Colorado Facts

Our Colorado Facts for Kids provide interesting and fun facts about the state of the United States of America which has the highest average elevation, its people, attractions and geographical superlatives and all other important facts about Colorado you really should know.

Colorado Facts for Kids

colorado facts: numberplate600

Top 30 Colorado Facts | USA

1. Colorado is a landlocked state in the southwestern USA and has an almost rectangular shape. The highest state of the USA does not border any ocean but seven other US states.

colorado US map

2. The neighbouring seven states are Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona.

3. Colorado is one of the few states whose borders are made up by straight lines and not by natural features. However, the lines are not completely straight so it is actually more of a rectangle with almost 700 sides, as the lines are not completely straight.

The lines correlate with the lines of latitude and longitude. The state lies between the 41° and 37° parallel and the 102° and 109° meridians.

colorado map

4. Colorado shares the Four Corners, a unique point in the United States of America, where four state borders meet: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

usa four cornersFour corners mark

5. Colorado is the eight largest state of the USA and covers an area about double the size of Alabama or one seventh of the size of Alaska, the largest state of the USA.

Colorado is slightly smaller in land area than New Zealand and about 20% larger than Great Britain.

6. Colorado has a population of about 5.8 million people. The majority of the people in Colorado live in and around the capital city Denver.

7. The capital city of Colorado is called Denver. The state capital is the most populous city of the state and houses about 750,000 inhabitants.

Colorado Denver aerialSunset view towards Denver

Denver is located on high rolling plains near the mountains. Denver received its nickname "mile high city" from the Colorado State Capitol building which stands at one mile high above sea level, which is at 1.6km/ 5280 ft.

8. About 40% of the state is flat on high plains with rolling hills while Colorado is known for its alpine mountain scape. 75% of the land area of the state is above 3,048 m or 10,000 feet. There are 850 peaks that are higher than 3,300 m / 11,000 ft!

9. The world's largest flat top mountain is also located in Colorado. This is the Grand Mesa. The mountain stretches about 64 km/ 40 miles along the Colorado River.

colorado grand mesaColorado River and the Grand Mesa

Colorado Facts | Geography

10. Colorado's landscape is varied as you can find rugged mountains of the Rocky Mountains, high plains and deep canyons as well as large sand dunes in the desert of the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

11. The tallest dunes in North America are located in the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The tallest dune is a star dune that is almost 230 m/ more than 750 ft high.

colorado greatsanddunesGreat Sand Dunes National Park

12. The most important geographical features are the Rocky Mountains, the High Plains which are part of the Great Plains, the great sand dunes and deep canyons.

13. The Rocky mountain range dominates the southern parts of the state. Colorado houses 53 peaks that are so-called Fourteeners, peaks with a minimum hight of 14,000 ft or 4,267 m - amongst the 58 true peaks of the state.

Colorado has actually 30 of the highest mountains of the Rocky Mountains.

colorado breckenridgeBreckenridge in the Rocky Mountains

Colorado is known for its foremost winter sports resorts such as Aspen, Breckenridge or Vail.

Colorado Facts | Geography Superlatives

Colorado Mount ElbertMount Elbert and Twin Lakes

14. The highest mountain of Colorado is located in the Rocky mountains and is called Mount Elbert with a height of 4,401 m/ 14,444 ft. 

15. Colorado is dubbed the highest state of the USA as it is the state with the highest average elevation of over 2,000 m/ 6,500 ft. The entire state is above 1,000 m/ 3,281 ft sea level.

colorado hiking rocky mountainsHiking in the Rocky mountains

16. There are 158 rivers in Colorado. The longest river of Colorado is the Rio Grande with a length of over 3,034 km/ 1885 miles.

The river flows from southern Colorado through the US states of Colorado, New Mexico and Texas and reaches the Gulf of Mexico in neighbouring Mexico.

17. The largest and deepest natural lake in the state of Colorado is Grand Lake. Colorado has several man-made water reservoirs and the Navajo Reservoir is the largest in North America while the Blue Mesa Reservoir is the largest entirely located within the state of Colorado.

colorado royal gorge bridgeRoyal Gorge Suspension Bridge

18. The Royal Gorge Bride in Colorado is the highest suspension bridge in North America. 

The bridge was built in 1929 and stands above the Arkansas river at about 956 feet above the gorge’s floor. Visitors who are 10 years and older can explore the gorge walls and climb along the Via Ferrata adventure trail.

Colorado Facts | Name and State Symbols

19. The name Colorado originates for the Spanish term colorado which means coloured. The name was given as the river that flows through the state shines red due to the red sandstone that dominates the landscape in the state. The state is referring in its nickname: "Coloured Colorado".

20. The state main nickname is: "The Centennial State". The state was formed in 1876, exactly 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Colorado Day is celebrated annually on 1 August. 

The motto of the state is: "Nothing without providence or deity".

21. Colorado is the 38th state of the USA and gained statehood in 1876 under president Ulysses S. Grant.

colorado flagColorado flag

22. The Colorado state flag colours are blue, gold, white and red. The white and lavender coloured columbine is the state flower. The rocky mountain bighorn sheep is the official state animal of California. The stegosaurus is the official state fossil.

Colorado Facts | Animals

23. Native animals in Colorado are the the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, wild horses, black bears, mountain lions and the American bison amongst others. The county of Denver has two Bison herds that live in reserves near the capital city. 

colorado bison refugeBison reserve near Denver

Colorado Facts | Colorado People

24. Indigenous people who settled initially in the region of today's state of Colorado are the Apache nation, the Arapaho nation, Cheyenne nation, the Pueblo, Shoshone and Ute people.

Today the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribes are recognised by the the government. Colorado counts about 50,000 Native Americans which make about 1% of the population in the state.

Every year in March, the colourful 'Denver March Powwow' offers a glimpse into traditional Native American culture. In 2023, the festivities will be held from 17-19 March.

The cliff dwellings in Southwestern Colorado are an important historical and archeological site. Ancestral Pueblo people built their homes in the cliffs as early as in the 13th century.

colorado cliff dwellingCliff dwellings

25. The first non-native settlers were Spanish explorers who moved up to the region from today's Mexico. Spanish explorer Juan de Archuleta claimed the Colorado territory for the Spanish crown in 1664. Today, the Hispanic community accounts for about 34% of the state population.

26. Gold was discovered in Colorado in 1858. The gold rush brought many more new settlers to the region during the 1860s. Many cities such as Denver, Boulder or Breckenridge were founded during this time. Silver was discovered in Leadville/ Colorado in 1878 und led to the Colorado Silver Boom.

27. About 64% Coloradans say they are Christians, 26% of these are Evangelical Protestants. But Colorado is home to people of all different ethnic groups and different religions. 

Facts about Colorado | Economy

28. Colorado's economy is strong and known for the high tech and aerospace industry as well as its agricultural products. The agricultural produce include wheat, corn, millet, sorghum and cattle raising is important here as well.

The state has abundant natural gas and oil reserves and some of the largest coal reserves of the country can be found here.

colorado oil ed rexjaymesDrilling for oil in Colorado - image by rexjaymes

Colorado is also famous for the gold and silver mines.

The largest silver nugget ever found in the world was discovered at Smuggler mine near Aspen/ Colorado in 1894. The largest piece of silver that was brought to the surface weighs 834 kg/ 1,840 lbs and consists to 93% of pure silver.

More Facts about Colorado

29. Colorado Facts | Time Zones All regions of the state apply one time zone: Mountain Time Zone  (UTC-7:00) which is shared also with bordering states of New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming and parts of other nearby states.

Colorado also adheres to daylight saving time during the warmer summer months from second Sunday in March to first Sunday in November.

colorado national monumentColorado National Monument

30. Colorado Facts | Further Famous Landmarks: Among the most visited tourist sites and landmarks in Colorado are:

  • Colorado National Monument - deep canyon lands and sandstone towers
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park with the highest dunes in North America
  • Glenwood Springs with the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool
  • Mount Evans scenic drive is known as the highest paved road in North America and climbs up to 4,306 m/ 14,130 ft
  • Garden of Gods Park with scenic views of red sandstone rock formations
colorado garden of the godsGarden of the Gods Park

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Useful Resources for Colorado Facts

This page was last updated on 14 February 2023

  • Colorado State Archive. "Symbols and Emblems." ArchivesColorado. Last accessed 14 February 2023
  • Colorado Encyclopedia. "Resources for Educators." ColoradoEncyclopedia. Last accessed 14 February 2023
  • Nolan Doesken et al. "Climate of Colorado." ColoradoStateUni. Last accessed 14 February 2023
  • Garden of the Gods. "Gallery." GardenoftheGods. Last accessed 14 February 2023
  • RoyalGorgeBridge. "Home of America's Highest Suspension Bridge". RoyalGorgeBridge. Last accessed 14 February 2023

Image Credits on Colorado Facts page: and wikipedia commons

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