Fast Facts

Denver; 560,415
104,094 square miles (269,601 square kilometers)
Per Capita Income:
U.S. $33,170
Date Statehood Achieved:
August 1, 1876

"What a splendid field it is for new expeditions," wrote 19th-century mountaineer Frederick Chapin. Gold and silver drew mining expeditions in the early days. Today some 26 million visitors a year make excursions to the highest state. As ski resorts and tourist centers expand, wildlife habitat and the "splendid field" suffer. In Aspen and Telluride particulate pollution, mainly from wood-burning stoves, can be worse than in Denver; regulations limit fireplaces in new homes.

Pueblo, once dependent on steel, has broadened its industrial base; the city is also the gateway to rafting and camping in the southern mountains. Colorado's economy, long reliant on energy and minerals, would be in the doldrums without tourism, a $7 billion industry. Near Denver, energy capital of the mountain West, the Rocky Flats weapons plant, which once pumped 300 million dollars a year into state coffers, no longer manufactures nuclear arms. An environmental cleanup of the site—with a $7 billion price tag—is nearing completion.


  • Industry: Real estate, state and local government, durable goods, communications, health and other services, nondurable goods, transportation
  • Agriculture: Cattle, corn, wheat, dairy products, hay

Related Features

  • Picture of frost on trees at Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

    Best Trips of 2014

    National Geographic Traveler presents the New Year's must-see places. From Argentina to Oz, this list reflects what’s authentic, culturally rich, sustainable-minded, and of course superlative in the world of travel today.

  • Photo: A downtown museum building

    Family Trip: Denver

    Explore Denver, a city of old meets new and a mix of rugged and sophisticated.

  • Photo: Climber Steph Davis climbs the Diamond on Longs Peak in Colorado

    Climb the Diamond on Longs Peak

    Adventurer Steph Davis's dream trip is to climb the Diamond on Longs Peak, Colorado. Learn more about this trip and others in our Ultimate Adventure Bucket List.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

Join Nat Geo Travel's Communities

2015 Traveler Photo Contest

  • Picture of a tree under night stars in Deadvlei, Namibia

    See the Winners

    Explore the top photos, share your favorites, and browse all entries.