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11 Historical Facts about Colorado That Will Make You Want to Visit

Colorado Facts

Many people consider Colorado to be one of the most peaceful and calm states in the United States. It is a treasure trove of natural wonders and it has the highest altitude also which makes it stand out. Also it has a bit of a rebellious streak too – it is the only state in the United States that has turned down hosting the Olympics!

Want to learn even more about this awesome state?

Then read our list of Incredible Facts About Colorado

1 Colorado Used to Be Part of Louisiana Territory

Colorado first belonged in the Louisiana Territory before becoming a state of its own. The Louisiana Territory was sold by France in 1803, to the United States of America.

An American explorer was sent to explore the land of Colorado shortly afterwards, but ventured too far and made his way into Spanish territory, which led to his arrest. In fact, the border between American and Spanish territory was a hot topic for years until the land was split up in 1819 (half going to the United States, and half going to Spain.)

2 Colorado’s Land is Old

And we mean really old. Archaeologists went digging around in Colorado and discovered tools and ancient campsites that dated back to prehistoric times.

Apparently, people were living in the Colorado area as far back as 10,000 B.C.

Historians and researchers have estimated that the first civilization in Colorado was the Anasazi, back in 1500 B.C. That’s going way back, but most people have learned about the Native Americans who lived in Colorado in the 1700s.

The most well-known tribes were the Ute, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, and Comanche. They were later faced with a visit from Spanish explorers in the early 1700s.

3 Headless Chicken in Colorado

Fruita, Colorado was the home of Mike the Headless Chicken, who is still celebrated in the state today. The story goes that a farmer in Fruita, L.A. Olsen, chopped off one of his chicken’s heads because he was planning on cooking a great dinner with him back in 1945.

Well, the chicken just wouldn’t die and lived for 4 more years without its head.

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Gross? Yes, but it seems to hold some kind of sentimental value for Fruita residents.

Every year they celebrate Mike the Headless Chicken on September 10. Well, we’re sure there are other stranger holidays out there somewhere.

4 Four Corners Monument – You Can Be in Four Different States at the Same Time?

Four Corners Monument

The southwest corner of Colorado borders Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona

This is the only place in the United States where the corners of four states meet.

If you are in Colorado, head to the Four Corners Monument and you can stand in Arizona, Mexico, Colorado and Utah all at the same time!

5 Colorado Gave Birth to the Cheeseburger

Yeah, we know how we talked abou Colorado being a place for the health conscious and tree-huggers, but the state knows how to have some fun as well.

The iconic and delicious cheeseburger was invented in 1926 by a man named Louis Ballast, who was living in Denver. He worked at the Humpty-Dumpty Drive-In and created a sandwich that was meaty, cheesy, and irresistible.

And get this, Louis was only 16 years old at the time! He was just a teenager working as a fry cook at his dad’s eatery. We love humble beginnings almost as much as we love cheeseburgers.

6 Colorado Turned Down the Olympics

Who would turn down an opportunity to host the Olympic Games? Colorado would. The state was invited to be a host city for the Winter Olympics of 1976, but voters in the state rejected the bid, which instead went to Innsbruck, Austria.

To their credit, the residential voters in Colorado were concerned about the environmental toll as well as the high price tag that would slam the state should the Olympic Games be held there.

In fact, the people of Colorado are quite eco-conscious, and Colorado is one of those few spots that hasn’t been ruined by human consumption and pollution.

7 It’s the Home of “America the Beautiful”

Who doesn’t know this famous song, written by Katherine Lee Bates? “America the Beautiful” popped out of Bates’ head as she was gazing at the lovely Pikes Peak, a natural beauty in Colorado.

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Pikes Peak is one of the highest peaks in the Rocky Mountains, reaching 4,302 meters. The peak is part of the Pike National Forest and has been named a National Historic Landmark. V

isit this place to witness the magnificent Pikes Peak granite, which is pink thanks to its concentration of potassium feldspar. Today, visitors can travel to Pikes Peak and dine, shop, or hike while admiring nature.

8 Colorado Has The Highest Elevation

Colorado is in fact the only state in the United States of America that is situated at an elevation higher than 1,000 meters. Even at its lowest point (1,011 meters,) Colorado still has the highest low elevation of any state.

That means that native Colorado residents are born with lungs of steel!

No really, these people tend to have more lung capacity than people who were born at sea level. The downside is that cooking and baking in Colorado can be a challenge, because the higher elevation messes with the oven temperatures and boiling points.

Colorado Mountains

9 Colorado is #38

At least in terms of its admission into the United States of America. Colorado was actually formally recognized as a territory in the winter of 1861. Yet in 1876, then-President Ulysses S. Grant signed the law that admitted Colorado into the Union, making it the 38th state to do so.

Since the year was 1876, 100 years after the official signing of the Declaration of Independence, Colorado received the nickname “The Centennial State,” which it is still referred to as today. As far as numbers are concerned, these days Colorado ranks as #22 on the list of most populous states.

10 The State Has Spanish Origins

The word “colorado” means “colored rede” in Spanish – it really does have loads of natural color and beauty. And I spent a year living there during college and it has abundant natural beauty, including the red rocks.

Piggybacking off of the Spanish origins, explorers from Spain first coined the name “Colorado River” (or Rio Colorado) because the waterway had red silt and particles floating through it.

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The red silt came from the mountain that the river ran from. The Colorado River also makes its way through Nevada and Arizona before arriving over the border into Mexico. Nowadays, the Colorado River is still amazing, but not very red.

11 Denver is the State Capital and Most Populated City

Denver is also exactly one mile high. The air is thinner so it takes some time for your body to adjust and certain recipes need to be recalibrated to accommodate for the higher altitude. Denver also has 300 plus days of sunshine on average, which is more than Miami or San Diego!

And even when the temperature is below freezing, it is often sunny.


Colorado is one of the most photogenic vacation spots in the United States with tons of breathtaking mountains and wildlife as part of the scenery. It has excellent weather and 300 days of sunshine so the sun is often shining in winter, even when it is super cold outside.

The scenery in short is breathtaking and we hope this article inspired you to visit!

Colorado History in 5 Minutes – Animation

If you want to know more about Colorado, I would highly recommend this fun animated video. You will learn the complex and interesting history of Colorado State.  The video will cover: – Indian Nations In Colorado Area – The first Europeans in Colorado Area – Mexico’s Independence from Spain – Mexico – US War – Pike’s Peak Gold Rush – Colorado War With Native American – Becoming a 38th State – Ku Klux Klan – Ski Industry Boom – Marijuana Legalization