50 Interesting & Fun Facts About Colorado State You Need to Know

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A downtown skyline overlooking green grass, trees and a white roller coaster
Colorado is full of fun facts and has amazing places, like its capital Denver

Colorado is well known for its mountains, ski resorts, and its capital city, Denver. The Centennial State is also known for being above an altitude of 3,000 feet and having more than half of the "fourteeners" in the US.

Moreover, Colorado has the highest low point in the United States, the highest paved road, and the highest incorporated city in the country. The state also has the highest suspension bridge in the world, The Royal Gorge Bridge.

Have the above facts piqued your interest in Colorado? This article has 50 interesting and fun facts about Colorado state that you should know, including scary and historical facts, and just plain random facts. Keep reading to learn more!

  • 50 Colorado facts

50 Colorado State Facts

  1. Colorado Fun Facts
    1. The highest point in Colorado is Mount Elbert's peak
    2. The tallest building in Colorado is the Republic Plaza
    3. Millions of people come to Colorado every year to ski and snowboard
    4. The highest low point of all the US states is in Colorado
    5. Glenwood Springs is home to the largest natural hot springs pool in the world
    6. More than half of the US's "fourteeners" are in Colorado
    7. Colorado has more than 1,000 peaks over two miles high
    8. The highest suspension bridge in the world is The Royal Gorge Bridge
    9. More than four million people visit Rocky Mountain National Park every year
    10. Part of Denver, CO, is exactly one mile above sea level
  2. Interesting Facts About Colorado
    1. 75% of the land in the US with an altitude over 10,000 feet is in Colorado
    2. Denver has more than 300 days of sunshine every year
    3. Denver is the capital of Colorado
    4. The population of Colorado is over 5.8 million people
    5. The state motto of Colorado is "nil sine numine"
    6. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve has the tallest sand dunes in the country
    7. The largest flat top mountain in the world is Grand Mesa
    8. Colorado Western Slope has 33% percent of the state's land, but 10% of its population
    9. Denver has the most professional sports teams in Colorado
    10. The Colorado Trail is 500 miles long
  3. Weird Facts About Colorado
    1. Colorado backed out of hosting the 1976 Winter Olympics
    2. The Continental Divide splits the water flow in the United States
    3. No US presidents or vice presidents have been born in Colorado
    4. The cheeseburger was invented at the Humpty Dumpty Drive-in
    5. Colorado has nearly 350 breweries
  4. Funny Facts About Colorado
    1. Mike, the Headless Chicken, lived in Colorado for 18 months
    2. Colorado hosts the highest elevation rodeo
    3. The first rodeo ever was held in Colorado
    4. Rocky Ford, Colorado, is called the melon capital of the world
    5. Dove Creek, Colorado, is called the pinto bean capital of the world
  5. Cool Facts About Colorado
    1. The United States Air Force Academy is in Colorado
    2. The thirteenth step of the Colorado State Capitol is exactly one mile high
    3. Denver International Airport is the largest airport in the US by area
    4. Colorado is one of the states that makes up the Four Corners Monument
    5. The root beer float was inspired by Colorado
  6. Random Facts About Colorado
    1. Leadville is the highest elevated incorporated city in the US
    2. Colfax Avenue is the longest street in the United States
    3. The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is the highest paved road in North America
    4. Denver has the largest park system of any city in the United States
    5. Colorado Springs is the largest city in Colorado based on square mileage
    6. The Eisenhower–Johnson Memorial Tunnel is the highest auto tunnel in the world
  7. Historical Facts About Colorado
    1. The Spanish were the first settlers in Colorado
    2. The Colorado Gold Rush was from 1858 to 1859
    3. The Colorado Silver Boom started in 1879
    4. Pikes Peak in Colorado inspired the song "America the Beautiful"
    5. Mesa Verde National Park protects the lands of the Ancestral Pueblo people
  8. Scary Facts About Colorado
    1. There is a set of preserved dinosaur tracks in Colorado
    2. The Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep is the biggest wild sheep in North America
    3. The state of Colorado is entirely above an elevation of 3,000 feet
    4. One of the oldest wooden carousels in the country is in Burlington, Colorado

Show all

Colorado Fun Facts

A white suspension bridge over a rugged terrain, against hazy mountains
Colorado houses the highest suspension bridge in the world, the Royal Gorge Bridge

First up are some facts about the state of Colorado.

A brown and rugged mountain peak surrounded by autumn trees under a partly cloudy sky
Mount Elbert Peak, 14,440 feet high, is the highest point in Colorado

The highest point in Colorado is Mount Elbert's peak

The mountain's peak is 14,440 feet high (4,401 meters). The mountain is in the western part of the state near Leadville, the highest city. Hiking is popular on the mountain. It has many false summits where you think you are at the top, but it just appears to be that way.

Tall modern buildings overlooking deciduous trees with a big bell sculpture at center
Republic Plaza is a 56 stories-tall building located in Denver, Colorado

The tallest building in Colorado is the Republic Plaza

It was built in 1984 and is 56 stories tall. Inside the building are a collaborative workspace, a fitness center, retail options, and a sizeable three-story lobby. The building has other amenities for its tenants, like a plaza, a park, conference facilities, a rooftop, and on-site dining.

Millions of people come to Colorado every year to ski and snowboard

In 2021, 84.2 million people visited Colorado from out of state. And 36.3 million people stayed in the state for at least one night. The people who visit here bring the state billions of dollars in tourism revenue annually, with $21.9 billion in 2021. It is one of the largest industries in the state, and it supplies more than 1.1 million jobs.

The highest low point of all the US states is in Colorado

The Arikaree River sits at 3,315 feet above sea level at its lowest point. Despite being so high, no other state's low point is higher than Colorado's. And, it is even higher than the highest point in 18 other states.

urban_light/Depositphotos.com
A vernacular house beside a hot springs pool against mountains covered in greenery
One of the hottest springs in Colorado is at Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs is home to the largest natural hot springs pool in the world

The mineral water runs in the pool for more than two city blocks, producing more than 3.5 million gallons of water every day. It is also one of the hottest springs in Colorado at a temperature of 122 degrees Fahrenheit. But, the water used in the pools at the springs is cooled down to temperatures between 90 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

More than half of the US's "fourteeners" are in Colorado

A "fourteener" is a mountain that is more than 14,000 feet high at its peak. There are 91 of these mountains in the United States. Colorado is home to 56 of them.

Colorado has more than 1,000 peaks over two miles high

These mountains are in a mountainous area that is six times larger than the country of Switzerland.

clintonweaverphotos/Depositphotos.com
Looking at a white suspension bridge against some green trees and mountains
Royal Gorge Bridge, 1,053 feet high, is the highest suspension bridge in the world

The highest suspension bridge in the world is The Royal Gorge Bridge

The bridge is by Canon City and goes over the Arkansas River. Over the river, the bridge is 1,053 feet high, making it the highest in the world.

A panorama of mountain peaks overlooking a field with green trees and grass
Rocky Mountain National Park is an extremely popular destination in Colorado

More than four million people visit Rocky Mountain National Park every year

The record number of visitors was in 2019, with 4,670,054 people coming to the park that year. And, nearly one million people visit in July alone, making it the most visited month by far. The number of visitors has increased significantly, with the 2019 record being a 44% increase from the number of visitors in 2012.

A neoclassical capitol building with a golden dome, with grass and steps outside
The thirteenth step of the Colorado State Capitol is exactly one mile above sea level

Part of Denver, CO, is exactly one mile above sea level

It is at an elevation of 5,280 feet above sea level. Although the whole city is not precisely at the same elevation, there are points where it is exactly one mile high. There are also a lot of places, foods, and more in the city that commemorate the name.

Interesting Facts About Colorado

A skyline of tall glass buildings overlooking green grass and trees
Denver is the capital of Colorado, with population of approximately 727,000

Next up are some interesting facts and information about Colorado.

75% of the land in the US with an altitude over 10,000 feet is in Colorado

A lot of this land is mountainous, as there are more than 830 mountains in the state between 11,000 and 14,000 feet above sea level.

A road beside a modern building surrounded by green trees against a downtown skyline
There is more sunshine in Denver than there is per year in San Diego and Miami Beach

Denver has more than 300 days of sunshine every year

Three hundred days of sunshine is more sunshine than there is yearly in San Diego and Miami Beach. But, some of those days in Denver are actually cloudy or partly cloudy, but the sun shines for at least a little bit. So, while the sun comes out for over 300 days every year, they are not all fully sunny days.

Denver is the capital of Colorado

It is at the base of the Rocky Mountains, where you can see 140 miles of the landscape from the city. The population of Denver is approximately 727,000, with a 21,2% increase in population between 2010 and 2019. There are around three million people in the metropolitan area, more than half the state's population.

The population of Colorado is over 5.8 million people

The population in the state continues to grow, with an increase of 0.7% between 2020 and 2021. Most of the population is white, with 67% identifying as white and not Hispanic or Latino. However, 9.5% of the population was foreign-born between 2016 and 2020.

The state motto of Colorado is "nil sine numine"

It is a Latin phrase that means "Nothing without Providence or Deity." The motto is on the state seal, which was created and adopted in 1876, one year after Colorado became a state.

Sand dunes against rugged mountains under a cloudy sky
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve spans across 150,000 acres

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve has the tallest sand dunes in the country

The entire park of dunes covers an area of 150,000 acres, and the main field of dunes covers 30 square miles. The tallest of them all is Star Dune, which is 750 feet tall. There is also the High Dune, which is 699 feet tall but at a higher elevation than Star Dune.

A rugged flat top mountain with a lush green valley
Grand Mesa in western Colorado is the largest flat top mountain in the world

The largest flat top mountain in the world is Grand Mesa

It is over 6,000 feet high, with an elevation of more than 11,000 feet. Despite being so tall, it is wider than it is tall. The name of the mountain comes from the Spanish word for table.

Colorado Western Slope has 33% percent of the state's land, but 10% of its population

The Western Slope, to the west of the Continental Divide, has a small population, but a lot of the area is filled with busy tourist towns. They include skiing and resort towns like Breckenridge, Aspen, Telluride, Grand Junction, Vail, and Winter Park.

Denver has the most professional sports teams in Colorado

There are the Broncos who play in the NFL, the MLB Rockies, the NHL Avalanche, and the NBA Nuggets. They all play within a three-mile radius of each other.

The Colorado Trail is 500 miles long

It is a hiking trail that goes from Durango, CO, to Denver, CO. The trail goes through eight mountain ranges, seven national forests, and over five rivers.

Weird Facts About Colorado

Autumn trees against modern skyscrapers under a blue sky
There has not been a single US president or vice president from Colorado

Now we have some weird but fun Colorado facts.

Colorado backed out of hosting the 1976 Winter Olympics

They were awarded the games in 1970 and were supposed to host in 1976 as a way to celebrate the bicentennial of the United States. But, there were many problems with the state's capacity to host the games and the logistics surrounding it. The people of Colorado were not happy that the games might be a failure, so they voted against hosting them.

A large brown and cream colored sign on top of a stone mound
From the Continental Divide, water flows to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans

The Continental Divide splits the water flow in the United States

Water west of the divide flows towards the Pacific Ocean, and the water to the east flows to the Atlantic. Some of the western rivers include the Columbia and Colorado Rivers. The rivers to the east include the Rio Grande, the Missouri River, and the Mississippi River.

No US presidents or vice presidents have been born in Colorado

People from Colorado have run for president, like US Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet, who both ran in 2020. But none of them have won. All 46 US Presidents have been born in just 21 states so far, meaning over half, including Colorado, have not had one yet.

The cheeseburger was invented at the Humpty Dumpty Drive-in

It was invented by Louis Ballast, who owned the restaurant. He was awarded the patent on March 5th, 1935.

jenlo8/Depositphotos.com
A pedestrian walkway with traffic signals and shops on each side
Boulder, Colorado has the most breweries per capita in the United States

Colorado has nearly 350 breweries

The state has six breweries for every 100,000 residents, and it is second to California, which has nearly 700. Boulder, Colorado, is the city with the most breweries per capita in the United States, with 13.3 breweries for every 100,000 people.

Funny Facts About Colorado

mkopka/Depositphotos.com
Colorado hosts the highest elevation rodeo is one of the facts about Colorado state
One of the facts about Colorado state is that it hosts the highest elevation rodeo

Here are some funny facts about Colorado in this section.

Mike, the Headless Chicken, lived in Colorado for 18 months

He was supposed to end up as dinner for the Olsen family in 1945. But, after they chopped off his head, the chicken ended up living, and he was a national phenomenon. He grew from just 2.5 pounds with a head to 8 pounds without. The chicken is celebrated at an annual festival.

Colorado hosts the highest elevation rodeo

It takes place in Cripple Creek, CO, at an elevation of 9,640 feet. The rodeo is called the Top of the World Rodeo, and the town has been hosting rodeos since the early 20th century. There are around 300 people who participate in the rodeo every year, and thousands come to watch.

The first rodeo ever was held in Colorado

It occurred on July 4th, 1869, in Deer Trail, Colorado. The local ranchers came to the rodeo to compete to see who was the best cowboy and who had the best horse. The winner lasted on his horse for 15 minutes and won a suit of clothes.

Rocky Ford, Colorado, is called the melon capital of the world

The watermelons and cantaloupes that grow here in the Eastern Plains get extra sweet thanks to the climate here. The temperature changes drastically from day to night, and that is how they get their unique flavor. The town also has a high school with a melon mascot and a team called the Meloneers.

Dove Creek, Colorado, is called the pinto bean capital of the world

The land has been thriving agriculturally since the Anasazi Indians started farming on the land thousands of years ago. They grew corn, squash, beans, and more. Now, pinto beans are often grown here by companies such as Adobe Milling. The continued growth is where the nickname comes from.

Cool Facts About Colorado

A modern airport building with white spiky roofs under a blue sky
The largest airport by area in the United States is the Denver International Airport

There are also some cool things about Colorado.

AndreyKr/Depositphotos.com
A modern triangular building surrounded by green grass under a partly cloudy sky
There are more than 3,000 people working in the United States Air Force Academy

The United States Air Force Academy is in Colorado

The military community of 25,000 people is in Colorado Springs, CO. There are over 3,000 people who work there, and there is a 4,400-person cadet wing with a staff of over 300 people.

Engraving of "One Mile Above Sea Level" and a golden marker above on concrete steps
The engraving on the fifteenth step of Colorado Capitol was an inaccurate measurement

The thirteenth step of the Colorado State Capitol is exactly one mile high

This step is exactly 5,280 feet (1,609 meters) above sea level. The one-mile marker was placed in 2003 after two less accurate mile markers were placed on the fifteenth and eighteenth steps. The first but inaccurate measurement on the fifteenth step says "One Mile Above Sea Level."

A modern airport building with spiky-white roof under a cloudy sky
Denver International Airport is more than twice as big as Manhattan neighborhood

Denver International Airport is the largest airport in the US by area

It is 53 square miles big, making it more than twice as big as NYC's Manhattan neighborhood. It is also the second largest airport in the world, with the most significant being King Fahd International Airport in Saudi Arabia. The third largest airport in the world is Dallas Fort Worth, which is 26.9 square miles, just half the size of Denver's airport.

A round monument on the floor with text of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado
Four Corners Monument touches Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado

Colorado is one of the states that makes up the Four Corners Monument

As the name suggests, the monument is where four states meet at one point, with a corner of all four states touching. The other three states are Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.

The root beer float was inspired by Colorado

It was invented by Frank J. Wisner, who saw the snowy peaks one night and thought up the treat. He said the snow on the Cow Mountain peaks looked like ice cream floating in soda. He started serving the Black Cow Mountain float to his customers at the Cripple Creek Brewing Co., which he owned in August 1893.

Random Facts About Colorado

A paved road winding through top of a rugged-mountainous terrain
The highest paved road in North America is the Mount Evans Scenic Byway

Here are some random fun facts on Colorado.

A red old church building with a tower having a black roof, facing the road
Leadville is at the elevation of 10,430 feet, nearly double than that of Denver

Leadville is the highest elevated incorporated city in the US

It is at an elevation of 10,430 feet above sea level. This elevation is nearly double that of Denver, which is a mile or 5,280 feet above sea level.

mixmotive/Depositphotos.com
A street with cars, with buildings and trees on each side
Colfax Avenue is a part of a few major highways, like Highway 40, I-70, and more

Colfax Avenue is the longest street in the United States

It runs east to west through downtown Denver and is 49.5 miles (79.7 kilometers) long. The road is part of a few major highways, including US Highway 40, I-70, US Highway 287, and State Highway 36.

A road beside a rocky snow-capped cliff under a cloudy sky
Mount Evans Scenic Byway is at an altitude of 14,130 feet high

The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is the highest paved road in North America

It spans over 28 miles between Idaho Springs and the top of the mountain. There is an elevation change of more than 7,000 feet along the road. The road is at an altitude of 14,130 feet at the highest point.

Denver has the largest park system of any city in the United States

There are 205 parks within the city limits. If you include the parks in the mountains in the Denver metro area, 20,000 acres of parks exist in the state.

A lit-up downtown skyline overlooking a road and trees under a clear evening sky
Colorado Springs is 40 square miles bigger than Aurora, CO, the second largest city

Colorado Springs is the largest city in Colorado based on square mileage

The land area of Colorado Springs is 194.54 square miles. It is 40 square miles bigger than the second largest city of Aurora, CO. It is also the second largest city in Colorado, with a population of more than 430,000 people.

The Eisenhower–Johnson Memorial Tunnel is the highest auto tunnel in the world

Its highest point is at an elevation of 11,000 feet high, which goes through the Continental Divide. The entire tunnel is 8,960 feet long, and as many as 26,000 pass through the tunnel every day.

Historical Facts About Colorado

A wide snow-capped mountain overlooking green trees and blue water
There was a little mining near Pike's Peak at the Gold Rush period from 1858 to 1859

This section has some facts about Colorado history.

The Spanish were the first settlers in Colorado

Native Americans and tribes lived on the land until the Spanish started to make permanent settlements there in the 1840s. They first tried to settle in the San Luis Valley, but it was hard to occupy, so they moved north. Colorado soon became part of the United States due to the Mexican-American War.

The Colorado Gold Rush was from 1858 to 1859

It is also called the "Pikes Peak Gold Rush", even though there was little mining near Pike's Peak. Most mining was done near Central City, discovered during the rush in 1859. Over two years, the lift brought thousands of people to the state in search of riches.

The Colorado Silver Boom started in 1879

The mining started in Leadville, producing more than 82 million dollars worth of silver. The Silver Boom lasted longer than the state's gold rush. It ended in 1893 when silver prices declined.

A wide snow-capped mountain overlooking a rock structure surrounded by green trees
Katherine Lee Bates wrote her poem when she got to the top of Pikes Peak in 1893

Pikes Peak in Colorado inspired the song "America the Beautiful"

Katherine Lee Bates wrote her poem when she went to Colorado Springs in 1893 and got to the top of Pikes Peak. The view inspired her to write it, which is now sung in Samuel A. Ward's "Materna."

An aerial of a cliff with ancient dwellings, surrounded by green trees
Ancestral Pueblo people lived in the area of Mesa Verde Park for over 700 years

Mesa Verde National Park protects the lands of the Ancestral Pueblo people

They lived in the area for more than 700 years. The World Heritage Site protects its history and teaches people today about the importance of the land. There are 26 Pueblos and Tribes represented at the ark and more than one thousand species of plants and animals.

Scary Facts About Colorado

Two bighorn sheep on an edge of a cliff with grass against mountains with greenery
The biggest wild sheep in North America is the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

Finally, there are some scary and fun facts of Colorado.

There is a set of preserved dinosaur tracks in Colorado

The tracks are at the PicketWire Canyonlands, and they were discovered in 2021 after flooding unearthed them. There are over 100 tracks in the area, and they are estimated to date back 150 million years.

Two bighorn sheep on green grass against a mountain peak, under a partly cloudy sky
Around 300 to 400 of the Bighorn Sheep live in the Rocky Mountain National Park

The Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep is the biggest wild sheep in North America

The male sheep can weigh up to 300 pounds, and the females weigh half that much. These sheep live in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, and they almost went extinct in the early 20th century. They started to come back when people stopped hunting them, and now between 300 and 400 of them live in the park.

The state of Colorado is entirely above an elevation of 3,000 feet

The average elevation of the state is 6,800 feet above sea level, and it is the highest elevation state in the contiguous United States. The state has an elevation range of over 11,000 feet from its lowest point to its highest.

One of the oldest wooden carousels in the country is in Burlington, Colorado

The Kit Carson County Carousel was built in 1905. It is one of under 150 wooden carousels left in the country of the 2,500 that there used to be. It was made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, and it is a three-row, stationary carousel.

Conclusion

The mile-high city of Denver and its more than 300 days of sunshine every year are just a few cool things about Colorado. It is also home to the biggest airport in the US by area and the world's largest natural mineral hot springs pool. Colorado is also a popular tourist destination bringing in nearly 22 billion dollars annually from tourists.

This article was edited by Henry Grahame.

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Written by Sarah Hartness

Sarah_Hartness WRITER I am a Chicago-based travel writer who loves to explore the Midwest and beyond. I have traveled all over the US and Europe. I look forward to going to Latin America and Asia next!


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