25 Fun Facts About Colorado You Might Not Know

Posted by , Updated on November 21, 2022

When most people think of Colorado, they think of mountains, mountains, and more mountains. And to some extent, this is accurate. But a lot of people don’t realize that Colorado also has deserts, plains, and lots of sunshine. So, if you’re interested in the Rocky Mountain state, these are 25 fun facts about Colorado you might not know!


Colorado is the only state that lies entirely above 1,000 meters

ColoradoSource: coloradofacts.facts.co

At 4,401.2 meters (14,440 feet), Mount Elbert is the highest point in the Rocky Mountains

Mount ElbertSource: summitpost.org

Roughly 70% of the population lives right up against the Front Range of the Rockies where the mountains run into the Great Plains. This is also where Denver, the capital and biggest city, is located.

DenverSource: colorado.edu

Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado has the largest sand dunes in North America.

Great Sand Dunes National ParkSource: nps.gov

The 30 highest major summits of the Rocky Mountains all lie within Colorado

Rocky MountainsSource: nps.gov

Because the state is relatively far south compared to other famous mountain ranges (like the Alps), the tree line is a lot higher. In southern Colorado you will find trees up to 3,700 meters (12,000 feet) and in northern Colorado the tree line is at roughly 3,200 meters (10,500 feet).

Rocky MountainsSource: trails.com

Due to rapid changes in elevation, Colorado covers a wide variety of climates in a relatively compact area. From desert valleys all the way up alpine tundras, the weather is strongly affected by the mountainous topography.

Rocky MountainsSource: rockymountainclimate.org

Colorado is the only state to have turned down the Olympics. In 1976, residents voted against hosting the Winter Olympics due to the cost and pollution that would result.

Colorado mountain townSource: mentalfloss.com

The highest paved road in North America is the road to the summit of Mount Evans at 4,346 meters (14,258 feet)

road to Mount EvansSource: mountevans.com

The name Colorado is derived from Spanish and means “colored red”, which refers to the silt carried by the Colorado River out of the mountains.

Colorado RiverSource: coloradofacts.facts.co

The 13th step of the state capitol building (in Denver) is exactly 1 mile above sea level.

Denver capitol buildingSource: colorado.gov

Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the US at 3180 meters (10,430 feet)

Leadville, ColoradoSource: colorado.gov

Katherine Lee Bates was inspired to write the song “America the Beautiful” after seeing the view from Pikes Peak.

Pikes Peak cog railwaySource: gilderlehrman.org

The San Juan Mountains in the southwestern portion of the state are some of the most rugged in the continental US (along with the Northern Cascades in Washington).

alpine meadow in the San Juan MountainsSource: alltelluride.com

Colorado contains 75% of the land area in the continental United States that rises above 10,000 feet (3,048 meters)

Rocky MountainsSource: filmincolorado.com

Peaks that rise above 14,000 feet (4,267 meters) are referred to as fourteeners by locals. Colorado has 52 of them.

Rocky MountainsSource: 14ers.com

Royal Gorge Bridge is one of the highest suspension bridges in the world at 291 meters (955 feet).

Royal Gorge BridgeSource: highestbridges.com

Known as the Four Corners, the southwest edge of Colorado is the only point in the US where 4 states meet.

Four CornersSource: visitutah.com

Colorado is nicknamed the Centennial State because it entered statehood on the 100th anniversary of US independence.

train in the RockiesSource: history.com

The lowest point in Colorado is at 1,011 meters (3,317 feet). This is higher than the highest points in 18 states.

Rocky MountainsSource: coloradofacts.fact.co

Pikes Peak Cog Railway is one of the highest cog railways in the world.

Pikes Peak cog railwaySource: cograilway.com

Grand Mesa, in the eastern portion of the state, is the largest flat-topped mountain in the world at about 1,300 km2 (500 square miles)

Grand JunctionSource: visitgrandjunction.com

Colorado has some of the best terrain for snowmobiling in the country and a lot of the most popular areas get more than 35 feet (11 meters) of snow per year.

snowmobilingSource: colorado.com

Due to its high elevation, Colorado is home to some of the world’s most popular ski resorts. Also, the snow season can easily run for nearly the entire year.

skiing near SilvertonSource: outsideonline.com

In spite of being incredibly mountainous, Colorado boasts an average of 300 sunny days per year, a point of pride among natives.

Rocky MountainsSource: climate.colostate.edu

Image Credits: 1. Public Domain, 2. Zach Dischner via Flickr CC BY 2.0, 3. Mike Riela via Flickr CC BY 2.0, 4. Skez on en.wikipedia via commons.wikipedia,org CC BY-SA 2.0 , 5. Donald Branum via flickr CC BY-SA 2.0, 6. robert thigpen via flickr CC BY-SA 2.0, 7. Larry Lamsa via Flickr CC BY 2.0, 8. Staplegunther at English Wikipedia via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY 3.0, 9. Bkthomson via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0, 10-11. Public Domain, 12. Sandy Horvath-Dori via flickr CC BY 2.0, 13-14. Public Domain, 15. Knapp.keith via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 3.0, 16, Public Domain, 17. Jirka Matousek via Flickr CC BY 2.0, 18-21. Public Domain, 22. Great Sand Dunes National Park via Flickr CC BY 2.0, 23. Sheila Sund via Flickr CC BY 2.0, 24. Hogs555 via commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 4.0, 25. Dhaval Shreyas via flickr CC BY-SA 2.0.

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