Colorado History and Geography

Abbreviated as CO by ABBREVIATIONFINDER, state of Colorado is located in the southwestern United States of America. The rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountain range dominates the middle of its western side. Colorado has traditionally had a high-level educational system and public support for the arts is famous, as evidenced by the quantity and quality of arts and cultural institutions in the state. The University of Denver (1846) and the University of Colorado(1912) stand out, both located in the state capital. Among the most outstanding museums in Colorado are: the Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History and the Colorado National Heritage Center, all of them also located in Denver.

Many of the state’s tourist spots pay tribute to the territory’s ancient residents, explorers, and settlers. Some of them are: the Pike Stockade, built in 1807 and later rebuilt in Sanford, the native dwellings of the ‘men on the rocks’ (the so-called cliff-dwellers) and the towns of Mesa Verde National Park.


At the beginning of the 18th century, they traded moose and deer skins, with the Spanish and with the Pueblo tribes of the Rio Grande valley, in exchange for horses and weapons. The Spanish horses served the Utes to move east, towards the plains of Colorado, where they ran into the also newcomers of the Cheyenne and Arapajo tribes.

During the 18th century, the Spanish of New Mexico explored parts of Colorado. The first Americans to arrive in the region were soldiers, sent by the United States government in 1806 to explore the western part of the Mississippi. In 1820, a second detachment went up the South Platte River to the Denver site. The botanist and historian of this detachment, Edwin James, led the first ascent of Pikes Peak.

From then on, fur hunters explored much of the Rockies in search of beaver skins and other animals. American colonization began in 1832. By 1840, a few farmers from New Mexico settled in the south; in 1851 they founded San Luis, in the valley of the same name, which was the first stable colony in Colorado.

The discovery of gold in the Rockies in 1858, caused thousands of settlers from the Midwest to come to this territory in search of this precious metal. When the Colorado Territory was created in 1861, the Indians were forced to abandon their lands and move to the Arkansas River area. In response, they set about storming the passage routes between Denver and the Missouri River.

As punishment, the Colorado Third Cavalry, commanded by Colonel John M. Chivington, attacked one of the Indian villages in the early morning of November 29, 1864,murdering several hundred men, women, and children. This action became known as the Sand Creek Massacre.

The first mining boom lost intensity, and until 1870 the population did not exceed the 60,000 residents necessary to acquire the category of state; the advent of the railroadand the development of large-scale irrigation throughout the eastern Rockies brought an influx of people to Colorado. Meanwhile, cattle ranching prospered favorably by driving cattle from Texas to the grasslands of the Colorado plains. The status category was obtained in 1876, the year of the nation’s centennial. Over the next twenty years, the state grew and prospered as a result of the discovery in the late 1870s., from the silver mines at Leadville.

When the exploitation of gold and silver was reduced at the beginning of the 20th century, the residents of Colorado invested part of the mining profits in the development of tourist activities, exploiting the climate and the beauty of the mountains of the state. Luxury hotels were built, and in 1915 the Rocky Mountain National Park was opened to the public. In the 1960s and 1970s, some ski resorts Like Aspen and Vail, located in the highest regions of the state and favored by the long duration of the snows, they experienced a notable improvement in their infrastructures. Also, during the 1970s, aerospace and electrical companies moved to the city of Front Range, whose population increased considerably.


Geographical location

Located in the Rocky Mountains region of the United States; limited to the north by Wyoming and Nebraska, to the east with Nebraska and Kansas to the south with Oklahoma and New Mexico, to the south with Arizona and to the west to Utah. The Rocky Mountains stretch, from north to south, throughout the center of the state. It has an area of ​​269,602 km² and the altitude varies from 1,021 m, on the banks of the Arkansas River, to 4,399 m at the top of Mount Elbert. The eastern third of Colorado belongs to the Great Plains.

  • CountryAAH: Offers a full list of cities and towns in Colorado, together with postal codes for each of them, and including capital city of Colorado.


The soils that predominate are the fertile mollisols or molisuelos (frozen during the winter and that thaw in the summer), very productive from the agricultural point of view. The rocky mountains occupy two-fifths of the central area of ​​the state and constitute one of the highest regions of the North American continent, with 54 peaks that exceed 4,265 m in altitude. The Colorado Plain, which runs along the western border, occupies about one-fifth of the total area.


The courses of the main rivers of the state are born in the rocky ones, where they feed on the heavy precipitations in the form of rain and snow. This mountainous alignment constitutes a divide that separates the Colorado River (the longest in the state), on the Pacific slope, from the North Platte, South Platte, Arkansas and Rio Grande rivers, which flow into the Atlantic. The Great Lake (Grand Lake), in the Rocky Mountains, is the largest natural lake in the state.


Due to its high altitude (the highest in the United States), Colorado has a continental climate that varies depending on the height of each area and its orientation with respect to the mountain ranges. Average annual rainfall ranges from 1,524 mm on the western slopes to 406 mm on the Great Plains and on the Colorado Plateau.


Plains extending eastern Colorado River are covered by a natural blanket of herbs, such as grass, pastures forming of feeding large herds of buffalo. Coniferous forests can be found in mountainous regions. The main species are ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and other firs and spruces; birch, alder and aspen can also be found. The tables on the western slope have forests of stone pines and junipers. The plains are inhabited by pronghorn, foxes, coyotes and rattlesnakes. The western mountains and plateaus are home to elk, black bears, pumas, beavers, coyotes, and ibex, as well as eagles.

Mineral deposits

Colorado is well supplied with mineral reserves. Among the most important resources are oil, coal and natural gas. There is also silver, gold, vanadium, lead, copper, zinc,and molybdenum.

Colorado History