Say Colorado. The first thing that comes to most people’s minds is mountains. Whether it’s a hillside glowing bright yellow with fall aspen leaves or the jagged peaks of the San Juan Mountains covered in snow, the mountain scenery steals the show in Colorado. Almost from the moment you set foot in the state, the mountains are either surrounding you or are visible on the horizon, and they’re constantly presenting new vistas. The Rocky Mountains dominate the central part of Colorado, creating some of the worlds best skiing terrain and that mountain scenery. Colorado’s heavy-hitting line-up of resorts like Vail, Aspen, Steamboat Springs and Telluride make the state almost synonymous with the sport. Fourteen-thousand-foot-high peaks blanketed in pure, white powder give way to endless bowls, open slopes and meadows sparkling in the sunlight against cobalt-blue skies.
Colorado is the country’s eighth-largest state with over 100,000 square miles of land. Most of Colorado is mountainous. Colorado’s altitude is one of its distinctive geographical features making it on average, the nation’s highest state with an average elevation of 6,800 feet. The famous Rocky Mountains run north-south through the middle of the state and there are 54 mountain peaks exceeding 14,000 feet and more than a thousand peaks over 10,000 feet high. Much of the far west is also hilly consisting of mountainous terrain interspersed with wide valleys, rugged canyons, high plateaus and deep basins. A large proportion of the west of the state is protected in National Parks, Forests and Monuments, and other public lands. The population density is low and most of this is concentrated in the Denver-Boulder area. To the east there is seemingly endless flat farmland with only scattered habitation.
Whether you’re driving on a freeway or even walking on a busy Denver street, you will be ogling the alpine scenery. In Colorado, it’s almost unavoidable.