Colorado, located in the western region of the United States, is known for its diverse geography, including the Rocky Mountains, canyons, and high plains. The state is bordered by numerous states, including Wyoming to the north, Nebraska to the northeast, Kansas to the east, Oklahoma to the southeast, New Mexico to the south, Utah to the west, and Arizona to the southwest. In this article, we will focus on the two states to the south of Colorado and explore their shared borders.
Overview of Colorado’s borders
Colorado, the eighth largest state in the US, has a total area of 104,094 square miles. The state’s borders are primarily formed by natural features, such as rivers and mountains. The northern and eastern borders of Colorado are formed entirely by land, while the southern and western borders are formed by a combination of land and water.
South of Colorado
To the south of Colorado lies the state of New Mexico and Oklahoma. These states are known for their unique landscapes, rich history, and diverse culture. New Mexico is known for its deserts, mountains, and ancient ruins, while Oklahoma is home to the Great Plains, rolling hills, and numerous lakes.
Which two states share a border?
The two states to the south of Colorado that share a border with it are New Mexico and Oklahoma. New Mexico shares a 366-mile (589 km) border with Colorado, while Oklahoma shares a 14-mile (23 km) border.
New Mexico and Oklahoma
Both New Mexico and Oklahoma share a unique relationship with Colorado due to their shared borders. New Mexico, known as the "Land of Enchantment," is characterized by its diverse landscapes, including the rugged mountains of the Sangre de Cristo range that extend into Colorado.
Oklahoma, on the other hand, is known for its vast prairies, oil fields, and Native American history. The state’s border with Colorado is relatively small, but it plays a significant role in connecting the two states’ transportation networks.
Characteristics of New Mexico’s border with Colorado
The border between Colorado and New Mexico is primarily formed by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which is a subrange of the Rocky Mountains. The border passes through several national forests, including the Santa Fe and Carson National Forests. This border is significant for the tourism industry, as it connects numerous outdoor recreational destinations, including several ski resorts.
Characteristics of Oklahoma’s border with Colorado
The border between Colorado and Oklahoma is relatively short, with a length of only 14 miles. However, this border is crucial for the transportation industry, as it connects the two states’ highway networks. The border passes through the Cimarron River, which is a major tributary of the Arkansas River.
Historical context of the borders
The borders between Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma have a rich history that predates the formation of the United States. These borders were shaped by the Spanish exploration of the region in the 16th century, and later, by the expansion of the American frontier in the 19th century. Today, these borders serve as a reminder of the region’s diverse cultural heritage.
Economic impact of the borders
The borders between Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma play an essential role in the region’s economy. The tourism industry is a significant economic driver, with visitors drawn to the region’s outdoor recreational activities and natural beauty. Additionally, the transportation industry benefits from the borders, as they connect major highway networks, facilitating the movement of goods and people.
Transportation across the borders
The borders between Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma are relatively easy to cross, with numerous highways and interstates connecting the states. Travelers can cross the borders by car or bus, and several airports in the region connect travelers to destinations across the country.
In conclusion, the two states to the south of Colorado that share a border with it are New Mexico and Oklahoma. These borders play an essential role in connecting the region’s transportation networks, facilitating the movement of goods and people. Additionally, the borders are significant for the tourism industry, as they connect numerous outdoor recreational destinations. These borders are a vital part of the region’s cultural heritage and serve as a reminder of its diverse history.
- Colorado Department of Transportation. (2021). Colorado road and recreation atlas. Benchmark Maps.
- National Park Service. (2021). Carson National Forest. Retrieved from
- Oklahoma Department of Transportation. (2021). Oklahoma highway map. Retrieved from https://www.odot.org/maps/state/
- State of New Mexico. (2021). New Mexico tourism department. Retrieved from https://www.newmexico.org/