Colorado City is on the northern border of Arizona adjacent to Hilldale, Utah. Colorado City was originally called Short Creek, for a nearby stream that sank into the sand before it had run very far. The area is covered with evidence of an early Anasazi population. One of the first modern settlers was William Maxwell in about 1908. Other early settlers were ranchers and cattlemen and, a few years later, homesteaders. In about 1930, a group of religious fundamentalists came from Utah seeking refuge and played a major part in pioneering the community to the thriving little city that it is today. The community, at an elevation of 5,010 feet, officially changed its name to Colorado City in 1963 and incorporated in 1985.
Traditionally, agriculture and ranching have been the focus of the area. Gradually this has changed as growth and urban expansion have occurred. The school district is the largest single employer, but most jobs are provided by manufacturing plants such as cabinet shops, a sewing factory, and a refractory log manufacturing plant. A large contingent of the work force is employed in construction trades in the surrounding region. The neighboring community of Hilldale, Utah, plays an important part in the economy of Colorado City, with an active industrial park and service industries. Many of the industrial activities are in Hilldale, while most of the commercial retail is located in Colorado City.
The Arizona Strip provides unparalleled attractions. It encompasses more than 5 million acres of land. It is often called the gateway to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Points of interest on the strip include House Rock Valley, Navajo Trail, Cane Beds, Pipe Springs and the Kaibab/Paiute Indian Reservation. Scenery near Colorado City includes Vermillion and Shinorump Cliffs, Steamboat Rock, and numerous canyons and Indian ruins. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is about 100 miles to the south and the 741,000-acre Kaibab National Forest, with picnicking, rock hunting, camping and hunting, is less than 40 miles to the southeast. The area surrounding Colorado City is blessed with a variety of geo-logical, historical and recreational attractions. The town is centrally located and only hours away from the geological wonders of Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Utah State Park, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon and Lake Mead National Recreation Areas, Historic Pipe Springs National Monument, and Kaibab National Forest.