DENVER (KDVR) — From incredible mountain views to endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, the Centennial State is a popular travel destination.

Whether you are new to Colorado or interested in the history of our state, here are some facts that you might be able to use to win a game of trivia or impress your friends.

10 basic facts about Colorado

Here is a look at 10 basic facts about our state from the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration:

  1. Colorado became a state in 1876
  2. The nickname of Colorado is The Centennial State
  3. The state bird of Colorado is the Lark Bunting
  4. The flower of Colorado is the Columbine
  5. The state tree of Colorado is the Blue Spruce
  6. The state fossil for Colorado is Stegosaurus
  7. The state animal is the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
  8. The state fish is the Greenback Cutthroat Trout
  9. The state gemstone is the Aquamarine
  10. The state motto is Nil Sine Numine: Nothing Without Divine Will or Providence

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5 weather facts about Colorado

While Colorado has some very beautiful days, the weather doesn’t always want to make up its mind. Many days are a roller coaster ride; from highs in the 70s with sunshine to plummeting temperatures in the teens with gusty wind and heavy snow, all in the same day.

Here is a look at 10 interesting weather facts about the state, according to the National Weather Service:

  1. The hottest official all-time temperature in Colorado is 115 degrees, which was recorded at the John Martin Dam on July 20, 2019.
  2. The coldest temperature on record in Colorado is negative 61 degrees, which was recorded on Feb. 1, 1985 in Maybell.
  3. The deadliest tornado in Colorado history happened on Aug. 10, 1924 in Thurman. During the tornado, 10 people were killed. Another person died four months later due to their injuries from the tornado, the NWS said.
  4. Colorado’s humidity averages 33%
  5. The biggest temperature swing in Denver is 66 degrees. It happened on Jan. 25, 1872. The high was 46 degrees and the low dropped to negative 20 degrees.

5 unique facts about Colorado

Here is a look at five unique facts about Colorado, according to the official visitor’s center:

  1. The highest point in Colorado is Mount Elbert at 14,433 feet
  2. The Dwight Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel between Clear Creek and Summit counties is the highest auto tunnel in the United States. “When originally opened in the 1970s, the tunnel was not only the highest vehicular tunnel in the US, but at that time it was also the highest in the world. Since then, higher tunnels have been built across the globe,” the Colorado Department of Transportation said.
  3. Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous U.S. highway, leaves Rocky Mountain National Park on the east and soars to 12,183 feet as it crosses the Continental Divide to the Western Slope.
  4. The highest paved road in North America is the road to Mount Evans off of I-70 from Idaho Springs. The road climbs up to 14,258 feet above sea level.
  5. Colorado has the highest mean altitude of all the states.

Colorado actually has two state songs, the first is “Where the Columbines Grow” by A.J. Flynn, which was adopted as the state song in 1915.

“Traveling by horse and wagon to visit Indian tribes in the San Luis Valley in 1896,  Fynn received inspiration to write the song after he came across a beautiful Colorado mountain meadow which was covered with columbines. He dedicated the song to the Colorado pioneers,” the state website explained.

The second state song, “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver, was adopted on March 12, 2007.