The name Colorado dates back to the 16th century. The Spanish explorers called it the strikingly colored rock formations that surrounded the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Today the term is associated with majestic peaks and great ski resorts. No wonder, because Colorado is the most mountainous state in the USA. Numerous peaks reach heights of more than 4,000 meters. Colorado has been a federal state since 1876. Over the past 100 years, it has evolved from a sparsely populated mining and trapping country to a booming Rocky Mountain state.
According to topschoolsoflaw, Colorado’s landscape is as diverse as it is exciting. Rocky Mountain National Park northwest of Denver is one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. The Trail Ridge Road winds for nearly 50 miles and is one of the highest roads in the country. It leads past meadows and through lush mountain valleys up into the arctic tundra of the continental air. The town of Estes Park offers a wonderful view of the 4,400 meter high Longs Peak. The village of Grand Lake is a charming 100 year old resort with cabins, boardwalks and boat rentals.
Colorado’s mountains are world-renowned for ski resorts that are both chic and challenging. As is Aspen and Vail, as well as lesser-known names like Telluride and Steamboat Springs – but these days, with all their attractions and fantastic weather, they’re just as busy in the summer as they are in the winter. Colorado has 25 routes that are considered scenic or historic. These so-called Scenic & Historic Byways are a magnet for guests from home and abroad. One of the biggest sensations is the road to Mt. Evans at 4,500 meters. The difference in altitude within 44 kilometers is 2,300 meters.
But it’s not just the back roads that inspire. As a main road, Interstate 70 is one of the most fascinating routes in the world. It cuts through the plains of Kansas to the east and passes Denver to the north. A climb into the mountains quickly begins, a majestic multi-lane highway through amazing scenery. The world is completely different south of Denver. Home to Colorado Springs, the state’s second largest city, it is an “Alpine Desert” area with little rain or snow and a temperate, dry climate. It is dominated by Pikes Peak (4,301 metres), famous for its association with the Gold Rush (the miners’ rallying cry was “Pikes Peak or bust”).
To the east are prairies, some of Colorado’s most sparsely populated areas that are primarily agricultural and often still provide an authentic glimpse of rural America of 30-40 years ago. To the west is the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, where golden sand dunes rise like the Sahara, up to 250 meters high and 80 kilometers long – but right before snow-capped mountain peaks.
In the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park in the Northwest is an 80 km long fissure that is up to 1,000 meters deep and often only less than 300 meters wide. Thanks to the dark rock, this canyon has a very different character from the red sandstone canyons that the Southwest is otherwise known for. These can be found further west in Grand Junction, Colorado’s fruit basket and home to the natural beauty of the Colorado National Monument. The canyons and monolithic rocks – some deep red, others soft and sandy – sparkle in the setting sun and show that national monuments often rival their “big brothers”, the national parks, in natural beauty and spectacular landscapes.
To the north is Colorado’s loneliest but perhaps most beautiful spot. Dinosaur National Monument, shared with Utah, is a 480 square kilometer treasure trove of paleontological and archaeological treasures in forgotten canyons and sun-drenched plateaus. In addition to the archaeological component, the canyon labyrinth also inspires walkers and hikers and it is a paradise for adventurous travelers who want to experience a multi-day rafting tour with overnight stays in a tent in completely remote gorges.