Colby Live Cam

A city in and the county seat of Thomas County


Colby is a city located in Thomas County, Kansas, and it has a rich history tied to the development of the region. Here's a brief overview of the history of Colby City in Thomas County:

Early Settlement: The area that would become Colby was initially settled by European-American pioneers in the late 19th century. The first settlers arrived in the 1870s when the Kansas Pacific Railway extended its tracks through the region.

Founding and Naming: Colby City was officially founded in 1884 when the town's founders named it in honor of Captain George N. Colby, a Civil War veteran who was instrumental in the development of the area. George N. Colby played a crucial role in attracting the railroad to the region, which was a significant factor in the town's growth.

Railroad and Growth: Like many towns in the American West, the presence of the railroad was instrumental in the growth and development of Colby. The railway made it easier to transport goods and people to and from the area, which attracted more settlers and businesses.

Agriculture: Agriculture played a pivotal role in the local economy of Colby and the surrounding Thomas County. The fertile soil in the region made it suitable for farming, and crops like wheat, sorghum, and corn were cultivated. Ranching and livestock also became important economic activities.

County Seat: In 1888, Colby was designated as the county seat of Thomas County, further solidifying its importance within the region. The construction of county government buildings, including a courthouse, helped bolster the town's infrastructure.

Education: Education was a significant focus for the community, and Colby established schools to serve the growing population. Today, Colby is home to Colby Community College, which offers higher education opportunities to students in the region.

Growth and Modernization: Over the years, Colby continued to grow and modernize. It became a center for trade and commerce in northwest Kansas, attracting businesses and industries.

Present-Day Colby: Today, Colby City remains an essential hub in northwest Kansas. It offers various services, educational opportunities, and cultural amenities for residents and visitors. The city continues to have a strong agricultural presence while also diversifying its economy.

Colby City's history is closely tied to the development of Thomas County and the broader history of settlement and expansion in the American West. Its establishment as the county seat and its strategic location along the railroad contributed significantly to its growth and development.

Top Tourist Attractions

olby City in Thomas County, Kansas, may not be widely known as a major tourist destination compared to larger cities or more heavily visited areas. However, it does have several attractions and points of interest that may be of interest to visitors.

  • Pioneer Memorial Library: This is the public library in Colby, providing resources and services to the community. It may offer events or programs for visitors.
  • Fick Fossil & History Museum: This museum showcases fossils, artifacts, and exhibits related to the natural history and paleontology of the region. It's a great place for anyone interested in geology and the prehistoric past.
  • Colby Aquatic Park: If you're visiting in the warmer months, the Colby Aquatic Park offers a fun way to cool off. It features water slides, a lazy river, and other water attractions for all ages.
  • Thomas County Courthouse: While not a traditional tourist attraction, the courthouse is a historic building in downtown Colby and may be of interest to those who appreciate architecture and local history.
  • Muse Watson Model Train Village: This attraction features an extensive model train display that showcases various scenes and landscapes. It's a unique experience for train enthusiasts and families.
  • Citizens Health Family Park: This park offers a range of outdoor activities, including playgrounds, walking paths, sports facilities, and picnic areas. It's a good spot for families or individuals looking to enjoy some time outdoors.
  • Prairie Museum of Art and History (located in nearby Colby): This museum features a collection of local art, historical artifacts, and exhibits about the history and culture of the region.
  • Colby Community College Campus**: The college campus might have events, performances, or exhibitions that are open to the public. It's worth checking their schedule if you're in the area.

The City experiences a continental climate characterized by distinct seasons with a wide range of temperatures and relatively low precipitation. Here's an overview of the climate in Colby City:

  • Summers (June to August): Summers in Colby are typically warm to hot with occasional periods of high humidity. Average high temperatures during this season range from the upper 80s to mid-90s degrees Fahrenheit (30-35°C). Thunderstorms can occur, and there may be occasional severe weather events.
  • Autumn (September to November): Autumn in Colby sees a gradual cooling of temperatures. Early autumn can still be quite warm, with high temperatures in the 70s and 80s°F (around 21-30°C), but as the season progresses, temperatures drop. Fall foliage can be quite beautiful in this region.
  • Winters (December to February): Winters in Colby are cold and dry. Average high temperatures in December and January are often in the 30s and 40s°F (2-9°C), while lows can drop below freezing. Snowfall is common, with an average of several inches of snow per month during the winter season.
  • Spring (March to May): Springtime in Colby sees a gradual warming trend. High temperatures in March and April typically range from the 50s to 60s°F (10-20°C), while May brings milder conditions with highs in the 70s°F (20-25°C). Spring can also be a windy season in this part of Kansas.
  • Precipitation: Colby City receives relatively low annual precipitation, with most of it occurring in the form of rainfall during the spring and summer months. Snowfall is common in the winter but contributes less to the overall annual precipitation. It's worth noting that this region can experience periodic drought conditions.
  • Wind: Thomas County, including Colby, is known for its strong winds, especially during the spring. These winds can be gusty and are a characteristic of the area's climate.

Overall, Colby City's climate is typical of the Great Plains region, featuring hot summers, cold winters, and relatively dry conditions. Visitors and residents should be prepared for temperature fluctuations between seasons and potential weather-related challenges such as thunderstorms, snowfall, and wind.


The City is situated in Thomas County, which is located in the northwestern part of the state. Here's an overview of the geography of Colby City and Thomas County:

  • Location: Colby City is located in the High Plains region of Kansas, near the border with Colorado. It is approximately 300 miles west of Kansas City and about 200 miles east of Denver, Colorado.
  • Elevation: The city of Colby is situated at an elevation of around 3,315 feet (1,010 meters) above sea level. This is typical of the High Plains area, which is characterized by relatively flat terrain.
  • Terrain: The terrain around Colby City and Thomas County is primarily characterized by rolling plains and prairies. The landscape is relatively flat, with occasional low hills and small creek valleys.
  • Soil and Vegetation: The region is known for its fertile soil, making it suitable for agriculture. Wheat, sorghum, corn, and other crops are grown in the area. The natural vegetation of the High Plains includes grasses, shrubs, and some small trees.
  • Waterways: Thomas County is not known for major rivers or large bodies of water. There are some smaller creeks and streams in the area, but they tend to be intermittent and may not flow year-round.
  • Climate Influence: The geography of the region, being part of the High Plains, is influenced by its semi-arid climate. This means that precipitation levels are relatively low, and the area experiences distinct seasonal changes in temperature.
  • Wildlife: The wildlife in the area includes various species of birds, mammals, and reptiles commonly found in prairie ecosystems. This may include species like pronghorn antelope, deer, various bird species, and smaller mammals like rabbits and ground squirrels.
  • Transportation Routes: Colby City is located near major transportation routes. It is intersected by Interstate 70, a major east-west highway, and it is served by U.S. Route 24 and U.S. Route 83, providing additional transportation connections.

Overall, the geography of Colby City and Thomas County reflects the characteristic features of the High Plains region, including its flat terrain, agricultural suitability, and semi-arid climate.