- Del Norte has had a very colorful history dating back to around 8000 B.C. as confirmed by archaeological finds. Various inhabitants have left their "marks" through fossilized human bones, fluted points, other relics, place names and rock art. The Rio Grande County Museum provides exhibits that include archaeological and historical information about Del Norte and its place within the San Luis Valley.
Recreationists visit Del Norte because of the natural surroundings. BLM lands and National Forest surround the town site and the headwaters of the Rio Grande River and several of its tributaries lead through the northern side of Del Norte. A few miles north of the town site is Penitente Canyon where one can find the Arch of the La Garita, a spectacular arch rock formation.
It is home of the Rio Grande County Museum and Cultural Center, featuring historical, cultural and geographical displays of the San Luis Valley. To the north is Penitente Canyon where one can find the Arch of the La Garita, a spectacular arch rock formation.
This information is provided courtesy of the Rio Grande Tourism Board.
Recreation - From Del Norte, visitors can access a large portion of the Rio Grande National Forest. On this land users will find facilities for hiking, mountain biking, ATV riding, motorcycle riding, fishing, camping and four-wheel driving. The BLM lands that lie to the north and east of Del Norte support gold medal fishing waters, off-road vehicle trails and rock climbing.
Climate - Mountainous terrain influences the climate visitors find in Del Norte. Elevations range from 7,500 feet to over 14,000 feet at the top of several mountain peaks. In general, the climate at low elevations is cool and arid while the high country is cold and humid. Average precipitation varies from under 8 inches at the 8,000 foot level to over 50 inches in some alpine areas. Snowfall varies significantly in the Forest. North Cochetopa Pass commonly receives two feet of snow in a year when Wolf Creek receives six to eight feet.
Summer is short and frost may occur anytime in high elevations. Annual temperature extremes range from 90 degrees in summer to 30 degrees below zero in winter. Rapid weather changes, with temperature changes of 40 degrees in periods as short as four to six hours, occur frequently.
Del Norte is located on U.S. Highway 160, west of Alamosa and east of South Fork. Leaving Interstate 285 and leading southwest, State Highway 112 intersects 160 in Del Norte. The natural landmarks surrounding Del Norte include the Rio Grande River, which passes through the northern end of town on its way to New Mexico, and the southwestern section of the Rio Grande National Forest.