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Hyundai Colorado, CO. Information Page

Colorado, CO.

Centennial State

Colorado is a state in the western United States. Colorado is best known as the home of the highest peaks of the Rocky Mountains, which dominate the western half of the state; eastern Colorado is largely high plains. The state capital and largest city is Denver, Colorado; the Denver-Aurora metropolitan area contains over half of the state's population (2.5 million out of 4.3 million). The state was named after the Spanish word "Colorado" which means "reddish colored" that presumably refers to the red sandstone formations in the area or reddish brown color of the Colorado River. The U.S. Postal abbreviation for the state is CO. The USS Colorado was named in honor of this state. The territory which ultimately became Colorado was added to the United States by the 1803 Louisiana Purchase and the 1848 Mexican Cession. The Colorado Gold Rush of 1859 (see also Fifty-Niner) brought large numbers of settlers to the Denver area, although the population collapsed following an initial mining boom. The Colorado Territory was organized as a United States territory on February 28, 1861 and Colorado attained statehood in 1876 (earning it the moniker the "Centennial State"). Colorado women were granted the right to vote starting on November 7, 1893

Colorado is one of only three states (the others are Wyoming and Utah) that has only lines of latitude and longitude for borders. It stretches exactly from 37N to 41N, and 102W to 109W. The Four Corners Monument at its southwestern-most point is at 37N and 109W. East of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains are the Colorado Eastern Plains, the section of the Great Plains within Colorado at elevations ranging from 3500 to 7000 ft (1,000 to 2,000 m). Kansas and Nebraska border Colorado to the east. The plains are sparsely settled with most population along the South Platte and the Arkansas rivers and the I-70 corridor. Rainfall is meager, averaging about 15 in/year (380 mm/year). There is some irrigated farming, but much of the land is used for dryland farming or ranching. Winter wheat is a typical crop and most small towns in the region boast both a water tower and a grain elevator. The major cities and towns lie just east of the Front Range, in the I-25 corridor. The majority of the population of Colorado lives in this densely urbanized strip. To the west lies the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains with notable peaks such as Long's Peak, Mount Evans, Pike's Peak, and the Spanish Peaks near Walsenburg in the south. This area drains to the east, is forested, and partially urbanized. With urbanization, utilization of the forest for timbering and grazing was retarded which resulted in accumulation of fuel. During the drought of 2002 devastating forest fires swept this area. To the west of the Front Range lies the continental divide. To the west of the continental divide is the Western Slope. Water west of the continental divide drains into the Pacific Ocean via the Colorado River. Digital elevation model relief map of Colorado much of the state is flat, despite stereotypesWithin the interior of the Rocky Mountains there are several large parks or high broad basins. In the north, on the east side of the continental divide is North Park. North Park is drained by the North Platte River which flows north into Wyoming. Just south, but on the west side of the continental divide is Middle Park, drained by the Colorado River. South Park is the headwaters of the South Platte River. To the south lies the San Luis Valley, the headwaters of the Rio Grande which drains into New Mexico. Across the Sangre de Cristo Range to the east of the San Luis Valley lies the Wet Mountain Valley. These basins, particularly the San Luis Valley, lie along the Rio Grande Rift, a major geological formation, and its branches. See Great Rift Valley. Snowpack accumulation at 14,255 ft. on Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.The Rocky Mountains within Colorado contain 54 peaks over 14,000 ft (4,270 m), known as fourteeners. The mountains are timbered with conifers and aspen to the tree-line, at an elevation of about 12,000 ft (4,000 m) in southern Colorado to about 10,500 ft (3,200 m) in northern Colorado; above this only alpine vegetation grows. The Rockies are snow-covered only in the winter; most snow melts by mid August with the exception of a few small glaciers. The Colorado Mineral Belt, stretching from the San Juan Mountains in the southwest to Boulder and Central City on the front range, contains most of the historic gold and silver mining districts of Colorado. The Western Slope is generally drained by the Colorado River and its tributaries. Notable to the south are the San Juan Mountains, an extremely rugged mountain range, and to the west of the San Juans, the Colorado Plateau, a high desert bordering Southern Utah. Grand Junction is the largest city on the Western Slope. Grand Junction is served by Interstate Highway I-70. To the southeast of Grand Junction is Grand Mesa, a large flat-topped mountain. Further east lie the ski resorts of Aspen, Vail, Crested Butte, and Steamboat Springs. The northwestern corner of Colorado bordering Northern Utah and Western Wyoming is mostly sparsely populated rangeland. >From west to east, the state consists of desert-like basins, turning into plateaus, then alpine mountains, and then the grasslands of the Great Plains. Mount Elbert is the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains within the continental United States. The famous Pike's Peak is just west of Colorado Springs. Its lone peak is visible from near the Kansas border on clear days.


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