Capital City: Denver
Colorado is a western state in the Rocky Mountains region of the United States of America. The highest peaks of the the North American Rockies are here, (Mt. Elbert 4,401 m / 14,440 ft), as well as a number of other natural marvels. The state also boasts the highest overall elevation in the United States and is home to many diverse ecosystems for its size.
View from Telluride ski slopes.Colorado is split down the middle north to south by the Rocky Mountains. To the east is a region of high prairie, dry and wide open. To the west are rugged mountains arranged in various groups or ranges. (Interestingly, the largest single range in the state, the San Juan Mountains of the southwestern quarter, aren't technically part of the Rockies.) Meandering through the mountains is an imaginary line called the Continental Divide. This marks the flow of precipitation. Rain falling on the west of the Divide makes its way to the Pacific Ocean. Rain on the east makes its way to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. What may be surprising to visitors, however, is that, despite stereotypes, comparatively little of the state is actually mountainous. Perhaps a third of it is covered by hills or mountains, and even less is actually home to the soaring, jagged peaks for which the state is known.
Colorado has 54 mountain peaks above 14,000 ft (4267 m) of elevation. The highest peak, Mount Elbert, rises to 14,433 ft (4268m) above sea level making it the highest peak in the North American Rockies. Tourism is a major industry, with skiing/snowboarding, hiking/camping, hunting, mountaineering and fishing as large sources of income for the state economy.
Colorado's population was 4,301,261 in the 2000 census, and the state's population is growing, particularly in the large towns along the Front Range where the prairie and mountains meet. These towns include the capital, Denver, and Colorado Springs, Boulder, Longmont, Loveland and Fort Collins. Many of the residents of Colorado migrated from other states so being a "Colorado Native" is a point of pride with many people.