Here are some curious things you might not know about Colorado.
Highest Climb. The highest vertical climb is not on a mountain but up the north side of the Black Canyon. Rising 1,700 feet, this sheer rock face is even higher than the famous Diamond on Longs Peak and was not conquered until 1969.
Deepest Snow. In 1899 Crested Butte recorded 254 inches of snow near the top of Kebler Pass. That year, snow buried a train near Leadville and left only stove pipes showing above cabins at many mountain towns. Usually, Wolf Creek Pass near Pagosa Springs gets the most snow in Colorado.
Oldest Hotel. The Peck House in the little town of Empire, near Berthoud Pass, is Colorado's oldest hotel. It was built in 1859 by James Peck. Early guests included President Ulysses S. Grant and other famous people.
Highest Town. Leadville is the highest (10,200 feet) incorporated town in Colorado and the entire U.S. It has also had the highest rate of premature babies in the U.S. Researchers concluded that the altitude causes smaller babies.
Largest Nuggets. The biggest gold nugget in Colorado weighed 135 ounces and was found near Breckenridge in 1887 by miner Tom Broves. The biggest silver nugget weighed 1,840 pounds and was found at an Aspen mine in 1894.
Largest Elk Antlers. Measuring 52 inches at the widest point, the antlers of an elk: killed in 1899 near Crested Butte are still on display at that town's visitor center. In 1961, Boone and Crockett researchers declared it to be the largest elk: rack in history.
Toughest Climate. No crops are grown around the town of Silverton, north of Durango. At 9,318 feet elevation, Silverton's growing season between frosts is only two weeks. San Juan County here is reportedly the only county in the U.S. without a single acre of agricultural land.
Worst Drought. About every 40 years, Colorado experiences a drought, according to tree-ring researchers. The worst was in the 1200s. It lasted 25 years and may have driven the Indians from Mesa Verde. During the Dust Bowl on the eastern plains, one cloud of dust on April 4, 1935, gathered itself to 1,000 feet high and 200 miles wide. It traveled at 60 miles an hour, suffocated hundreds of animals and damaged many people's health.
Driest Town. Delta, south of Grand Junction, gets less rain per year than Tucson, Arizona.
Musical Dunes. Winds blowing around the Great Sand Dunes near Alamosa create sounds resembling music. That's how Music Pass above the dunes got its name.
Women's Rights. Colorado was the second state in the U.S. to give women the right to vote. Wyoming was the first. You would think the eastern states would have been more progressive, but it took the frontier adventure to make men realize how strong and intelligent women were.
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