COLORADO FROM A TO Z
"Nil sine Numine (Nothing without Providence
A fact about the state of Colorado for each letter of the alphabet.
Click on highlighted word for more information.
A IS FOR AGRICULTURE & ARCHAEOLOGY
Colorado celebrates ARCHAEOLOGY and Historic Preservation in May. The state has many archaeological sites. There are 2 Archaeological centers - Crow Canyon and Anasazi. The Mesa Verde National Park in Montezuma County was created in 1906 to protect some of the best preserved cliff dwellings in the world.
Many species of BIRDS are found throughout Colorado and birdwatching is popular. There are several Bird Watching Clubs and Birding Trails. The State Bird is the Lark Bunting. Some birds are endangered or threatened.
Colorado has many BRIDGES and a Historic Bridge Program. Suspension Bridges, and Covered Bridges. The Royal Gorge Bridge near Canon City is the highest bridge in the country and one of the highest in the world. Many bridges are on the National Register of Historic Places in Colorado.
All forms of COMMUNICATIONS are available throughout Colorado including newspapers, magazines, radio, television, telephone, and Internet. The state has several telephone area codes. There are many Web Cams throughout the state. Internet service is available throughout the state.
The fossils of several DINOSAURS have been found in Colorado. In August 2017 construction workers discovered the skeleton and skull of a Triceratops at least 66 million years old. The State Fossil is the Stegosaurus. The Dinosaur Depot Museum in Canon City has exhibits and tours. CLICK HERE for dinosaur coloring pages. Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is noted for its petrified redwood stumps and thousands of detailed fossils of insects and plants.
The Colorado Department of EDUCATION oversees public education in the state. It is provided free and is mandatory for any child age 7 to 16. The State also has private schools and homeschooling is popular. Information about schools is available from GreatSchools and SchoolBug.
A variety of EVENTS are held throughout Colorado during the year. The National Western Stock Show is the largest stock show in the world by number of animals. An annual Winter Carnival in Steamboat Springs provides a number of events. Pascua Florida Dayusually falls on April 2 and commemorates the founding of Florida. The state observes Federal Holidays. Hundreds of thousands of valentines are re-mailed each year from Loveland.
The Colorado State FLAG. Some municipalities & counties have a flag, and the Southern Ute Tribe has a flag. The State Seal is an adaptation of the Territorial Seal & was adopted in 1877. The state colors are blue and white.
The FOOD history dates back to early settlers. By the 1890s, the soil and climate of the state proved to be good for sugar beets. Russians came to become sugar beet farmers bringing with them recipes for their favorite foods. Mexicans came later to work on the railroads adding their spicy dishes. It is said that the Chinese cooks working on the transcontinental railroad invented the Denver Sandwich, however, others have claimed to have invented it. In pioneer days "eating out" meant that the food was carried outdoors and eaten on a table to keep the house cool. Take a tour of Home Grown Harvests of Colorado. The state has food festivals, shows, and events. Denver claims to have invented the cheeseburger & the trademark for the name was awarded to Louis Ballast in 1935. Shredded Wheat was invented in Colorado. The Colorado Food Bank Association's distribute food to nonprofit agencies that provide meals and services to people in need.
Colorado has had many Forts. Most have been destroyed and some have become a National Historic Landmark. The Colorado Historical Society restored Fort Garland and opened a museum there. Fort Carson is home to several military divisions. Camp Hale was dismantled and the area became a youth development center. Fort Bent was reconstructed and is a National Historic Site.
The GLOBAL POSITION of Colorado is approximately 37-41 degrees north and 102-109 degrees west. The geographic center of Colorado is in Park County. The state has 75% of the land area of the country with an altitude over 10,000 ft. The southwest corner of the state is the only place in the country where the corners of 4 states meet. Rocky Mountains are the prime features of the topography of the state. The highest point is Mt. Elbert and the Arikaree River is the lowest point. Geocaching is a popular game using a Global Positioning Finder, and there are many geocaches in Colorado.
Colorado has more than 500 GHOST TOWNS including 7 Historic Ghost Towns. The buildings at St.Elmo are privately owned & well preserved. Hancock was a mining community & railroad town and has a few remnants. Vicksburg and Winfield have buildings. The Mary Murphy Mine has an intriging history. The largest silver nugget in the world was found in Smuggler Mine which is now a ghost town.
The HISTORY of Colorado dates back thousands of years. Mesa Verde has a 4-story city carved in the cliffs by the Ancestral Pueblo people between 600 & 1300 A.C. Recorded history began in the 1500s when Spanish explorers visited the area. The state participates in National History Day.
A wide variety of INSECTS are found in Colorado including many species of butterflies. The official State Insect is the Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly. There is a Tropical Bug Museum in Colorado Springs.
Colorado has several
ISLANDS in lakes, rivers, & ponds. Some of the islands are listed in the
U.S. Islands Directory because they have a ham radio.
Watson Island is in the process of being restored.
Sentinel Island has a campground.
Silver Dollar Island is a very small island on the Blue River arm of the Dillon Reservoir. The
US Islands Programs has activated islands in Colorado including Fishhook Island on Lake Dillon. The US Geological Society provides the
The JUDICIAL System is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The Colorado Judicial Branch interprets and administers the law. Courts make up the Judicial Branch. Courts conduct and review trials in both civil and criminal cases.There are 4 primary courts in Colorado: County Courts, District Courts, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court.
Many aspects of life in Colorado focus on KIDS, and the Secretary of State has a Kids Page. The Colorado Bureau of Land Management has a Junior Ranger Program. NOAA has a Kids Page about the weather. Colorado Kids has fun things for kids to do. AG in the Classroom has a Kids Page about agriculture in the state. The U.S. Mint has a special Kids Page.
Public LIBRARIES are located throughout Colorado. Most of them have internet access & special programs, and some have bookmobiles. The State Library is in Denver. The state has a Poet Laureate and celebrates National Poetry Month.
Colorado is landlocked but has a couple of unique LIGHTHOUSES. One is the Colorado Foothills Lighthouse. The other is at Seroe. The most important aspect of a LIGHTHOUSE is the light that comes from the tower.
Colorado has MOUNTAINS and Mountain Ranges. The most famous is Pikes Peak which is a National Historic Landmark. They are part of the North American Cordillera. The largest flat-top mountain is Grand Mesa. Mt. Elbert is the highest mountain. The state has 53 Fourteeners, and Mountain Climbing is a popular activity.
MUSEUMS are located throughout Colorado including Art Museums & Art Centers and Historical Museums. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is one of the largest of its kind in the country. The Money Museum in Colorado Springs explores art, history, science, and more to promote the diverse nature of money and related items. The Koshare Indian Museum is a registered state historic site and has the largest self-supporting log roof in the world.
The first inhabitants of Colorado were NATIVE AMERICANS - probably the Anasizi. The Ute Indians have inhabited mountain areas of the southern Rocky Mountains since around 1500 A.D. making these Native Americans the oldest continuous residents of Colorado. Today the state has 2 Ute Tribes. The Southern Ute Indian Reservation consists of land from three counties. There are 2 Powwowsduring the year and many Indian Casinos. Several tribes have their own license plate.
Colorado is part of the Old West (the area west of the Mississippi in the 1800s). The Ghost Town Museum is a preservation of Colorado’s western past. The state has Cowboys and Cowgirls and National Day of the Cowboy is celebrated in Mancos. There were also Outlaws, Gamblers, and Lawmen. Colorado has rodeos throughout the year. The first rodeo in the world was held in Deer Trail. Denver hosts the largest rodeo in the world - the National Western Stock Show. The Bureau of Land Management has a Wild Horse & Burro Program. Horseback riding is popular and Horse Trails are located throughout the state.
Over 5 million PEOPLE live in Colorado and residents are called Coloradans. Many well-known people have called Colorado home. President Theodore Roosevelt signed his name in hotel registration books all over the state and the "Teddy Bear" was said to have been invented in Glenwood Springs. Pueblo is the hometown of 4 Medal of Honor recipients. The Colorado Womens' Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing and preserving the history of the accomplishments of past and present Colorado women.
The State Pet for Colorado is Shelter Cats & Dogs.. Thousands of animals have been placed in permanent homes by the Every Creature Counts organization. Hoves & Paws provides adoption services and permanent sanctuary for dogs and farm animals. At Lucky Day Rescue dogs are loved and cared for in people’s homes from Aspen to Glenwood Springs. National Mill Dog Rescue pledged to put an end to the cruelty of the commercial dog breeding industry, more commonly known as puppy milling.
Colorado is home to many species of REPTILES and amphibians. The state has 2 poisonous snakes - the Western Rattler and the Massasauga Rattler. The Colorado Gators Reptile Park near Mosca offers visitors a variety of experiences including alligator wrestling shows and even offers gator wrestling classes.
Colorado has hundreds of RIVERS. There are nearly 20 rivers whose headwaters begin in Colorado, with the Continental Divide directing the course of each river. Cadhe La Poudre is a Wild & Scenic River. The Department of the Interior has Colorado River projects & programs in the state. Colorado is one of only 2 states in the country in which all the water in the state flows out and none flows in. American Rivers is an organization that protects and restores river systems in the country.
Colorado has many types of TRAILS and celebrates National Trails Day. There are over 300 trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. The state also has many Scenic & Historic Byways. The West Elk Loop is considered one of the best road trips in Colorado. The CO-17 is a 48 mile straight road through the San Louis Valley amd one of the 10 longest straight roads in the world. The Mt. Evans Scenic Byway climbs more than 7,000 feet in 28 miles and is the highest paved road in North America. The state has Driving Tours and Roadside Attractions.
Colorado has all forms of TRANSPORTATION. The State Department of Transportation maintains highways, bridges, tunnels, and has an Adopt-A-Highway Program. The Dwight Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel is the highest auto tunnel in the world. The Federal Highway Administration provides information on traffic and road closures in the state. Colfax Avenue in Denver claims to be one of the longest continuous streets in the country and many places along it are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has been in continuous operation since 1881. A variety of license plates are available. To celebrate its 50th birthday, Matchbox cars issued a car for each state in the order in which it was admitted into the union. The car for Colorado was the snowmobile.
Colorado has a variety of native TREES. The State Tree is the Colorado Blue Spruce. The Colorado Tree Coalition maintains records of the largest trees in the state. The state has National Champion Trees. Colorado has several National Forests.
Several Ships have been named USS Colorado. The 1st USS Colorado (1856) was a 3-masted a screw steam frigate and saw action in the American Civil War. The 2nd USS Colorado (ACR-7)was a Pennsylvania-class armored cruiser and patrolled the South Atlantic during World War I. The 3rd USS Colorado was the lead ship of her class of battleship and received 7 battle stars in World War II. Her bell is currently on display in the University Memorial Center at the University of Colorado. The 4th USS Colorado (SSN-788) will be a Virginia-Class submarine. The USS Colorado (ACR-7) was later renamed Pueblo (CA-7).
Evidence of VOLCANOES exists in Colorado. North Table Mountain is a mesa in North Table Mountain Park. Its distinctive feature is its nearly flat cap that was formed by ancient Paleocene lava flows. The Thirtynine Mile Volcanic Area was the site of significant volcanism about 35 million years ago. The San Juan Volcanic Field has approximately 15 calderas and although the last eruption was 30 million years ago, the earth is still hot below and water percolating down and back up again produces many of the area’s hot springs. La Garita Caldera is a large volcanic caldera located in the San Juan volcanic field. Dotsero is the only volcano that has had activity in the past 10,000 years. Kelsey Lake Diamond Mine, a defunct mine in Colorado, consists of 9 kimberlite volcanic pipes. The eruption that created it is among the largest known volcanic eruptions in the history of the earth. North Table Mountain is a mesa in North Table Mountain Park. Its distinctive feature is its nearly flat cap that was formed by ancient Paleocene lava flows. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has information about volcanoes.
Colorado experiences a wide variety of WEATHER. The Colorado Climate Center monitors the climate in the state over time scales of weeks to years. The Colorado Department of Transportation provides information about road conditions in the state. The state has an Action Plan for Global Warming.
Colorado has a great diversity of WILDLIFEand state wildlife areas. It also has Wildlife Refuges and Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers. The State Animal is the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. The Colorado Division of Wildlife has information about wildlife in the state. Some species are threatened or endangered. The Nature Conservancy protects lands & water needed for plants & animals to survive. The state has Wildlife Viewing Areas. Colorado has a Wildlife Habitat Protection Program.
Colorado has several ZOOS. The Denver Zoo has exhibits and is home to nearly 4,000 animals. The Downtown Aquariumin Denver has special events and interactive exhibits. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoon has a variety of exhibits and attractions. The Pueblo Zoo has several different areas including an Australian Outback.