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Colorado is known as the Centennial State, famous for the Rocky Mountains and the Denver Broncos, and is home to a tremendous diversity of geography, climate, history, economy, and recreation.
Colorado is known as the Centennial State, famous for the Rocky Mountains and the Denver Broncos, and is home to a tremendous diversity of geography, climate, history, economy, and recreation. The state can be divided into four regions: Western Slope – West and Southwest Rocky Mountains – Central Mountains Front Range – North Central/Metro Denver Plains/Grasslands – East
Some Colorado state highlights include the Rocky Mountains and Continental Divide, Rocky Mountain National Park, incredible scenery, Anasazi cliff dwellings, mountain ski towns, high plains, and all season resorts. Colorado is home to 54 peaks that are over 14,000′ in elevation (called “Fourteeners” by locals). The highest of these is Mt. Elbert, which is also the second highest mountain in the contiguous United States. These mountains are popular for hiking, climbing, and biking in the summer. Come winter, you’ll find unlimited skiing opportunities, with over thirty resorts in the state.
These rivers are popular for fishing, boating, swimming, and other water sports, but there are hundreds of other streams and creeks full of Rainbow, Cutthroat, Brown and Brook Trout. Each spring, these rivers have abundant flow during the snowmelt, flooding many river bottoms over the banks. Outdoor recreation abounds with 658,000 acres of national parks, historic forests, monuments, and national grasslands. These areas are filled with wildlife and biodiversity.
Regional fare includes local Trout, Rocky Mountain Oysters, Palisade peaches, and wild game (elk, venison, buffalo, quail, and pheasant). There is a great diversity of restaurants in Colorado, especially in Denver and the various resort towns and cities. The climate in the majority of Colorado is a mild and semi-arid climate. In fact, Denver gets more hours of sunshine than Miami and San Diego! Temperatures vary based on the region, with the Western Slope and Eastern Plains seeing warmer weather than mountains and valleys.
Colorado has a rich and vibrant history stretching back thousands of years to when this beautiful state was the home of the ancient Pueblo Peoples, whose structures can still be seen at Mesa Verde National Park. More recently, the Apaches, Arapahos, Utes, Comanches, the Cheyenne Nation, among others, inhabited Colorado at one time or another. Spanish Conquistadors were the first European visitors to Colorado, establishing a temporary settlement near Pueblo, Colorado in 1787. After the Louisiana Purchase granted the U.S. claims on the eastern portion of Colorado, Americans followed the original Spanish incursions into the largely vacant Colorado land, with an Army Expedition in 1803 led by Zebulon Pike, for whom Pike’s Peak is named. In 1810, Mexico gained independence from Spain, and for the next few decades, the European presence in Colorado was sporadic and centered mostly around trading with native people for their highly prized Buffalo robes.
As a result of American victory in the Mexican-American war, Mexico ceded its northern territories, including the rest of what would become present-day Colorado to the United States. It is interesting to note that in 1851 the first permanent European settlement and Colorado’s oldest town, San Luis, was founded by Hispanic settlers from the New Mexico Territory. Even to this day, San Luis is a beautiful town surrounded by amazing Colorado land and ranches for sale.
Colorado’s first land rush started in the 1840s and 1850s with the discovery of gold and silver in eastern Colorado and later further west in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. In 1858, gold was discovered near Pike’s Peak, setting off the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. This event made Colorado land extremely valuable as hundreds of thousands of people seeking their fortunes came to Colorado. With this influx of settlers, the Territory of Colorado was organized in 1861 and statehood was finally granted in 1876 after a presidential veto and other Civil War and Reconstruction era politics had resolved themselves.
Unfortunately, not all of Colorado’s history reads like a storybook. With the influx of settlers, conflict with the native peoples was nearly inevitable. It came to a head on November 29, 1864, after the murder of a family of settlers by an unknown group of Indians. The infamous Sand Creek Massacre occurred at dawn when 650 mounted troops supported by artillery attacked an encampment of Cheyenne and Arapahos, killing over 150 Indians, mostly women, and children. During this carnage, Chief Black Kettle raised an American Flag in an effort to stop the attack. Captain Silas Soule, Company D, of the First Cavalry of Colorado, recounted; “I refused to fire and swore that none but a coward would, for by this time hundreds of women and children were coming towards us and getting on their knees for mercy…” Captain Soule was later murdered in Denver. Although more violence between the ever-growing United States and Indians would continue, the massacre was a catalyst for some soul searching, depositions, Congressional inquiry and a change in federal policy toward a less belligerent approach to native peoples.
After the Indians of Colorado had been largely forced into reservations or fled elsewhere, farming, ranching, and mining took over. In 1879 silver was discovered in Leadville and Aspen. Contentious labor relations in the mining industry set the stage for further violence in Colorado. In 1880, Governor Pitkin declared martial law and sent in troops to suppress a violent mining strike in Leadville, and similar labor disputes in the coal mining industry continued well into the early decades of the 20th century. Colorado retained its rugged frontier character from the late 1800s when outlaws like, “the coward” Robert Ford, the assassin of Jesse James, roamed free; to the Denver Post breaking in the early 1920s, what would become known as the Teapot Dome Scandal of President Harding’s administration, not as an example of intrepid journalistic integrity, but as part of the paper’s extortion racket.
Following the Second World War, veterans of the Army’s 10th Mountain Division returned to the mountains where they previously had trained for war. Taking advantage of extensive tracts of Colorado land for sale and large amounts of Colorado recreational property available, they became instrumental in founding the skiing companies, in places like Aspen and Vail, which would be the next boon to Colorado’s economy. Today, Colorado enjoys a diversified economy with staples like farming, ranching, and mining, supplemented by new industries like skiing, renewable energy, and biotech. Colorado also enjoys a robust real estate market. Colorado hunting land for sale is always a hot commodity, as is almost all land for sale in Colorado.