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38th State (August 1, 1876), the western U.S.

State Abbreviation: CO

Nickname: The Centennial State (Colorado became a state in the year 1876, 100 years after the signing of our nation's Declaration of Independence. )

Origin of Name: The Spanish word colorado means “colored red.” The name was given first to the Colorado River, which flows through canyons of red stone. The state was named for the river.




Colorado State Symbols:

Capital: Denver
Motto: Nil Sine Numine (Nothing Without Providence)
Colorado State Seal
Animal: Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
Bird: Lark Bunting
Dance: Square Dance
Fish: Greenback Cutthroat Trout
Flower: Rocky Mountain Columbine
Fossil: Stegosaurus
Gemstone: Aquamarine
Grass: Blue Grama Grass
Insect: Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly
Mineral: Rhodochrosite
Reptile: Western Painted Turtle
Rock: Yule Marble
Song: Where the Columbines Grow
Tartan: State Tartan
Tree: Colorado Blue Spruce

Colorado State Symbols
Information Sheet
and Color Pages (pdf)


Things to Know

In 1893 "American the Beautiful", was written by Katharine Lee Bates At the summit of Pikes Peak she was inspired to pen the lines to her most famous poem, "America the Beautiful."

Colorado has the highest average elevation of any state. More than 1,000 of its Rocky Mountain peaks reach over10,000 feet high, and 54 tower above14,000 feet! Colorado Mountains

The most famous of the Rocky Mountains is Pike's Peak, discovered by U.S. Army Lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike in 1806.

Major Rivers: Colorado River, Rio Grande, Arkansas River, South Platte River

Colorado River

Explore the Colorado River
Learn about the dams, lakes, cities, parks, recreation areas and points of interest on the Colorado River.

The Colorado River
View a map and get interesting information about the primary river of the American Southwest.

Famous Coloradans

Clara Brown 1800-1882
First African-American woman to cross the plains during the Gold Rush.

Kit Carson 1809-1868
A mountain man, guide, scout, Indian fighter and Indian protector.

Ruth Handler, 1916-2002 , Born in Denver, Colorado inventor of the Barbie Doll

M. Scott Carpenter, 1925-, astronaut

John Denver , 1943-1997, singer

Things to Do

Colorado Word Search

Western Day

Colorado State Bird and State Flower Printable Color Page.
Before printing under File in Page Setup set margins to zero.

Lesson Plans


Mountains in Landform Snack

To learn about the earth's layers and how the fold mountains are made make these and eat as a snack at the end of the unit.

Have groups of four children make a layered model of the earth with a tortilla on bottom, refried beans spread across this, guacamole on top of that and shredded cheese on top of this. Heating not necessary. Top off with another tortilla and then on waxed paper or clean surface have one child push together both sides with clean hands to demonstrate the way mountains are formed in layers. At the end cut in four pieces and eat it.

Sites to See

Voices of the Colorado Plateau
An online multimedia museum collection featuring oral history recordings and historic photographs that document life on Colorado Plateau.

Colorado lore, legend and fact
Read about a historical person or place from Colorado's colorful past.

Castle Rock Pueblo: A Trip Through Time
Solve the mystery in each time period.

Southern Ute Tribe

Aspen Historical Society

Pike's Peak Cam

Colorado Ghost towns

Ghost Towns

Colorado has a lot of ghost towns.

Color Pages

Colorado Flag

Wildflowers of Ponderosa Pine Forests (pdf)

Wildflowers of the Colorado Mountain Tops (pdf)

In Your Backyard (pdf)

Things To Do-Other Sites

Colorado State Quarter
Read about the Colorado State Quarter and print out the color page.

Stories to Read

Colorado Folklore


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