Events in the Basin and Range and along the West Coast have also influenced Colorado's physical development, particularly from ~80 Ma on.
With over 50 million modern human lifetimes elapsed since the planet formed around 4.5 Ga, geologic or deep time is, to say the least, difficult to grasp.
But the effort pays, for with a feel for deep time comes a sense of its great power: Given enough time, almost anything energetically possible can happeneven at very large scales.
Given enough time, cold surface rock will yield to flowing water and buried rock will bend or even flow rather than break.
The planet's had ample time for all of this, even if it's out of our ken.
This geologic overview focuses primarily on the Colorado Rockies and the Colorado Plateau, but adjoining portions of Wyoming, Utah and the High Plains as far east as the Black Hills of South Dakota also have important and related stories to tell.