Today, Colorado is known for its easygoing culture, sunny weather, and outdoor recreation. In the winter, tourists and natives enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. In the summer, people come to rock climb, hike, fish, whitewater raft, and camp.
But Colorado was originally home to several Native American nations, including the Cheyenne and Arapaho people. In southern Colorado, the remains of more than 600 stone structures built on cliffs can still be seen in Mesa Verde National Park. These structures were home to Puebloans from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1300.
- Colorado became part of the U.S. in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase. Spanish explorers, who arrived in 1541, were the first Europeans here.
- Gold was discovered in the mountains of Colorado in 1858, drawing huge crowds of people hoping to strike it rich. The town of Denver quickly grew, but it had a rough and rowdy reputation.
- The transcontinental railroad arrived in 1869, linking Colorado to the east. Soon farmers, teachers, businessmen, merchants, and others arrived, creating a more diverse—and more genteel—culture.
- Colorado has a diverse topography. The eastern part of the state is flat prairie land, dominated by ranching and farming, and prone to tornados. The western part of the state is mountainous. The main industries here include mining, natural gas, tourism, and forestry. Along the Front Range, the area that divides the prairie from the mountains lays the largest cities, Denver, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs.
- Denver is sometimes called “The Mile High City” because it lies one mile above sea level. The state has an average elevation of 6,800 feet; Mount Elbert, the highest peak in the state, has an elevation of 14,439. Climbing “14ers,” or peaks with an elevation of 14,000 feet or higher, is a favorite Colorado pastime. For tourists coming to Colorado, altitude sickness, which causes headaches and nausea, is a real problem.
Colorado Quick Stats
Capital: Denver (population, 600,158)
Largest city: Denver (population, 600,158)
State bird: lark bunting
State flower: columbine
Watch a short video about Colorado.
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Declan, Tobin. " Fun Facts about Colorado ." Easy Science for Kids, May 2019. Web. 23 May 2019. < https://easyscienceforkids.com/colorado/ >.
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