Colorado currently has 271 active incorporated municipalities, of which 196 are towns, 73 are cities and 2 are consolidated city and county governments. On top of that, there are numerous unincorporated communities spread across the state. Read our towns blog.
Browse by Colorado Counties.
Guide to Towns in Colorado
Colorado towns have a lot to offer to visitors as well as residents. Each one has its own unique history and attractions. You’ll be able to entertain the whole family. When you travel around the state you’ll be sure to discover things you never knew about different local towns.
Some towns get more attention than others, but fun can be found nearly anywhere. From the Rockies to the Plains, Colorado is one of the most diverse states with a feeling of ‘there’s always something to see’. An abundance of colorful towns are interconnected by equally scenic highways.
Many of the towns in Colorado were originally founded as mining towns. Some have since dissolved away into ghost towns and others have evolved into large tourists destinations now focused on recreation.
Colorado’s capital city, Denver, boasts a population of over 650,000 residents and one of the most relaxed cultures around. It’s a booming metropolitan, with new construction all over and new Denverites arriving daily.
History of Colorado
Colorado was first inhabited by Native Americans over 13,000 years ago. The first Europeans to visit the region were Spanish conquistadors. Colorado means “the color red” in Spanish and was named after the Colorado River’s red appearance.
In 1706 Juan de Ulibarri claimed the territory of Colorado. In 1846 the United States went to war with Mexico and Mexico was forced to give up their Northern territories in 1848. This opened the Southern Rocky Mountains to American settlement, including what is now the lower part of Colorado.People searching for gold in 1849 and 1850 were led to the Rocky Mountains. Because of the Gold Rush the territory was organized in 1859 and new towns began to form. These gold seekers were called the Fifty-Niners and often ran into the original inhabitants, the Native Americans.
These interactions were sometimes sour and led to the Colorado War between the United States and Native Americans, from 1863-1865. The United States won the war and took over. Colorado was admitted to the Union as a state on August 1, 1876, making it the 38th state. It was the first state in the Union to grant women the right to vote in 1893. In 1887 Aspen was the first town to provide electricity to all its residents.
Denver is the capital and largest city of Colorado. It was where the first pieces of gold were found in 1858. It was founded because of the gold rush. In the first few years after Denver was established it was destroyed twice, once by fire and once by flooding. It was named Denver after Kansas Territorial Governor James Denver.
Following the gold rush was the the Colorado Silver Boom in 1879. Silver had been discovered in Leadville. This then lead to coal mining. This was very dangerous and resulted in over 1700 deaths between 1884 and 1914. In 1980 coal mining production in Colorado was at its greatest as the United States became more dependent on energy resources at home rather than overseas.
Ten Largest Cities in Colorado
(all happen to be on the Front Range)
Featured town blog
8 Best Ski Towns In Colorado – Epic skiing is synonymous with the Colorado Rockies. And with that comes iconic ski towns. Most of Colorado’s resort towns grew into their role after years as mining campings. These are the best ski towns in the state. Each of them have an awesome ski resort…
Top 10 Must-Try Denver Restaurants – Colorado is well-known for its majestic mountaintops, powdery snow, 300 days of sunshine, and general outdoorsy vibe. But another growing trend in Colorado is its food scene. Beyond authentic mountain cuisines such as game meats, grilled steaks…
5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Colorado – Colorado has gained in popularity recently due to the fact that it was one of the first states in the country to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. There is a lot more to the state and its beauty than just legal weed…
Adventure All Year in Estes Park – Many head to Colorado Springs to hike the trails when warm weather finally hits, and even more take to the slopes of Aspen and Vail during the winter. Estes Park, however, is just one of those perfect destinations where the season is completely irrelevant…