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Colorful Colorado - The Rocky Mountains, Skiing, And High Technology (From The United States Series)


On February 28, 1861 President James Buchanan signed an Act of Congress organizing the Free Territory of Colorado to be located in the Rocky Mountains as part of the Four Corners region, and wellknown for its scenic wonders, the Centennial State joined the Union on August 1, 1876 with a Spanish name meaning "reddish colored, ruby, or red, " that is attributable to the Colorado River.

Colorful Colorado:

In addition to the Centennial State, Colorado is known as the Columbine State, the Highest State, the Mother of Rivers, the Rocky Mountain Empire, the Rocky Mountain State, and Colorful Colorado.


Bordered by New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arizona, Nebraska, Kansas, Utah, and Wyoming, the 38th State is the home of fifty-four 14, 000 foot or taller mountains, as well as more than one hundred mountain peaks exceeding 13, 123 foot elevations. Mount Elbert, the State's highest elevation point at 14, 440 feet, is the tallest in the Rocky Mountains.

Colorado Plains:

Typically regarded as praries, and divided by the South Platte River and the Arkansas River valleys, the Colorado Eastern Plains are often associated with the Midwest portion of the United States.

Front Range:

While corn, hay, wheat, soybeans, livestock, hogs, cattle, dairy, poultry, water towers, and grain elevators are common in most small towns located in the Colorado Eastern Plains, the Front Range Urban Corridor, along the eastern ridge of the Southern Rocky Mountains, is the most heavily populated region of the State.

Eastern Slope:

The Eastern Slope of the Rocky Mountains includes the notable peaks of Mount Evans, in the locally known Chicago Peaks Mountain Range, which dominates the Denver Metropolitan Skyline, and can be seen sixty miles south in Castle Rock, and seventy-three miles north in Broomfield. The Second Highest Optical Telescope In The World, the University of Denver's Meyer-Womble Observatory, located at an elevation of 14, 148 feet, is located nearby, as are mountain goats and bighorn sheep.

Other notable Eastern Slope Peaks include Longs Peak, the only 14, 000 foot tall mountain in the Rocky Mountain National Park, and popular among the mountain climbing crowd, Spanish Peaks, a pair of volcanic mountains in southeastern Colorado, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, that were important landmarks along the Sante Fe Trail, and Pikes Peak, the easternmost 14, 000 foot tall, or taller, mountain in the United States. The National Historic Landmark made of pink granite, and located ten miles west of Colorado Springs, is the home of the world famous Annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Automobile Race and the Pikes Peak Marathon.

Western Slope:

The Western Slope of Colorado contains the extremely rugged San Juan Mountains, the Colorado Plateau, Grand Mesa, the world's largest flat-top mountain, the Glenwood Hot Springs, and the world famous ski areas of Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs, and Vail.

Colorado Plateau:

Roughly centered on the Four Corners region with New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona, covering approximately 130, 000 square miles, and commonly referred to as the "Red Rock Country, " the Colorado Plateau offers domes, reefs, fins, natural bridges, hoodoos, goblins, river narrows, and the largest concentration of National Parks in the United States including the Rocky Mountain National Park, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Arches National Park, the Petrified Forest National Park, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and the Grand Canyon National Park.

National Monuments found in the Colorado Plateau include the Canyon of the Ancients National Monument with the largest archaeological site concentration in the United States, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the Wupathi National Monument of Ancient Peublo peoples, Hovenweep National Monument with Native American ruins, Dinosaur National Monument with fossile beds of extinct dinosaurs, the Aztec Ruins National Monument with ruins from the 11th to the 13th Centuries, the Navajo National Monument on the Arizona Reservation, the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, and the Colorado National Monument.

Other natural features located in the Colorado Plateau include Utah's Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Dead Horse Point State Park, Goosenecks State Park, San Rafael Swell, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Goblin Valley State Park, and Grand Gulch Primitive Area, Arizona's Meteor Crater Impact Area, the Virgin River Gorge where the Colorado Plateau and Mojave Desert meet, and Colorado's Rabbit Valley.

Continental Divide:

Stretching across the Rocky Mountain crest, and beginning at Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, down through Canada, crossing into the contiguous United States in northwestern Montana between Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park, on south through Yellowstone National Park, into Colorado, then New Mexico, and into the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountain Range in Mexico, the Continental Divide separates the rivers that flow into the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and the Artic Ocean from the watersheds that drain into the Pacific Ocean.

Gray's Peak, at 14, 280 feet tall, is the highest point on the Continental Divide, and Hoosier Pass, at the northern end of Colorado's Mosquito Mountain, is the highest elevation point along the TransAmerica Trail from Virginia to Oregon.

Nationally Protected Areas:

Nationally protected Colorado areas include the 1833 Bents Old Fort National Historic Site, the Arapaho National Recreation Area, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, the Curecanti National Recreation Area and its three reservoirs and dams on the Gunnison River, the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve containing the tallest sand dunes in North America, the Old Spanish Trail Trade Route, the Florissant Fossile Beds National Monument and petrified redwood trees, the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site of the November 29, 1864 Colorado Territory Militia's destruction of Cheyenne and Arapaho villages in southeastern Colorado, the Santa Fe National Historic Trail, the Yucca House National Monument and Ancient Pueblo Archaeological Site, and the Pony Express National Historic Trail famous for mail delivery by horseback riders relaying across the Western United States.


Wildernesses found in Colorado include the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness with Rattlesnake Canyon, the second largest collection of natural arches in the United States, the Flat Tops Wilderness Area, the Uncompahgre Wilderness, also known as the Big Blue Wilderness, Mount Sneffles Wilderness, Lizard Head Wilderness, a volcanic spire of crumbling rock, Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado's largest Wilderness area, and the South San Juan Wilderness.

Mineral Belt:

Molybdenum, a silvery metal used in high strength steel alloys, is still extracted in Colorado, however, most of the historic mining of the State, including more than 778 tons of gold and zinc, the 1859 Pikes Peak Gold Rush, the 1878 Leadville Silver Lode, the 1890 Sherman Silver Purchase Act, and the ghost towns left behind can be found from the La Plata Mountains, to the Front Range, in the Colorado Mineral Belt.

Cripple Creek, Leadville, Climax, Central City, Ouray, Mount Sneffler, Silverton, Fairplay, Telluride, and Breckenridge were major historic mining sites in Colorado.


The United States acquired the eastern Rocky Mountain flank from France in 1803 through the Louisiana Purchase.

On April 9, 1851 Hispanic settlers founded San Luis, originally part of the New Mexico Territory, that later becoming Colorado's first permanent European settlement.

Artifacts Dating to approximately 11200BC indicate Cheyenne, Ute, and Arapaho Indians inhabited the Territory that became Colorado and that Ancient Pueblo peoples lived in the Colorado Plateau.


Extreme weather is a common occurrence in Colorado with thunderstorms east of the Continental Divide, and heavy lightning strikes, hail storms, damaging tornadoes in Tornado Alley, floods, draughts, wildfires, such as the June 8, 2002 Hayman Fire southwest of Denver, the largest in Colorado's history, heavy blizzards, and snow storms frequently found in the State.


Qwest Telecommunications, Samsonite Luggage, Russell Stover Candies, Coors Beer, Jolly Rancher Candies, the CF&I Railroad, Swift Packed Meats, Waterpik, Celestial Seasonings, and the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory all began in Colorado, and wheat, dairy, hay, corn, cattle, food processing, transportation, chemical products, finances, mining, beer production, the military, the Denver Mint, the Supermax Federal Prison, and several Professional Sports Teams are major industries in the State.


Colorado is a National Leader in natural gas fields, oil fields, coal, natural gas output, wind power potential, geothermal power development, possible solar power production, hydroelectric power, and ethanol potential.


Popular Colorado Attractions include the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, the Kissing Camels Rock Formation, Bucksin Joe Frontier Ghosttown with Live Public Hangings, the Denver Zoo, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Elitch Gardens, the Denver Botanic Gardens, the Gunnison Pioneer Museum, the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, the Museum of Colorado Prisons in Canon City, the Antique Washing Machines Museum, and the notorious Cannibal Alfred Parker Massacre Site.


World famous ski locations in Colorado can be located at Wolf Creek, Snowmass, Telluride, Crested Butte, Beaver Creek, Winter Park, Copper, Keystone, Durango, Breckenridge, Aspen, Vail, Powderhorn, Eldora, Arapahoe Basin, Clear Creek, Avon, Dillon, Frisco, Georgetown, Grenley, Leadville, Glenwood Springs, Monarch, Mesa, Silverthorne, Nederland, and Pagosa Springs.


Wellknown as the City of the Seven Hills, and located in the South Platte River Valley, on the High Plains, east of the Rocky Mountain Front Range, Denver is the capital and most heavily populated town in Colorado, and is the reference point for the Mountain Time Zone.

Popularly regarded as the Mile High City, with an area much smaller than Colorado Springs, the State's second largest city by population, Denver has the tenth largest Central Business District in the Country.

Founded in November 1858 as a Pikes Peak Gold Rush mining town in the western Kansas Territory known as Montana City, and Incorporated November 7, 1861, Denver, the Queen City of the Palins, was established as the State Capital on August 1, 1876

Located in the center of the Front Range Urban Corridor, with an area of about 154 square miles, Denver hosted the 1908 and 2008 Democratic National Conventions, and was selected to host the 1976 Winter Olympics, but did not do so because of the expenses involved.

As part of the City Beautiful Movement Denver has more than two hundred parks and twenty-nine recreational areas, including Washington Park, City Park, Cheesman Park, Red Rocks Mountain Park, the Red Rocks Amphitheater, and the Bluff Lake Nature Center.

About half way between Chicago, Illinois, Saint Louis, Missouri, and the West Coast, Denver is a key trade point for the United States, and has been the home of several wellknown companies including the 1895-opened Denver Instrument Company, the Samsonite Corporation, the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company, Russell Stover Candies, Frontier Airlines, Village Inn Restaurants, Big O Tires, the Coors Brewing Company, the Newmont Mining Company, the Denver Federal Center, and the Denver Mint.

Popular Attractions in Denver include the Denver Art Museum, the second largest Performing Arts Center in the United States, LoDo, the lower downtown area of the city, many local and national breweries including the New Belgium Brewing Company, the Great American Beer Festival, the National Western Stock Show, the largest Cinco de Mayo and El Grito de la Independencia Celebrations in the Country, the Dragon Boat Festival, the September Moon Festival, and Annual Chinese New Year events.

With a high-desert, semi-arid, climate, and four distinct seasons heavily influenced by the Rocky Mountains, Denver is often protected against harsh cold and strong winds by its location, and according to National Weather Service reports, the city receives sunshine sixty-nine percent of all daylight hours.

The Front Range shields the city for much of the season, and warm chinook winds quickly melt falling snow, allowing Denver winters to average approximately sixty inches of accumulation, with the first snowfall of the year typically occurring around mid-October and the last snowfall happening in late April.

Artic air from the North conflicts with Pacific storms, warm air from the Gulf of Mexico, and monsoons that bring tropical moisture to Denver, making March the snowiest month of the year.

The largest recorded snowfall from one storm in Denver was 45.7 inches from December 1 to December 6, 1913, and the coldest recorded temperature in the city was -29 degrees Farenheit on January 9, 1875.

Colorado Springs:

Selected as Money Magazine's 2006 Number One Best Big City on its list of "Best Places To Live, " and Number One in Outside Magazine's 2009 list of America's Best Cities, Colorado Springs, located just east of the geographical center of the State, is the most heavily populated city in El Paso County.

Founded July 31, 1871 to be a high quality resort community, and affectionately known as "Little London, " Colorado Springs covers approximately 186 square miles, and is Colorado's largest city in terms of area.

Popular Colorado Springs neighborhoods include Austin Bluffs, the Broadmoor, Woodman Valley, Knob Hill, Pikeview, Stratton Meadows, Stratmoor, Elsmere, Cimarron Hills, Gleneagle, and Old Colorado City.

In its earliest days between 1859 and 1860, Old Colorado City, on the National Register of Historic Places, was an important hub for mining supplies to South Park, a major Pikes Peak Gold Rush strike site, and processed much of the 1891 Cripple Creek gold discovery.

Old Colorado City was the El Paso County Seat until 1873, and the location of the infamous 1903 Labor Strike that led to the Colorado Labor Wars between Miners and Mine Operators.

Colorado Springs is a popular location for High Technology and has had connections with several major Corporations such as Verizon, Hewlett-Packard, Agilent, Intel, Honeywell, Cypress Semiconductors, and many more..

Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base, NORAD, Cheyenne Mountain Air Station, Schriever Air Force Base, and the Air Force Academy are all located in the Colorado Springs area.

Colorado Springs Attractions include The Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, the Pioneer Museum, Seven Falls, the Cave of the Winds, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the American Numismatic Association Money Museum, the United States Olympic Training Center, the World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame, the Broadmoor Skating Club, and the World Arena.


Split between two Counties, and primarily a Suburban City with an area of approximately 142 square miles, the fifty-eigth most heavily populated city in the United States originated in the 1880s as Fletcher, but struggled severely to survive after the 1893 Silver Crash, was renamed Aurora in 1907, and became the fastest growing city in the Country between the 1970s and 1980s.

Aurora was named the 2004 Sports Illustrated Magazine's 50th Anniversary Sportstown for Colorado because of its facilitating sports, and has produced many Professional Athletes in a variety of different sports including football, basketball, hockey, soccer, ice skating, and Mixed Martial Arts.

Aurora is composed of many neighborhoods including Aurora Heights, Beacon Point, Mission Viejo, Fletcher Townsite, Aurora's downtown area, Saddle Rock, Settler's Village, Sterling Hills, Stapleton, and many more.


With an area consisting of approximately 42 square miles, and located West of Denver, Lakewood is the fourth most heavily populated city in Colorado, and the 172nd most heavily populated city in the United States.

Development of Lakewood began in 1889, and when Incorporated in 1969, Lakewood was one of the largest cities at the time of original incorporation in the history of the United States.

Lakewood landmarks include the Lakewood Heritage Center, the Lakewood Cultural Center, the modern downtown area known as Belmar, and the Traditional Downtown area.

Fort Collins:

Found on the Cache La Poudre River, along the Front Range, Fort Collins was named Money Magazine's Best Place To Live in 2006, and Number Two Best Place To Live on their 2008 list.

Established as a Military Outpost in 1864 during the Indian Wars, the original site of Fort Collins can be located in the Old Town section of the city.

Most of Fort Collins cultural life centers around the college scene, a vibrant local musical circuit, the Colorado Marathon, the Fort Collins Museum, the Center For Fine Art Photography, the Roosevelt National Forest, several microbreweries, and large annual festivals including the NewWestFest.

Bicycling is an extremely popular mode of transportation in Fort Collins with tours of the "Bike the Sites" Attractions including a Brewery Tour, a History Tour, and an Environmental Learning Tour of the city.


The United States Series I am writing here on associatedcontent.com provides an indepth look at all fifty United States that make up this GREAT Country of ours and their five largest cities.

The current list of Articles for the United States Series I have published to date include:

So This Is Sweet Home Alabama Alaska - The Land of the Midnight Sun Arizona - The Valley of the Sun Arkansas - People of the South Wind California - The Golden Gate, Earthquakes and Grizzly Bears Connecticut - The Land of Steady Habits Delaware - The Small Wonder Florida - The Snowbirds R Us State Georgia - Goobers, Peaches, and Buzzards Hawaii - Luaus, Pineapples, and Beaches Idaho - The Gem of the Mountains and Potatoes State Illinois - Mining, Factories, and Labor Unions Indiana - Land of Steel and Ducks Iowa - The Ethanol and Food Capital of the World Bleeding Kansas America's Flattest State Kentucky - The Land of Tomorrow Louisiana - The Child of the Mississippi Maine - Lobsters, Lighthouses, and Black Bears Maryland - The "Oh Say Can You See" State Massachusetts - The Cradle of Liberty Michigan - The Automotive State Minnesota - The Bread and Butter State Mississippi - Where Cotton Was King

Comments from readers are always welcome so let me know what you think about these Articles.


This article was compiled from websites that provide much more information on Colorado including:

denver.org, coloradosprings.com, fortcollins.com, aurorachamber.org, and coloradoski.com.

By Brett Matthew West - My Blogs: Editor-in-Chief of Nashville From A Bridge.wordpress.com, and Medicalscene.wordpress.com. The best advice this Yahoo Voices Featured Music, Travel, Health, Wellness, and Entertainment Wri...  

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