Main Street in Del Norte

Del Norte was founded in 1871 as a service center for the gold mining activities going on in the area and quickly became the supply and financial center in the western part of San Luis Valley. Rio Grande County was formed in 1874 with Del Norte as the county seat. (The Rio Grande's full name is "Rio Grande del Norte.")

Today, Del Norte is a good family destination with outdoor recreational opportunities, dining, lodging and shopping. The grand, turn-of-the-century structures all over town are historical landmarks. Where once there were mercantile stores and breweries there are now quaint gift shops, fine art galleries and antique stores.

Del Norte is also home to the Rio Grande County Museum and Cultural Center with historical, cultural and geographical displays of the San Luis Valley. Penitente Canyon, offering world-class rock climbing, is north of town, as is the Arch of La Garita, a spectacular arch rock formation.

From my photos you can see I have some interest in the old churches. I figure you can tell a lot about a town and its' inhabitants by the churches: the way they are built and maintained. And quite often, the churches are all that's left of the local original architecture...

Del Norte Colorado
The Del Norte Masonic Temple
Two churches in Del Norte, Colorado
The Knights of Columbus hall on the right
Del Norte, Colorado
One of the originals
Del Norte, Colorado
The Del Norte schools
Del Norte, Colorado
Another original
Del Norte, Colorado
United Methodist, I think
Del Norte Community Center
The Del Norte Community Center
Rio Grande County Museum, Del Norte, Colorado
The Rio Grande County Museum
Wheeler Geologic Area
La Garita Arch

The photo on the left is of the Wheeler Geologic Area in the San Juan Mountains northwest of Del Norte.

The photo to the right is of the La Garita Arch, north of Del Norte near Penitente Canyon.