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), officially the City and County of Denver, is the capital and most populous municipality of the U. The Denver downtown district is immediately east of the confluence of Cherry Creek with the South Platte River, approximately 12 mi (19 km) east of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
Denver is in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.
Denver is nicknamed the Mile High City because its official elevation is exactly one mile (5280 feet or 1609.3 meters) above sea level, making it the highest major city in the United States.
The 105th meridian west of Greenwich, the longitudinal reference for the Mountain Time Zone, passes directly through Denver Union Station.
Denver is ranked as a Beta- world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.
With an estimated population of 704,621 in 2017, Denver is the 19th-most populous U. city, and with a 17.41% increase since the 2010 United States Census, it has been one of the fastest-growing major cities in the United States.
Denver is the most populous city within a 500-mile (800 km) radius and the second-most populous city in the Mountain West after Phoenix, Arizona. In the summer of 1858, during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush, a group of gold prospectors from Lawrence, Kansas established Montana City as a mining town on the banks of the South Platte River in what was then western Kansas Territory.
The location was accessible to existing trails and was across the South Platte River from the site of seasonal encampments of the Cheyenne and Arapaho.
The site of these first towns is now the site of Confluence Park near downtown Denver. Charles City Land Company, sold parcels in the town to merchants and miners, with the intention of creating a major city that would cater to new immigrants.
Denver City was a frontier town, with an economy based on servicing local miners with gambling, saloons, livestock and goods trading.
In the early years, land parcels were often traded for grubstakes or gambled away by miners in Auraria.
In May 1859, Denver City residents donated 53 lots to the Leavenworth & Pike's Peak Express in order to secure the region's first overland wagon route.