Are You Colorado Ready?
When traveling to Colorado the lifestyle is a little different than in other areas you might travel. You might notice actives are often moved outdoors, hiking boots seem to be a common shoe of choice and perhaps it is the higher elevation or the fact that people simply are more active that everyone seems to for the most part be in slightly better shape.
But as a person visiting the state of Colorado, passing into this world you can find your own unique way to blend in with the natives and strike up conversation that might lead you to some of those hidden gems the locals know about but don’t want to be over run by tourists.
Knowing the lingo is the first step of many toward getting these special insights and sounding like a pro when you hold a conversation at your local coffee shop in the morning before getting out to a new day’s adventure.
Words To Know:
Fourteener - Most of the peaks you will want to hike are not referred to by their names as much as they are by their heights. It is a bucket list accomplishment to know how many fourteeners that you have hiked. In regular people terms, this means a hike that is 14,000 feet above sea level!! Fun Fact: Colorado is home to 58 Fourteeners, more than any other state!!
Front Range - The Rocky Mountains can be seen from most of the more populated cities in Colorado. Resting at the lower region of these mountains they are known to be Front Range.
Western Slope - The region located west of the Continental Divide is known as the Western Slope. This includes the world’s largest flat top mountain known as Grand Mesa (located along the western most part of the state)
Continental Divide - Speaking of Continental Divide, you might want to know more about this one if you are planning on being in Colorado. Not only is this one of the largest hiking trails in the US which passes through the state but more importantly it runs along the crests of the Rocky Mountains north to south. Fun Fact: This is also known as “the Divide” so don’t look lost if someone asks if you have hiked a trail off the divide before.
5280 - If anyone ever asks if you have been to 5280 they are not talking about a club. They are speaking about the official location on the 13th step of the Colorado State Capitol, which is exactly 1 mile above sea level. For those not following entirely, 5,280 feet make up a mile, hence the nickname for the city. Fun Fact: This is not pronounced five two eight zero, it is actually pronounced fifty-two eighty.
Powder Day - Powder Days are the day after a snowy night when it comes to skiing and snowboarding. If you are looking for the best time to hit the slopes you will want to know when the powder days are because they make for an experience which more closely resembles floating on the snow.
The Tunnel - While there are many tunnels which etch their way through the mountains, it is the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnel which you will want to denote when it comes to this phrase in particular. Along I-70 this tunnel spans 1.7 miles through mountain and is one which can sneak up on you and make you think it is never ending like the twilight zone if you aren’t ready.
High Country - This is another word for the mountains. If someone asks you if you have been to the high country, they aren’t talking about Colorado’s legalization of other things….
Four Corners - 4 states converge in a single corner at the southwestern most point of Colorado this is called Four Corners. Here and only here can you stand in all states at a single point. Travel Tip: Don’t be the person who takes 10 photos of you laying on the marker trying to get it perfect, this place is pretty crowded so be mindful of others.
Mud Season - Spring brings snow melt and with that here comes the mud. This season is officially marked for its primary properties which can make for a perfect outdoor adventure but also can be a bit menacing. If you visit during this season stay on the marked roads and avoid forest roads unless you are prepared with an SUV.
Centennial State - The state was officially brought into statehood in 1876, which just so happened to be the same year as the anniversary of the United States’ declaration of independence. For this reason they were given the nickname the “Centennial State”.
RINO - Short for River North, a hip cultural and food scene. If you are interested in finding this look no further than the warehouse district in Denver.
LOHI - Short for Lower Highlands, this is a place you will want to also check out if you are on a food mission. This area has great views of downtown and is filled with great pubs and resturants.
LODO - If history is more your speed then this area, short for Lower Downtown is a walkable area in historic downtown with rich history abounding.
Keep in mind, knowing these terms will help you communicate and blend in a bit more with the locals. However being fluent in the lingo is only one step!! Remember Colorado has a different overall vibe, so feel confident in yourself when visiting to let yourself enjoy the atmosphere and enrich yourself by being a part of the world around you.