Colorado State Facts, Symbols and History
Colorado Fast Facts
Capital: Denver (population 598,707) (2008 proj.)
Colorado Population: 5,187,582 ( 2012 est.) (22nd)
Colorado Quarter: The third commemorative dollar quarter coin, issued in 2006, honors Colorado and is the 38th coin in the United States Mint’s 50 State Quarters® Program.
The Colorado Quarter depicts a spectacular view of the state’s rugged Rocky Mountains with evergreen trees and a banner bearing the words “Colorful Colorado”. The coin also bears the inscriptions “Colorado” and “1876”.
Language: English, others
Largest Cities: (by population) Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora, Lakewood, Fort Collins, Arvada
Name: Colorado is the Spanish word for “red” and was originally used by the Spanish as a descriptive name for the reddish waters of the Colorado River.
Statehood: August 1, 1876 (38th state)
- Animal: Rocky’s bighorn sheep
- Bird: lark flags
- Flag of Colorado
- Flower: White and Lavender Columbine
- Insect: Colorado Butterfly Hairstreak
- Motto: “Nothing without a god”
- Nicknames: (most used) Centenary State, Colorful Colorado, Silver State, Switzerland of America
- Song: “Where Watersheds Grow”
- State seal
- Wood: blue spruce
Colorado is a state in the west-central United States, one of the so-called Mountain States. Population – 5,268,367 people (data for 2013). The capital and largest city is Denver. Other major cities are Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Arvada, Pueblo, Westminster, Boulder, Englewood. See cities and towns in Colorado.
The official nickname is the “Centennial State” (Centennial State, the state entered the union in 1876 when the country celebrated its centenary).
Colorado is one of three states (along with Wyoming and Utah), all of whose borders are latitudes and meridians and, like Wyoming, simply forms a “rectangle” (more precisely, a sector of the earth’s surface) between a pair of latitudes and a pair of longitudes. The area occupied by Colorado is 269.7 thousand sq. km.
The territory of the state is intersected in the middle part from North to South by the ridges of the Rocky Mountains (the highest point is Mount Elbert, 4399 m). They form the so-called Great Continental Division. In the east of the state – the Great Plains, in the West – the Colorado Plateau. The climate is moderate, continental. The average temperature in January on the plains and plateaus is 0 – 4 C, in July 20 – 22 C. Precipitation is 300 – 400 mm per year. Major rivers: South Platte, Arkansas, Rio Grande, and Colorado. The vegetation in the east is steppe, in the west it is semi-desert. The slopes of the mountains are mostly covered with coniferous forest.
At the beginning of the 16th century, the Spaniards explored the territory of the future state. Since 1706, the territory of Colorado has been declared a colony of Spain. The province then passed to France.
- AbbreviationFinder: Demonstrates how the two-letter acronym of CO stands for Colorado and a list of frequently used abbreviations related to the state of Colorado.
The United States received eastern Colorado as a result of the Louisiana Purchase (1803). The central part of Colorado passed to the United States in 1845, and the western part – in 1848, as a result of the war with Mexico.
In the 1850s gold was found near Denver, and crowds of immigrants poured in here.
Under a 1911 law, the state’s official flag is a rectangular panel. The red letter “C” stands for “Colorado”, which is translated from Spanish as “red color” (colored red). The golden ball inside the “C” indicates the presence of gold mines in the state. The blue and white stripes on the flag symbolize the blue skies and white snows of the Colorado Rockies. On the state emblem, which was officially adopted in 1877, the triangular figure symbolizes the all-seeing eye of God. The coat of arms depicts the state’s mountains, land, and a pickaxe, which symbolize Colorado’s mining industry, the backbone of the state’s economy.
Colorado has such minerals as coal, oil, natural gas, vanadium, uranium, zinc.
Being essentially an offshore zone, Colorado is not included in the “black list” of offshore jurisdictions of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation – there are no restrictions on operations with Colorado companies. Colorado companies can do business all over the world. If a company is managed by non-U.S. residents and does not conduct business in the United States, it may not pay any taxes and not file accounts.
Durango, Colorado is the largest city in southwestern Colorado, located near the famous Four Corner Junctions of the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado.
Durango was founded on April 13th, 1881 by the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad and has always been considered a ‘railway city’. The area was originally settled by the Anasazi Indians, now called Ancestral Puebloans, famous for their impressive cliff dwellings.
This western destination is nestled between the red sandstone hills of the Soul Valley. Northeast is the San Juan and Eagle Mountains, to the west is arid desert land, and to the South is the vast San Juan Forest and Canyon National Country. Durango, Colorado sits at 6,512 feet in elevation and gets over 300 days of sunshine a year, more than Orlando, Florida or Hollywood, California !
Started in 1972, the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic is run in Durango, Colorado on Memorial Day weekend and is the longest running cycling event in the United States.
Renowned western writer Louis L’Amour wrote his Sackett Series of stories while staying at the Strater Hotel, Durango’s famous landmark.
The name ‘Durango’ is derived from the Basque word Urango, meaning a water city. The original mayor named this southwestern Colorado city after Durango, Mexico.
Mountain Resort Durango Mountain Resort is a year-round family fun destination with 85 ski trails and 11 lifts on 1,200 breathtaking acres in the San Juan Mountains. Enjoy snowmobiling, Sno-Cat tours, dedicated snow landing zones and intoxicating views of the Needles and La Plata Sierras. The mountain resort of Durango receives over 260 inches of virgin Colorado snow every year.
During late spring and summer, Mount Durango, also known as Mount Purgatory, is home to pulse-pounding alpine slides, world class rock climbing and rappelling, barbecues, festivals and summer youth camps. The resort makes a great starting point for all outdoor activities in the Colorado wilderness.
Durango and the Silverton
Railroad The railroad finally arrived in Durango, Colorado on August 5, 1881, and construction on the line to Silverton began in the fall of that same year. By July 1882 the tracks to Silverton were completed and the train began hauling both freight and passengers. The line was originally built to haul silver and gold ore from the San Juan Mountains back to Durango, but that day’s passengers realized it was a performance that was truly captivating.
This historic train has been in continuous operation for nearly 125 years, carrying passengers on a breathtaking ride through the mountains on a narrow-guage railway. Of all the attractions in Colorado, this is one of the best.
Table Mountain Verde National Park
Table Mountain Verde National Park is just a short distance southwest of Durango and is a must-see while in this area of Colorado. The scenery of Table Mountain Verde is awe inspiring and it is a historic site of the once flourishing Anasazi civilization. These Ancient Puebloans created extensive cliff dwellings throughout the bluff, including the incredible Cliff Palace. Table Mountain Verde has been declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Activities at Table Mountain Verde include half and full day tours with experienced guides versed in the 700-year history of the cliff dwellers. The Table Mountain Verde Museum is dedicated to the culture and history of the Anasazi people. Campgrounds are available from May through October, and the Far View Lodge opens in late April for eager visitors. Additional archaeological sites are nearby Durango, Colorado and are ready to be explored.
Las Animas River Adventures
White water rafting, world class fly fishing and kayaking tours are just some great things to do on El Rio de Las Animas Perdidas, outside of Durango. Las Animas is also known as the River of Purgatory, and the official name translates as the River of Lost Souls.
Explorers from Spain named the river after a group of explorers disappeared and their bodies were lost without having received the Catholic Last Rites so important to their faith. They believed that these Lost Souls were confined to Purgatory until the Day of Judgment.
The upper Las Animas River offers extreme white water rafting and the lower runs are great for all experience levels. The two-mile stretch of the Shower River is the highest-rated Gold Medal water for the quality of big trout fishing. Las Animas is full of rainbows, browns, rivers and cutthroat trout. The nearby San Juan River is also a popular fly fishing destination for Colorado Vacations.