontory Summit, Utah, on May 10, 1869, to form the First Transcontinental Railroad
First Transcontinental Railroad
The First Transcontinental Railroad was a railroad line built in the United States of America between 1863 and 1869 by the Central Pacific Railroad of California and the Union Pacific Railroad that connected its statutory Eastern terminus at Council Bluffs, Iowa/Omaha, Nebraska The First...

. The Denver Pacific Railway
Denver Pacific Railway
The Denver Pacific Railway was a historic railroad that operated in the western United States during the late 19th century.Formed in 1867 in the Colorado Territory, the company operated lines in Colorado and present-day southeastern Wyoming in the 1870s until merging with the Kansas Pacific and...

 reached Denver in June of the following year, and the Kansas Pacific arrived two months later to forge the second line across the continent. In 1872, rich veins of silver were discovered in the San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains
The San Juan Mountains are a high and rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado. The area is highly mineralized and figured in the gold and silver mining industry of early Colorado. Major towns, all old mining camps, include Creede, Lake City, Silverton, Ouray, and...

 on the Ute Indian
Ute Tribe
The Ute are an American Indian people now living primarily in Utah and Colorado. There are three Ute tribal reservations: Uintah-Ouray in northeastern Utah ; Southern Ute in Colorado ; and Ute Mountain which primarily lies in Colorado, but extends to Utah and New Mexico . The name of the state of...

 reservation in southwestern Colorado. The Ute people were removed from the San Juans the following year.

The United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 passed an enabling act on March 3, 1875, specifying the requirements for the Territory of Colorado to become a state. On August 1, 1876 (28 days after the Centennial of the United States), U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

 signed a proclamation admitting Colorado to the Union
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 as the 38th state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 and earning it the moniker "Centennial State".


The discovery of a major silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

 lode near Leadville in 1878, triggered the Colorado Silver Boom
Colorado Silver Boom
The Colorado Silver Boom was a dramatic expansionist period of silver mining activity in the U.S. state of Colorado in the late 19th century. The boom started in 1879 with the discovery of silver at Leadville...

. The Sherman Silver Purchase Act
Sherman Silver Purchase Act
The Sherman Silver Purchase Act was enacted on July 14, 1890 as a United States federal law. It was named after its author, Senator John Sherman, an Ohio Republican, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee...

 of 1890 invigorated silver mining, and Colorado's last, but greatest, gold strike at Cripple Creek
Cripple Creek, Colorado
The City of Cripple Creek is a Statutory City that is the county seat of Teller County, Colorado, United States. Cripple Creek is a former gold mining camp located southwest of Colorado Springs near the base of Pikes Peak. The Cripple Creek Historic District, which received National Historic...

 a few months later lured a new generation of gold seekers. Colorado women were granted the right to vote
Suffrage
Suffrage, political franchise, or simply the franchise, distinct from mere voting rights, is the civil right to vote gained through the democratic process...

 beginning on November 7, 1893, making Colorado the second state to grant universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

 and the first one by a popular vote (of Colorado men). The repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act in 1893 led to a staggering collapse of the mining and agricultural economy of Colorado, but the state slowly and steadily recovered.

Colorado became the first western state to host a major political convention when the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 met in Denver in 1908. By the U.S. Census in 1930
United States Census, 1930
The Fifteenth United States Census, conducted by the Census Bureau one month from April 1, 1930, determined the resident population of the United States to be 122,775,046, an increase of 13.7 percent over the 106,021,537 persons enumerated during the 1920 Census.-Census questions:The 1930 Census...

, the population of Colorado first exceeded one million residents. Colorado suffered greatly through the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 and the Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
The Dust Bowl, or the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from 1930 to 1936...

 of the 1930s, but a major wave of immigration following World War II boosted Colorado's fortune. Tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 became a mainstay of the state economy, and high technology became an important economic engine. The United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

 estimated that the population of Colorado exceeded five million in 2009.

Three warship
Warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

s of the U.S. Navy have been named the USS Colorado
USS Colorado
USS Colorado may refer to one of these United States Navy:Named for the state of Colorado:, a screw steam frigate, saw action in the American Civil War....

. The first USS Colorado was named for the Colorado River. The later two ships were named in honor of the state, including the battleship
Battleship
A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

 USS Colorado
USS Colorado (BB-45)
USS Colorado , the third ship of the United States Navy named in honor of the 38th state, was the lead ship of her class of battleships. Her keel was laid down on 29 May 1919 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation of Camden, New Jersey. She was launched on 22 March 1921 sponsored by Mrs. Max...

 which served in World War II in the Pacific
War In The Pacific
War in the Pacific is a 2004 two-player turn-based computer war game published by Matrix games. It is a very large, complex, and detailed simulation of the Pacific Theatre of World War II, at both the operational and strategic level....

 beginning in 1941. At the time of the Attack on Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

, this USS Colorado was located at the naval base in San Diego, Calif. and hence went unscathed.

Demographics



Colorado's most populous city, and capital, is Denver. The Denver-Aurora-Boulder Combined Statistical Area
Denver-Aurora-Boulder Combined Statistical Area
thumb|300px|Map of the 12-county Denver-Aurora-Boulder Combined Statistical AreaThe Denver-Aurora-Boulder, CO Combined Statistical Area is a United States Census Bureau defined Combined Statistical Area located in the Denver region of the state of Colorado...

 with an estimated 2009 population of 3,110,436, is home to 61.90% of the state's residents.

As of 2005, Colorado has an estimated population of 4,665,177, which is an increase of 63,356, or 1.4%, from the prior year and an increase of 363,162, or 8.4%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 205,321 people (that is 353,091 births minus 147,770 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 159,957 people into the state. Immigration
Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

 from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 112,217 people, and migration
Human migration
Human migration is physical movement by humans from one area to another, sometimes over long distances or in large groups. Historically this movement was nomadic, often causing significant conflict with the indigenous population and their displacement or cultural assimilation. Only a few nomadic...

 within the country produced a net increase of 47,740 people.

The largest increases are expected in the Front Range Urban Corridor
Front Range Urban Corridor
The Front Range Urban Corridor is an oblong region of urban population located along the eastern face of the Southern Rocky Mountains in the U.S. states of Colorado and Wyoming. The corridor derives its name from the Front Range, the mountain range that defines the west central boundary of the...

, especially in the Denver metropolitan area. The state's fastest-growing counties are Douglas and Weld. The center of population
Center of population
In demographics, the center of population of a region is a geographical point that describes a centerpoint of the region's population...

 of Colorado is located just north of the village of Critchell in Jefferson County.

Colorado has a high proportion of Hispanic
Hispanic
Hispanic is a term that originally denoted a relationship to Hispania, which is to say the Iberian Peninsula: Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain. During the Modern Era, Hispanic sometimes takes on a more limited meaning, particularly in the United States, where the term means a person of ...

, mostly Mexican-American, citizens in Metropolitan Denver, Colorado Springs, as well as the smaller cities of Greeley and Pueblo, and in many other smaller cities and towns all throughout the state. Colorado is well known for its strong Latino
Latino
The demonyms Latino and Latina , are defined in English language dictionaries as:* "a person of Latin-American descent."* "A Latin American."* "A person of Hispanic, especially Latin-American, descent, often one living in the United States."...

 culture and presence. Southern, Southwestern, and Southeastern Colorado has a large number of Hispanos
Hispanos
Hispanos is a name given to people of colonial Spanish descent in what is today the United States who retained a predominantly Spanish culture. The distinction was made to compensate for flawed U.S. Census practices in the 1930s which used to characterize Hispanic people as non-white...

, the descendants of the early Mexican settlers of colonial Spanish origin. The 2000 United States Census found that 10.5% of people aged five and over in Colorado speak only Spanish at home, with the 2009 estimate being roughly 14%. Colorado also has a large immigration presence all throughout the state, which has led to Colorado cities being referred to as "Sanctuary Cities" for illegal immigrants as well. Colorado has the 5th highest percentage of undocumented people in the U.S., only behind Nevada, Arizona, California, and tied with Texas. An estimated 5.5-6.0% of the state's population is composed of illegal immigrants. Also, over 20% of the state's prisoners are undocumented inmates. Colorado, like New Mexico, is very rich in archaic Spanish idioms.

Colorado also has some African-American communities located in Denver, in the neighborhoods of Montbello, Green Valley Ranch, Park Hill, Five Points, Whittier, and many other East Denver areas. A decent amount of African Americans are also found in Colorado Springs on the east and southeast side of the city. The state has sizable numbers of Asian-Americans of Mongolian
Mongolian American
Mongolian Americans are immigrants from Mongolia to the United States and their descendants. The term Mongol American is also used to include ethnic Mongol immigrants from groups outside of Mongolia as well, such as Kalmyks, Buryats, and people from the Inner Mongolia autonomous region of China...

, Chinese
Chinese American
Chinese Americans represent Americans of Chinese descent. Chinese Americans constitute one group of overseas Chinese and also a subgroup of East Asian Americans, which is further a subgroup of Asian Americans...

, Filipino
Filipino American
Filipino Americans are Americans of Filipino ancestry. Filipino Americans, often shortened to "Fil-Ams", or "Pinoy",Filipinos in what is now the United States were first documented in the 16th century, with small settlements beginning in the 18th century...

, Korean, Southeast Asian and Japanese
Japanese American
are American people of Japanese heritage. Japanese Americans have historically been among the three largest Asian American communities, but in recent decades have become the sixth largest group at roughly 1,204,205, including those of mixed-race or mixed-ethnicity...

 descent. The highest population of Asian Americans can be found on the south and southeast side of Denver, as well as some on Denver's southwest side. The Denver metropolitan area is considered more liberal and diverse than much of the state when it comes to political issues and environmental concerns.

According to the 2000 Census, the largest ancestry groups in Colorado are German
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

 (22%) including of Swiss and Austrian
Austrians
Austrians are a nation and ethnic group, consisting of the population of the Republic of Austria and its historical predecessor states who share a common Austrian culture and Austrian descent....

 nationalities, Mexican (18%), Irish (12%), and English (12%). Persons reporting German ancestry
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

 are especially numerous in the Front Range, the Rockies (west-central counties) and Eastern parts/High Plains. Denver, as well as all of Colorado, have numerous amount of predominately Latino
Latino
The demonyms Latino and Latina , are defined in English language dictionaries as:* "a person of Latin-American descent."* "A Latin American."* "A person of Hispanic, especially Latin-American, descent, often one living in the United States."...

 neighborhoods and communities. Also, Denver and nearby areas on the Front Range has sizable German
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

, Scandinavian
Scandinavians
Scandinavians are a group of Germanic peoples, inhabiting Scandinavia and to a lesser extent countries associated with Scandinavia, and speaking Scandinavian languages. The group includes Danes, Norwegians and Swedes, and additionally the descendants of Scandinavian settlers such as the Icelandic...

, Italian
Italian American
An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

, Slavic
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 and Jewish American communities, partly a legacy of gold rush
Gold rush
A gold rush is a period of feverish migration of workers to an area that has had a dramatic discovery of gold. Major gold rushes took place in the 19th century in Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, and the United States, while smaller gold rushes took place elsewhere.In the 19th and early...

es in the late 19th century (1861–1889).

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Colorado had a population of 5,029,196. In terms of race and ethnicity, the state was 81.3% White (70.0% Non-Hispanic White Alone), 4.0% Black or African American, 1.1% American Indian and Alaska Native, 2.8% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 7.2% from Some Other Race, and 3.4% from Two or More Races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race made up 20.7% of the population.

There were a total of 70,331 births in Colorado in 2006. (Birth Rate of 14.6). In 2007, non-Hispanic whites were involved in 59.1% of all the births. Some 14.06% of those births involved a non-Hispanic white person and someone of a different race, most often with a couple including one Hispanic. A birth where at least one Hispanic person was involved counted for 43% of the births in Colorado. As of the 2010 Census, Colorado has the seventh highest percentage of Hispanics (20.7%) in the U.S. behind New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

 (46.3%), California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 (37.6%), Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 (37.6%), Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

 (29.6%), Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

 (26.5%), and Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 (22.5%). Per the 2000 census, the Hispanic population is estimated to be 918,899 or approximately 20% of the state total population. Colorado has the 4th largest population of Mexican-Americans behind California, Texas, and Arizona. In percentages, Colorado has the 6th highest percentage of Mexican-Americans behind New Mexico, California, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada.

Religion




Major religious affiliations of the people of Colorado are:
  • Christian — 64%
    • Protestant
      Protestantism
      Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

       — 44%
      • Evangelical — 23%
      • Mainline — 19%
      • Other Protestant — 2%
    • Roman Catholic
      Roman Catholicism in the United States
      The Catholic Church in the United States is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, the Christian Church in full communion with the Pope. With more than 68.5 registered million members, it is the largest single religious denomination in the United States, comprising about 22 percent of the population...

       — 19%
    • Latter Day Saint / Mormon — 2%
    • Orthodox — 1%
  • Jewish — 2%
  • Muslim
    Muslim
    A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

     — 1%
  • Other Religions — 5%
  • Unaffiliated — 25%


The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Roman Catholic Church with 752,505; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 92,326 (133,727 year-end 2007) ; and Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 with 85,083.

At 25%, Colorado also has an above-average proportion of citizens who claim no religion. The U.S. average is 17%.

Health


Colorado also has a reputation for being a state of active and athletic people. According to several studies, Coloradans have the lowest rates of obesity of any state in the US. As of 2007 the 18% of the population was considered medically obese, and while the lowest in the nation, the percentage had increased from 17% from 2004. Colorado Governor Bill Ritter commented: “As an avid fisherman and bike rider, I know first-hand that Colorado provides a great environment for active, healthy lifestyles,” although he highlighted the need for continued education and support to slow the growth of obesity in the state.

Culture




Cuisine


Colorado is known for its Southwest
Cuisine of the Southwestern United States
The Cuisine of the Southwestern United States is food styled after the rustic cooking of the Southwestern United States. It is also known to be very popular in the west coast state of California...

 and Rocky Mountain cuisine
Rocky Mountain cuisine
Rocky Mountain cuisine is a North American cuisine of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Montana in the United States and Alberta in Canada. Some distinguishing dishes include bison and Rocky Mountain oysters.-Description:...

. Mexican restaurants are throughout the state.

Boulder, Colorado
Boulder, Colorado
Boulder is the county seat and most populous city of Boulder County and the 11th most populous city in the U.S. state of Colorado. Boulder is located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of...

 was named America’s Foodiest Town 2010 by Bon Appétit
Bon Appétit
Bon Appétit describes itself as "a food and entertaining magazine" and is published monthly. Named after the French phrase for "Enjoy your meal", it was started by M. Frank Jones in Kansas City in 1956...

. Boulder, and Colorado in general, is home to a number of national food and beverage companies, top-tier restaurants and farmers' markets. Boulder, Colorado
Boulder, Colorado
Boulder is the county seat and most populous city of Boulder County and the 11th most populous city in the U.S. state of Colorado. Boulder is located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of...

 also has more Master Sommeliers per capita than any other city, including San Francisco and New York.

The Food & Wine Classic held annually each June in Aspen, Colorado
Aspen, Colorado
The City of Aspen is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Pitkin County, Colorado, United States. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the city population was 5,804 in 2005...

. Aspen also has a reputation as the culinary capital of the Rocky Mountain region.

Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado
The City and County of Denver is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is a consolidated city-county, located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains...

 is known for steak, but now has a diverse culinary scene with many top-tier restaurants.

Wine



Colorado wine
Colorado wine
Colorado wine refers to wine made from grapes grown in the U.S. state of Colorado. Most the Colorado's vineyards are located on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, though an increasing number of wineries are located along the Front Range....

s include award-winning varietals that have attracted favorable notice from outside the state. With wines made from traditional Vitis vinifera
Vitis vinifera
Vitis vinifera is a species of Vitis, native to the Mediterranean region, central Europe, and southwestern Asia, from Morocco and Portugal north to southern Germany and east to northern Iran....

 grapes along with wines made from cherries, peaches, plums and honey, Colorado wines have won top national and international awards for their quality. Colorado's grape growing regions contain the highest elevation
Elevation
The elevation of a geographic location is its height above a fixed reference point, most commonly a reference geoid, a mathematical model of the Earth's sea level as an equipotential gravitational surface ....

 vineyard
Vineyard
A vineyard is a plantation of grape-bearing vines, grown mainly for winemaking, but also raisins, table grapes and non-alcoholic grape juice...

s in the United States, with most viticulture
Viticulture
Viticulture is the science, production and study of grapes which deals with the series of events that occur in the vineyard. When the grapes are used for winemaking, it is also known as viniculture...

 in the state practiced between 4000 feet (1,219 m) and 7000 feet (2,134 m) feet above sea level. The mountain
Mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

 climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

 ensures warm summer days and cool nights. Colorado is home to two designated American Viticultural Area
American Viticultural Area
An American Viticultural Area is a designated wine grape-growing region in the United States distinguishable by geographic features, with boundaries defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau , United States Department of the Treasury....

s of the Grand Valley AVA
Grand Valley AVA
The Grand Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Mesa County, Colorado, east of the city of Grand Junction. The AVA includes the agricultural area around the Grand Valley of the Colorado River. Viticulture began in the area in the late 19th century. State Governor George A....

 and the West Elks AVA
West Elks AVA
The West Elks AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Delta County, Colorado, near the town of Paonia. The highest altitude vineyards in the northern hemisphere are planted in the West Elks AVA. Located within the Rocky Mountains of west central Colorado, vineyards in the AVA range from ...

, where most of the vineyards in the state are located. However, an increasing number of wineries are located along the Front Range
Front Range
The Front Range is a mountain range of the Southern Rocky Mountains of North America located in the north-central portion of the U.S. State of Colorado and southeastern portion of the U.S. State of Wyoming. It is the first mountain range encountered moving west along the 40th parallel north across...

.

Economy




CNBC's list of "Top States for Business for 2010" has recognized Colorado as the third best state in the nation, falling short to only Texas and Virginia.




The Bureau of Economic Analysis
Bureau of Economic Analysis
The Bureau of Economic Analysis is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that provides important economic statistics including the gross domestic product of the United States. Its stated mission is to "promote a better understanding of the U.S...

 estimates that the total state product in 2010 was $257.6 billion. Per capita personal income in 2010 was $51 940, ranking Colorado 11th in the nation. The state's economy broadened from its mid-19th century roots in mining when irrigated agriculture developed, and by the late 19th century, raising livestock had become important. Early industry was based on the extraction and processing of minerals and agricultural products. Current agricultural products are cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

, wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

, dairy product
Dairy product
Dairy products are generally defined as foods produced from cow's or domestic buffalo's milk. They are usually high-energy-yielding food products. A production plant for such processing is called a dairy or a dairy factory. Raw milk for processing comes mainly from cows, and, to a lesser extent,...

s, corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

, and hay
Hay
Hay is grass, legumes or other herbaceous plants that have been cut, dried, and stored for use as animal fodder, particularly for grazing livestock such as cattle, horses, goats, and sheep. Hay is also fed to pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs...

.

The federal government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 is also a major economic force in the state with many important federal facilities including NORAD, United States Air Force Academy
United States Air Force Academy
The United States Air Force Academy is an accredited college for the undergraduate education of officer candidates for the United States Air Force. Its campus is located immediately north of Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States...

 and Peterson Air Force Base
Peterson Air Force Base
Peterson Air Force Base is a base of the United States Air Force located at Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States and it provides runways for the adjacent City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport under a shared joint civil-military airport arrangement...

 in Colorado Springs; NOAA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology
National Institute of Standards and Technology
The National Institute of Standards and Technology , known between 1901 and 1988 as the National Bureau of Standards , is a measurement standards laboratory, otherwise known as a National Metrological Institute , which is a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce...

 in Boulder; U.S. Geological Survey and other government agencies at the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood; the Denver Mint
Denver Mint
The Denver Mint is a branch of the United States Mint that struck its first coins on February 1, 1906. The mint is still operating and producing coins for circulation, as well as mint sets and commemorative coins. Coins produced at the Denver Mint bear a D mint mark...

, Buckley Air Force Base
Buckley Air Force Base
Buckley Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base in Aurora, Colorado, that was established by the U.S. Army in 1943. The base was named in honor of the World War I Army pilot 1LT John Harold Buckley.-Overview:...

, and 10th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:* District of Colorado* District of Kansas...

 in Denver; and a federal Supermax Prison
ADX Florence
The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility is a supermax prison for men that is located in unincorporated Fremont County, Colorado, United States, south of Florence. It is unofficially known as ADX Florence, Florence ADMAX, Supermax, or The Alcatraz of the Rockies...

 and other federal prisons near Cañon City. In addition to these and other federal agencies
Independent agencies of the United States government
Independent agencies of the United States federal government are those agencies that exist outside of the federal executive departments...

, Colorado has abundant National Forest
United States National Forest
National Forest is a classification of federal lands in the United States.National Forests are largely forest and woodland areas owned by the federal government and managed by the United States Forest Service, part of the United States Department of Agriculture. Land management of these areas...

 land and four National Parks that contribute to federal ownership of 24615788 acres (99,617 km²) of land in Colorado, or 37% of the total area of the state.
In the second half of the 20th century, the industrial and service sectors have expanded greatly. The state's economy is diversified and is notable for its concentration of scientific research and high-technology industries. Other industries include food processing
Food processing
Food processing is the set of methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients into food or to transform food into other forms for consumption by humans or animals either in the home or by the food processing industry...

, transportation equipment, machinery
Mechanical engineering
Mechanical engineering is a discipline of engineering that applies the principles of physics and materials science for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the...

, chemical products
Chemical engineering
Chemical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with physical science , and life sciences with mathematics and economics, to the process of converting raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms...

, the extraction of metals such as gold (see Gold mining in Colorado
Gold mining in Colorado
On 1859-05-06, John H. Gregory found a gold-bearing vein in Gregory Gulch between Black Hawk and Central City. Within two months many other veins were discovered, including the Bates, Gunnell, Kansas, and Burroughs...

), silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

, and molybdenum
Molybdenum
Molybdenum , is a Group 6 chemical element with the symbol Mo and atomic number 42. The name is from Neo-Latin Molybdaenum, from Ancient Greek , meaning lead, itself proposed as a loanword from Anatolian Luvian and Lydian languages, since its ores were confused with lead ores...

. Colorado now also has the largest annual production of beer of any state. Denver is an important financial center.

A number of nationally known brand names have originated in Colorado factories and laboratories. From Denver came the forerunner of telecommunications giant Qwest
Qwest Corporation
Qwest Corporation is a Bell Operating Company owned by CenturyLink. It was formerly named U S WEST Communications, Inc. from 1991 to 2000, and also formerly named The Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company from 1911 to 1991...

 in 1879, Samsonite
Samsonite
The Samsonite Corporation makes luggage with its products ranging from large suitcases to small toiletries bags and briefcases. It was started in Denver, Colorado, USA in 1910 byJesse Shwayder, as the Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company. Shwayder named one of his initial cases "Samson", after the...

 luggage in 1910, Gates
Gates Corporation
Gates Corporation, based in Denver, Colorado USA, is one of the largest non-tire rubber companies in the world.In 1911, Charles Gates Sr. purchased the Colorado Tire and Leather Company located in southern Denver beside the South Platte River. He paid $3500 for a property that would soon become one...

 belts and hoses in 1911, and Russell Stover Candies
Russell Stover Candies
Russell Stover Candies, Inc. is a supplier of candy, chocolate, and confections in the United States. They are headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.- Ice cream years :...

 in 1923. Kuner canned vegetables began in Brighton in 1864. From Golden came Coors
Coors Brewing Company
The Coors Brewing Company is a regional division of the world's fifth-largest brewing company, the Canadian Molson Coors Brewing Company and is the third-largest brewer in the United States...

 beer in 1873, CoorsTek
CoorsTek
CoorsTek, Inc. is a privately owned manufacturer of technical ceramics, semiconductor tooling, plastic tubing, medical devices and other industrial products. CoorsTek’s headquarters and primary factories are located in Golden, Colorado, USA, near the foothills west of Denver. The company is...

 industrial ceramics in 1920, and Jolly Rancher
Jolly Rancher
Jolly Rancher is a brand of candy, including hard candy, gummies, fruit chews, jellybeans, lollipops, and sodas. It is currently owned by Hershey. The product was originally produced by the Jolly Rancher Company, founded in 1949 by Bill and Dorothy Harmsen of Golden, Colorado...

 candy in 1949. CF&I
Colorado Fuel and Iron
The Colorado Fuel and Iron Company was a large steel concern. By 1903, it was largely owned and controlled by John D. Rockefeller and Jay Gould's financial heirs. While it came to control many plants throughout the country, its main plant was a steel mill on the south side of Pueblo, Colorado...

 railroad rails, wire, nails and pipe debuted in Pueblo in 1892. Holly Sugar
Imperial Sugar
Imperial Sugar is a major U.S. sugar producer and marketer based in Sugar Land, Texas, with sugar refinery operations in California, Georgia, and Louisiana....

 was first milled from beets in Holly in 1905, and later moved its headquarters to Colorado Springs. The present-day Swift
Swift & Company
Swift & Company is an American food procession company a wholly owned subsidiary of JBS S.A. , a Brazilian company that is the world's largest processor of fresh beef and pork, with more than US$30 billion in annual sales as of 2010. It is also the largest beef processor in Australia.Swift &...

 packed meat of Greeley evolved from Monfort of Colorado, Inc., established in 1930. Estes
Estes Industries
Estes Industries is a company based in Penrose, Colorado, USA that designs and builds model rocket and model aircraft engines and kits. They were the best known model rocket company during the "golden age of rocketry" in the 1970s and early 1980s, competing primarily with Centuri Engineering and a...

 model rockets were launched in Penrose in 1958. Fort Collins has been the home of Woodward Governor Company
Woodward Governor Company
Woodward Inc. is the world's oldest and largest independent designer, manufacturer, and service provider of energy control solutions for aircraft engines, industrial engines and turbines, power generation and mobile industrial equipment....

's motor controllers (governors) since 1870, and Waterpik dental water jets and showerheads since 1962. Celestial Seasonings
Celestial Seasonings
Celestial Seasonings is a tea company based in Boulder, Colorado, United States that specializes in herbal tea but also sells green, wellness, red, white, chai, holiday and black teas. They account for over $100,000,000 in herbal tea blends sales in the United States annually. All of their teas are...

 herbal teas have been made in Boulder since 1969. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is an international franchisor, confectionery manufacturer and retail operator in the United States, Canada and the United Arab Emirates. The Company is based in the town of Durango located on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado...

 made its first candy in Durango in 1981.

Colorado has a flat 4.63% income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

, regardless of income level. Unlike most states, which calculate taxes based on federal adjusted gross income, Colorado taxes are based on taxable income – income after federal exemptions and federal itemized (or standard) deductions. Colorado's state sales tax
Sales tax
A sales tax is a tax, usually paid by the consumer at the point of purchase, itemized separately from the base price, for certain goods and services. The tax amount is usually calculated by applying a percentage rate to the taxable price of a sale....

 is 2.9% on retail sales. When state revenues exceed state constitutional limits, full-year Colorado residents can claim a sales tax refund on their individual state income tax return. Many counties and cities charge their own rates in addition to the base state rate. There are also certain county and special district taxes that may apply.

Real estate
Real estate
In general use, esp. North American, 'real estate' is taken to mean "Property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals, or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this; an item of real property; buildings or...

 and personal business property are taxable in Colorado. The state's senior property tax exemption was temporarily suspended by the Colorado Legislature in 2003. The tax break is scheduled to return for assessment year 2006, payable in 2007.

As of September 2010, the state's unemployment rate is 8.2%.

Philanthropy


Major philanthropic organizations based in Colorado, including the Daniels Fund
Daniels Fund
About Bill DanielsBill Daniels was a decorated fighter pilot in World War II, and went on to become one of the pioneers in the cable television industry. Throughout his lifetime he gave generously to people in need, and the organizations that serve them...

, the Anschutz Family Foundation, the Gates Family Foundation
Gates Family Foundation
The Gates Family Foundation is one of the largest philanthropic organizations in Colorado, based in Denver. Founded in 1946, the Foundation currently has net assets of approximately $500 million...

, the El Pomar Foundation and the Boettcher Foundation
Boettcher Foundation
The Boettcher Foundation is one of the largest philanthropic organizations in Colorado, based in Denver. Founded by the Boettcher Family in 1937 to assist, encourage and promote quality of life for the citizens of Colorado, the Foundation has invested more than $300 million in Colorado through...

, grant approximately $400 million each year from approximately $7 billion of assets.

Natural resources


Colorado has significant hydrocarbon
Hydrocarbon
In organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons from which one hydrogen atom has been removed are functional groups, called hydrocarbyls....

 resources. According to the Energy Information Administration
Energy Information Administration
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. EIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and...

, Colorado hosts seven of the Nation’s 100 largest natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 fields and two of its 100 largest oil field
Oil field
An oil field is a region with an abundance of oil wells extracting petroleum from below ground. Because the oil reservoirs typically extend over a large area, possibly several hundred kilometres across, full exploitation entails multiple wells scattered across the area...

s. Conventional and unconventional natural gas output from several Colorado basins typically account for more than 5 percent of annual U.S. natural gas production. Colorado’s oil shale
Oil shale
Oil shale, an organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock, contains significant amounts of kerogen from which liquid hydrocarbons called shale oil can be produced...

 deposits hold an estimated 1 Toilbbl of oil – nearly as much oil as the entire world’s proven oil reserves; the economic viability of the oil shale, however, has not been demonstrated. Substantial deposits of bituminous
Bituminous coal
Bituminous coal or black coal is a relatively soft coal containing a tarlike substance called bitumen. It is of higher quality than lignite coal but of poorer quality than Anthracite...

, subbituminous
Sub-bituminous coal
Sub-bituminous coal is a type of coal whose properties range from those of lignite to those of bituminous coal and are used primarily as fuel for steam-electric power generation.- Properties:...

, and lignite
Lignite
Lignite, often referred to as brown coal, or Rosebud coal by Northern Pacific Railroad,is a soft brown fuel with characteristics that put it somewhere between coal and peat...

 coal are found in the state. Kimberlite
Kimberlite
Kimberlite is a type of potassic volcanic rock best known for sometimes containing diamonds. It is named after the town of Kimberley in South Africa, where the discovery of an diamond in 1871 spawned a diamond rush, eventually creating the Big Hole....

 volcanic pipe
Volcanic pipe
Volcanic pipes are subterranean geological structures formed by the violent, supersonic eruption of deep-origin volcanoes. They are considered to be a type of diatreme. Volcanic pipes are composed of a deep, narrow cone of solidified magma , and are usually largely composed of one of two...

s have been found in Colorado; the Kelsey Lake Diamond Mine
Kelsey Lake Diamond Mine
Kelsey Lake Diamond Mine is a defunct diamond mine in Colorado, USA. It is located in the State Line Kimberlite District, near the Wyoming border, and consists of nine kimberlite volcanic pipes, of which two were open pit mined....

 operated for several years, recovering gem quality diamond
Diamond
In mineralogy, diamond is an allotrope of carbon, where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face-centered cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice. Diamond is less stable than graphite, but the conversion rate from diamond to graphite is negligible at ambient conditions...

s.

Colorado's high Rocky Mountain ridges and eastern plains offer wind power
Wind power
Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships....

 potential, and geologic activity in the mountain areas provides potential for geothermal power
Geothermal power
Geothermal energy is thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth. Thermal energy is the energy that determines the temperature of matter. Earth's geothermal energy originates from the original formation of the planet and from radioactive decay of minerals...

 development. Much of the state is sunny and could produce solar power
Solar power
Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available...

. Major rivers flowing from the Rocky Mountains offer hydroelectric power
Hydroelectricity
Hydroelectricity is the term referring to electricity generated by hydropower; the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy...

 resources. Corn grown in the flat eastern part of the state offers potential resources for ethanol
Ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

 production.

Transportation




Colorado transportation system connects its cities, residents, and visitors through a diverse and well regulated modes.

Colorado's primary method of transportation is its highway system. Interstate 25
Interstate 25
Interstate 25 is an Interstate Highway in the western United States. It is primarily a north–south highway. I-25 stretches from Interstate 10 at Las Cruces, New Mexico, , to Interstate 90 in Buffalo, Wyoming, .Interstate 25 is the main north–south expressway through...

 is the primary North/South highway in the state, connecting Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Fort Collins, and Greeley, and Interstate 70
Interstate 70
Interstate 70 is an Interstate Highway in the United States that runs from Interstate 15 near Cove Fort, Utah, to a Park and Ride near Baltimore, Maryland. It was the first Interstate Highway project in the United States. I-70 approximately traces the path of U.S. Route 40 east of the Rocky...

 is the primary East/West route connecting Denver with the mountain communities and Grand Junction. The state is home to a network of US highways and state highways that provide access to much of the state, while smaller communities are only accessibly through county roads.

Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport , often referred to as DIA, is an airport in Denver, Colorado. By land size, at , it is the largest international airport in the United States, and the third largest international airport in the world after King Fahd International Airport and Montréal-Mirabel...

 is the fifth busiest airport in the world and handles the bulk of non-military air traffic in and out of Colorado. Rail traffic is important for industrial use, but typical Colorado residents to not use rail transportation outside of the light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 mass transit system in the Denver Metropolitan Area, which is operated the Regional Transportation District
Regional Transportation District
The Regional Transportation District, or RTD, was organized in 1969 and is the regional authority operating public transit services in eight of the twelve counties in the Denver-Aurora-Boulder Combined Statistical Area in Colorado. RTD is governed by a 15-member, publicly elected Board of...

. Other public transportation services offer both intra-city and inter-city bus service.

State government

Gubernatorial election results
Year Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

2010
United States gubernatorial elections, 2010
The United States gubernatorial elections were held on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 in 37 states . As in most midterm elections, the party controlling the White House lost ground...

11.3% 199,034 51.0% 912,005
2006
United States gubernatorial elections, 2006
The U.S. 2006 gubernatorial elections were held on November 7, 2006 in 36 states, with 22 of the seats held by Republicans and 14 by Democrats....

40.16% 625,886 56.98% 888,096
2002
United States gubernatorial elections, 2002
Although Republicans made some gains from Democrats, Democrats increased their overall number of governorships.-Democratic gains:* Arizona - State Attorney General Janet Napolitano won an open seat held by term-limited Gov. Jane Dee Hull...

62.62% 884,584 33.65% 475,373
1998
United States gubernatorial elections, 1998
The 1998 U.S. gubernatorial elections were held on November 3, 1998 in 36 states. Going into the election 24 of the seats were held by Republicans, 11 by Democrats, and one by an Independent. The elections changed the national balance of power by the loss of one Republican and the gain of one...

49.06% 648,202 48.43% 639,905
1994
United States gubernatorial elections, 1994
The 1994 U.S. gubernatorial elections were held on November 8, 1994 in 36 states. Many seats held by Democratic Party governors switched to the Republican Party during the time known as the Republican Revolution....

38.70% 432,042 55.47% 619,205
1990
United States gubernatorial elections, 1990
The 1990 United States gubernatorial elections were held on November 6, 1990 in 36 states. Most elected in these elections would serve for a four-year term, while those in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont would serve for a two-year term....

35.43% 358,403 61.89% 626,032


Just like all the states, Colorado's state constitution provides for three branches of government: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial branches. The Governor heads the state's executive branch. The Colorado Supreme Court
Colorado Supreme Court
The Colorado Supreme Court is the highest court in the U.S. state of Colorado. Located in Denver, the Court consists of a Chief Justice and six Associate Justices.-Appellate jurisdiction:...

 is the highest judicial court in the state. The state legislative body is the Colorado General Assembly
Colorado General Assembly
The Colorado General Assembly is the state legislature of the State of Colorado.-Constitutional definition:The Colorado Constitution establishes a system of government based on the separation of powers doctrine with power divided among three "departments": executive, legislative and judicial...

, which is made up of two houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The House has 65 members and the Senate has 35. Currently, the House is controlled by the Republican Party by a one vote majority and the Senate is controlled by the Democratic Party. The 2005 Colorado General Assembly was the first to be controlled by the Democrats in forty years. The incumbent governor is Democrat John Hickenlooper
John Hickenlooper
John Wright Hickenlooper is an American politician and current Governor of Colorado. A Democrat, he was previously the Mayor of Denver, Colorado from 2003 to 2011.-Early life, education and career:...

.

Most Coloradans are originally native to other states (nearly 60% according to the 2000 census), and this is illustrated by the fact that the state did not have a native-born governor from 1975 (when John David Vanderhoof
John David Vanderhoof
John David Vanderhoof served as the 37th Governor of Colorado from 1973-1975 as a Republican. He served as Lieutenant Governor of Colorado under John Arthur Love from 1971 until 1973 when Love was appointed to the National Energy Policy Office by President Richard Nixon...

 left office) until 2007, when Bill Ritter took office; his election
Colorado gubernatorial election, 2006
The Colorado gubernatorial election of 2006 was held on November 7, 2006 to determine the successor for incumbent Bill Owens, who was unable to run due to term limits...

 the previous year marked the first electoral victory for a native-born Coloradan in a gubernatorial race since 1958 (Vanderhoof had ascended from the Lieutenant Governorship when John Arthur Love
John Arthur Love
John Arthur Love was a United States attorney and Republican politician who served as the 36th Governor of the State of Colorado from 1963 to 1973....

 was given a position in Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

's administration in 1973).

Counties



The state of Colorado is divided into 64 counties
County (United States)
In the United States, a county is a geographic subdivision of a state , usually assigned some governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states; Louisiana is divided into parishes and Alaska into boroughs. Parishes and boroughs are called "county-equivalents" by the U.S...

. Counties are important units of government in Colorado since the state has no secondary civil subdivisions such as township
Township
The word township is used to refer to different kinds of settlements in different countries. Township is generally associated with an urban area. However there are many exceptions to this rule. In Australia, the United States, and Canada, they may be settlements too small to be considered urban...

s. Two of these counties, the City and County of Denver and the City and County of Broomfield
Broomfield, Colorado
The City and County of Broomfield is a prominent suburb and tier of the Denver metropolitan area in the State of Colorado of the United States. Broomfield has a consolidated city and county government which operates under Article XX, Sections 10-13 of the Constitution of the State of Colorado. The...

, have consolidated city and county governments
Consolidated city-county
In United States local government, a consolidated city–county is a city and county that have been merged into one unified jurisdiction. As such it is simultaneously a city, which is a municipal corporation, and a county, which is an administrative division of a state...

.

Nine Colorado counties have a population in excess of 250,000 each, while eight Colorado counties have a population of less than 2,500 each. The ten most populous Colorado counties are located in the Front Range Urban Corridor
Front Range Urban Corridor
The Front Range Urban Corridor is an oblong region of urban population located along the eastern face of the Southern Rocky Mountains in the U.S. states of Colorado and Wyoming. The corridor derives its name from the Front Range, the mountain range that defines the west central boundary of the...

.


> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
The 25 Most Populous Colorado Counties 2010

Pop Rank County 2010 Census 2000 Census Pop Change
El Paso County
El Paso County, Colorado
El Paso County is the most populous of the 64 counties of the state of Colorado of the United States, now more populous than Denver County. The United States Census Bureau concluded that the county population was 622,371 in 2010. In recent years, the population had come closer to that of Denver...


Denver City and County
Arapahoe County
Arapahoe County, Colorado
As of the census of 2000, there were 487,967 people, 190,909 households, and 125,809 families residing in the county. The population density was 608 people per square mile . There were 196,835 housing units at an average density of 245 per square mile...


Jefferson County
Jefferson County, Colorado
Jefferson County , whose slogan is the "Gateway to the Rocky Mountains", is the fourth most populous of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States. Located along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, Jefferson County is adjacent to the west side of the state capital, Denver....


Adams County
Adams County, Colorado
Adams County is the fifth most populous of the 64 counties of the state of Colorado of the United States. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the county population was 441,603 in 2010 census, a 21.4% increase since 2000 census. Adams County is named for Alva Adams, Governor of the...


Larimer County
Larimer County, Colorado
Larimer County is the seventh most populous and the ninth most extensive of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States. The county is located at the northern end of the Front Range, at the edge of the Colorado Eastern Plains along the border with Wyoming...


Boulder County
Boulder County, Colorado
Boulder County is the sixth most populous of the 64 counties of the state of Colorado of the United States. The county seat is Boulder. The most populous municipality in the county and the county seat is the City of Boulder...


Douglas County
Douglas County, Colorado
Douglas County is the eighth most populous of the 64 counties of the state of Colorado, in the United States. The county is located midway between Colorado's two largest cities: Denver and Colorado Springs...


Weld County
Weld County, Colorado
As of the census of 2000, there were 180,936 people, 63,247 households, and 45,221 families residing in the county. The population density was 45 people per square mile . There were 66,194 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile...


Pueblo County
Pueblo County, Colorado
Pueblo County is the tenth most populous of the 64 counties of the state of Colorado of the United States. The county was named for the historic city of Pueblo which took its name from the Spanish language word meaning "town" or "village". The United States Census Bureau estimates that the...


Mesa County
Mesa County, Colorado
Mesa County is the fourth most extensive and the eleventh most populous of the 64 counties of the state of Colorado in the United States. The county was named for the many large mesas in the area, including Grand Mesa. The county population was 146,723 at the 2010 United States Census. The...


Garfield County
Garfield County, Colorado
Garfield County is the eighth most extensive and the twelfth most populous of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States. The county population was 43,791 at U.S. Census 2000. The county is named in honor of United States President James A. Garfield...


Broomfield City and County
Broomfield, Colorado
The City and County of Broomfield is a prominent suburb and tier of the Denver metropolitan area in the State of Colorado of the United States. Broomfield has a consolidated city and county government which operates under Article XX, Sections 10-13 of the Constitution of the State of Colorado. The...


Eagle County
Eagle County, Colorado
Eagle County is the thirteenth most populous of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado in the United States. The county is named for the Eagle River. The county population was 41,659 at U.S. Census 2000. The county seat is the Town of Eagle...


La Plata County
La Plata County, Colorado
La Plata County is the fourteenth most populous of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States. The county was named for the La Plata River and the La Plata Mountains. "La plata" is the Spanish language word for "silver". The United States Census Bureau estimated that the...


Fremont County
Fremont County, Colorado
Fremont County is the thirteenth most populous of the 64 counties of the state of Colorado of the United States. The county is named for explorer and presidential candidate John C. Frémont. The county population was 46,824 at the 2010 census. The county seat is Cañon City. The Cañon City...


Montrose County
Montrose County, Colorado
Montrose County is the 17th most populous of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States. The county population was 41,276 at U.S. Census 2010. The county was named for its county seat, the City of Montrose...


Delta County
Delta County, Colorado
Delta County is the 17th most populous of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States. The county population was 27,834 in the 2000 U.S. Census. The county seat is the City of Delta...


Morgan County
Morgan County, Colorado
Morgan County is the 18th most populous of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States. The county was named after old Fort Morgan, which in turn was named in honor of Colonel Christopher A. Morgan. The county population was 27,171 at U.S. Census 2000. The county seat is the...


Summit County
Summit County, Colorado
Summit County is the 19th most populous of the 64 counties of the state of Colorado of the United States. The county population was 23,538 at U.S. Census 2000. The county seat is Breckenridge...


Montezuma County
Montezuma County, Colorado
Montezuma County is the southwesternmost of the 64 counties of the state of Colorado of the United States. The county population was 23,830 at U.S. Census 2000...


Routt County
Routt County, Colorado
Routt County is the 15th most extensive of the 64 counties of the state of Colorado of the United States. The county population was 19,690 at U.S. Census 2000. The county seat is Steamboat Springs.- History :...


Teller County
Teller County, Colorado
Teller County is the 22nd most populous of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States. The county population was 20,555 at U.S. Census 2000. The county seat is Cripple Creek, and the most populous city is Woodland Park...


Elbert County
Elbert County, Colorado
Elbert County is the 21st most populous of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States. The county population was 19,872 at U.S. Census 2000. The county seat is Kiowa...


Logan County
Logan County, Colorado
Logan County is the 23rd most extensive of the 64 counties of the State of Colorado of the United States. The county was named for General John A. Logan. The county population was 20,504 at U.S. Census 2000. The county seat is Sterling...




Metropolitan areas




The United States Office of Management and Budget
United States Office of Management and Budget
The Office of Management and Budget is a Cabinet-level office, and is the largest office within the Executive Office of the President of the United States .The current OMB Director is Jacob Lew.-History:...

 (OMB) has defined one Combined Statistical Area
Combined Statistical Area
The United States Office of Management and Budget defines micropolitan and metropolitan statistical areas. Metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas consist of one or more counties...

 (CSA), seven Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), and seven Micropolitan Statistical Areas (μSAs) in the state of Colorado.

The most populous of the 14 Core Based Statistical Area
Core based statistical area
A Core Based Statistical Area is a U.S. geographic area defined by the Office of Management and Budget based around an urban center of at least 10,000 people and adjacent areas that are socioeconomically tied to the urban center by commuting. Areas defined on the basis of these standards applied...

s in Colorado is the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. This area had a population of 2,543,482 at the 2010 United States Census, an increase of 17.88% since the 2000 United States Census.

The more extensive Denver-Aurora-Boulder, CO Combined Statistical Area had a population of 3,090,874 at the 2010 United States Census, an increase of +17.52% since the 2000 United States Census.

The most populous extended metropolitan region in Rocky Mountain Region is the Front Range Urban Corridor
Front Range Urban Corridor
The Front Range Urban Corridor is an oblong region of urban population located along the eastern face of the Southern Rocky Mountains in the U.S. states of Colorado and Wyoming. The corridor derives its name from the Front Range, the mountain range that defines the west central boundary of the...

 along the northeast face of the Southern Rocky Mountains
Southern Rocky Mountains
The Southern Rocky Mountains are a major subregion of the Rocky Mountains of North America located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Wyoming, the central and western portions of Colorado, the northern portion of New Mexico, and extreme eastern portions of Utah...

. This region with Denver at its center had a population of 4,333,742 at the 2010 United States Census, an increase of +17.50% since the 2000 United States Census.

Municipalities



The state of Colorado currently has 271 active incorporated municipalities
Municipal corporation
A municipal corporation is the legal term for a local governing body, including cities, counties, towns, townships, charter townships, villages, and boroughs. Municipal incorporation occurs when such municipalities become self-governing entities under the laws of the state or province in which...

, including 196 towns, 73 cities, and two consolidated city and county governments.

Colorado municipalities operate under one of five types of municipal governing authority. Colorado has one town with a territorial charter, 160 statutory towns, 12 statutory cities, 96 home rule municipalities (61 cities and 35 towns), and 2 consolidated city and county governments.


> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
The 25 Most Populous Colorado Municipalities 2010

Pop Rank Municipality 2010 Census 2000 Census Pop Change
City and County of Denver
City of Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and most populous city of El Paso County, Colorado, United States. Colorado Springs is located in South-Central Colorado, in the southern portion of the state. It is situated on Fountain Creek and is located south of the Colorado...


City of Aurora
Aurora, Colorado
City of Aurora is a Home Rule Municipality spanning Arapahoe, Adams, and Douglas counties in Colorado. Aurora is an eastern suburb of the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area . The city is the third most populous city in the Colorado and the 56th most populous city in the...


City of Fort Collins
Fort Collins, Colorado
Fort Collins is a Home Rule Municipality situated on the Cache La Poudre River along the Colorado Front Range, and is the county seat and most populous city of Larimer County, Colorado, United States. Fort Collins is located north of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. With a 2010 census...


City of Lakewood
Lakewood, Colorado
Lakewood is a Home Rule Municipality that is the most populous city in Jefferson County, Colorado, United States. Lakewood is the fifth most populous city in the State of Colorado and the 172nd most populous city in the United States. The United States Census Bureau estimates that in April 1, 2010...


City of Thornton
Thornton, Colorado
The city of Thornton is a Home Rule Municipality in Adams and Weld counties in the U.S. state of Colorado and a suburb of the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. Thornton is northeast of the state's capital, Denver. The United States Census Bureau that the city population...


City of Pueblo
Pueblo, Colorado
Pueblo is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Pueblo County, Colorado, United States. The population was 106,595 in 2010 census, making it the 246th most populous city in the United States....


City of Arvada
Arvada, Colorado
The City of Arvada is a Home Rule Municipality located in Jefferson and Adams counties in the Denver metropolitan area of the U.S. State of Colorado. Olde Town Arvada is located northwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver...


City of Westminster
Westminster, Colorado
Westminster is a Home Rule Municipality in Adams and Jefferson counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. Westminster is a northwest suburb of Denver. The Westminster Municipal Center is located north-northwest of the Colorado State Capitol. The United States Census Bureau that the city population...


City of Centennial
Centennial, Colorado
The city of Centennial is a Home Rule City located in Arapahoe County, Colorado, United States, and part of the Denver-Aurora metropolitan area. The city was to have a total population of 100,377 in 2010 census. Centennial is the tenth-most populous municipality in the state of Colorado and its...


City of Boulder
Boulder, Colorado
Boulder is the county seat and most populous city of Boulder County and the 11th most populous city in the U.S. state of Colorado. Boulder is located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of...


City of Greeley
Greeley, Colorado
The City of Greeley is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Weld County, Colorado, United States. Greeley is located in the region known as Northern Colorado. Greeley is situated north-northeast of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. According to the...


City of Longmont
Longmont, Colorado
Longmont is a Home Rule Municipality in Boulder and Weld counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. Longmont is located in Northern Colorado. Longmont is the 13th most populous city in the State of Colorado. The word "Longmont" comes from Longs Peak, a prominent mountain named for explorer Stephen H....


City of Loveland
Loveland, Colorado
Loveland is a Home Rule Municipality that is the second most populous city in Larimer County, Colorado, United States. Loveland is situated north of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. Loveland is the 14th most populous city in Colorado. The United States Census Bureau that in 2010 the...


City of Grand Junction
Grand Junction, Colorado
The City of Grand Junction is the largest city in western Colorado. It is a city with a council–manager government form that is the county seat and the most populous city of Mesa County, Colorado, United States. Grand Junction is situated west-southwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. As...


City and County of Broomfield
Broomfield, Colorado
The City and County of Broomfield is a prominent suburb and tier of the Denver metropolitan area in the State of Colorado of the United States. Broomfield has a consolidated city and county government which operates under Article XX, Sections 10-13 of the Constitution of the State of Colorado. The...


Town of Castle Rock
Castle Rock, Colorado
The Town of Castle Rock is the county seat of Douglas County, Colorado, United States and is named for the prominent castle tower-shaped butte near the center of town. It is part of Colorado's Front Range Urban Corridor and is located roughly 28 miles south of Denver and 37 miles north of...


City of Commerce City
Commerce City, Colorado
The city of Commerce City is a Home Rule Municipality located in Adams County, Colorado, United States. Commerce City is a northern suburb of Denver and now the 18th most populous municipality in the state of Colorado...


Town of Parker
Parker, Colorado
The Town of Parker is a Home Rule Municipality in Douglas County, Colorado, United States. As a self-declared "Town" under the Home Rule Statutes, Parker is the 2nd most populous town in the county, behind Castle Rock. In recent years, Parker has become a commuter town at the southeasternmost...


City of Littleton
Littleton, Colorado
Littleton is a Home Rule Municipality contained in Arapahoe, Douglas, and Jefferson counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. Littleton is a suburb of the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Statistical Area. Littleton is the county seat of Arapahoe County and the 20th most populous city in the state of...


City of Northglenn
Northglenn, Colorado
Northglenn is a Home Rule Municipality in Adams and Weld counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the city population was 33,697 in 2008.-Geography:Northglenn is located at ....


City of Brighton
Brighton, Colorado
Brighton is a Home Rule Municipality in Adams and Weld counties in the U.S. state of Colorado, and the county seat of Adams County. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the city population was 31,380 in 2008.-Geography:...


City of Englewood
Englewood, Colorado
The city of Englewood is a Home Rule Municipality located in Arapahoe County, Colorado, United States. As of 2007, the city is estimated to have a total population of 32,532. Englewood is part of the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Area. Englewood is located in the South Platte River Valley east of the...


City of Wheat Ridge
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
The City of 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 west-northwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver...


City of Fountain
Fountain, Colorado
The city of Fountain is a Home Rule Municipality located in El Paso County, Colorado, United States. Fountain is located just ten miles south of Colorado Springs and just east of Fort Carson. Fountain and the Colorado Springs suburbs Security and Widefield make up the "Fountain Valley" community....




The City and County of Denver and the City of Aurora both levy an Occupational Privilege Tax (OPT or Head Tax) on employers and employees.
  • If any employee performs work in the city limits and is paid over US$500.00 for that work in a single month, the employee and employer are both liable for the OPT regardless of where the main business office is located or headquartered.
  • In Denver, the employer is liable for US$4.00 per employee per month and the employee is liable for US$5.75 per month.
  • In Aurora, both employer and employees are liable for US$2.00 per month.
  • It is the employer's responsibility to withhold, remit, and file the OPT returns. If an employer does not comply, they can be held liable for both portions of the OPT as well as penalties and interest.

Unincorporated communities



In addition to its 271 municipalities, Colorado has 187 unincorporated
Unincorporated area
In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any municipality.To "incorporate" in this context means to form a municipal corporation, a city, town, or village with its own government. An unincorporated community is usually not subject to or taxed by a municipal government...

 United States
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

 census designated places
Census-designated place
A census-designated place is a concentration of population identified by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes. CDPs are delineated for each decennial census as the statistical counterparts of incorporated places such as cities, towns and villages...

 and many other small communities.

> > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
The 15 Most Populous Census Designated Places in Colorado 2010

Pop Rank Census Designated Place 2010 Census 2000 Census Pop Change
Highlands Ranch
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Highlands Ranch is a census-designated place in Douglas County, Colorado, United States. The population was 96,713 at the 2010 census; it is one of the most populous unincorporated communities in the United States...


Security-Widefield
Security-Widefield, Colorado
Security-Widefield is a census-designated place in El Paso County, Colorado, United States. The population was 29,845 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Security-Widefield is located at ....


Ken Caryl
Ken Caryl, Colorado
Lockheed Martin and its predecessor, Martin Marietta, operate a facility located in Ken Caryl Valley.-In popular culture:In the South Park episode Trapped in the Closet, a reference is made to FunPlex, an amusement center in Ken Caryl, though it has since been renamed Fun City.-External links:*...


Dakota Ridge
Dakota Ridge, Colorado
Dakota Ridge is a census-designated place in Jefferson County, Colorado, United States. The population as of the 2010 Census was 32,005....


Pueblo West
Pueblo West, Colorado
Pueblo West is a census-designated place in Pueblo County, Colorado, United States. It is part of the Pueblo Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 16,899 at the 2000 census...


Columbine
Columbine, Colorado
Columbine is a census-designated place in Arapahoe and Jefferson Counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. Located mostly in Jefferson County, it lies immediately west of Littleton....


Clifton
Clifton, Colorado
Clifton is a census-designated place in Mesa County, Colorado, United States. It is part of the Grand Junction Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 19,889 at the 2010 census...


Sherrelwood
Sherrelwood, Colorado
Sherrelwood is a census-designated place in Adams County, Colorado, United States. The population was 17,657 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Sherrelwood is located at ....


Cimarron Hills
Cimarron Hills, Colorado
Cimarron Hills is a census-designated place in El Paso County, Colorado, United States. The population was 16,161 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Cimarron Hills is located at ....


Welby
Welby, Colorado
Welby is a census-designated place in Adams County, Colorado, United States. The population was 12,973 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Welby is located at ....


Fort Carson
Fort Carson, Colorado
Fort Carson is a United States Army installation located near Colorado Springs, primarily in El Paso County, Colorado. It is north of Pueblo, Colorado in Pueblo County. The 137,000 acre installation extends south into Pueblo and Fremont counties...


Black Forest
Black Forest, Colorado
Black Forest is a census-designated place near Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States. The population was 13,116 at the 2010 census. Black Forest is named such for the high density of Ponderosa Pines located in a generally small area...


Berkley
Berkley, Colorado
Berkley is a census-designated place in Adams County, Colorado, United States. The population was 11,207 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Berkley is located at ....


Cherry Creek
Cherry Creek, Colorado
Cherry Creek is a census-designated place in Arapahoe County, Colorado, United States. For the tributary of the South Platte River, see Cherry Creek . The population as of the 2010 Census was 11,120.-Reference:...


The Pinery
The Pinery, Colorado
The Pinery is a census-designated place in Douglas County, Colorado, United States. The population was 7,253 at the 2000 census.-Geography:The Pinery is located at ....



Special districts


The state of Colorado has more than 3,000 districts with taxing authority. These districts may provide schools, law enforcement, fire protection, water, sewage, drainage, irrigation, transportation, recreation, infrastructure, cultural facilities, business support, redevelopment, or other services.

Some of these districts have authority to levy sales tax and well as property tax and use fees. This has led to a hodgepodge of sales tax and property tax rates in Colorado. There are some street intersections in Colorado with a different sales tax rate on each corner, sometimes substantially different.

Some of the more notable Colorado districts are:
  • The Regional Transportation District
    Regional Transportation District
    The Regional Transportation District, or RTD, was organized in 1969 and is the regional authority operating public transit services in eight of the twelve counties in the Denver-Aurora-Boulder Combined Statistical Area in Colorado. RTD is governed by a 15-member, publicly elected Board of...

     (RTD), which affects the counties of Denver, Boulder, Jefferson, and portions of Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, and Douglas Counties
  • The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District
    Scientific and Cultural Facilities District
    The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District is a special regional tax district of the State of Colorado that provides funding for art, music, theater, dance, zoology, botany, natural history, or cultural history organizations in the Denver metropolitan area.In 1988, voters in the Denver region...

     (SCFD), a special regional tax district with physical boundaries contiguous with county boundaries of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties
    • It is a 0.1% retail sales and use tax (one penny on every $10).
    • According to the Colorado statute, the SCFD distributes the money to local organizations on an annual basis. These organizations must provide for the enlightenment and entertainment of the public through the production, presentation, exhibition, advancement or preservation of art, music, theater, dance, zoology, botany, natural history or cultural history.
    • As directed by statute, SCFD recipient organizations are currently divided into three "tiers" among which receipts are allocated by percentage.
      • Tier I includes regional organizations: the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Botanic Gardens, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Denver Zoo, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. It receives 65.5%.
      • Tier II currently includes 26 regional organizations. Tier II receives 21%.
      • Tier III has over 280 local organizations such as small theaters, orchestras, art centers, and natural history, cultural history, and community groups. Tier III organizations apply for funding to the county cultural councils via a grant process. This tier receives 13.5%.
    • An 11-member board of directors oversees the distributions in accordance with the Colorado Revised Statutes. Seven board members are appointed by county commissioners (in Denver, the Denver City Council) and four members are appointed by the Governor of Colorado.
  • The Football Stadium District (FD or FTBL), approved by the voters to pay for and help build the Denver Broncos
    Denver Broncos
    The Denver Broncos are a professional American football team based in Denver, Colorado. They are currently members of the West Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

    ' stadium INVESCO Field at Mile High
    INVESCO Field at Mile High
    Sports Authority Field at Mile High, previously known as Invesco Field at Mile High, and commonly known as Mile High, is a multi-purpose stadium, in Denver, Colorado. It replaced the identically sized, but commercially obsolete Mile High Stadium in 2001...

  • Local Improvement Districts (LID) within designated areas of southeast Jefferson and Boulder counties
  • Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) taxes at varying rates in Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Gunnison County

Federal politics

Presidential elections results
Year Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

2008 44.71% 1,073,584 53.66% 1,288,568
2004 51.69% 1,101,255 47.02% 1,001,732
2000 50.75% 883,745 42.39% 738,227
1996 45.80% 691,848 44.43% 671,152
1992 35.87% 562,850 40.13% 629,681
1988 53.06% 728,177 45.28% 621,453

Colorado is considered a swing state
Swing state
In United States presidential politics, a swing state is a state in which no single candidate or party has overwhelming support in securing that state's electoral college votes...

 in both state and federal elections. Coloradans have elected 17 Democrats
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 and 12 Republicans
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 to the governorship in the last 100 years. In presidential politics, Colorado supported Democrats Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 in 1992 and Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 in 2008, and supported Republicans Robert J. Dole
Bob Dole
Robert Joseph "Bob" Dole is an American attorney and politician. Dole represented Kansas in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1996, was Gerald Ford's Vice Presidential running mate in the 1976 presidential election, and was Senate Majority Leader from 1985 to 1987 and in 1995 and 1996...

 in 1996 and George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 in 2000
United States presidential election, 2000
The United States presidential election of 2000 was a contest between Republican candidate George W. Bush, then-governor of Texas and son of former president George H. W. Bush , and Democratic candidate Al Gore, then-Vice President....

 and 2004
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

. The presidential outcome in 2008 was the second closest to the national popular vote, after Virginia.

Colorado politics has the contrast of conservative cities such as Colorado Springs and liberal cities such as Boulder. Democrats are strongest in metropolitan Denver, the college towns of Fort Collins and Boulder, southern Colorado (including Pueblo), and a few western ski resort counties. The Republicans are strongest in the Eastern Plains, Colorado Springs, Greeley, and far Western Colorado near Grand Junction.

Former Colorado senator and attorney general Ken Salazar
Ken Salazar
Kenneth Lee "Ken" Salazar is the current United States Secretary of the Interior, in the administration of President Barack Obama. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as a United States Senator from Colorado from 2005 to 2009. He and Mel Martinez were the first Hispanic U.S...

 is the current United States Secretary of the Interior
United States Secretary of the Interior
The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior.The US Department of the Interior should not be confused with the concept of Ministries of the Interior as used in other countries...

 (as of January 20, 2009).

The state of Colorado is represented by its two United States Senators:
  • United States Senate Class 2
    Classes of United States Senators
    The three classes of United States Senators are currently made up of 33 or 34 Senate seats. The purpose of the classes is to determine which Senate seats will be up for election in a given year. The three groups are staggered so that one of them is up for election every two years.A senator's...

     – Mark Emery Udall (Democratic
    Democratic Party (United States)
    The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

    ) 2009–
  • United States Senate Class 3
    Classes of United States Senators
    The three classes of United States Senators are currently made up of 33 or 34 Senate seats. The purpose of the classes is to determine which Senate seats will be up for election in a given year. The three groups are staggered so that one of them is up for election every two years.A senator's...

     – Michael Farrand Bennet (Democratic
    Democratic Party (United States)
    The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

    ) 2009–

Colorado is represented by seven Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 to the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

:
  • Colorado's 1st congressional district
    Colorado's 1st congressional district
    Colorado's 1st congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Colorado based primarily in the City and County of Denver in the central part of the state...

     - Diana Louise DeGette (Democratic
    Democratic Party (United States)
    The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

    ) 1997-
  • Colorado's 2nd congressional district
    Colorado's 2nd congressional district
    Colorado's 2nd congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Colorado. The district is located in the north-central part of the state and encompasses the northwestern suburbs of Denver including Boulder, Northglenn, Thornton, and Westminster...

     - Jared Schutz Polis (Democratic
    Democratic Party (United States)
    The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

    ) 2009-
  • Colorado's 3rd congressional district
    Colorado's 3rd congressional district
    Colorado's 3rd congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Colorado. The district is located in western and south central Colorado, encompassing most of the rural Western Slope...

     - Scott Tipton
    Scott Tipton
    Scott R. Tipton is the U.S. Representative for . In November 2010, he defeated three-term incumbent Democrat John Salazar, whom he lost to in 2006 by a wide margin. He was a member of the Colorado House of Representatives and a co-owner of a pottery company in Cortez, Colorado...

     (Republican
    Republican Party (United States)
    The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

    ) 2011–
  • Colorado's 4th congressional district
    Colorado's 4th congressional district
    Colorado's 4th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Colorado. Located in the eastern part of the state, the district encompasses most of the rural Eastern Plains as well as the larger cities of Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland and Longmont along Colorado's Front...

     - Cory Gardner
    Cory Gardner
    Cory Scott Gardner is the Republican U.S. Representative for Colorado's 4th congressional district. In 2010, he defeated incumbent Democrat Betsy Markey. He was formerly a member of the Colorado House of Representatives....

     (Republican
    Republican Party (United States)
    The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

    ) 2011–
  • Colorado's 5th congressional district
    Colorado's 5th congressional district
    Colorado's 5th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Colorado. The district lies in the center of the state and mostly comprises Colorado Springs and its suburbs including Cimarron Hills and Fort Carson....

     - Douglas L. "Doug" Lamborn (Republican
    Republican Party (United States)
    The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

    ) 2007-
  • Colorado's 6th congressional district
    Colorado's 6th congressional district
    Colorado's 6th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Colorado. Located in central Colorado, the district encompasses much of the southern part of the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Area, including the suburbs of Littleton, Centennial and portions of Aurora.The district...

     - Michael "Mike" Coffman (Republican
    Republican Party (United States)
    The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

    ) 2009-
  • Colorado's 7th congressional district
    Colorado's 7th congressional district
    Colorado's 7th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Colorado. Located in the central part of the state, the district encompasses much of the northern parts of the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Area, including the suburbs of Lakewood, Arvada, and Aurora as well as the...

     - Edwin George "Ed" Perlmutter (Democratic
    Democratic Party (United States)
    The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

    ) 2007-

Education



Colleges and universities in Colorado:


Military installations


  • Air Reserve Personnel Center
    Air Reserve Personnel Center
    The Air Reserve Personnel Center manages personnel records for the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve and it is located at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado....

  • Buckley Air Force Base
    Buckley Air Force Base
    Buckley Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base in Aurora, Colorado, that was established by the U.S. Army in 1943. The base was named in honor of the World War I Army pilot 1LT John Harold Buckley.-Overview:...

  • Fort Carson (U.S. Army)
    • Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site
      Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site
      The Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site is a 235,896 acre U.S. Army base in southeastern Colorado. The Piñon County Maneuver Site is a training site for Fort Carson.-Setting:...

  • Peterson Air Force Base
    Peterson Air Force Base
    Peterson Air Force Base is a base of the United States Air Force located at Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States and it provides runways for the adjacent City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport under a shared joint civil-military airport arrangement...

    • Cheyenne Mountain Directorate
  • Pueblo Chemical Depot
    Pueblo Chemical Depot
    The Pueblo Chemical Depot is a chemical weapons storage site located in Pueblo County, Colorado, United States.The depot houses 2,611 tons of mustard agent in approximately 780,000 munitions, equivalent to about seven percent of the original chemical material stockpile of the United States...

     (U.S. Army)
  • Schriever Air Force Base
    Schriever Air Force Base
    Schriever Air Force Base is a base of the United States Air Force located approximately 10 miles east of Peterson AFB near Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States.-Overview:...

  • United States Air Force Academy
    United States Air Force Academy
    The United States Air Force Academy is an accredited college for the undergraduate education of officer candidates for the United States Air Force. Its campus is located immediately north of Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States...


Protected areas





Units of the National Park System in Colorado:
  • Arapaho National Recreation Area
    Arapaho National Recreation Area
    The Arapaho National Recreation Area is a United States National Recreation Area that is located near the headwaters of the Colorado River in north central Colorado adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park. ANRA is under the jurisdiction of the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest...

  • Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site
    Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site
    Bent's Old Fort is an 1833 fort located in Otero County in southeastern Colorado, USA. William and Charles Bent, along with Ceran St. Vrain, built the fort to trade with Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Plains Indians and trappers for buffalo robes...

  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
    Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
    thumb|upright|Black Canyon of the GunnisonBlack Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a United States National Park located in western Colorado, and managed by the National Park Service...

  • Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
    Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
    Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. state of Colorado, and is managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, an agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior...

  • Colorado National Monument
    Colorado National Monument
    - Trails :The Monument contains many hiking trails, with lengths and difficulties to suit all tastes. Summer storms can cause flash floods as well as dangerous trail conditions. Rattlesnakes are found on the Monument, and rough terrain exists everywhere, but most trails are well-maintained...

  • Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
  • Curecanti National Recreation Area
    Curecanti National Recreation Area
    Curecanti National Recreation Area, in Colorado, is formed by three reservoirs, named for corresponding dams on the Gunnison River. The national recreation area borders Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park on the west...

  • Dinosaur National Monument
    Dinosaur National Monument
    Dinosaur National Monument is a National Monument located on the southeast flank of the Uinta Mountains on the border between Colorado and Utah at the confluence of the Green and Yampa Rivers. Although most of the monument area is in Moffat County, Colorado, the Dinosaur Quarry is located in Utah...

  • Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
    Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
    Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is a United States National Monument in Teller County, Colorado, that is noted for its fossils. It is located in a mountain valley just west of Pikes Peak and holds spectacular remnants of prehistoric life...

  • Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
    Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
    -Other features:The park also contains alpine lakes and tundra, six peaks over 13,000 feet in elevation, ancient spruce and pine forests, large stands of aspen and cottonwood, grasslands, and wetlands — all habitat for diverse wildlife and plant species.One of the most unusual features of...

  • Hovenweep National Monument
    Hovenweep National Monument
    Hovenweep National Monument is located on land in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah, located between Cortez, Colorado and Blanding, Utah on the Cajon Mesa of the Great Sage Plain...

  • Mesa Verde National Park
    Mesa Verde National Park
    Mesa Verde National Park is a U.S. National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Montezuma County, Colorado, United States. It was created in 1906 to protect some of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the world...

     and UNESCO
    UNESCO
    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

     World Heritage Site
    World Heritage Site
    A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

  • Old Spanish National Historic Trail
  • Pony Express National Historic Trail
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
    Rocky Mountain National Park
    Rocky Mountain National Park is a national park located in the north-central region of the U.S. state of Colorado.It features majestic mountain views, a variety of wildlife, varied climates and environments—from wooded forests to mountain tundra—and easy access to back-country trails...

  • Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
    Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
    Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site is a National Historic Site in Kiowa County, Colorado, near Eads and Chivington in Kiowa County commemorating the Sand Creek Massacre. The site is about southeast of Denver and about east of Pueblo. A few basic park facilities have been opened at this...

  • Santa Fe National Historic Trail
  • Yucca House National Monument
    Yucca House National Monument
    Yucca House National Monument is a United States National Monument located in Montezuma County, Colorado between the towns of Towaoc and Cortez, Colorado...


Sports






Colorado is the least populous state with a franchise in each of the major professional sports leagues.

Professional sports teams

Professional Sports Clubs based in Colorado

Club Home First game Sport League
Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos are a professional American football team based in Denver, Colorado. They are currently members of the West Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

Denver Football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

Denver Barbarians
Denver Barbarians
The Denver Barbarians Rugby Football Club is a SuperLeague rugby union and Division I team based in Denver, Colorado.----- History :The Denver Barbarians Rugby Football Club was founded in 1967. The initial members were men that had been playing rugby with some of the local collegiate teams, or...

Denver Rugby Union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

Rugby Super League
Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are a professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. They play in the National Basketball Association . They were founded as the Denver Rockets in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association, and became one of that league's more successful teams...

Denver Basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

Colorado Springs Sky Sox
Colorado Springs Sky Sox
The Colorado Springs Sky Sox are a minor league baseball team in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The team's colors are red and blue. The team plays in the Pacific Coast League and are the Triple-A affiliate of the major league Colorado Rockies...

Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and most populous city of El Paso County, Colorado, United States. Colorado Springs is located in South-Central Colorado, in the southern portion of the state. It is situated on Fountain Creek and is located south of the Colorado...

Baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

Minor League Baseball
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

 (AAA)
Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies
The Colorado Rockies are a Major League Baseball team based in Denver, Colorado. Established in 1991, they started play in 1993 and are in the West Division of the National League. The team is named after the Rocky Mountains...

Denver Baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

Colorado Avalanche
Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche are a professional ice hockey team based in Denver, Colorado, United States. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . The Avalanche have won the Stanley Cup twice, in 1995–96 and 2000–01. The franchise...

Denver Ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

Colorado Rapids
Colorado Rapids
The Colorado Rapids are an American professional soccer club based in the Denver suburb of Commerce City, Colorado which competes in Major League Soccer , the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, having competed in the league...

Commerce City
Commerce City, Colorado
The city of Commerce City is a Home Rule Municipality located in Adams County, Colorado, United States. Commerce City is a northern suburb of Denver and now the 18th most populous municipality in the state of Colorado...

Soccer Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation . The league is composed of 19 teams — 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada...

Colorado Mammoth
Colorado Mammoth
The Colorado Mammoth are a member of the National Lacrosse League. They have played at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, United States, since the 2003 season....

Denver Lacrosse
Lacrosse
Lacrosse is a team sport of Native American origin played using a small rubber ball and a long-handled stick called a crosse or lacrosse stick, mainly played in the United States and Canada. It is a contact sport which requires padding. The head of the lacrosse stick is strung with loose mesh...

National Lacrosse League
National Lacrosse League
The National Lacrosse League is a men's professional indoor lacrosse league in North America. It currently has nine teams; three in Canada and six in the United States. Unlike other lacrosse leagues which play in the summer, the NLL plays its games in the winter and spring. Each year, the playoff...

Colorado Eagles
Colorado Eagles
The Colorado Eagles are a professional ice hockey team based in Loveland, Colorado. The Eagles play in the Mountain Division of the ECHL's Western Conference, where they serve as the "Double-A" affiliate of the National Hockey League's Winnipeg Jets and the American Hockey League's St. John's IceCaps...

Loveland
Loveland, Colorado
Loveland is a Home Rule Municipality that is the second most populous city in Larimer County, Colorado, United States. Loveland is situated north of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. Loveland is the 14th most populous city in Colorado. The United States Census Bureau that in 2010 the...

Ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

ECHL
ECHL
The ECHL is a mid-level professional ice hockey league based in Princeton, New Jersey with teams scattered across the United States...

Denver Outlaws
Denver Outlaws
The Denver Outlaws are a Major League Lacrosse professional men's field lacrosse team based in Denver, Colorado. They began playing in the MLL in 2006 as an expansion team. From 2006 to 2008, they were in the Western Conference. With the MLL contraction in the 2009 season from 10 to 6 teams The...

Denver Lacrosse
Lacrosse
Lacrosse is a team sport of Native American origin played using a small rubber ball and a long-handled stick called a crosse or lacrosse stick, mainly played in the United States and Canada. It is a contact sport which requires padding. The head of the lacrosse stick is strung with loose mesh...

Major League Lacrosse
Major League Lacrosse
Major League Lacrosse, or MLL, is a professional men's field lacrosse league that is made up of five teams in the United States and one team in Canada.- History :...


College athletics



The following universities and colleges participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association
National Collegiate Athletic Association
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a semi-voluntary association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States...

 Division I.
NCAA Division I athletic programs in Colorado

Team School City Conference
Air Force Falcons
Air Force Falcons
The Air Force Falcons are the collegiate athletic teams that represent the United States Air Force Academy, near Colorado Springs, Colorado. The intercollegiate program has 17 men's and 10 women's NCAA-sanctioned teams...

 
United States Air Force Academy
United States Air Force Academy
The United States Air Force Academy is an accredited college for the undergraduate education of officer candidates for the United States Air Force. Its campus is located immediately north of Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States...

 
Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and most populous city of El Paso County, Colorado, United States. Colorado Springs is located in South-Central Colorado, in the southern portion of the state. It is situated on Fountain Creek and is located south of the Colorado...

 
Mountain West
Mountain West Conference
The Mountain West Conference , popularly known as the Mountain West, is the youngest of the college athletic conferences affiliated with the NCAA’s Division I FBS . The MWC officially began operations in July 1999...

Colorado Buffaloes
Colorado Buffaloes
The University of Colorado Boulder sponsors 16 varsity sports teams. Both men's and women's team are called the Buffaloes or Golden Buffaloes . "Lady Buffs" referred to the women's teams beginning in the 1970s, but was officially dropped in 1993...

 
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Colorado at Boulder
The University of Colorado Boulder is a public research university located in Boulder, Colorado...

 
Boulder
Boulder, Colorado
Boulder is the county seat and most populous city of Boulder County and the 11th most populous city in the U.S. state of Colorado. Boulder is located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of...

 
Pac 12
Colorado College Tigers  Colorado College
Colorado College
The Colorado College is a private liberal arts college in Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It was founded in 1874 by Thomas Nelson Haskell...

 
Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and most populous city of El Paso County, Colorado, United States. Colorado Springs is located in South-Central Colorado, in the southern portion of the state. It is situated on Fountain Creek and is located south of the Colorado...

 
WCHA
Western Collegiate Hockey Association
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association is a college athletic conference which operates over a wide area of the Midwestern and Western United States. It participates in the NCAA's Division I as an ice hockey-only conference....

Colorado State Rams
Colorado State Rams
Colorado State University competes in 16 sponsored intercollegiate sports, including 10 for women and six for men...

 
Colorado State University
Colorado State University
Colorado State University is a public research university located in Fort Collins, Colorado. The university is the state's land grant university, and the flagship university of the Colorado State University System.The enrollment is approximately 29,932 students, including resident and...

 
Fort Collins
Fort Collins, Colorado
Fort Collins is a Home Rule Municipality situated on the Cache La Poudre River along the Colorado Front Range, and is the county seat and most populous city of Larimer County, Colorado, United States. Fort Collins is located north of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. With a 2010 census...

 
Mountain West
Mountain West Conference
The Mountain West Conference , popularly known as the Mountain West, is the youngest of the college athletic conferences affiliated with the NCAA’s Division I FBS . The MWC officially began operations in July 1999...

Denver Pioneers
Denver Pioneers
The Denver Pioneers are the sports teams of the University of Denver. They play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I, with most teams participating in the Sun Belt Conference. The Western Athletic Conference will become Denver's primary sports conference on July 1, 2012.The...

 
University of Denver
University of Denver
The University of Denver is currently ranked 82nd among all public and private "National Universities" by U.S. News & World Report in the 2012 rankings....

 
Denver  WCHA
Western Collegiate Hockey Association
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association is a college athletic conference which operates over a wide area of the Midwestern and Western United States. It participates in the NCAA's Division I as an ice hockey-only conference....

 and Sun Belt
Sun Belt Conference
The Sun Belt Conference is a college athletic conference that has been affiliated with the NCAA's Division I since 1976. Its football teams participate in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision , the higher of two levels of Division I football competition . The Sun Belt has member institutions...

Northern Colorado Bears  University of Northern Colorado
University of Northern Colorado
-Organization:The University of Northern Colorado offers 100 undergraduate programs and more than 100 graduate programs. The university has a satellite campus in Denver, Colorado...

 
Greeley
Greeley, Colorado
The City of Greeley is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous city of Weld County, Colorado, United States. Greeley is located in the region known as Northern Colorado. Greeley is situated north-northeast of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. According to the...

 
Big Sky
Big Sky Conference
The Big Sky Conference is an intercollegiate college athletic conference affiliated with the NCAA's Division I, with football competing in the Football Championship Subdivision. The BSC was founded in 1963. Member institutions are located in the western United States in the states of Arizona,...



See also


  • List of federal lands in Colorado
  • List of people from Colorado
  • List of places in Colorado
  • Mountain peaks of Colorado
    Mountain peaks of Colorado
    This article comprises three sortable tables of the major mountain peaks of the U.S. State of Colorado.Topographic elevation is the vertical distance above the reference geoid, a precise mathematical model of the Earth's sea level as an equipotential gravitational surface...

  • List of National Register of Historic Places in Colorado
  • Southern Rocky Mountains
    Southern Rocky Mountains
    The Southern Rocky Mountains are a major subregion of the Rocky Mountains of North America located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Wyoming, the central and western portions of Colorado, the northern portion of New Mexico, and extreme eastern portions of Utah...

  • U.S. state
    U.S. state
    A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...



Further reading


  • Explore Colorado, A Naturalist's Handbook, The Denver Museum of Natural History and Westcliff Publishers, 1995, ISBN 1-56579-124-X for an excellent guide to the ecological regions of Colorado.
  • The Archeology of Colorado, Revised Edition, E. Steve Cassells, Johnson Books, Boulder, Colorado, 1997, trade paperback, ISBN 1-55566-193-9.
  • Chokecherry Places, Essays from the High Plains, Merrill Gilfillan, Johnson Press, Boulder, Colorado, trade paperback, ISBN 1-55566-227-7.
  • The Tie That Binds, Kent Haruf
    Kent Haruf
    Kent Haruf is an award-winning American novelist.-Life:Haruf was born in Pueblo, Colorado, the son of a Methodist minister...

    , 1984, hardcover, ISBN 0-03-071979-8, a fictional account of farming in Colorado.
  • Railroads of Colorado: Your Guide to Colorado's Historic Trains and Railway Sites, Claude Wiatrowski, Voyageur Press, 2002, hardcover, 160 pages, ISBN 0-89658-591-3


External links


State government
Federal government
Other