Before you go through the West entrance of Colorado State Capitol Building for their free historical tours, the 15th step bears the inscription "One Mile Above Sea Level." Don't be fooled, it isn't the actual one-mile marker. After two inaccurate measurements – the first in 1909 on the 15th step by University of Denver students and the other in 1969 on the 17th step by Colorado State University students – students from the Metropolitan State College of Denver correctly measured the height in 2003, and in a dedication ceremony that same year, Governor Bill Owens placed the true marker on the 13th step. Regardless of whether you're exactly a mile high or not, the air is thin and you tan faster.
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Mr. Brown's Attic
While the gold dome always gets the attention, head to the lesser-known attic of the Colorado State Capital building to check out some historical gems. Mr. Brown's Attic is nestled, like a room out of Harry Potter, between the third floor and the dome, and accessible through a side staircase. Inside, you can see the framework of the dome, a replica of the capital building, and some incredible old photos. Peer through the small west windows to get a peek at the original pulley system. Outside, be sure to look out for the official mile high marker on the west stairs at 5,280 feet above sea level. Free tours Monday through Friday.
I've been to Denver countless times, but I've never been to Denver. Colorado's capitol city has always been a stop through for me, the place where I land when in route to Boulder, Vail, Steamboat Springs or the like. This trip, I decided to see what all of the buzz was about: Denver is one of America's most talked about cities right now, and I wanted to experience it for myself.
Just a short walk from my Renaissance Denver Downtown hotel along the 16th Street Mall, I came to the Denver State Capitol on a picturesque fall Colorado day and enjoyed walking around the surrounding gardens and areas.