Colorado is of Spanish origin, meaning "colored red." The name was applied to the Colorado river (because of the red sandstone soil of the region) and came into use for the entire territory after the discovery of gold in the Pike's Peak region. In 1861 congress chose Colorado as the name for the Territory.
Colorado is also called "Colorful Colorado" because of the magnificent scenery of mountains, rivers and plains.
Colorado Rocky Mountains in background (14,000 ft+ Long's Peak is the most prominant) - giant cottonwood in foreground - photo © Fort Photo on Flickr - noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike. See All State Name Origins.