Colorful Colorado lives up to its name. It is the state with the most mountain peaks topping 14,000 feet. Its terrain varies from mountains tops where the snow never melts, to fruitful plains and scorching deserts. Many parts remain beautiful, wild and untamed. Here are a few fun facts that help explain the “colorful” part of Colorado’s tagline.
Highest Climb. The highest vertical climb is not on a mountain but up the north side of the Black Canyon. Rising 1,700 feet, this sheer rock face is even higher than the famous Diamond on Longs Peak and was not conquered until 1969.
Oldest Hotel. The Peck House in the little town of Empire, near Berthoud Pass, is Colorado’s oldest hotel. It was built in 1859 by James Peck.
Highest Town. Leadville is the highest (10,200 feet) incorporated town in Colorado and the entire U.S.
Largest Nuggets. The biggest gold nugget in Colorado weighed 135 ounces and was found near Breckenridge in 1887 by miner Tom Broves. The biggest silver nugget weighed 1,840 pounds and was found at an Aspen mine in 1894.
Largest Elk Antlers. Measuring 52 inches at the widest point, the antlers of an elk killed in 1899 near Crested Butte are still on display at that town’s visitor center, and is still on the record books as the largest elk rack in history.
Toughest Climate. No crops are grown around the town of Silverton, north of Durango. At 9,318 feet elevation, Silverton’s growing season is only two weeks long thanks to the risk of frost. San Juan County is reportedly the only county in the U.S. without a single acre of agricultural land.
Worst Drought. About every 40 years, Colorado experiences a drought, according to tree-ring researchers. The worst was in the 1200s. It lasted 25 years and may have driven the Indians from Mesa Verde.
Driest Town. Delta, south of Grand Junction, gets less rain per year than Tucson, Arizona.
Musical Dunes. Winds blowing around the Great Sand Dunes near Alamosa create sounds resembling music. That’s how Music Pass above the dunes got its name.
Women’s Rights. Colorado was the second state in the U.S. to give women the right to vote. Wyoming was the first. The tough pioneering women who came to the West to help tame the land showed how strong and intelligent women could be.