Colorado is a state in the western to central part of the United States of America. As part of the Mountain States of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado is the highest state in the USA with an average elevation of 2073 meters.

The "Century State," Centennial State, emerged from the Colorado Territory, established in 1861 at the height of the Gold Rush in the Front Range, in 1876, exactly 100 years after the United States' Declaration of Independence. The capital and economic center is Denver, in the metropolitan area of which more than half of Colorado's six million inhabitants live. Other important cities are Colorado Springs and Fort Collins. The state got its name from the Colorado River, so named by the area's former Spanish rulers because of the reddish (Spanish: colorado) mud it carries.



1 Denver - Capital and largest city of the state with rich cultural offerings (museums and galleries, music, theater)
2 Golden - West suburb of Denver, at the foot of the foothills, home to one of America's largest breweries
3 Lakewood - western suburb of Denver
4 Boulder - Seat of the University of Colorado, almost half of the population are students or university members, is considered one of the most livable, most educated, healthiest and most liberal cities in the USA with a lively art, music and LGBT scene
5 Aspen - ski resort (one of the most famous ski resorts in the USA), large classical music festival; Headquarters of the think tank Aspen Institute
6 Colorado Springs – second largest city in Colorado; Starting point for tours of the Rocky Mountain Front Range and Garden of Gods, mountain zoo, museums and Air Force Academy
7 Pueblo
8 Loveland
9 Durango, gateway to Mesa Verde National Park, departure point of the historic Durango & Silverton narrow gauge railway, archeological evidence of the "Basket Maker" culture (early Anasazi period)


Other destinations

Animas Forks Ghost Town is situated 12 miles Northeast of Silverton, San Juan County, Colorado in United States.

Aspen Mountain is situated in Pitkin County in Colorado, United States. It reaches an elevation of 11,212 ft.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is situated in Montrose County, Colorado. This nature reserve covers an area of 30,244 acres.

Great Sand Dunes National Park is a large expanse of sand dunes situated in Alamosa and Saguache counties, Colorado in United States.

Mesa Verde is designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site for the ruined settlement of the Anasazi tribe.

Mount Elbert in Colorado reaches an elevation of 14,443 feet (4,401 m) and it is the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states.

Nevadaville Ghost Town is an abandoned mining settlement situated in Gilpin County, Colorado. It was originally found in 1859.

Rocky Mountains National Park is situated in Boulder, Grand, Larimer Counties of Colorado. It covers an area of 265,761 acres.

Saint Elmo Ghost Town located in Colorado is one of the best preserved ghost town in United States.

Vail Ski Resort located in Colorado is famous for its 193 runs. The longest measures up to 4 miles (6.4 km).

Weminuche Wilderness Area is situated in the Colorado. This is the largest wilderness area in a state and covers an area of 488,210 acres.


What to do

Hiking and climbing in the Rocky Mountains
Aspen is one of the most famous ski resorts in the USA. Another larger ski area is at Steamboat Springs in Northwest Colorado. Smaller ski resorts can be found along the Rocky Mountains throughout the western half of the state.


Getting here

By plane
By far the largest airport in the state is Denver International Airport (IATA: DEN), one of the busiest airports in the US, accessible both directly from Europe and with United, Southwest or Frontier Airlines from all parts of the country.

There is another major airport in Colorado Springs (COS). Smaller scheduled airports include Grand Junction (GJT) in western Colorado, Aspen Ski Resort (ASE), Durango (DRO) near Mesa Verde National Park and the Four-State Corner, and Eagle (EGE).

By train
Two long-distance Amtrak lines run through Colorado: The California Zephyr (Chicago-Denver-San Francisco) travels in an east-west direction through the middle of Colorado and stops in Denver, among other places. in Granby at Rocky Mountain National Park and Glenwood Springs near Aspen Ski Resort. The Southwest Chief (Chicago-Kansas City-Los Angeles) runs just a short distance through southeastern Colorado, stopping in La Junta and Trinidad.



Colorado has warm, sometimes hot summers and cold, snowy winters (continental climate). Above all, the difference between day and night is sometimes extreme. In summer, despite the high daytime temperatures, it can get very cold at night. Precipitation (approx. 400-500 mm annually) is distributed throughout the year, with a slight excess in summer, when the air is usually very dry with 50% humidity.

Hundreds of houses were destroyed in severe forest fires in December 2021. The authorities had previously called on tens of thousands of people to flee. The cities of Louisville and Superior, 20 miles northwest of Denver, had to be evacuated. About 34,000 residents were affected. Driven by winds with peak speeds of up to 169 kilometers per hour, the flames engulfed parts of the city and destroyed around 580 buildings, a hotel and a shopping center. Scientists attributed the increasingly unpredictable extreme weather in the USA to man-made climate change. Both forest fires and storms are increasing in intensity and causing high levels of damage.



The state of Colorado is located in the central to western part of the United States and is surrounded by a total of seven states. Its northern neighbor is Wyoming, to the east Colorado meets the prairie states of Nebraska and Kansas, and on the southeastern border Colorado is separated from Texas by the relatively small strip of land of the Oklahoma Panhandles. While the border with New Mexico runs to the south, Colorado does not share a border with the state of Arizona in the southwest, but only meets it at its southwesternmost corner. Together with New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, the western neighbors, Colorado forms the so-called "Four Corners States" (Four Corners); this phenomenon, unique in the United States, was marked with a monument at that location. Along with Wyoming and Utah, Colorado is one of the three states in the USA that have practically no natural state borders, but are almost exclusively defined along lines of longitude and latitude. Colorado extends approximately rectangularly from about 37° N to 41° N and 102° W to 109° W.

Colorado is crossed in the central and western part of the state by the mountain ranges of the Southern Rocky Mountains, of which the San Juan Mountains in the southwest, the Sawatch Range in the center and the two eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the Front and Sangre de Cristo Ranges, belong to the most important mountain ranges. The Colorado Rockies include more than 50 peaks with more than 4000 meters in altitude - including Mount Elbert, the highest mountain in the entire Rocky Mountains at 4401 meters - and enclose some larger valley basins. The approximately 2800 km ² South Park Basin is located entirely in Park County and includes a wide grassland between the Front and Mosquito Ranges. In south-central Colorado, the San Juan Mountains and Sangre de Cristo Ranges encircle the San Luis Valley. The largest alpine valley basin in the world is no longer counted among the Rocky Mountains, but among the Mesa and Plains, which are predominantly located in New Mexico.

In the west, the Rocky Mountains mostly end before the state border of Utah and merge into a plateau that reaches as far as Arizona - the so-called Colorado Plateau. Within Colorado, this includes the area in the southwest from the foothills of the San Juan Mountains to the New Mexico border. From the southwest corner of the state, the plateau extends along the Utah border to other Rocky Mountain ranges in the east and finally ends in its northern course at the Uinta Mountains in northwestern Colorado. Beyond this mountain range is the southern end of the Wyoming Basin - the steppe landscape that runs through the entire neighboring state of Wyoming to Montana. Colorado's share is limited to the part in the northwest lying between the Uinta and Elkhead Mountains and the North Platte Basin in north-central Colorado, which is surrounded by the Park Range, Rabbit Ears Range and Medicine Bow Mountains.

East of the Rocky Mountains begin the Great Plains, a huge steppe landscape that runs through the entire center of the United States and is referred to as the High Plains within Colorado because of its high location here. From the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, they drop continuously from around 1900 meters and form the lowest point in Colorado at 1021 meters on the Kansas border - near Arkansas.



East of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado are the Colorado Eastern Plains, the section of the Great Plains in Colorado, with elevations ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 m (Nebraska and Kansas border Colorado to the east).

The plains were settled with very low-density settlements along the valleys of the South Platte River and the Arkansas River. Precipitation is scarce, with an average of about 380 mm per year. There are some irrigated areas, but most of the land is used for dry farming or ranches. Winter wheat is a typical crop and most small towns in the region have a water tower and grain elevator.

Most of Colorado's population lives along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, in the Front Range Urban Corridor. This region is partially protected from the prevailing storms by the high mountains to the west.

To the west lies the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, with notable peaks such as Longs Peak, Mount Evans, Pikes Peak, and Spanish Peak near Walsenburg in the south. This area drains to the East, is forested, and is partially urbanized. With urbanization, the use of forests for logging and grazing was in decline, with an accumulation of dead firewood. During the drought of 2002 this area was devastated by devastating forest fires.

The continental divide of the Americas runs along the crest of the Rocky Mountains. To the west of the Divide is the western slope. The waters that fall west of the continental divide drain west into the Pacific Ocean, through the Colorado River.

In the interior of the Rocky Mountains there are several large parks or large upper basins. In the north, on the east side of the Continental Divide is North Park. The North Park region is drained by the North Platte River, which flows north into Wyoming. Just south, but on the west side of the Continental Divide, is Middle Park, drained by the Colorado River. South Park is the headwaters of the South Platte River. To the south is the San Luis Valley, the headwaters of the Rio Grande, which drains into New Mexico. Across the Sangre de Cristo mountain range, east of the San Luis Valley, is the Montañas Mojadas valley (Wet Mountain Valley). These basins, particularly the San Luis Valley, lie along the Rio Grande Rift, an important tectonic feature. (See Rift.)

The Rocky Mountains in Colorado have 54 peaks over 14,000 feet (4,270 m), known as the fourteeners. The mountains have coniferous and aspen forests, up to an elevation of about 4000 m in southern Colorado and about 3200 m in northern Colorado. Above this tree line, only alpine vegetation occurs. The Rocky Mountains are covered in snow only in. Grand Junction is the largest city on the Western Slope and is connected by Interstate I-70. Southeast of Grand Junction is Grand Mesa, a large plain covered in mountains. Further east are the ski resorts of Aspen, Vail, Crested Butte, and Steamboat Springs. The northwest corner of Colorado, bordering northern Utah and western Wyoming, is very sparsely populated and primarily grassland.

The western slope, in general, is drained by the Colorado River and its tributaries. The San Juan Mountains stand out in the south, a very rugged mountain range, and to the west of San Juan, the Colorado Plateau, a large desert that borders southern Utah. Grand Junction is the largest city on the Western Slope and is connected by Interstate I-70. Southeast of Grand Junction is Grand Mesa, a large plain covered in mountains. Further east are the ski resorts of Aspen, Vail, Crested Butte, and Steamboat Springs. The northwest corner of Colorado, bordering northern Utah and western Wyoming, is very sparsely populated and primarily grassland.

From west to east, the state consists of desert basins, which become plateaus, then the alpine mountains, and then the grasslands of the Great Plains. Mount Elbert is the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains in the continental United States. The famous Pikes Peak is just west of Colorado Springs. Its solitary peak is seen from near the Kansas border on clear days.



About half of Colorado is flat, rolling land. East of the Rocky Mountains are the Colorado Eastern Plains of the High Plains, the section of the Great Plains within Colorado at elevations ranging from approximately 1,020 to 2,290 m (3,350 to 7,500 ft). The Colorado Plains are primarily grasslands, but also include deciduous forests, hills, and canyons. The average annual rainfall is 380 to 640 mm (15 to 25 in).​

Today, eastern Colorado consists primarily of farmland and grasslands, along with small agricultural towns and cities. Typical crops are corn, wheat, hay, soybeans and oats. Most towns and cities in this region have a water tower and grain elevator. Irrigation water comes from surface and underground sources. Surface water comes from the South Platte River, the Arkansas River, and other streams. Groundwater is usually obtained through artesian wells. The intensive use of these wells for irrigation purposes has caused the decrease in groundwater reserves in the region. Eastern Colorado is also home to a considerable number and variety of livestock, including cattle ranches and hog farms.​



To the west of the Great Plains of Colorado rise the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. Among the most notable peaks in the Rocky Mountains are Longs Peak, Mount Evans, Pikes Peak, and Spanish Peak, near Walsenburg, in southern Colorado. This area drains to the east and southeast, eventually emptying, through the Mississippi River or the Rio Grande, into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Rocky Mountains in Colorado contain 53 true peaks with a total of 58 that are 14,000 feet (4,267 m) or more in elevation above sea level, known as fourteeners. These mountains are largely covered with trees such as conifers and aspens. tremors to the tree line, at an elevation of about 12,000 feet (3,658 m) in southern Colorado to about 10,500 feet (3,200 m) in northern Colorado. Above this tree line, only alpine vegetation grows. Only a small part of the Colorado Rocky Mountains is covered in snow year-round.

Most of the alpine snow melts by mid-August, except for some snow-capped peaks and small glaciers. The Colorado Mineral Belt, which extends from the San Juan Mountains in the southwest to Boulder and Central City in the Front Range, contains most of Colorado's historic gold and silver mining districts. Mount Elbert is the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains. The 30 highest peaks in the North American Rocky Mountains are all located within the state.

The summit of Mount Elbert, at 14,440 feet (4,401.2 m) in Lake County, is the highest point in Colorado and the North American Rocky Mountains. Colorado is the only U.S. state that It is entirely located above 1,000 meters of altitude. The point where the Arikaree River leaves Yuma County, Colorado, and enters Cheyenne County, Kansas, is the lowest in Colorado, at 1,011 m in elevation. This point, which is the highest low elevation point in any state, is higher than the highest elevation points in 18 states and the District of Columbia.

The continental divide of the Americas runs along the crest of the Rocky Mountains. The area of Colorado west of the Continental Divide is called Western Colorado. West of the Continental Divide, water flows southwest through the Colorado River and Green River to the Gulf of California in Mexico.

In the interior of the Rocky Mountains there are several large parks that are high, wide basins. In the north, on the east side of the Continental Divide, is Colorado's Northern Park. North Park is drained by the North Platte River, which flows north to Wyoming and Nebraska. Just south of North Park, but on the western side of the Continental Divide, is Colorado's Middle Park, drained by the Colorado River. Colorado Southern Park is the headwater region of the South Platte River.

Approximately 70% of Colorado's population resides along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, in the Front Range urban corridor, between Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Pueblo, Colorado. This region is partially protected from the dominant storms that blow from the Pacific Ocean region by the high Rocky Mountains in central Colorado. The "Front Range" includes Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Loveland, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Greeley, and other towns and municipalities in between. On the other side of the Rockies, the most important population centers in western Colorado (known as the "Western Slope") are the cities of Grand Junction, Durango and Montrose.



Colorado's climate is more complex than other states outside the Mountain States region. Unlike most other states, southern Colorado is not always warmer than the north. Most of Colorado is made up of mountains, foothills, high plains, and desert lands. The surrounding mountains and valleys greatly affect the local climate.

Northeastern, eastern, and southeastern Colorado are primarily high plains, while northern Colorado is a mix of high plains, foothills, and mountains. Northwestern and western Colorado are predominantly mountainous, with some desert lands mixed in. Southwest and southern Colorado are a complex mix of desert and mountainous areas.

The climate of the Eastern Plains is semi-arid (Köppen climate classification: BSk), with low humidity and moderate rainfall, normally 380 to 640 millimeters (15 to 25 in) annually, although many areas near rivers have a semi-humid climate. The area is known for its abundant sunshine and cool, clear nights, which give this area a large average diurnal temperature range.

The difference between the maximums of the days and the minimums of the nights can be considerable, since heat is dissipated into space during clear nights, as thermal radiation is not trapped by the clouds. The Front Range urban corridor, where most of Colorado's population resides, is in a pronounced precipitation shadow because it is downwind of the Rocky Mountains.

In summer, this area can have many days above 35 °C (95 °F) and often 38 °C (100 °F).​ In the plains, winter minimums usually range between -4 and -23 °C ( 25 and -10°F). About 75% of rainfall falls during the growing season, from April to September, but this area is very prone to drought. Most precipitation comes from storms, which can be strong, and from large snowstorms that occur in winter and early spring. Otherwise, winters are usually dry and cold.​

In much of the region, March is the snowiest month. April and May are typically the wettest months, while April is the wettest month overall. Front Range cities closest to the mountains tend to be warmer in winter due to Chinook winds, which warm the area, sometimes reaching temperatures of 70 °F (21 °C) or higher in winter.​ The average temperature in July It is 13°C (55°F) in the morning and 32°C (90°F) in the afternoon. The average temperature in January is 18°F (-8°C) in the morning and 48°F (9°C) in the afternoon, although the variation between consecutive days can be 40°F (-40°C) .

West of the plains and in the foothills, there is a wide variety of climate types. Places located a few kilometers away from each other can have a totally different climate depending on the topography. Most valleys have a semi-arid climate, not unlike that of the eastern plains, which changes to an alpine climate in the higher areas. Microclimates also exist in local areas that cover almost the entire spectrum of climates, such as highland subtropical (Cfb/Cwb), humid subtropical (Cfa), humid continental (Dfa/Dfb), Mediterranean (Csa/Csb) and the subarctic (Dfc).​


Meteorological Changes

Extreme weather changes are common in Colorado, although a significant portion of them occur in less populated areas of the state. Thunderstorms are common east of the Continental Divide in spring and summer, although they are usually brief. Hail is common in the mountains east of the divide and on the eastern plains, especially in the northeastern part of the state. Hail is the most commonly reported severe warm-season weather hazard, occasionally causing human injuries as well as significant property damage. The Eastern Plains are subject to some of the largest hail storms in North America. Notable examples are the severe hail storms that hit Denver on July 11, 1990, and on May 8, 2017, the latter being the costliest ever to occur in the state.

The Eastern Plains are part of the extreme western portion of Tornado Alley; Some damaging tornadoes in the Eastern Plains include the 1990 Limón F3 tornado and the 2008 Windsor EF3 tornado, which devastated a small town. Portions of the Eastern Plains see especially frequent tornadoes, both those generated by mesocyclones in supercellular storms and by less intense landfall, such as within the Denver Convergence Vorticity Zone (DCVZ).

The Plains are also susceptible to occasional flooding and particularly severe flash floods, caused by both storms and rapid snowmelt in the mountains during hot weather. Some notable examples are the Denver flood of 1965, the Big Thompson River flood of 1976, and the Colorado floods of 2013. Heat is common during summers in Denver. The city's 1901 record for consecutive days above 90 °F (32 °C) was broken during the summer of 2008. The new record of 24 consecutive days surpassed the previous one by almost a week.

Most of Colorado is very dry, with an average annual precipitation of only 430 millimeters (17 inches) statewide. Lack of precipitation contributes to the severity of wildfires, such as the Hayman Fire in 2002. Other notable fires include the 2010 Fourmile Canyon Fire, the Waldo Canyon Fire, the June 2012 High Park Fire, and the Black Forest Fire of June 2013. Even these fires were surpassed in severity by the 2020 Pine Gulch, Cameron Peak, and East Troublesome fires, all three of the largest fires in Colorado history.) And the Marshall Fire, which began on December 30, 2021, although not the largest in the state's history, was the most destructive in terms of material losses.

However, some of Colorado's mountain regions receive an enormous amount of moisture from winter snowfalls. The spring melting of these snows often causes large flows of water in the Yampa River, Colorado River, Rio Grande River, Arkansas River, North Platte River, and South Platte River.

The water flowing from the Colorado Rocky Mountains is a very important source of water for farms, towns and cities in the southwestern states of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Nevada, as well as the Midwest, such as Nebraska and Kansas, and the southern states of Oklahoma and Texas. A significant amount of water is also diverted for use in California; Occasionally (previously naturally and constantly), the flow of water reaches northern Mexico.



A process of extirpation by trapping and poisoning of Colorado's gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the 1930s led to the state's last wild wolf being killed in 1945. A pack of wolves recolonized Moffat County, Colorado, in the northwest of Colorado in 2019.

Some ranchers have expressed concern that a returning wolf population could potentially threaten their herds.32 Coloradans voted to reintroduce gray wolves in 2020, with the state committing to a plan to have a population in the state by 2022 and allowing non-lethal methods to deter wolves that attack livestock and pets.

Although there is fossil evidence of the presence of the Harrington mountain goat in Colorado between at least 800,000 years ago and its extinction with megafauna approximately 11,000 years ago, the mountain goat is not native to Colorado, but was introduced to the state during the interval between 1947 and 1972. Despite being an artificially introduced species, the state declared the ibex a native species in 1993. In 2013, 2014 and 2019, an unknown disease killed almost all ibex offspring, causing which led to an investigation by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.​

The native pronghorn population in Colorado has fluctuated wildly over the past century, reaching a low of just 15,000 individuals during the 1960s. However, conservation efforts brought the stable population back to about 66,000 in 2013. The population is estimated to have reached 85,000 in 2019 and increasingly clashed with the increase in suburban housing along the eastern front range.

State wildlife officials suggested that landowners would have to modify fencing to allow the greatest number of pronghorns to move smoothly across the newly developed lands. Pronghorns are most easily found in the northern and eastern portions. of the state, with some populations also in the western mountains of San Juan.

Common fauna of the Colorado mountains include the mule deer, southwestern red squirrel, golden-mantled ground squirrel, yellow-bellied groundhog, elk, American pika, and red fox, all of which are in numbers. exceptionally tall, although elk are not native to the state. Deer, fox squirrel, desert cottontail, mountain cottontail, and coyote occur in the foothills. The prairies are home to the black-tailed prairie dog, the endangered swift fox, the American badger, and the white-tailed jackrabbit



Native people

By AD 400, the western reaches of the Fremont Indian culture extended into eastern Colorado. 1000 years before the arrival of the first white people in Colorado, representatives of the Anasazi culture settled in what is now Mesa Verde National Park in the far southwest of the state, and built impressive buildings here, such as the so-called Cliff Palace. Historically, Cheyenne and Ute Indians lived in the region. The Navajo sphere of influence extended into Colorado to the southwest, and the Kiowa to the southeast.


Discovery and conquest by the Spanish and French

Colorado was probably first explored by the Spanish in the early 17th century. It is disputed whether the Spaniard Francisco Vásquez de Coronado on his expedition from Mexico to today's Kansas (1540-1542) already touched the eastern plains of today's Colorado and was therefore the first European on the soil of today's state. Also mentioned in this context is Juan de Oñate, who led an expedition from New Mexico to Kansas around 1600. However, the southeastern part of present-day Colorado was not claimed for the Spanish kingdom until 1706 by Juan de Uribarri. The territorial claim collided with the economic interests of the French, although they primarily promoted colonization on the Saint Lawrence River (today Canada).

After the defeat in the French and Indian War (1754-1760) against the British Empire, France had to cede all areas west of the Mississippi River to Great Britain, with the exception of New Orleans (which later became the Louisiana Territory). This caused tensions between Spain and France, which only ended on October 1, 1800 under pressure from Napoleon I with the Peace of San Ildefonso and the associated reconquest of the Central American areas by France. A little later, in 1803, the territory finally fell to the United States through the so-called Louisiana Purchase.

While the western part of today's Colorado - the southern Rocky Mountains and parts of the Colorado Plateau - remained undisputed territory of the Spaniards (New Spain), the first explorations by the Americans began in the east in 1806. A first dispatch of American soldiers under the direction of Zebulon Pike led in the Pike expedition from Fort Bellefontaine (near Saint Louis) to the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains (Front Range), which were reached by the end of 1806. The exploration focused on the Arkansas catchment area, which was viewed by the Americans as the southern border with New Spain, although an official borderline was never agreed between France and Spain until the Louisiana Purchase. It was only officially established in 1819 in the so-called Adams-Onís Treaty, in which the western border was also agreed upon in addition to Arkansas in the south with the continental divide. This was followed in 1820 by the second major expedition, led by Stephen H. Long, which focused on the South Platte River and the region around present-day Denver.


First settlement by Europeans

Although more and more fur trappers made their way into what is now Colorado after Pike and Long's initial explorations in the years that followed, larger settlements did not begin until the 1830s with the construction of Bent's Fort The fort built on the Santa Fe Trail quickly became an important trading post between white and indigenous people. Meanwhile, New Mexican settlers settled in the San Luis Valley between the San Juan Mountains and the Sangre de Cristo Range and made their living from agriculture. With San Luis they founded on June 21, 1851 the first permanent settlement in what later became Colorado.

Meanwhile, from 1850 onwards, the political division of the land in the east acquired in the Louisiana Purchase as well as the newly acquired areas from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific coast after the war with Mexico (1846–1848) began. The so-called Kansas-Nebraska Act established the boundary between the territories of Nebraska and Kansas. The latter extended beyond today's western boundary and occupied most of the High Plains between South Platte and the Arkansas River up to the Front Range. In the mountains, the Utah Territory, founded in 1850, joined, while the remaining areas of today's Colorado were parts of Nebraska (northeast) and New Mexico (south). The Colorado Territory, on the other hand, was not formed until 1861 with the gold rush in Pikes Peak Country.


Gold Rush and Silver Boom

Relations between whites and Indians in the High Plains region had been mostly friendly until then, after initial reservations. This changed from the early 1850s, when reports of gold discoveries in California led to ever-increasing streams of settlers through the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains led. When in June 1858 gold was found for the first time at the confluence of South Platte and Cherry Creek (today Denver) and prospectors founded the first larger settlements on the river and in the surrounding mountains, tensions between the white and indigenous population increased. In the mountains, the number of mining camps grew steadily and the region around Black Hawk, Central City, Nevadaville and Idaho Springs became a center of the gold rush around the year 1860.

However, the greatest growth in the region, which at that time still belonged to Kansas, was recorded in Denver City, which was founded in 1858 and two years later was incorporated into the neighboring city of Auraria and now had around 6,000 inhabitants. The rapidly increasing population spurred plans to establish the region as a separate territory. This finally happened on February 28, 1861, when US President James Buchanan signed a corresponding law in the US Congress and appointed William Gilpin as the first governor. The young Colorado territory was divided into 17 districts and had around 25,000 inhabitants when it was founded; The capital was initially Colorado City. However, Denver City, which was only renamed "Denver" in 1865, remained more important, even though the city had to be rebuilt after a major fire in 1863. In Golden, which replaced Colorado City as the territory's capital in 1862, Denver was designated the new capital of Colorado in 1867. Although, it soon became apparent, Cherry Creek wasn't the vein of gold it had hoped for, Denver benefited from the wealth of nearby Front Range towns. At the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the capital consolidated its central position with the consistent expansion of the rail network in the early 1870s. The first milestones were the connection to the network of the Kansas Pacific Railway, which expanded its rail network from Kansas City to Denver in 1870, and the construction of the Denver and Pacific Railroad, which connected to the Union Pacific Railroad in Cheyenne (Wyoming). Denver's connection to southwestern Colorado followed in 1871 with the construction of the Denver & Rio Grande Railway. In 1872, the Colorado Central Railroad completed the route leading to the neighboring gold rush towns of Black Hawk and Central City.

In 1879 the silver boom broke out in Colorado and Leadville and Aspen became the most important mining towns during this time. Their development was supported by the further expansion of the Denver & Rio Grande Railway, which continued its network in the 1870s from Pueblo through the Royal Gorge towards Leadville and finally reached the city in 1881. By then, the economically up-and-coming Colorado had long since achieved independence. While many initially had concerns about higher taxes and too much interference on the part of Washington, the Colorado Territory joined the United States on August 1, 1876 as the 38th state while retaining its previous borders.


Expulsion of the Indians

The founding of the Colorado Territory in 1861 and the proliferation of settlement along Cherry Creek was an affront to the Cheyenne and Arapaho, who had been granted the area around what later became Denver by the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851). Their resettlement in the Arkansas river valleys provoked backlash from Native Americans, ranging from stagecoach robberies to the murder of isolated settlers. On November 29, 1864, in an unprecedented retaliatory attack, troops of the Colorado Third Cavalry, commanded by John M. Chivington, broke into an unfortified Indian village and murdered 133 men, women, and children. The cruel actions of the US military in that Sand Creek massacre briefly sensitized the white population to the interests of the Indians, but also stood in the way of peaceful coexistence. The ensuing military conflicts lasted about five years and ended after the battles of Beecher Island (September 1868; near present-day Wray) and Summit Springs (July 1869) with the surrender of the Cheyenne and Arapaho, who recently formed an alliance with some other Indian tribes against the whites had formed. As early as 1867, a large-scale resettlement of Indians from the Colorado Plains to reservations in Oklahoma had begun, which was considered largely complete by 1874.

The Ute Indians, who live in the mountains and have not been fundamentally hostile to the US government to date, also saw themselves exposed to repression after discovering gold and silver in the 1870s and were transferred to a small reservation in the Mesa region, im New Mexico border area sent.


20th and 21st centuries

Colorado was hit hard by the economic crisis that began in 1893 (panic of 1893; fall in the value of silver). In Denver, twelve banks suddenly had to be closed and countless businesses had to give up. Ambitious plans by the railway companies were stopped and the closure of many mines caused unemployment to rise rapidly. Many former mining towns became ghost towns in the 20th century, while better developed towns found new sources of income in tourism. In particular, Aspen, Breckenridge and Vail in central Colorado and Telluride in southwestern Colorado have become popular ski resorts. With the founding of the Rocky Mountain National Park in 1915, the first major tourist attraction was also in the Denver catchment area. In the state capital itself, under Mayor Robert W. Speer, a systematic upgrading of the cityscape based on the model of the City Beautiful movement began shortly after the turn of the century. The beautification measures, which lasted almost 15 years, served not least to raise the morale of those Denverans who lived in the state capital under really miserable conditions.

In 1977 the first Special Olympics Winter Games took place in Steamboat Springs.

On April 20, 1999, the Columbine High School shooting near Littleton killed 15 and injured 24 others. The act caused a worldwide sensation, triggered numerous debates about the possible causes of youth violence and is considered a turning point in American culture due to its far-reaching consequences. On July 12, 2012, the city of Aurora made international headlines when 12 people were shot dead and 58 others injured in the Aurora rampage during a theatrical screening of The Dark Knight Rises.

In the summer of 2002, Colorado experienced the most devastating wildfire in state history when an illegal campfire in Pike National Forest started what is known as the Hayman Fire. The fire destroyed around 55,000 hectares of forest and was so threatening in the greater Denver area that individual suburbs had to be evacuated for a short time. A natural disaster of a completely different kind finally happened in December 2006, when the state was caught in a massive blizzard just before the Christmas holidays. The most important interstate highways had to be closed at times, bringing public life in the Denver area to a standstill. One of the front range region's worst snowstorms claimed four lives in Colorado.


Politic and government

State government

Like the federal government and all other U.S. states, the Colorado state constitution establishes three branches of government: the legislative, executive, and judicial.

The Governor of Colorado heads the state's executive branch. The current governor is Jared Polis, a Democrat. The other elected offices of the state executive are the Lieutenant Governor of Colorado (elected jointly with the governor), the Colorado Secretary of State, the Colorado State Treasurer, and the Colorado Attorney General, all of whom serve four-year terms.

The Colorado Supreme Court, composed of seven justices, is the highest court in the state. The Colorado Court of Appeals, with 22 judges, meets in divisions of three judges each. Colorado is divided into 22 judicial districts, each of which has a district court and a county court with limited jurisdiction. The state also has specialized water courts, which are divided into seven different divisions throughout the state and which decide on matters related to water rights and the use and administration of water.

The state legislative body is the Colorado General Assembly, which consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House has 65 members and the Senate has 35. In 2021, the Democratic Party had a majority of 20 to 15 in the Senate and 41 to 24 in the House of Representatives.

The majority of Colorado residents are natives of other states (nearly 60% according to the 2000 census), and this is illustrated by the fact that the state has not had a native-born governor since 1975 (when John David Vanderhoof left office). position) until 2007, when Bill Ritter took over; His election the previous year marked the first electoral victory by a Colorado native in a gubernatorial election since 1958 (Vanderhoof had risen from the position of lieutenant governor when John Arthur Love won a position in Richard Nixon's administration in 1973).

The tax is collected by the Colorado Department of Revenue.


Partisan Politics

Colorado was once considered a swing state, but has become a relatively safe blue state in both state and federal elections. In presidential elections, he had not won by double digits until 2020 since 1984 and has endorsed the winning candidate in 9 of the last 11 elections. Coloradans have elected 17 Democrats and 12 Republicans to the governorship in the last 100 years.

In presidential politics, Colorado was considered a reliably Republican state during the post-World War II era, voting for the Democratic candidate only in 1948, 1964, and 1992. However, it became a competitive swing state in the 1990s. Since the mid-2000s, it has swung strongly toward Democrats, voting for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Joe Biden in 2020.

Colorado politics has the contrast between conservative cities like Colorado Springs and Grand Junction and liberal cities like Boulder and Denver. Democrats are strongest in the Denver metro area, the college towns of Fort Collins and Boulder, southern Colorado (including Pueblo), and several western counties with ski resorts. Republicans are strongest in the eastern plains, Colorado Springs, Greeley and the western edge of Colorado near Grand Junction.



Adams (Brighton)
Alamosa (Alamosa)
Arapahoe (Littleton)
Archuleta (Pagosa Springs)
Roof Rack (Springfield)
Bent (Las Animas)
Chaffee (Exit)
Cheyenne (Cheyenne Wells)
Clear Creek (Georgetown)
Rabbits (Rabbits)
Rib (San Luis)
Crowley (Ordway)
Custer (Westcliffe
Dolores (Dove Creek)
Douglas (Castle Rock)
El Paso (Colorado Springs)
Elbert (Kiowa)
Fremont (Canyon City)
Garfield (Glenwood Springs)
Gilpin (Central City)
Grand (Hot Sulfur Springs)
Hinsdale (Lake City)
Orphan (Walsenburg)
Jackson (Walden)
Jefferson (Golden)
Kiowa (Eads)
Kit Carson (Burlington)
La Plata (Durango)
Lake (Leadville)
Larimer (Fort Collins)
Las Animas (Trinidad)
Lincoln (Hugo)
Logan (Sterling)
Mesa (Grand Junction)
Ore (Creede)
Moffat (Craig)
Montezuma (Cortez)
Morgan (Fort Morgan)
Otero (La Junta)
Park (Fairplay)
Phillips (Holyoke)
Pitkin (Aspen)
Prowers (Lamar)
Town (Town)
White River (Meeker)
Rio Grande (Northern)
Routt (Steamboat Springs)
Saguache (Saguache)
St. John (Silverton)
San Miguel (Telluride)
Sedgwick (Julesburg)
Summit (Breckenridge)
Teller (Cripple Creek)
Washington (Akron)
Weld (Greeley)
Yuma (Wray)


Special districts

Colorado has more than 4,000 special districts, most with property tax authority. These districts may provide schools, law enforcement, fire protection, water, sewer, drainage, irrigation, transportation, recreation, infrastructure, cultural facilities, business support, redevelopment, or other services.

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

Some of the most notable districts in Colorado are:
The Regional Transportation District (RTD), which affects Denver, Boulder, Jefferson counties and parts of Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield and Douglas counties.
The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a special regional taxing district with physical boundaries contiguous to those of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson counties.
This is a 0.1% retail sales and use tax (one cent per $10).
Under Colorado law, the SCFD annually distributes the money to local organizations. These organizations must provide the enlightenment and entertainment of the public through the production, presentation, exhibition, promotion or preservation of art, music, theater, dance, zoology, botany, natural history or cultural history.
According to the law, SCFD beneficiary organizations are currently divided into three "tiers", among which income is distributed according to a percentage.
Tier I includes regional organizations: Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver Zoo, and Denver Performing Arts Center. Receives 65.5%.
Level II currently includes 26 regional organizations. Level II receives 21%.
Level III has more than 280 local organizations such as small theaters, orchestras, arts centers, natural history, cultural history and community groups. Tier III organizations apply to county cultural councils for funding through a grant process. This level receives 13.5%.
An 11-member board of directors oversees distributions under Colorado Revised Statutes. Seven council members are appointed by county commissioners (in Denver, by the Denver City Council) and four members are appointed by the governor of Colorado.
The Football Stadium District​ (FD or FTBL), approved by voters to pay for and help build the Denver Broncos' Empower Field at Mile High stadium.
Local Improvement Districts (LIDs) in designated areas of Jefferson and Broomfield counties.
The Metropolitan Major League Baseball Stadium District, approved by voters to pay for and help build the Colorado Rockies' Coors Field stadium.
Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) with variable tax rates in Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, and Gunnison County.



The state's economy developed from the mid-19th century when irrigated agriculture was developed and, later, at the end of that century, livestock farming began to have greater importance. The first development of the industry was based on the extraction and processing of minerals and agricultural products. Currently these products are: cattle, wheat, dairy, corn and hay.

The federal government is one of the largest economic forces in the state with several important facilities such as:
Colorado Springs: NORAD and the United States Air Force Academy.
Boulder: NOAA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Lakewood: United States Geological Survey Agency and other federal agencies at the Denver Federal Center.
Denver: The Denver Mint, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Florence: Administrative Maximum Security Florence.

There are, of course, other US government agencies that own land in the state, most notably the Natural Forest and four National Parks. There are also numerous private companies that operate in Colorado and do business with government agencies in the state.

In the second part of the 20th century, the industrial and service sectors expanded significantly. The state's economy was notably diversified by the concentration of research and high-tech industries. Other important industries in Colorado are food processing, transportation equipment, machinery, chemicals, minerals such as gold and molybdenum, and tourism. Denver is also an important financial center of the nation.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that the state's total production in 2003 was $87 billion and that per capita income in the same year was $34,561, ranking Colorado 8th in the nation.


Natural resources

Colorado has significant hydrocarbon resources. According to the Energy Information Administration, Colorado is home to seven of the largest natural gas fields in the United States and two of the largest oil fields. Conventional and unconventional natural gas production from several Colorado basins typically accounts for more than five percent of annual U.S. natural gas production. Colorado's oil shale fields are estimated to contain 1 trillion barrels (160 km3) of oil, almost as much as the world's proven oil reserves. The state has significant deposits of bituminous, subbituminous and lignite coal.

Uranium mining in Colorado dates back to 1872, when pitchblende ore was extracted from gold mines near Central City, Colorado. Excluding phosphate-derived uranium, Colorado is considered to have the third-largest uranium reserves of any U.S. state, behind Wyoming and New Mexico. When Colorado and Utah dominated radium mining between 1910 and 1922, the byproducts were uranium and vanadium (after which cities like Uravan, the current site of the Superfund, are named).

The increase in the price of uranium between 2001 and 2007 prompted several companies to reactivate uranium mining in Colorado. During the 1940s, some communities - including Naturita and Paradox - earned the nickname "yellowcake cities" for their relationship with uranium mining. The drop in prices and financing problems at the end of 2008 forced these companies to cancel or reduce the uranium extraction project. As of 2016, there were no major uranium mining operations in the state, although there were plans to resume production.​


The 25 Richest Places in Colorado

Sorted by per capita income:
1 Cherry Hills Village $99,996
2 Genesee $79,180
3 Columbine Valley $71,758
4 Castle Pines $70,456
5 Greenwood Village $69,189
6 Bonanza $66,857
7 Bow Mar $53,558
8 Heritage Hills $50,041
9 Perry Park $47,574
10 Lone Tree $46,287
11 Meridian $46,031
12 The Pinery $43,065
13 Eldorado Springs $42,908
14 Vail $42,390
15 Foxfield $40,970
16 Aspen $40,680
17 Niwot $39,943
18 Mountain Village $39,920
19 Edwards $39,784
20 Pitkins $39,182
21 Telluride $38,832
22 Woodmoor $38,758
23 Castlewood $37,891
24 Vona $37,802
25 Eagle-Vail $37,260



Christianity arrived in Colorado with the Spanish colonizers. Until Mexican rule, the Catholic Church maintained almost an exclusive monopoly of the region. With the annexation to the United States, various Protestant Christian denominations and other non-Christian religious groups arrived.

The primary religious affiliations of Coloradans in 2014 were 64% Christian, of whom 44% were Protestants of various denominations, 16% Catholic, 3% Mormon, and 1% Eastern Orthodox. Other religious breakdowns according to the Pew Research Center they were 1% Jewish, 1% Muslim, 1% Buddhist and 4% other. People with no religious affiliation represented 29% of the population. In 2020, according to the Public Religion Research Institute, Christianity was followed by 66% of the population. Judaism also increased in this separate study, forming 2% of the religious landscape, while the religiously unaffiliated made up 28% of the population in this separate study. In 2022, the same organization reported that 61% were Christian ( 39% Protestant, 19% Catholic, 2% Mormon, 1% Eastern Orthodox), 2% New Age, 1% Jewish, 1% Hindu, and 34% religiously unaffiliated.

According to the Association of Religious Data Archives, the largest Christian denominations by number of faithful in 2010 were the Catholic Church, with 811,630; multi-denominational evangelical Protestants, with 229,981; and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with 151,433. In 2020, the Association of Religion Data Archives determined that the largest Christian denominations were Catholics (873,236), Protestants of various denominations (406,798), and Mormons ( 150,509).​ Among its non-Christian population, there were 12,500 Hindus, 7,101 Hindu yogis and 17,369 Buddhists in the 2020 study.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church was the first permanent Catholic parish in present-day Colorado and was built by Spanish settlers from New Mexico in present-day Conejos. Catholics of the Latin Church are served by three dioceses: the Archdiocese of Denver and the dioceses of Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

The first permanent settlement of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Colorado came from Mississippi and initially camped along the Arkansas River, just east of the present-day site of Pueblo.



The first institution of higher learning in the Colorado Territory was the Colorado Seminary, opened on November 16, 1864 by the Methodist Episcopal Church. The seminary closed in 1867, but reopened in 1880 as the University of Denver. In 1870, Bishop George Maxwell Randall of the Colorado and Adjacent Missionary District of the Episcopal Church opened the first of what would become the Colorado College Schools, which would include the Territorial School of Mines opened in 1873 and sold to the Territory of Colorado in 1874. These schools were initially run by the Episcopal Church. An 1861 land law called for the creation of a public university in Boulder, although it would not be until 1876 that the University of Colorado was founded. The 1876 law also changed The name of the Territorial School of Mines was the Colorado School of Mines. A territorial law of 1870 created the Colorado Agricultural College, which opened its doors in 1879. The college was renamed Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. Colorado in 1935, and became Colorado State University in 1957.

The first Catholic college in Colorado was the Jesuit College of the Sacred Heart, founded in New Mexico in 1877, moved to Morrison in 1884 and Denver in 1887. The college was renamed Regis College in 1921 and Regis University in 1991. On 1 April 1924, armed students patrolled the campus after a burning cross was found, the height of tensions between Regis College and the locally-held Ku Klux Klan.

Following an evaluation in 1950 by the Service Academies Board, it was determined that it was necessary to supplement the United States Military and Naval Academies with a third school to provide commissioned officers for the newly independent Air Force. On April 1, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower signed legislation creating the US Air Force Academy. That same year, Colorado Springs was chosen to host the new institution. From its inception in 1955, until construction of the appropriate facility in Colorado Springs was completed and it opened in 1958, the Army Air Academy operated out of Lowry Air Force Base in Denver. With the opening of the Colorado Springs facility, cadets moved to the new campus, although not in the full gear that some urban and campus legends suggest. The Academy's first class of Space Force officers Air Force entered service on April 18, 2020.

Some of the major educational institutions at the university level include:
The University System of Colorado
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
University of Colorado at Denver
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
United States Air Force Academy
Colorado State University System
Colorado State University
Adams State College
Colorado Christian University
Colorado College
Colorado School of Mines
Colorado State University - Pueblo
Colorado Technical University
Fort Lewis College
Heritage College & Heritage Institute
Jones International University
Mesa State College
Metropolitan State College of Denver
Naropa Institute
National Technological University
Nazarene Bible College
Regis University
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
University of Denver
University of Northern Colorado
Western State College



The Colorado State Health System Initiative, Amendment 69, was a constitutional amendment proposal initiated by citizens in November 2016 to vote for a single-payer health system called ColoradoCare. The system would have been financed by a 10% payroll tax divided equally between employers and workers. It would have replaced the private health insurance premiums currently paid by employees and companies. It would have started operating in 2019 and was estimated to require revenue of $38 billion annually (from the federal government and corporate taxes). payrolls) and would provide coverage to all residents, without deductibles.​

The proposal was rejected by 79% of voters.

Colorado is open to cannabis (marijuana) tourism. With the adoption of the 64th state amendment in 2012, Colorado became the first state in the union to legalize marijuana for medicinal (2000), industrial (referring to hemp, 2012), and recreational (2012) uses. Colorado's marijuana industry sold $1.31 billion in marijuana in 2016 and $1.26 billion in the first three quarters of 2017. The state generated tax, fee and licensing revenue of $194 million. dollars in 2016 from legal marijuana sales.​ Colorado regulates hemp as any part of the plant with less than 0.3% THC.​

On April 4, 2014, Senate Bill 14-184 addressing oversight of Colorado's industrial hemp program was first introduced, eventually being signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper on May 31, 2014.

On November 7, 2000, 54% of Colorado voters approved the 20th Amendment, which amends the Colorado State Constitution to allow the medicinal use of marijuana. The medical use of marijuana by a patient, Within the following limits, it is legal:
(I) No more than 2 ounces (57 g) of a usable form of marijuana; and

(II) No more than twelve marijuana plants, of which six or fewer must be mature flowering plants that produce a usable form of marijuana.

Currently, Colorado has listed "eight medical conditions for which patients can use marijuana - cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, muscle spasms, seizures, severe pain, severe nausea and cachexia, or dramatic weight loss and muscle atrophy." While governor, John Hickenlooper allocated about half of the state's $13 million "Medical Marijuana Program Cash Fund" to medical research in the 2014 budget. By 2018, the Medical Marijuana Program Cash Fund was the "largest pool of marijuana money in the state" and was used to fund programs including research into pediatric applications to manage autism symptoms.



Colorado's primary mode of transportation (in terms of passengers) is its highway system. Interstate 25 (I-25) is the state's major north-south highway, connecting Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver, and Fort Collins, and extending north to Wyoming and south to New Mexico. I-70 is the main east-west corridor. It connects Grand Junction and mountain communities with Denver and extends into Utah and Kansas. The state is home to a network of US and Colorado highways that provide access to major areas of the state. Many smaller communities are connected to this network only through county roads.

Denver International Airport (DIA) is the third-busiest U.S. and international airport in the world by passenger traffic. DIA handles by far the largest volume of commercial air traffic in Colorado and is the busiest U.S. hub airport between Chicago and the Pacific coast, making Denver the most important airport for connecting passenger traffic in the western United States.

Both intracity and intercity public transportation bus services are offered, including metro Denver RTD services. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) manages the popular RTD Bus & Rail transit system in the Denver metropolitan area. As of January 2013, RTD's rail system had 170 light rail vehicles, serving 47 miles (76 km) of track. In addition to local public transportation, Burlington Trailways, Bustang, Express Arrow and Greyhound Lines provide intercity bus service.

Amtrak operates two passenger rail lines in Colorado, the California Zephyr and the Southwest Chief. Colorado's contribution to world railroad history was shaped primarily by the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, which began in 1870 and wrote the book on mountain railroading. In 1988, its co-owner Philip Anschutz acquired the "Rio Grande" and merged it with the Southern Pacific Railroad. On September 11, 1996, Anschutz sold the combined company to Union Pacific Railroad, creating the largest railroad network in the United States. The sale of Anschutz was in part a response to the earlier merger of Burlington Northern and Santa Fe, which formed the large Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway (BNSF), Union Pacific's main competitor in the western United States railroad. Both Union Pacific and BNSF conduct extensive freight operations in Colorado.

Colorado's freight railroad network consists of 2,688 miles of Class I track. It is an integral part of the United States railroad network. It is integral to the United States economy, being a critical artery for the movement of energy, agriculture, mining and industrial raw materials, as well as general cargo and manufactured goods between the East and Midwest and the Pacific Coast states.

In August 2014, Colorado began issuing driver's licenses to foreigners who were not legally in the United States and who lived in Colorado. In September 2014, KCNC reported that 524 noncitizens were issued Colorado driver's licenses that would normally be issued. issued to US citizens living in Colorado.​



Interstate 25
Interstate 70
Interstate 76
US Route 6
US Route 24
US Route 34
US Route 36
US Route 40
US Route 50
US Route 85
US Route 87
US Route 285



Art and cinema
Several film productions have been filmed in Colorado, especially notable Western films such as True Grit, The Searchers and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Several historic military forts, railroads with trains still in operation, and ghost mining towns have been used and transformed for greater historical fidelity in well-known films. There are also several scenic roads and mountain passes that helped showcase the open road in movies such as Vanishing Point, Bingo and Starman.

Some Colorado landmarks have appeared in movies, including The Stanley Hotel in Dumb and Dumber and The Shining and the Sculptured House in Sleeper. In 2015, Furious 7 went to film driving sequences on the Pikes Peak Highway in Colorado. The adult animated television series South Park takes place in central Colorado, in the titular town. Additionally, the television series Good Luck Charlie was set, but not filmed, in Denver, Colorado. The Colorado Film and Television Office has noted that more than 400 films have been filmed in Colorado.

There are also several film festivals established in Colorado, such as Aspen Shortsfest, Boulder International Film Festival, Castle Rock Film Festival, Denver Film Festival, Festivus Film Festival, Mile High Horror Film Festival, Moondance International Film Festival, Mountainfilm in Telluride, Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival.

Many notable writers have lived or spent extended periods of time in Colorado. Beat Generation writers Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady lived in and around Denver for several years each. Irish playwright Oscar Wilde visited Colorado on his tour of the United States in 1882, and in his Impressions of the Country in 1906 he wrote that Leadville was "the richest city in the world." It also has a reputation for being the toughest, and everyone carries a revolver."



Colorado is known for its Southwestern and Rocky Mountain cuisine, with Mexican restaurants throughout the state.

Bon Appétit named Boulder America's Foodiest City in 2010.​ Boulder, and Colorado in general, is home to several national food and beverage companies, top-notch restaurants, and farmers markets. Boulder also has more master sommeliers per capita than any other city, including San Francisco and New York.​ Denver is known for its steaks, but now has a diverse culinary scene with numerous restaurants.

Polidori sausage is a brand of pork products available in supermarkets, originating in Colorado in the early 20th century.

The Food & Wine Classic is held annually in June in Aspen. Aspen is also reputed to be the culinary capital of the Rocky Mountain region.

Colorado wines include award-winning varietals that have attracted favorable attention from outside the state.​ With wines made from the traditional Vitis vinifera grapes along with wines made from cherries, peaches, plums and honey, Colorado wines have Colorado has won top national and international awards for quality. Colorado's grape-growing regions contain the highest altitude vineyards in the United States, and most of the state's viticulture is practiced between 1,219 and 2,134 m ( 4,000 and 7,000 feet) above sea level.

The mountain climate guarantees warm days in summer and cool nights. Colorado has two American wine regions, the Grand Valley AVA and the West Elks AVA, where most of the state's vineyards are located. However, an increasing number of wineries are located along the Front Range.​ In 2018, Wine Enthusiast magazine named Colorado's Grand Valley AVA, in Mesa County, Colorado, one of the top ten wine travel destinations in the world.​

Colorado has numerous nationally acclaimed microbreweries, such as New Belgium Brewing Company, Odell Brewing Company, Great Divide Brewing Company, and Bristol Brewing Company. The area of northern Colorado, near and between the cities of Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins, is known as the "Napa Valley of Beer" due to its high density of craft breweries.​



The state of Colorado has professional teams in the five major sports leagues, all of them based in the city of Denver: the Denver Broncos have played in the National Football League since 1960; The Denver Nuggets have played in the National Basketball Association since 1967; The Colorado Rockies have competed in Major League Baseball since 1993; The Colorado Avalanche has participated in the National Hockey League since 1995; and the Colorado Rapids have played in Major League Soccer since 1996.

The state's main university team is the Colorado Buffaloes, which in American football has won five Big Eight conference titles, one in the Big 12, two Orange Bowls, one Cotton Bowl and one Fiesta Bowl.

The Unser family has been notable in motorsports, particularly Al Unser, Bobby Unser and Al Unser Jr., who won the Indianapolis 500. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a mountain race where international rally drivers have competed. For its part, the IndyCar Series, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Truck Series have competed at Pikes Peak International Raceway.

Cherry Hills Golf Course hosted the US Open, US Women's Open, US Veterans Open and the PGA Championship.

Several of the country's largest ski resorts are located in the state. The resorts of Aspen, Vail and Beaver Creek are three of the most visited in the entire United States, and are also regular venues for the Alpine Ski World Cup.

Other Colorado professional teams are:
Colorado Crush, Arena Football League
Colorado Mammoth, National Lacrosse League
Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Minor League Baseball (AAA)
Colorado Eagles, Central Hockey League
Colorado Chill, National Women's Basketball League