Looking for a great trail near Del Norte, Colorado? AllTrails has 10 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails in Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, we've got you covered. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 4 easy trails in Del Norte ranging from 2.5 to 3.6 miles and from 7,952 to 9,124 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

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Del Norte, Colorado Map
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So, firstly, this is a great hike in the beautiful Penitente Park — which has extraordinary stone features that result from La Garita volcanic activity. So, wherever you are, in the canyon or at a vista, it is beautiful. This particular route isn’t all official trail. I would recommend starting at the main Penitente trail head south of the noted starting point...which is just a wide shoulder, unmarked as the previous reviewer said. The main trailhead has bathrooms and plenty of parking and signage/maps. The western-most part of the loop isn’t on the park map and we had to keep referring to our gps location on the downloaded map to stay on course, despite the numerous small cairns. Having said that, it was a blast to be on that type of treasure hunt—albeit slow. The other 3 loop legs are official trails and easily followed with signs. Some mountain bikes, but this is a big park so not a problem with hiking rhythm.

hiking
rocky
12 days ago

Lots of variety in this hike, hiking through the bottom of the tiny canyon, then along the rim, then along the ridge where you can see the mountain vista. Plus there are lots of climbing and bouldering routes in the canyon.

hiking
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
27 days ago

Just scramble straight up to the arch from the parking lot as there was no real defined trail. Beautiful scenery though.

hiking
1 month ago

Assuming I was in the correct place, the trailhead is unmarked. There was a road that led to a gate that appeared to be private.

hiking
1 month ago

Just passing through and shot up to the top to get the kids' wiggles out. First summit for both of them. Exposed, so bring sunscreen. Poles were helpful in a few spots.

hiking
1 month ago

Be careful - this trail is horribly marked. You’re walking on boulders the whole time.... it’s not like it’s a dirt trail where you can clearly see where you’re supposed to go. The first time my boyfriend and I hiked this trail, we got so lost because the sign was misplaced after it had fallen and ended up hiking for over an hour in the dark. The second time, the park ranger gave us bad directions & we got lost again! You can bring your dogs on this trail but there are a LOT of cactus all over the trail & a lot of rattlesnakes as well - just things to watch out for. I want to try this trail again because the area is beautiful, but this time I will make sure to download a map of the trail to avoid further confusion.

hiking
2 months ago

Great for an easy hike. All ages and fitness levels can do this one. Quick, perfect for a break if your traveling just to get out and sweat a little. No shade at all. Flying ants all on the top of the summit.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

Don’t get me wrong, the lake is stunning! However, the drive up is very long, and when we got there, the parking lot, hike to the lake, and actual lake were completely swarmed with mosquitoes. We couldn’t really enjoy the views in the first place because we were so busy worrying about the bugs.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

Spectacular views in all directions. But no shade. Very little traffic on a Saturday morning in July. Great for general orientation

trail is in good condition with just a few trees over the trail. Trail is beautiful and has minimal usage. signage is sparce. Views at aipine region are epic. At one of the San Francisco lake you can see native Rio Grande cutthroat trout over 5 pounds swimming in mass! Overall fantastic hike around 13 miles. You can climb Bennett peak with a side trip from the lake. Route is to the right of the lake.

hiking
bugs
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Cool drive up to see the arch, road isnt too bad. the hike is ok, not the greatest but you can get some cool sunrise pics. no wildlife found aside from a few birds, definitely worth checking out the arch but you can skip the hike.

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail. It is pretty long for a round trip. It was about 6.6 one way by gps. The best views of the valley are above the reservoir at the end. Recommend going to ~12000 feet to see the valley. It is breathtaking. Also, Mount Bennett is at the end. It is after the trail ends. It would have been nice to summit, but I was spent today. Also, the snow was rolling in, so the combination really made me shy away. Overall, worth doing. Especially if you want to use it to train.

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

It’s a beautiful spot but there are no markings or signs and I couldn’t figure out where to go to get on the loop. There isn’t even a sign at the trail head and there’s a lot of growth. I was hiking by myself and not familiar with the area so I didn’t want to risk pushing through whah looked like a trail and wasn’t

Numerous two tracks and single tracks throughout a high desert on BLM

Many loops for bikes and hikes. Fantastic canyon. Cool culture, too.

hiking
muddy
no shade
scramble
snow
6 months ago

We hiked this trail on March 17th and tried to drive to the trailhead but there was a lot of mud and the road was closed so we parked near the private road cutoff and hiked the road. Along the way, we saw quite a few mountain lion tracks in the snow as well as elk tracks. We saw a few herds of elk moving in the mountains nearby, clearly running away because they saw us. It was 2.8 miles to hike to the Arch and because the trail was covered in snow, we decided to hike up the mountain to go through the Arch, which required some bouldering and climbing. The views are great from there and the climb was dicey in areas due to ice. We decided to head down the other side through the snow and slowly trudged through until it met the road to head back. In all, we hiked 6.3 miles round-trip through snow but the views were beautiful and the weather was super nice that day.

on Lookout Mountain Trail

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
6 months ago

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