Colorado is a state in the US located in the heart of the country. It is characterized by mountainous and desert landscapes. This state has been inhabited by Native Americans for millions of years and several artifacts were found in its territories. It has a total area of 104,094 square miles and a population of 5,773,000 people.
Colorado is known for its stunning natural landscapes, beer culture, and impressive altitude. This state was the first to legalize marijuana for recreational use and is home to the first rodeo in the world. Colorado is also famous for its old west towns and ski resorts.
Colorado abounds in amazing natural landscapes ranging from high mountain chains to sandy dunes. This country is characterized by several national parks and reserves. For instance, the Rocky Mountain National Park. This is one of the nation’s highest parks and reaches 14,259 feet of elevation.
Another great example is the Garden of the Gods. This park is famous for its unique red rock formations. Colorado also features dunes which can be admired at the Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Ski and snowboarding
Colorado is one of the most popular ski and snowboard destinations in the US. Vail Ski Resort is, in fact, considered the best in the country. This resort was opened in 1962, and it now welcomes more than one million visitors each year. Vail Ski Resort is located close to Vail, a little town designed to look like a typical Bavarian village.
But Vail is not the only ski resort in Colorado. Some of the others include Aspen Snowmass and Telluride Ski Resort. The former is a combination of four different ski areas, while the latter is considered one of the most scenic in the country.
Four corners monument
Together with Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, Colorado is one of the four corner states. The Four Corners is a region in the US where four different states border each other. This is the only place in the country where more than three states share a border.
The US government has decided to put a monument at the point where the four states meet. Known as the Four Corners Monument, it consists of a granite disk with a sentence written on it. This reads: ‘Here meet in freedom under God four states.’
The Four Corners Monument has been a popular attraction for decades. Even back in the 1910s, people would travel here to take pictures with it.
Colorado breaks every record when it comes to altitude. For instance, this state is home to the highest paved road in North America. Known as Mount Evans Road, this street rises to a height of 14,130 feet!
Colorado also features the highest town in North America and the highest railway. The former is known as Alma and has an elevation of 10,360 feet. The highest railway is called The Pikes Peak Cog and reaches 14,110 feet. This railway was built in 1891 on the top of Pikes Peak.
Breweries and craft beers
Colorado is also known for its delicious craft beers. This state has more than 400 established breweries, and beer is part of everyday life here.
Breweries first emerged in the country when gold was found in the Rocky Mountains. Many brewers would make small batches and sell them to the miners working in the mountains. Some of them also sold their products on the road close to the newly formed mining communities.
Colorado is now home to some of the most notable breweries in the US. Some of these include the New Belgium Brewing Company and Odell Brewing Co.
The Deepest natural hot spring in the world
Not many people know that Colorado is also home to the deepest hot spring in the world. Known as Pagosa Hot Springs, this system has a depth of more than 1000 feet. Pagosa Hot Springs is located in San Juan Basin in Archuleta County.
Before the arrival of the European colonizers, this hot spring was used by the Folsom Culture. This was a Paleo-Indian archaeological civilization that occupied the US from 8000 BC to 4500 BC.
Later on, this site was used by the Ancestral Puebloan people. In fact, many potteries crafted by this population were found nearby the hot spring.
The largest producer of coins in the world
The Denver Mint is the largest producer of coins in the entire world. This factory was built in 1897 and is still active nowadays. The Denver Mint also manufactures mint sets and commemorative coins.
In its first year, the factory produced 167 million coins. Today, the Denver Mint can make up to 40,500 pieces per minute! This is equal to several million every day.
The longest continuous street in America
Colfax Avenue is the longest continuous avenue in the US. This street runs from east to west, crossing the Denver metropolitan area.
Colfax Avenue takes its name from the 19th-century politician Schuyler Colfax. He worked as a journalist and businessman and served as the 17th vice-president of the US.
This street measures 49.5 miles and has important buildings scattered all over its path. Some of these include the Denver Mint and Ogden Theater.
Old West towns
Colorado is also known for its ancient Old West towns. One of the most popular is Central City. This little town is located just 35 miles west of Denver and used to be one of the wealthiest cities in the world.
Known as ‘The Richest Square Mile on Earth’, Central City became rich thanks to the gold found in the nearby Rocky Mountains.
Another beautiful Old West town is Victor. This city also became rich thanks to the gold mining industry and is now a popular tourist attraction.
Some other cities known for their ancient architecture are Creede, Ouray, and Durango.
The first world rodeo
Colorado is also home to the world’s oldest rodeo! The Deer Trail Rodeo opened its doors on the 4th of July, 1869. This facility is located in the city of Deer Trail in the northeast area of Colorado.
The Deer Trail Rodeo is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, and rodeos are still held here at the end of every summer.
Ok, we have to admit it. This is a highly debatable issue. In fact, there are plenty of restaurants claiming to have invented the cheeseburger. But if you ask people in Colorado, they will tell you that this popular dish was born here!
According to their version of the story, Humpty Dumpty Drive-in served the first cheeseburger in the country. Humpty Dumpty was the first drive-in in Denver, located at 2776 North Speer Boulevard.
This drive-in received a trademark with the word cheeseburger in 1935. However, many other restaurants claim the invention of the original cheeseburger recipe. Some of these include Kaelin’s Restaurant in Louisville and Lionel Sternberger in Pasadena.
Denver, known as ‘The Mile High City, is the capital of Colorado. The city’s nickname derives from the fact that it has an elevation of exactly one mile above sea level.
Denver is known for its numerous parks. In fact, the city has more than 200 green areas! This capital is also home to the second-largest performing art center in the US.
Apart from this, Denver is famous for its sports culture. This metropolis has six professional sports teams. Some of these include the Colorado Rockies and the Denver Broncos.
The first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use
Everybody knows that California was the first state in the US to legalize marijuana for medical use. But which state first legalized this plant for recreational use? Of course, Colorado! This state legalized this substance in 2012 together with Washington.
After 2012, other states followed Colorado and Washington’s example. In fact, in 2014, Alaska and Oregon also decided to legalize marijuana for recreational use. As of today, the recreational use of this plant is legal in 18 states. However, in thirteen states, it is still completely illegal.
Rocky Mountain Oysters
Despite being called oysters, this dish has nothing to do with seafood. Rocky Mountain Oysters are, in fact, bull testicles.
This dish is quite old and dates back to the times when European farmers settled in the area. People would live in very remote areas far from railroad supply chains. For this reason, they had to use every part of the animals they killed.
This is why they started to introduce the testicles of newly castrated bulls into their diets. Today this dish is still popular in some parts of Colorado, and there are even festivals that celebrate it.
Colorado State Fair
The Colorado State Fair is one of the biggest fairs in the US. This event is held annually in the city of Pueblo in the center of Colorado.
The Colorado State Fair started as a horse race in 1869. At that time, already two thousand people gathered to see this race. Since then, this festival kept growing, and more than 400,000 people participate in this event every year.
The Colorado State Fair has been active for 150 years and is now held annually at the end of August.