Del Norte was founded as a service center for the mining activities going on in the area, becoming the supply base & financial center at the west end of the San Luis Valley.
By the mid 1870’s, prospectors had found the nearby San Juan Mountains rich in gold and silver deposits. Many mining claims were registered and the fury began. Recognized as the “Gateway to the San Juan’s”…and the gold, Del Norte organized and incorporated in 1872.
Del Norte has become the Gateway to all Season fun, from biking, hiking, camping, fishing, backpacking, hunting, shopping, to skiing and snowmobiling. We have everything from dining, and lodging, to local shopping at some of the most unique stores in the San Luis Valley.
The Penitente Canyon and Elephant Rocks offer some of the best hiking and biking in Del Norte. The Natural Arch located out by Lagarita is also a wonder in its self.
The new Lookout Mountain Trails offer a variety of trails for bikers and hikers located on our D Mountain. Some of the wildlife you might see on one of your hiking or biking adventures might be deer, antelope, red fox, coyote, cougar, rattlesnakes, lizards, hawks, ravens, redwing blackbirds, and rabbits. Some of the most abundant vegetation we have here in Del Norte is Sage Brush, Cedar, Spruce, prickly pear cactus, yucca, Indian paint brush, and grama grass. The Rio Grande River that flows through Del Norte also offers a variety of fishing from Rainbow Trout to Brown Trout.
Agriculture is also abundant in Del Norte, from Potato growers to Alfalfa Hay. We also have several Cattle Ranches, an Elk Farm, and several Buffalo Ranches. The farming and ranching communities have been in Del Norte for many generations.