Colorado Travel Attractions ~ Rocky Mountain High
Flag of Colorado
Rocky Mountain High
It is no wonder that Colorado is such a favorite vacation spot for many people at all times of the year. It is filled with wondrous and varied attractions and has been forever memorialized by songwriter and performer John Denver with his original creation of "Rocky Mountain High."
That title is most appropriate especially since Colorado is graced with the interesting statistic of having "the highest lowest elevation" of any of our 50 states in the United States. That lowest elevation is at a lofty 3,317 feet (1,011 meters) of measurement above sea level.
It soars from there topping out at 14,440 feet (4,401 meters) above sea level at Mount Elbert. Of course there are many other peaks of the Rocky Mountains which offer spectacular scenery in which to enjoy in various manners including rock climbing, skiing, photography, wildlife watching, hiking or taking scenic drives.
Join me for a look at some of the locations in Colorado that you just might wish to add to your bucket list of desired places to visit.
- Evidence of Native Americans living in the Colorado region goes back over 13,000 years! People from the Ute, Cheyenne and Arapaho Nations have all resided there.
There are still Native Americans living in Colorado today and evidence of past lifestyles of these people are left in petroglyphs that can be found in various places as well as cliff dwellings that can still be viewed. Other relics attest to their having lived and died in these parts.
- Dinosaur relics can also be seen in Colorado!
- Colorado was named for the mighty Colorado River that flows through portions of the state and it is nicknamed the Centennial State for the reason that it was admitted to the union on August 1, 1876. That was 100 years after our United States Declaration of Independence was signed in the year 1776 and thus the nickname for this 38th state of our union.
- Old silver and gold mining towns as well as some ghost towns grace the landscape in parts of Colorado.
Things To Do In Colorado
People living in Colorado for the most part are among the healthiest of people living in the United States. It is no wonder! Unless one never sets foot outdoors there are endless activities all times of the year in which to participate.
What makes it even better is that beautiful scenery that often adorns postcards and calendars and artist's portrayals in paintings and sculptures lies just outside.
Because of the many majestic mountains ski resorts abound. Many people from our part of the country in Houston, Texas routinely hop aboard airplanes with their skis, snowboards or snowshoes for some fun in the snow. They eagerly await news each year when the first snows fall and the powdery accumulations start encouraging their trip plans for cross country skiing or downhill skiing.
Locations like Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge and other ski resorts take reservations well in advance of the season. Some people return to their favorite locations annually for well deserved vacation time spent with their friends and family. Those same places also host many people during the summertime and the different activities are just as much fun.
Those who like to camp, hike or backpack through the mountain foothills have an endless amount of trails and places in which to pitch their tents.
Bike riding enthusiasts certainly get a challenging workout with the elevation changes and stay in good physical shape by doing so.
Of course there is wonderful fishing in the streams, rivers and crystal clear lakes. Rocky Mountain trout is so delicious and often showcased in restaurants. Boating is also a pleasurable activity.
Public Lands in Colorado
Roughly one third of all Colorado lands in this 8th largest state of the U.S. is set aside for public use. That includes 4 national parks, 42 state parks, 6 national monuments and many public forested lands.
In addition to the Rocky Mountains and foothills and forested locations there are high plains and even desert lands in addition to the canyons and mesas which have evolved topographically over millions of years.
Rushing rivers and fantastic waterfalls are a part of Colorado scenery as well.
Colorado is the 22nd most populous state so obviously one has elbow room to absorb the spectacular scenery without fear of being too crowded. Denver is the capital of the state and has the largest population of residents.
America the Beautiful
This patriotic song called "America the Beautiful" and much beloved by people in the United States was originally written as a poem by Katharine Lee Bates after she was inspired by visiting Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs.
It was set to music by Samuel A. Ward.
Purple Mountain Majesties
Just about every American from a young age on up can sing or hum the tune to this favorite song. The "purple mountain majesties" is quite easy to understand after getting a chance to view Pikes Peak!
The first two stanzas are the following:
"O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good
From sea to shining sea!"
Not everything is mountainous. In fact east of the Rocky Mountains the land becomes flat and rolling. That is where crops are farmed and ranching is done.
Unless one's idea of a perfect vacation is lying out on a sandy beach on a tropical island with palm trees swaying in the warm breeze, by now you should have an inkling of why Colorado is such a popular place for tourism.
There are so many Colorado attractions that it would take numerous vacations to see or photograph them all. The people are typically relaxed and friendly. Hope that you enjoyed this look at some of the many things that Colorado has to offer. I know that I would love to go back and do more exploring of it someday. How about you?
Would you enjoy vacationing in Colorado?
Map where Colorado is located in the United States of America
© 2012 Peggy Woods