The cultural and commercial hub of Colorado, the city of Denver is also the state's capital and one of the most important municipalities in the surrounding Rocky Mountains region. It sits near the center of the state, in the Mountain Time Zone, and is well known for its relatively high elevation, with its most common nickname being 'The Mile High City'.

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Home to over 700,000 people, the city of Denver is well known for its impressive skyline and rich history, with its foundations being first established way back in 1858, when gold prospectors decided to create a settlement in the area. That same year, land speculators from Kansas Territory claimed the area and named it after the local governor, James W. Denver, in the hopes of swaying his favor to support their claim on the land. The Colorado Territory was established just a few years later and Denver quickly became the capital.

The city of Denver has grown strongly over the years, enjoying economic, educational, and sporting success, as well as winning awards and topping lists as one of the best places in all of the United States for people to live and settle down. With the city sitting in the South Platte River Valley, not far from the Rocky Mountains, Denver citizens and residents can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscapes, and the beauty of the area is part of what attracts so many visitors to Colorado's capital.

Elevation of Denver

The elevation of a city is its height above sea level. In Denver’s case, the city actually has quite a high elevation. Denver’s elevation is 5,280 feet (1,609.344 m) above sea level, which actually works out to exactly one mile. This puts Denver in a very unique elevation and helped to give the city its famous nickname of ‘The Mile High City’. It also means that Denver residents and tourists have to get used to living at quite a high altitude, which means staying hydrated by drinking more water, being more careful about alcohol intake, and dressing warmer as the air tends to be cooler at high altitudes.

Denver is located along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, and the elevations of all cities in this area tend to be at least 5,000 feet (1524 m). Interestingly, the average elevation in Colorado is the highest in the entire United States, with a mean elevation of 6,800 feet (2,070 m), which is mostly attributed to the many mountainous areas around the state. This means that Denver’s elevation is actually lower than the mean elevation of Colorado, but still remains very high in general.

Other major cities in Colorado include Colorado Springs, which has an elevation of 6,033 feet (1,839 m) and Aurora, which has an elevation of 5472 feet (1,668 m), so Denver is lower than both of these two cities, but not by much. The highest point in the state of Colorado is Mount Elbert, which is the highest summit in the Rocky Mountains and has an elevation of 14,440 feet (4,401 m), while the state's lowest point is the Arikaree River, which has an elevation of 3,317 feet (1,011 m). The highest point in Denver itself is situated on Belleview Avenue and Kipling Street. The elevation of this point is 5,680 feet (1731 m).

Climate and Things to Do in Denver

Denver is part of the semi-arid, continental climate zone, meaning it has distinct differences in weather conditions for each season, but also has reduced precipitation overall when compared to a regular continental climate location. As in most cities around the United States, July is the warmest month for Denver with average temperatures of around 74°F (23°C), while December is the coolest with an average temperature of 30°F (-1°C). Snowfall can also be quite common in Denver during the coldest months of the year from late fall through to spring.

There are plenty of things to do in the city of Denver for all kinds of people. If you want to stay in the downtown areas of the city, sporting events, live shows, museums, monuments, and parks can all be enjoyed in Denver. The Denver Zoo and Denver Botanic Gardens are other very popular attractions in Colorado's capital city. Outside of the city, the nearby mountains and surrounding landscapes offer plenty of potential for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and more. It’s important to remember, however, to prepare for Denver’s high elevation, especially if you’re used to living in a lower city or region.