Colorado, which occupies 104,185 mi², is located in the western United States and bordered by Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. The terrain of Colorado includes impressive mountain ranges such as the Rocky Mountains, Mesas, Plateaus, and plains. Colorado is divided into four topographical regions: the Great Plains, the Southern Rocky Mountains, the Southwestern Plateau, and the Western Slope.
The Great Plains region encompasses most of eastern Colorado and consists mainly of rolling hills covered in a short-grass prairie. This region is known for its agricultural production, with farms and ranches plentiful across the area.
The Southern Rockies are in south-central Colorado, with mountains popping up from 6,000 to 14,000 feet above sea level. This region offers skiing opportunities, breathtaking views of rocky cliffs and canyons, and a variety of hiking trails for all skill levels. The state’s highest point is Mount Elbert – which rises to an elevation of 14,440ft (4,401.2m). It is also the highest point of the Rocky Mountains of North America.
The Southwestern Plateau covers both western slopes of southern Colorado, providing spectacular plateaus ranging from 4500 to 9500 feet above sea level. The plateau creates a dramatic vista featuring buttes and mesas contrasting brightly against golden mesa grasslands below them.
The Western Slope stretches along the western side of Colorado, offering panoramic views of evergreen forests covering steep canyons as well as vast flatlands filled with sagebrush deserts. The flatlands provide plenty of recreational activities such as camping, fishing, and hunting, while the forests offer environments ideal for mountain biking or snowshoeing in winter months.
Situated in the extreme southwestern corner of the state is the Four Corners Monument - the only quadripoint in the United States and the meeting point of the states of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico.
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 River, Yampa, White, Platte, Arkansas, and the Rio Grande rivers. Colorado’s lowest point is located in the far southeastern part of the state, along the banks of the Arkansas River, at an elevation of 3,350ft.
The state also experiences a mainly mild climate, depending on location. The average temperature in summer tends to be around 70°F and in winter between 16°F and 54°F. Colorado enjoys an average annual precipitation of 17 inches, with snowfall varying around 67 inches annually in the mountainous regions. Colorado receives more sunshine than any other state- approximately 245 days per year occur in Denver. Its variable geography ensures its climate ranges from alpine tundra to deserts, with varying temperatures.
The State of Colorado is divided into 64 counties. In alphabetical order, these counties are: Adams, Alamosa, Arapahoe, Archuleta, Baca, Bent, Boulder, Broomfield, Chaffee, Cheyenne, Clear Creek, Conejos, Costilla, Crowley, Custer, Delta, Denver, Dolores, Douglas, Eagle, El Paso, Elbert, Fremont, Garfield, Gilpin, Grand, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Jackson, Jefferson, Kiowa, Kit Carson, La Plata, Lake, Larimer, Las Animas, Lincoln, Logan, Mesa, Mineral, Moffat, Montezuma, Montrose, Morgan, Otero, Ouray, Park, Phillips, Pitkin, Prowers, Pueblo, Rio Blanco, Rio Grande, Routt, Saguache, San Juan, San Miguel, Sedgwick, Summit, Teller, Washington, Weld, and Yuma.
With an area of 269,837 sq. km, Colorado is the 8th largest and the 21st most populous state in the USA. Located in the South Platte River Valley, Denver is the capital, the largest, and the most populous city in Colorado. Since the elevation of Denver is exactly one mile above sea level, it has been nicknamed the “Mile High City”.
Denver serves as an industrial, cultural, commercial, manufacturing, and transportation hub of the state. The city hosts many mining and energy companies, due to its location near the mineral-rich Rocky Mountains. The capital city is known for beer brewing and it also functions as an important business hub for several large companies that are active in the central United States.
The State of Colorado is located in the west-central region (or Mountain State area) of the United States. The landlocked state is bordered by the states of Utah in the west, by Wyoming in the north, by Nebraska in the northeast, by Kansas in the east, by Oklahoma in the southeast, by New Mexico in the south and by Arizona in the southwest.
Regional Maps: Map of North America
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This page was last updated on February 21, 2023