Colorado Geography

The Great Plains of North America slope east from the Rocky Mountains, extending south from Canada, covering the eastern parts of Colorado.

Located at the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the average (mean) elevation in Colorado (6,811 ft.) is the highest of any U.S. State. Within the state over 50 peaks reach, or exceed 14,000 ft., including Colorado's highest point, Mt. Elbert at 14,431 ft. Significant mountain ranges (or chains) include the Front, Park, Sangre de Cristo, San Juan and Sawatch.

In the western regions of the state the Colorado Plateau covers the land; a region of high plateaus and deep, rugged canyons, formed over hundreds of centuries by the meandering waters of the Colorado River, and numerous smaller rivers.

The Continental Divide (an imaginary line) indicates the absolute highest points of land, where on either side of same rivers will flow downhill, east or west. That divide runs from northwestern Canada, south along the crests of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, then south into Mexico, where it follows the peaks of the Sierra Madre Occidental As an example, the Colorado River flows west, while the Arkansas River flows east.

Many rivers originate in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, including a handful of some of the most significant rivers in America; they include the Colorado, Platte, Arkansas, and Rio Grande.

For a look at the mostly flat topography of Colorado, view this topography map.

Colorado Photographs

Colorado Plateau landscape

Colorado Landscape

Colorado Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
Denver Adams 303
Alamosa Alamosa 719
Englewood Arapahoe 303
Aurora Arapahoe 303
Pagosa Springs Archuleta 970
Springfield Baca 719
Las Animas Bent 719
Longmont Boulder 303
Boulder Boulder 303
Broomfield Broomfield 303
Salida Chaffee 719
Cheyenne Wells Cheyenne 719
Idaho Springs Clear Creek 303
La Jara Conejos 719
San Luis Costilla 719
Ordway Crowley 719
Westcliffe Custer 719
Delta Delta 970
Denver Denver 303
Dove Creek Dolores 970
Littleton Douglas 303
Avon Eagle 970
Colorado Springs El Paso 719
Elizabeth Elbert 303
Canon City Fremont 719
Glenwood Springs Garfield 970
Black Hawk Gilpin 303
Granby Grand 970
Gunnison Gunnison 970
Lake City Hinsdale 970
Walsenburg Huerfano 719
Walden Jackson 970
Denver Jefferson 303
Arvada Jefferson 303
Littleton Jefferson 303
Eads Kiowa 719
Burlington Kit Carson 719
Durango La Plata 970
Leadville Lake 719
Fort Collins Larimer 970
Trinidad Las Animas 719
Limon Lincoln 719
Sterling Logan 970
Grand Junction Mesa 970
Creede Mineral 719
Craig Moffat 970
Cortez Montezuma 970
Montrose Montrose 970
Fort Morgan Morgan 970
La Junta Otero 719
Ridgway Ouray 970
Bailey Park 303
Holyoke Phillips 970
Aspen Pitkin 970
Lamar Prowers 719
Pueblo Pueblo 719
Meeker Rio Blanco 970
Monte Vista Rio Grande 719
Steamboat Springs Routt 970
Center Saguache 719
Silverton San Juan 970
Telluride San Miguel 970
Julesburg Sedgwick 970
Breckenridge Summit 970
Woodland Park Teller 719
Akron Washington 970
Greeley Weld 970
Yuma Yuma 970