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The small Colorado town of Del Norte is surrounded on almost all sides by public land encompassing expansive forests, snaking rivers and soaring peaks. Hike along trails, ascend sport-climbing routes and admire views of canyons and river corridors from mountain summits.
During the 1850s and 1860s, Del Norte served as a common stage stop for traders passing along the Old Spanish Trail, which ran between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Los Angeles, California. The town’s heyday came later in the 1870s, when prospectors uncovered gold and silver in the nearby San Juan Mountains and Del Norte transformed itself into a mining supplies base.
Outdoorsy travelers use Del Norte as a base from which to explore the surrounding region. Climb up the steep 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) trail to reach the summit of the 8,475-foot-tall (2,583-meter) Lookout Mountain in Lookout Mountain Park. From here, admire views down over the San Luis Valley and the rushing Rio Grande River. Rock climbers, meanwhile, can choose between the more than 300 sport-climbing routes in Penitente Canyon, an area which originally served as a sanctuary for the devout Spanish Catholic sect of Los Hermanos Penitentes.
Drive west from Del Norte to reach the Rio Grande National Forest, which features jagged mountains and deep river canyons. Enjoy outdoor fun, including fishing, mountain biking, hunting, hiking and horseback riding. During winter, head for the Wolf Creek Ski Area and hit the snow-covered slopes.
Back in town, learn about this region’s story at the Rio Grande County Museum and Cultural Center. Also worth visiting is the nearby Summitville Ghost Town. These eerie, haunting remains, accessible only by a dirt road, are the surviving remnants of a once-thriving settlement.
Del Norte is warm in summer and snowy in winter. To get here, drive 4 hours from Denver or fly into the San Luis Valley Regional Airport near Alamosa, and make the 40-minute drive from there.
*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.com from January through December 2019, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.
The owners have updated this space in a quaint old building with high ceilings. When we were having trouble with the tv, Chad came by and helped us. He is proud of the cabinetry he’s made and we had everything we needed. We were worried about noise from the restaurant below, but we never heard a ...
Property was perfect for our trip, location is great for getting to the mountains
Our ladies book club goes on retreat every year. We chose this property because we wanted to go to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. We didn't realize what a gem of a house we were getting when we booked this house! It spacious and comfortable. Amazing views and decks all around the house. We did ...