US States Map > Map of Colorado > Geography of Colorado

Geography of Colorado

by Vishul Malik

The US state of Colorado is named after the Colorado River. The state is part of the Western United States of America and the Mountain States.

General features

The US state of Colorado borders New Mexico and Oklahoma to the south, Wyoming to the north, Nebraska and Kansas to the northeast and east, and Utah to the west. The mean elevation of the state is higher than any other state’s in the country. The topography of the state can be broadly classified into four different regions: the Great Plains in the east, the Rocky Mountains in the center, the Colorado Plateau in the west and the Intermontane Basin in the north.

  • Great Plains:

    The Great Plains of the east cover roughly 2/5 of the state. The land is flat and dry. It stretches from Canada in the north, through the United States, to Mexico in the south.

  • Rocky Mountains:

    Colorado is usually thought of as a mountain state. The Rocky Mountain region of the state lies to the west of the Great Plains. It stretches from Alaska to Mexico and covers approximately 2/5 of the state. Five mountain ranges make up the Colorado Rocky Mountains: the Front Range, the Sangre de Cristo Mountain,the Park Range, the Sawatch Range and the San Juan Mountain. The Rocky Mountains in the state has the highest mountain peaks in the range. The Continental Divide runs through Colorado Rockies. It is home to six major rivers in the state.

  • Colorado Plateau:

    The Colorado Plateau lies to the west of the Rocky Mountains, running along the border of Utah. The topography of this region is characterized by hills, deep valleys, plateau and flat topped mountains. It occupies 1/5 of the state.Intermontane Basin: The Intermontane Basin lies in the northwest corner of Colorado. The topography of this region is characterized by rolling forested hills, plateaus and plenty of Sagebrush.


National Parks

Colorado is home to four national parks, each of which is distinct and offers its unique features of what makes the state beautiful. Some of the nation’s most remarkable natural landmarks are found within the boundaries of Colorado’s four National Parks and preserves (Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes and Black Canyon of the Gunnison national park). Check this Colorado National Parks Map locating all the national parks in the US.

Climate of Colorado

The climate of Colorado is complex and varies according to different regions in the state. Extreme weather is common in the state. The eastern Plains is semi-arid, with low humidity and moderate rainfall. This area is prone to droughts and most of the precipitation comes from thunderstorms. In the western plains and foothills of Colorado, the climate is semi-arid, which becomes an alpine climate at higher altitudes. The wettest season is winter, while June is the driest month in western Colorado. Some of the mountain regions of the state receive snowfall in winters.


Colorado is generally considered a mountainous state. The Rocky Mountain range passes through Colorado. Mount Elbert is the highest peak of the range and is located in Colorado.

Some of the notable mountains in the state are:

  • Copper Mountainous
  • Sangre de Cristo
  • Pikes Peak
  • Black Mountain
  • Bald Mountain


Some of the notable lakes in the state are:

  • Dream Lake
  • Lake Isabel
  • Bear Lake
  • Mud Lake
  • Murphy Lake


The state of Colorado is named after Colorado river in the Southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. Other streams and rivers in the state are:

  • Canadian River
  • North Platte River
  • Arkansas River
  • Elk River
  • Cimarron River
  • Smoky Hill River

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