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Welcome to Colorado, where the mountains are as high as the spirits of its residents. This stunning state in the western part of the United States is known for its scenic beauty, outdoor adventures, and rich history that spans from the Wild West era to the present day.
Today, we will explore ten fascinating facts about Colorado that will make you want to pack your bags and head straight to the Centennial State.
Colorado’s elevation is so high that it earned the nickname “The Mile-High State.” With its highest point at 14,440 feet (4,401 meters), Mount Elbert is the tallest mountain in Colorado. For perspective, that’s almost three times higher than the Empire State Building! So, if you’re feeling short of breath when you visit Colorado, it’s not just because of the excitement.
Colorado is the only state in the United States to have hosted both the Winter and Summer Olympics. In 1976, Denver was chosen to host the Winter Olympics but the residents voted against it. In 1998, Colorado residents finally got their wish to host an Olympic event when the Winter X Games debuted in Aspen. In 2021, the Summer X Games will also be held in Colorado.
The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 3,000 miles from New Mexico to British Columbia, Canada and Colorado is home to the most significant portion of the range. Within the Rocky Mountains, there are 54 mountains with peaks higher than 14,000 feet, known as the “fourteeners.” Climbing these mountains is a popular activity for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers.
In 1935, Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in Denver was the first to put cheese on a hamburger and call it a “cheeseburger.” The restaurant is still in business today, serving tasty burgers and vintage vibes.
The world’s first rodeo was held in Deer Trail, Colorado, on July 4, 1869. It featured riding and roping contests and the prize for the best all-around cowboy was a pair of silver-mounted Colt pistols.
If you’re a fan of burritos and tacos, you have Colorado to thank for the invention of Chipotle. Steve Ells opened the first Chipotle in Denver in 1993, and today it has over 2,500 locations worldwide.
In 1976, Denver was chosen to host the Winter Olympics, but the residents of Colorado voted against it due to concerns about pollution and the cost. The games were eventually held in Innsbruck, Austria.
If you’re looking for a place with plenty of sunshine, Colorado is the place for you. The state boasts over 300 days of sun each year, making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and mountain biking.
The highest paved road in North America is the Mount Evans Scenic Byway in Colorado. The road winds through the Rocky Mountains and reaches a height of 14,130 feet above sea level. The views from the top are breathtaking but be prepared for some narrow switchbacks and steep drop-offs.
The Grand Mesa in western Colorado is the world’s largest flat-top mountain. It covers over 500 square miles and rises to an elevation of 10,000 feet. The mountain is home to numerous lakes, hiking trails, and scenic drives, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Located in Denver, the Colorado State Capitol Building is precisely 5,280 feet (one mile) above sea level. To mark this unique distinction, the 13th step leading to the entrance of the building is made of rose onyx and bears the inscription “One Mile Above Sea Level.” Visitors can take a free tour of the Capitol Building and even stand on the famous step to take a photo.
From its stunning mountain ranges to its rich history and inventions, Colorado is a state full of surprises. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or a foodie, Colorado has something for everyone.
With its year-round sunshine, the world’s largest flat-top mountain, and its famous cheeseburgers, Colorado is undoubtedly a state worth exploring. So, grab your hiking boots, pack your bags, and head to the Mile-High State for an adventure you won’t forget.
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