Colorado State Study

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Colorado is probably best known for the Rocky Mountains. However, there is so much more to learn about ‘The Centennial State’! This Colorado State Study is a great resource for your geography studies. 

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When my children and I visited my brother in Colorado, my husband was unable to come. Hopefully, someday, he and I will be able to travel like we hope to and he too can see the Rocky Mountains. 

While I didn’t personally enjoy being the driver on that trip, I think I would enjoy them more if we didn’t visit in November when there were snow and ice all around. 

I designed this Colorado State Study to make learning about ‘The Centennial State’, both a fun and educational experience. I’ve included videos, articles, literature options, state facts, famous landmarks and more to provide thorough learning opportunities for your children. 

Colorado State Study

History of the State of Colorado 

Arizona Literature and Research Resources

All About Colorado

Year Colorado Became a State

August 1, 1876 

State Capital


State Abbreviation


State Population

5.759 million (2019)

State Size

103,717 square miles

State Name Origin

The name Colorado finds its origin in the Spanish language meaning “colored red”. It is called that because of the red sandstone found in the area surrounding the Colorado River. The name was officially chosen for the entire Colorado territory in 1861.

State Motto

Nil Sine Numine- “Nothing without the Deity” was chosen as the motto by the First General Assembly and placed on the state seal in 1877.

State Nickname

Colorado’s nickname, The Centennial State, came from the fact that in 1876, 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Colorado became the 38th state of the Union.

State Song

‘Where the Columbines Grow’ was written and composed by Dr. Arthur John Fynn in 1911. It was chosen to be the official Colorado state song in 1915. 

State Flag

The Colorado state flag has two blue horizontal stripes separated by one horizontal white stripe. The blue representing the blue skies of Colorado and the white representing the white snowcapped mountains. In the center of the flag is a large red “C” the red representing the red earth and a yellow disk fills in the center of the “C” representing the abundant sunshine of the state.

The flag was designed by Andrew Carlisle Carson and adopted as the official state flag in 1964.

State Bird 

The Lark Bunting was adopted as the official state bird of Colorado in 1931.

State Tree

The Colorado Blue Spruce was officially adopted as the state tree in 1939. It was first discovered on Pikes Peak by botanist C.C. Parry a mere 77 years previously.

State Freshwater Fish

In 1994, the Greenback Cutthroat Trout was adopted as the Colorado state fish by the General Assembly.

State Mascot and State Animal

CAM the Ram, (a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep), was adopted as the state of Colorado’s college mascot in 1949. The Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep was later adopted as the state animal at the General Assembly in 1961.

State Butterfly 

In 1996, the beautiful purple and black Colorado Hairstreak became the official state butterfly.

State Amphibian

The Western tiger salamander was chosen to be the Colorado state amphibian in 2012.

State Fossil 

In 1991, the Colorado General Assembly adopted the Stegosaurus as the state fossil.

State Gem

The aquamarine was designated as the Colorado state gemstone by the General Assembly in 1971.

State Flower

In 1899, the Colorado Columbine (sung about in the state song) was chosen as the official state flower. In 1925, it became illegal to uproot the flower on public grounds and the plucking of the flower or its buds is limited.


  • Rivers
    • Rio Grande
    • Arkansaas River
    • Colorado River
    • Canadian River
    • Green River
    • North Platte River
    • Cimarron River
    • Smoky Hill River
    • South Platte River
    • San Juan River


  • Interstate 25 – North and South
  • Interstate 225 – North and South
  • Interstate 70 – East and West
  • Interstate 270- East and West
  • Interstate 76 – Northeast and Southwest

National Parks

State Parks

Famous Landmarks

Famous People

    • Adolph Coors (February 4, 1847- June 5, 1929) was born in Prussia on February 4, 1847, at the age of 21 he stowed away to the United States. In 1873, he began the Adolph Coors Company in Golden, Colorado but the company made many more products than just beer. They manufactured malted milk, porcelain, and ceramics. 
    • Ouray (1833-August 24, 1880) was the Native American chief of the Utes of western Colorado. His leadership abilities gained him the recognition of the American government and he was received in Washington D.C. to negotiate for his tribe with heads of government.
    • Tyler Polumbus (April 10, 1985- present) was born in Denver, Colorado and was an offensive tackle for the Denver Broncos. In 2016, he helped the Broncos win the Super Bowl 50! Other than the Broncos Plumbus played for the Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins, and the Atlanta Falcons. 
    • Ruth Handler (November 4,  1916- April 27, 2002) was born in  Denver, Colorado. She was an inventor, businesswoman and even became the president of Mattel Inc. Her most well-known invention is the Barbie doll, which was named after her own daughter, Barbara.
    • Jack Dempsey (June 24, 1895 – May 31, 1983) was born in Manassa, Colorado. He was an American professional boxer and was well known as the Manassa Mauler. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
    • Kent Rominger (August 7, 1956- present) was born in Del Norte, Colorado and is a former astronaut. He worked for NASA as the Chief of Astronaut Office at Johnson Space Center. He still holds the Space Shuttle Orbiter flight time record of 1610 hours on type!
    • Larry Dunn (June 19, 1953- present) was born in Denver, Colorado. He is a keyboardist and an early member of the rock group Earth, Wind & Fire. He along with the other members of the group was entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
    • Paul Samuel Whiteman (March 28, 1890- December 29, 1967) was born in Denver, Colorado. He was most well known for being a bandleader or orchestral director of jazz music. He was often referred to as “The King of Jazz”. Some of the songs he was most well-known for were:  “Whispering”, “Valencia”, “Three O’clock in the Morning”, and “In a Little Spanish Town”.
    • Tim Allen (June 13, 1953- Present) was born in Denver, Colorado.  He is a popular comedian and actor possibly most well known for his part as Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor in the popular 1990’s sitcom “Home Improvement”. He was also the voice for Buzz Lightyear in the well-loved animated movie “Toy Story”.

Interesting Facts 

  • The cheeseburger was invented in Denver, Colorado
  • Colorado is the only state to have ever turned down the Olympics (in 1976).
  • You can be in Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico all at once! It is the only place in America where 4 states meet.
  • The Eisenhower Tunnel in Dillon, Colorado is the highest auto tunnel in the world
  • Colfax Ave. in Denver is the longest continuous street in the United States at 26.5 miles long.
  • Glenwood Springs has the largest hot springs pool in the world!
  • The song “America the Beautiful” was written about Pike’s Peak.
  • The Royal Gorge Bridge in Canon City is one of the world’s largest suspension bridges.
  • Grand Mesa is the world’s largest flat-top mountain.
  • The thirteenth step of the capitol building is exactly one mile above sea level.

Colorado Learning Resources 

What did your children enjoy learning the most about the state of Colorado?

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