Colorado Towns

With hundreds over cool, iconic towns stashed throughout the state, Colorado is one of the best states to visit year round. Mountain gems include cities Aspen and Breckenridge and growing international cities include Colorado Springs and Denver.

List of Towns in Colorado

Colorado currently özgü N özgü its own unique history and attractions. You’ll be able to entertain the whole family. When cities you travel around the state you’ll be sure to discover things you never knew about different local towns.

Some towns get more attention than others, but fun can be found nearly anywhere. From the mountains to the plains, Colorado is one of the most diverse states with a feeling of ‘there’s always something to see’. An abundance of colorful towns are interconnected by equally scenic highways.

Many of the towns in Colorado were originally founded as mining towns. Some have since dissolved away into ghost towns and others have evolved into large tourists destinations now focused on recreation. Colorado’s mountain towns contain some of best places to explore each winter. These top ski towns are locals’ favorites.

Colorado’s capital city, Denver, boasts a population of over 700,000 residents and one of the most relaxed cultures around. It’s a booming metropolitan, with new construction all over and new Denverites arriving daily.

There are 64 Colorado Counties:

Adams

Alamosa

Arapahoe

Archuleta

Baca

Bent

Boulder

Broomfield

Chaffee

Cheyenne

Clear Creek

Conejos

Costilla

Crowley

Custer

Delta

Denver

Dolores

Douglas

Eagle

El Paso

Elbert

Garfield

Gilpin

Grand

Gunnison

Hinsdale

Huerfano

Jackson

Jefferson

Kiowa

Kit Carson

La Plata

Lake

Larimer

Las Animas

Lincoln

Logan

Mesa

Mineral

Moffat

Montezuma

Montrose

Morgan

Otero

Ouray

Park

Phillips

Pitkin

Prowers

Pueblo

Rio Blanco

Rio Grande

Routt

Saguache

San Juan

San Miguel

Sedgwick

Summit

Teller

Washington

Weld

Yuma

Regions (Physiographic Provinces) of Colorado

Physiographic provinces of Colorado. Photo: coloradogeologicalsurvey.org

Physiography varies between the many diverse sections of Colorado. The state is divided into five physiographic provinces, starting east to west:

i. Great Plains – Sterling, Limon, Denver, Colorado Springs

ii. Southern Rocky Mountains – Breckenridge, Aspen

iii. Wyoming Basin – Craig, Steamboat Springs

iv. Colorado Plateau – Grand Junction, cities Montrose, Durango, Cortez

v. Middle Rocky Mountains – Dinosaur National Monument

i. Great Plains region

Front Range Urban Corridor – It spreads from Fort Collins and Wyoming to the north, to Pueblo on the southern end.  Other prominent towns passed north to south are Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs. Further south from Pueblo is Walsenburg and Trinidad, which reside at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

The ten largest cities in Colorado all happen to be on the Front Range:

Denver

Colorado Springs

Aurora

Fort Collins

Lakewood

Thornton

Pueblo

Arvada

Westminster

Centennial

High Plains – Most tourists miss the hidden gems in great plains. Likewise you seldom hear references Northeast and Southeast are both dry, high plains regions with agricultural as the main economy. Secluded by long, flat highway and country roads. They are passages east to Nebraska and Kansas.

ii. Southern Rocky Mountains region

Southwest Colorado refers to a region of the San Juan Mountains and Four Corner area, where Colorado connects with Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. It’s comprised of both the Southern Rockies and Colorado Plateau physiographic provinces, so it’s a mix of steep mountains and desert mesas. Towns include Pagosa Springs, Durango, Cortez, Telluride, Ouray and Silverton.

iii. Colorado Plateau region

Western Plateau – After you pass Glenwood Springs heading west on I-70, you begin the Western Plateau. Most of this area is open basins surrounded by red rock and mesas. Grand Junction and Fruita are divided by the Colorado National Monument, which defines the style of terrain.

iv. Wyoming Basin region

Likewise you may hear references to Northwest Colorado, which starts around Steamboat Springs and heads west in the Wyoming Basin, including the towns of Craig and Dinosaur. It’s mostly vast stretches of sparsely populated regions of farm and oil country. Aside from Steamboat’s action packed itinerary, most of the draw if secluded wildlife recreation. The high desert terrain hints at the Rockies not far away, with mesa, rivers and canyons scattered around.

v. Middle Rocky Mountains region

Northwest Colorado includes this lowest section of the Middle Rockies, which extend into Wyoming and the Grand Tetons. It includes the Dinosaur National Monument.

Colorado History: Dinosaurs, Indians, Settlers and Gold Rush

Historic Salida. Photo: Jeffrey Beall

Colorado was first inhabited by Native Americans over 13,000 years ago. The first Europeans to visit the region were Spanish conquistadors. Colorado means “the color red” in Spanish and was named after the Colorado River’s red appearance.

In 1706 Juan de Ulibarri claimed the territory of Colorado. In 1846 the United States went to war with Mexico and Mexico was forced to give up their Northern territories in 1848. This opened the Southern Rocky Mountains to American settlement, including what is now the lower part of Colorado.

People searching for gold in 1849 and 1850 were led to the Rocky Mountains. Because of the Gold Rush the territory was organized in 1859 and new towns began to form. These gold seekers were called the Fifty-Niners and often ran into the original inhabitants, the Native Americans.

These interactions were sometimes sour and led to the Colorado War between the United States and Native Americans, from 1863-1865. The United States won the war and took over. Colorado was admitted to the Union as a state on August 1, 1876, making it the 38th state. It was the first state in the Union to grant women the right to vote in 1893. In 1887 Aspen was the first town to provide electricity to all its residents.

Learn Local History

Denver is the capital and largest city of Colorado. It was where the first pieces of gold were found in 1858. It was founded because of the gold rush. In the first few years after Denver was established it was destroyed twice, once by fire and once by flooding. It was named Denver after Kansas Territorial Governor James Denver.

Following the gold rush was the the Colorado Silver Boom in 1879. Silver had been cities discovered in Leadville. This then lead to coal mining. This was very cities dangerous and resulted in over 1700 deaths between 1884 and 1914. In 1980 coal mining production in Colorado was at its greatest as the United States became more dependent on energy resources at home rather than overseas.

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