The county seat of El Paso County in the center of Colorado, Colorado Springs is actually the biggest city in the state in terms of its surface area. The city is situated about an hour's drive south of the state capital, Denver, and is nicknamed 'Olympic City USA' due to its strong sport culture and the fact that it houses the United States Olympic Committee and United States Olympic Training Center. Fountain Creek runs through Colorado Springs, with the city being located near the Southern Rocky Mountains and covering an area of 195.11 square miles. It has an estimated population of around 465,000 people, with over 700,000 in the surrounding metropolitan area.
The land that would eventually become Colorado Springs was inhabited by various Native American peoples over the years, including the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. The territory was included in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, when the United States bought a large part of land from France for the sum of fifty million francs ($11,250,000). The first settlement was founded in 1859 and was a strong mining town due to its very close proximity to Pikes Peak, which was a key location in the Pikes Peak Gold Rush of 1858-1861.
World-famous scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla set up a laboratory in Colorado Springs in 1899 as well, and the area played a part for the United States military during World War II and the Cold War. In the modern era, the defense industry is still a big part of Colorado Springs' economy, along with technology and tourism. Sport, as mentioned previously, is also a big part of the city's culture. It is home to the headquarters of 24 of the United States' national Olympic sports federations, with many other non-Olympic sports organizations having headquarters in the city too.
Elevation of Colorado Springs, CO
The elevation of a town or city is a key indicator that tells us how high or low that location is in relation to sea level. Measured in feet or meters, elevation has various uses and influences. The elevation of most major cities in the United States is lower than 500 feet (152 m), but many big cities in Colorado are situated at high elevations due to the state’s mountainous landscapes, and Colorado Springs is no exception. The elevation of Colorado Springs is 6,035 feet (1,839 m).
The highest nearby point to Colorado Springs is actually Pikes Peak, which has an elevation of 14,115 feet (4,302 m), while the lowest point within Colorado Springs itself is at a relatively high elevation of 5,740 feet (1,750 m). These high elevations are quite normal for the state of Colorado, which has a mean elevation of 6,800 feet (2,070 m), making it the highest state in America. The highest point in the state of Colorado is Mount Elbert, which is also the highest summit in the Rocky Mountains and has an elevation of 14,440 feet (4,401.2 m), while the lowest point is the Arikaree River at the Kansas border with an elevation of 3,317 feet (1,011 m).
Colorado is home to the highest incorporated town in the entire country; Leadville, located in Lake County among the Rocky Mountains, has an elevation of 10,152 feet (3,094 m). Major cities around the state of Colorado excluding Colorado Springs include the capital of Denver, which has a unique elevation of 5,280 feet (1,609 m), and Aurora, which has an elevation of 5472 feet (1,668 m). The state is also home to ski resorts like Aspen, at an elevation of 8,000 feet (2,438 m) and Vail, at an elevation of 8,022 feet (2,445 m).
Climate and Things to Do in Colorado Springs, CO
The elevation of Colorado Springs has an effect on its weather conditions, with the city having a semi-arid climate with quite cool, dry winters and mild to warm summers. The hottest month of the year is July, which has average highs of 85°F (30°C), while the coolest month is December, which has average low temperatures of 18°F (-8°C). Up to 40 inches of snow can fall in Colorado Springs per year, with most of this snow falling from October through to April.
Colorado Springs has always been a popular tourist destination to its proximity to the Rocky Mountains and particularly Pikes Peak. Over 4 million visitors come to the city each year, with a lot of different attractions all around include the Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Old Colorado City, and more. Lots of recreational activities can be enjoyed all around Colorado Springs including hiking, cycling, mountain biking, mountaineering, and more.