Long before Spanish conquistadors arrived, the Folsom people inhabited Del Norte 10,000 years ago. Next came the Anasazi, the Navajos, Utes and others.
By the mid-1870s, prospectors had found the nearby San Juan Mountains rich in gold and silver deposits. Many mining claims were registered and a fury of mining activity began. Recognized as the "Gateway to the San Juans," Del Norte was organized and incorporated in 1872.
Never a mining town itself, Del Norte did become a supply town to the various mining camps and was one of Colorado's first cities. The railroad came to Del Norte in 1881 to serve the freight being generated in the Summitville mining district.
In the early days there were several smelters here that processed ore from around the state. There were also a number of banks here which combined to make Del Norte the region’s commercial center.
Del Norte Colorado and the areas that surround Rio Grande County offer clean air, low humidity and sunshine more than 350 days per year. Known for its moderate, semi-arid climate, Del Norte’s annual precipitation is about 9.5 inches per year. About 80 percent of the annual precipitation occurs between April and October. Winter snows average 25-35 inches per year. Summer is mostly characterized by days with maximum temperatures in the mid-80s and lows in the 40s.
San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center provides excellent hospital care at Alamosa with specialty physicians available. Many communities have ambulance and trained medical technicians. Emergency flight for life available.
The local school administration and our teachers are committed to success. Instruction is organized to ensure the greatest development of each student academically, socially and emotionally. This means keeping up with proven concepts in learning, teaching and technology. Higher educational needs are met by Adams State College, which has been on the list of America's 100 Best College Buys for 3 years in a row.
Area attractions include the Lookout Mountain Observatory, Rio Grande County Museum and Cultural Center, the historic Windsor Hotel and the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, America's most authentic steam railroad, and more.
Fishing varies from river to small stream to lake. Rio Grande gold medal water starts west of Del Norte with easy access in many areas. Wildflowers, wildlife and alpine forests provide stunning backdrops.
Step outside your door and you are at the entry to the magnificent San Juan Mountains and the Weminuche Wilderness Area.
Fishing, biking, hunting, rock climbing, rafting, cross-country and alpine skiing, snowshoeing, ice climbing, snowmobiling, ice-skating, horseback riding and camping. Take a quiet stroll along River Walk or dangle your feet off the Fishing-for-Fun Pier.
Wolf Creek Ski Resort is just up the hill. A 9-hole public golf course is available 15 miles to the east and there is a new 18-hole championship course rated 6th in the nation.