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Colorado Interesting Facts

  • The Colorado Rockies are part of the North American Cordillera, which stretches 3,000 miles from Alaska, through western Canada and the United States, into northern Mexico. The centerpieces of this dramatic uplift are the peaks over 14,000 feet, or "Fourteeners", as they are affectionately referred to by hikers. There are 52 Fourteeners in Colorado.
  • Katherine Lee Bates wrote "America the Beautiful" after being inspired by the view from Pikes Peak (which is a Fouteener!).Colorado Heights
  • Of the state's 26 ski resorts, the highest lift-served resort in North America is Arapahoe Basin at 13,050 feet.
  • Wolf Creek Pass holds the Colorado record for the most snow in one season -- 837.5 inches in 1978-79.
  • Colorado averages 300 days of sunshine annually.
  • The Stanley Hotel, in Estes Park, has a long list of celebrities and heads of state that have stayed at the luxurious 1909 hostelry, which was also said to be the inspiration behind author Stephen King's novel "The Shining."
  • A golf ball flies on average ten percent farther in Colorado than other states because of the altitude. It flies even farther at higher altitudes (above 7,000 feet).
  • Winter Park's National Sports Center for the Disabled is the largest center of its kind in the world. Since its inception in 1970, more than 46,000 physically challenged people have learned to ski, snowboard and snowshoe.
  • Colfax Avenue in Denver is the longest continuous street in America.
  • Boulder is home to herbal tea maker Celestial Seasonings, located on Sleepytime Drive, where factory tours and tea tastings are the norm.
  • Pueblo is the only city in America with four living recipients of the Medal of Honor.
  • The highest paved road in North America is the Road to Mt. Evans off of I-70 from Idaho Springs. The Road climbs up to 14,258 Ft. above sea level.
  • Every year Denver hosts one of the world's largest rodeos at the Western Stock Show.
  • What kind of name is Purgatory for a ski resort? Legend has it that in 1500s, Spanish explorers lost one their own when he drowned in the river. They named the river El Rio de las Animas Perdidas (River of the Lost Souls). It is fed by Purgatory Creek that tumbles down the face of the ski resort
  • Colorado contains 75% of the land area of the U.S. with an altitude over 10,000 feet.
  • Mesa Verde features an elaborate four-story city carved in the cliffs by the Ancestral Pueblo people between 600 and 1300 A.D. The mystery surrounding this ancient cultural landmark is the sudden disappearance of the thousands of inhabitants who created the more than 4,000 identified structures.
  • Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument near Cripple Creek is a lesson in history set in the one-time shadow of the Guffey Volcano. The volcano erupted millions of years ago, creating fossils and leaving the valley filled with petrified trees.
  • Colorado is the only state in history to turn down hosting the Olympics . In 1976 the Winter Olympics were planned to be held in Denver. However, 62% of voters in the state chose - at almost the last minute - not to host the Olympics because of the cost, pollution and population boom it would bring to the state and the City of Denver.
  • In Fruita, the town folk celebrate "Mike the Headless Chicken Day." Seems that a farmer named L.A. Olsen cut off Mike's head on September 10, 1945 in anticipation of a chicken dinner - and Mike lived for another four years without a head.

Colorado Ghost TownsColorado ghost towns

Some of Colorado's most interesting and most scenic towns are missing one key ingredient: people. Colorado's ghost townsNew window icon make for fascinating exploration and many of them are quite accessible in summer. Besides historical intrigue, every Colorado ghost town has something else going for it: spectacular scenery.

Colorado People

Coloradans have been prominent in many fields, including literature, entertainment, art, music, politics, and business.

  • OneRepublic is an American rock band from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Formed in 2002 by Ryan Tedder and Zach Filkins, the band achieved massive success on MySpace, becoming the most prominent unsigned act on the website then.
  • The Fray is an American piano rock band from Denver, Colorado. Formed in 2002 by schoolmates Isaac Slade and Joe King, they achieved success with the release of their debut album, How to Save a Life in 2005, which was certified double platinum by the RIAA and platinum in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.
  • Matt Stone (lived in Denver and Littleton, alumnus of Heritage High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder) - Actor, musician, producer, writer. Winner of two Emmy Awards (2005 and 2007, nominated seven times). Co-creator of South Park.
  • David Burroughs Mattingly (born in Fort Collins); illustrator and painter best known for his numerous book covers of science fiction and fantasy literature.
  • Vance D. Brand (born 1931, Longmont Colorado) Mercury astronaut; Apollo Docking Module Pilot on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project; Commander of STS-5, STS-41-B, and STS-35.
  • Scott Carpenter (born 1925, Boulder, Colorado) Pilot of Mercury-Atlas 7 (Aurora 7); fourth human to orbit the Earth (1962).
  • Jack Dempsey (born in Manassa) - Late professional boxer. Nicknamed "the Manassa Mauler". Regarded as boxing's World Heavyweight Champion from 1919 to 1926. Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (1990). Author of two books relating to hand-to-hand combat.
  • Matt Hasselbeck (born in Boulder) - Quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. Selected three times to the Pro Bowl.
  • Amy Van Dyken (born in Denver, alumnus of Cherry Creek High School) - Competitive swimmer. Winner of six Olympic gold medals (four in 1996, two in 2000), three FINA World Championship gold medals (1998) and three Pan American Games gold medals (1995).
  • Margaret Brown (lived in Colorado) - an American socialite, philanthropist, and activist who became famous in the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic, after getting lifeboat 6 to return to look for survivors. She became known after her death as "The Unsinkable Molly Brown", although during her life, her friends called her "Maggie." A 1960 Broadway musical, and a 1964 film adaptation of the musical were produced, based on her life. Both were titled The Unsinkable Molly Brown.
  • Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson (1809-1868) frontiersman, commander of Fort Garland (1866-1867), and negotiator of the 1867 peace treaty between the United States and the Ute tribe.
  • John Denver (real name Henry Deutschendorf Jr., lived in Aspen) - Late singer, guitarist, & songwriter. Winner of a Grammy Award (1997) and a posthumous Grammy Hall of Fame Award (1998). Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1996). Named the official Poet Laureate of the State of Colorado (1977) with his song "Rocky Mountain High," which was named as one of the state's official songs.
  • Paul Whiteman (born in Denver) - Considered the "King of Jazz." After selling two million records with "The Japanese Sandman", Whiteman added to his fame by being one the first nationally broadcast jazz musicians. Whiteman is remembered for his ability to fuse jazz and classical in hits like Rhapsody in Blue and Whispering . After founding the Whiteman Award competition, he was made music director of the NBC Blue Network (now referred to as ABC).
  • Byron R. White (born and raised in Denver; graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder) - Appointed by President John F. Kennedy as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court; served from 1962 until retiring to senior status in 1993. Also famed as a football player, both in college (with the CU Buffaloes) and professionally in the NFL (with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Lions).

And many othersNew window icon...

Colorado State Flower

Colorado flower

Rocky Mountain Columbine - White and Lavender (Aquilegia caerules) is the official Colorado State Flower. Columbines bloom in the spring in high mountain meadows and backyards throughout the state.

The Colorado Blue Columbine was designated as the Colorado state flower in April, 1899. The Columbine Flower was named from a Latin word Columba, which means dove, as it looked like the bird of peace.

Colorado's Initiative to Help You

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