In this image captured by the MODIS on the Terra satellite on October 25, 2007, the bright snow-capped peaks contrast sharply with the darker greens and browns of the surrounding landscape. This contrast makes it easier to spot specific mountain ranges. Running north-south near the top of this scene are the Medicine Bow Mountains, roughly in the center of the state and extending northward into Wyoming. To their west, the Rocky Mountain ranges have names like the Elkhead Mountains and the Steamboat Range.
The Medicine Bow terminates in a long line of north-south tending ranges called Colorado's Front Range, at the foothills of which lie the state's biggest cities: Fort Collins, Denver, and Colorado Springs. Farther to the south, near the center of the state, are the Gore and Sawatch Mountain Ranges (left center). In southern Colorado, both the San Juan Mountains (west) and the Sangre de Cristo Range (east) stretch over the state line into New Mexico. Between the two flows the northern reaches of the Rio Grande.