President Theodore Roosevelt called Colorado the Switzerland of America. No surprise given the massive Rocky Mountain Range that the state is known for. It joined the Union in 1876 exactly one hundred years after the signing of the declaration of independence. Thus, Colorado is known as the Centennial State. Considered as the highest state in the nation with average elevations of 6,800 feet above sea level, it is also the state with the highest number of mountains above 14,000 feet, 54. No wonder Colorado is a skier's and climber’s paradise and more importantly, an amazing place to hunt.
Colorado is a Spanish word meaning ‘red-colored’ which was used to describe the river that flows from the Rockies, now known as the Colorado River. Colorado is the 8th largest state in the nation, spread out over 104,093 square miles (269,601 km2) of territory and divided into 64 counties. With public land spanning more than 23 million acres, the abundant wildlife, 137 of which is available for hunting, what more does a hunter need?!
|Rocky Mountain Bighorn||
Colorado is divided into four distinct regions, the Great Plains, part of the North American Interior Plains, makes up 2/5 of the state, comprised mostly of flat, dry land which slopes gently upward, meeting the Rocky Mountains on their eastern side. The Rocky Mountain Region makes up another 2/5 of the state. Even though Colorado is synonymous with the Rocky Mountains, it is only one of a few states that are home to the famous mountain range since it ranges from Alaska to Mexico. An amazing fact is that the Colorado Rockies are the home for the headwaters of six major rivers, the Rio Grande, the North Platte, the South Platte, the Arkansas River, the Republican River and the Colorado River.
The highest point of the state is Mount Elbert at 14,433 feet and the state's lowest point is the Arkansas River at 3,315 feet above sea level. This is the highest low elevation point in the nation. The Colorado Plateau, lying west of the Rocky mountains make the last fifth of the state, composed mainly of flat topped mountains, hills, plateaus and deep valleys, the fourth region, the Intermontane Basin, a place of forested rolling hills, lots of sagebrush and plateaus comprises only a small area of the state.
Because of the geographical characteristics of the state, the mountains and valleys can greatly affect the local climate. Though monthly average temperatures can range from a high of 98.8°F to a low of 36.2°F, where you are located would determine the weather you should expect to encounter. The eastern plains can have average morning temperatures in spring of 10°F and 30°F in the afternoon while summer temperatures can go from 55°F in the morning and 80°F in the afternoon. The western part of the state on the other hand has climates that depend on the topography of the area. It can range from a semi-arid climate in the plains and alpine climates the higher in elevation you go. The mountains generally have an average summer temperature of 60°F to 70°F.
Overall, this is a gorgeous state with more game than you know what to do with. It is a highly visited state when it comes to hunting, which means the licensing process is easier and there are plenty of places to accommodate. You will end up paying a higher price because of the demand, but you get what you pay for, an amazing adventure.
This article is a part of an ongoing series describing all of the 50 states from a hunter's perspective. These will be continually updated to supply readers with accurate and knowledgeable information.