Have you ever been to Colorado? The state is known for its majestic mountains and for its friendly attitude toward users of cannabis. However, there’s much more to Colorado than mile-high cities and mile “high” citizens.
25 Facts About Colorado That Will Inspire a Trip There
If you’re thinking about traveling to Colorado, why not brush up on some neat info about the state? Let’s dive into all the cool facts about Colorado that we can stuff into one page.
1. Denver, Colorado is Literally a Mile High
The nickname of Denver is Mile High City, and the moniker is certainly accurate since the city sits about a mile high. If you’re keen on standing at a point that’s exactly one mile high, you can climb to the 13th step of the capitol building, which features an inscription indicating its elevation.
2. Colorado’s Southwest Border is the Only Place Where Four States Meet
Known as the Four Corners area, the southwest corner of Colorado meets up with the corners of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, and you can stand in all four states simultaneously when you visit. Although it does take a bit of driving to reach the tourist spot, it’s definitely worth at least one visit.
3. Three Governors Once Presided Over Colorado in a Single Day
Colorado had a very strange day on March 17th, 1905, when the recently elected governor was forced to resign because of rumors of election fraud, and the man who lost in the election was forced to resign immediately after as a condition of his acceptance of the governor’s hat.
The lieutenant governor would become governor by the close of the day.
4. Colorado Was Rejected for Statehood More than Once
When the Colorado statehood bill landed on President Johnson’s desk, he vetoed it because he didn’t think Colorado had enough residents to warrant statehood. He vetoed the bill again because he disagreed with the requirement that new states needed to give equal suffrage (voting rights) to whites and blacks.
5. The Tallest Dunes in North America are in Colorado
When you think of sand dunes, you might imagine a coastal state like Florida or California or perhaps a massive desert like the Sahara in Africa.
But you’d be wrong if you assumed the biggest dunes in the United States were along the ocean. No, Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado boasts the highest dune in North America.
6. The Colorado Constitution was Initially Written in Three Languages
It’s not surprising that Colorado’s constitution was written in English, but you might find it curious that the constitution was also written in Spanish and German.
A local legislator named Casimiro Barela helped write the state’s constitution in 1876 and eventually went on to work in the state senate for nearly 40 years.
7. Colorado Gets An Above-Average Number of Sunny Days Each Year
There are some websites that insist Coloradoans enjoy more than 300 days of sunshine a year.
But that estimate is a little high and is a long-standing rumor that was initially published by a railroad operator trying to lure tourists to the state. The state does get an above-average amount of sun each year, but not 300 days of it.
8. Colorado Was One of the First States to Look Friendly on Marijuana
Although the use of marijuana doesn’t carry nearly the stigma that it did a half-century ago, it was still quite a notable event when Colorado legalized medicinal and recreational marijuana in 2012.
Since that time, the state has benefited mightily from the tax revenue generated by its huge cannabis industry.
9. The Highest Paved Road in the United States Runs Through Colorado
Not only is the longest city street located in Colorado, but the state is also home to the highest paved road anywhere in America.
The Mount Evans Scenic Byway reaches an astounding 14,130 feet, but you don’t need special climbing gear or an off-road vehicle since the entire way is nicely paved.
10. Colorado is Home to More than 50 Mountains Above 14,000 Feet
It is generally accepted that there are more than 50 mountains in Colorado that reach at least 14,000 feet of elevation, which is an extraordinary number.
However, despite this bevy of “14ers”, the tallest mountain in the contiguous 48 is not in Colorado. That honor belongs to Mount Whitney in California.
11. More Coins are Minted in Colorado Than Any Other State
The State of Colorado is home to the Denver Mint, which is a massive building where most of the coins in the country are produced. If you look at the obverse of a coin, you may see a tiny “D” printed on it somewhere. That D means the coin was minted in Denver.
12. One of the Oldest Theaters in the World is in Colorado
The Park Theater in Estes Park was built in 1913 and, as such, is one of the oldest movie theaters in the world. The theater is on the National Register of Historic Places, and amazingly, the same two people, Ola and Richard Stanger, have operated the theater since 1968.
13. Colorado Has a Massive Flat-Top Mountain
Not only is Colorado home to an insanely long flat-top mountain, but Grand Mesa near Grand Junction is actually the world’s longest flat-top mountain.
Grand Mesa is distinctive in that it’s the most-climbed mountain in the state, with more people flocking to see its amazing views than any other in the state.
14. Visit the Largest Natural Hot Springs Pool in Colorado
If you travel to Glenwood Springs, you’ll find that the town is appropriately named as it’s home to the largest natural hot springs pool in the world.
The massive hot springs pool is open all year long and is an amazing experience when the surrounding mountains are draped in snow and steam rises from the pool.
15. The First Snowfall in Denver Usually Happens in October
With so many mountains and high elevations, it’s almost expected that the winters in Colorado would last months, but can you believe the first snowfall in Denver usually occurs in October and even early in the more mountainous areas?
The snow doesn’t always stick and usually melts, but it’s never that long until the next day when snow falls.
16. There’s a Frozen Dead Man Celebration in Colorado
There are all sorts of strange celebrations around the world, but do you know of any that celebrate a cryogenically preserved man?
A strange celebration called Frozen Dead Guys Days is held each year in Nederland and features morbid games and events like a coffin race and a parade of hearses.
17. A Man in Breckenridge Once Carried Around a Gold Nugget Like a Baby
The largest piece of gold ever mined in Colorado was found in Colorado in 1887 by a pair of men named Henry Lytton and Tom Groves.
The nugget was so precious to Tom that he carried it around, wrapped up in a blanket as if it were a child. The nugget was nicknamed “Tom’s Baby.” Today, the nugget resides at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
18. The Tornado Capital of the United States is in Colorado
When you see a tornado, you might assume it’s touching down in a state in Tornado Alley like Kansas or Oklahoma. However, more tornadoes touch down in Weld County in Colorado than anywhere else. Colorado is also near the top of the list when it comes to overall tornado activity.
19. Colorado Has Seen Snow in Every Month of the Year
Technically, it has snowed somewhere in Colorado every month of the year, according to historical records. Random storms occur frequently in the mountains in the summer, and sometimes, those storms bring snow.
20. Drive Your Car Through the Highest Tunnel in the Country in Colorado
The Eisenhower Tunnel is the highest automobile tunnel in the world and runs at an elevation of 11,000 feet through the Continental Divide. Incredibly, more than 26,000 vehicles travel through the tunnel every single day, traveling 8,960 feet from one side to the other.
21. Leadville, Colorado is the Nation’s Highest Incorporated Town
Sitting at an oxygen depriving 10,152 feet above sea level, the town of Leadville is the highest incorporated city on the continent. However, if we’re talking about little unincorporated towns, the community of Alma would have that record at 10,361 feet.
22. Colorado Possesses the Longest Continuous Street in the Country
You can drive along the country’s interstates for thousands of miles, but when it comes to city streets, Colorado is home to the longest continuously paved street in America.
Measuring 26.7 miles long – that’s just over the length of a marathon, Colfax Avenue in the city of Denver is the nation’s longest street.
23. The Federal Government is a Huge Landowner in Colorado
The federal government owns land all across the United States and controls many thousands of acres of national park land, military bases, and other areas. In Colorado, the federal government cares for more than a third of the state’s overall square miles.
24. Colorado May Have Held the First Rodeo
Depending on who you talk to or what history lesson you read, Deer Trail, Colorado, could be the site of the world’s first rodeo, which was held on July 4th, 1869.
Interestingly, the towns of Prescott, Arizona; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Pecos, Texas, also lay claim to having hosted the world’s first rodeo.
25. Colorado Said No to the Olympics
For a brief time, it was thought the Winter Olympics of 1976 would head to Denver. However, a public vote on the matter led to the rejection of the Olympics. Voters cited the increase in pollution, the cost of building the facilities for the games, and the influx of people that would flood the state.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some fun facts about Colorado?
Colorado’s mountainous areas are so vast that they contain more than 1,000 mountains at least two miles high – that’s more than 10,500 feet! Three-quarters of the land in the United States that sits above 10,000 feet is located in Colorado.
Why is Colorado so unique?
The abundance of nature is a heavy influence on the citizens of Colorado, who enjoy some of the lowest rates of disease and the highest rates of physical activity. It’s no wonder that the majestic vistas across the state inspire citizens to go out and enjoy the fresh air.
Did Colorado invent the cheeseburger?
A drive-through restaurant in Denver called the Humpty Dumpty Barrel was supposedly the site of the world’s first cheeseburger, invented by owner Louis Ballast in the 1920s. He was even awarded a trademark for the name cheeseburger in 1935.
Is Colorado all mountains?
Colorado is well-known for its mountains, but the entire state isn’t filled with them. In fact, almost 40 percent of the state is comprised of the eastern high plains. This area of the state is almost flat, which is surprising when you realize that the land is in Colorado.
Book Your Trip to Colorado Today!
So, with so much to see and do, what are you waiting for – book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Colorado has to offer. Happy travels!