1. A state in west central United States in the Rocky Mountains; Also called: Centennial State.
2. A river in southwestern United States; rises in the Rocky Mountains of northern Colorado and flows southwest through Utah into Arizona (through the Grand Canyon) and then south into the Gulf of Mexico; Also called: Colorado River.
3. A river in Texas; flows southeast into the Gulf of Mexico; Also called: Colorado River.
(state) State of the W central US; nicknamed Centennial State
Area 269,700 sq km/104,104 sq mi
Towns and cities Colorado Springs, Aurora, Lakewood, Fort Collins, Greeley, Pueblo, Boulder
Physical Great Plains in the E; the main ranges of the Rocky Mountains; high plateaus of the Colorado Basin in the W
Features Rocky Mountains, with peaks over 4,000 m/14,000 ft, in Rocky Mountain national park; Pike’s Peak; Great Sand Dunes national monument; Colorado River; Royal Gorge (the Grand Canyon of Colorado), carved by the Arkansas River, with the world’s highest suspension bridge; Garden of the Gods (natural sandstone sculptures); Mesa Verde national park, with prehistoric cliff dwellings of the Anasazi North American Indians; Dinosaur and Great Sand Dunes national monuments; goldmining “ghost towns”; 19th-century towns, including Breckenridge, Durango (a railroad town), and Silverton (a mining town); Denver, 1.6 km/1 mi high, with Denver Art Museum, containing a collection of Native American art, and the capitol building with its gold dome (1894); Colorado Springs, with the US Air Force Academy, the US Olympic Center, and the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy; University of Colorado, Boulder; Aspen Music Festival; ski resorts, including Vail (the largest ski mountain in North America), Aspe
N, and Steamboat Springs
Products cereals, meat and dairy products, oil, coal, molybdenum, uranium, iron, steel, machinery
Famous people Jack Dempsey, Douglas Fairbanks
History first visited by Spanish explorers in the 16th century; claimed for Spain 1706; east portion passed to the US 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase, the rest 1845 and 1848 as a result of the Mexican War. It attracted fur traders, and Denver was founded following the discovery of gold 1858. Colorado became a state 1876. Irrigated agriculture, ranching, tourism and outdoor sports, energy development, and the establishment of military bases fueled rapid growth after World War II.
(river) River in North America, rising in the Rocky Mountains and flowing 2,333 km/1,450 mi to the Gulf of California through Colorado, Utah, Arizona (including the Grand Canyon), and N Mexico. The many dams along its course, including Hoover and Glen Canyon, provide power and irrigation water, but have destroyed wildlife and scenery, and very little water now reaches the sea. To the W of the river in SE California is the
Colorado Desert, an arid area of 5,000 sq km/2,000 sq mi.
Its tributaries include the Gunnison, Green, Little Colorado, and Gila rivers. The Imperial Valley is irrigated by the Colorado River.