Colorado State Geography

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So you want to know about Colorado? Here are some highlights! Also check out the links to other sites about Colorado.

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Key Facts

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Colorado State Facts

Population (1994): 3,656,000 (26th in size)

State size: 104,091 square miles (8th in size)

State Capital: Denver (named after James William Denver, the 1858 governor of the Kansas Territory, which included Colorado).

Major cities: Denver, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Aurora and Lakewood.

Admission to union: The 38th State

Date entered the union: August 1, 1876

Origin of state name: Named from the Spanish word Colorado meaning "Red", because the Spanish explorers thought the Colorado River looked red.

Nicknames: The Centennial State, since Colorado became a state in 1876, the centennial year.

Bordering states: Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Utah.

State bird: Lark Bunting

State flower: Rocky Mountain Columbine

State tree: Colorado Blue Mountain Spruce

Motto: Nothing Without Providence

 

Geographic Landmarks

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Colorado is a diverse area covered by mountains, plateaus, canyons and plains.

The western half of Colorado is very mountainous with many valleys, canyons and high plateaus. These mountains give Colorado the highest average elevation of any state.

The Continental Divide cuts through west central Colorado from north to south. The Continental Divide splits the mountains into western and eastern slopes. Rivers and water west of the divide flow west toward the Pacific Ocean. Rivers and water to the east of the divide flow east towards the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Colorado Mountains
Eastern Colorado is more flat, with high plains and rolling hills connecting to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Colorado Hills

 

Points of Interest

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Colorado has a large number of state and national parks such as the Rocky Mountain National Park, Dinosaur Ridge and Mesa Verde National Park. These provide very dramatic scenery and plenty of wildlife.

Colorado's mountains are also a major tourist attraction for

Colorado Points of Interest

 

Major Industries

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Historically, natural resources including mining of gold, silver, uranium and other metals have been the major contributor to the Colorado economy. The economy has now become much more dependent on manufacturing and other industries. Manufacturing includes a variety of high technology equipment, machinery, and chemicals.

Farming includes corn, sugar beets and other vegetables, fruits, as well as cattle, hogs and sheep.

 

 

Historical Highlights

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Colorado was originally inhabited by the Anasazi Indians who lived in cliff dwellings in the canyons of southwestern Colorado.

The first Europeans to explore Colorado were the Spanish in 1540.

Colorado was acquired by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase.

The gold rush of 1859 brought many settlers to Colorado.

Colorado Historical Highlights

 

Population and Culture

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Climate

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Interesting Tidbits

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Links to other sites about Colorado

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Colorado State Flag

Colorado State Flag

 

Colorado State Government home page

State of Colorado Kids Page

State of Colorado Kids History

State of Colorado Kids Geography

State of Colorado Flag, Seal and Emblems

State of Colorado Information

State of Colorado Geography

State of Colorado History Chronology

 

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