Canada Geese and Sandhill Cranes at Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge. Photo: mark byzewski
Rio Grande County covers 913 square miles and is considered the “Gateway to the San Juans.” The population was 11,982 in 2010, and the county seat is Del Norte. The county is named for the Rio Grande (“Big River”), which flows through it.
Monte Vista is the county’s largest community and agricultural center located on the San Luis Valley floor. The Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge receives migratory cranes as they stop in on their annual trek. The newest town in Rio Grande County is South Fork, surrounded by the Rio Grande National Forest and a very quick drive to the most snow in all of Colorado at Wolf Creek Ski Area.
Visit the Rio Grande County Government website.
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