Del Norte Riverfront Project

Project History: In September 2018 the US Army Corps of Engineers issued a 404 permit to the Town of Del Norte and Del Norte Trails Organization allowing the Del Norte Riverfront Project to begin construction. This culminated years of planning and work, public processes, and permitting requirements required to make any changes on or near an American Waterway.

Phase 1

Phase 1 was completed in 2020/2021. Users can now access the river on both the north and south banks of the Rio Grande next to Colorado Highway 112.

The massive whitewater feature, made of large boulders and concrete, is a multi-use boating and play wave flanked by tiered-boulder banks.  In the spring the concrete chute creates exciting kayaking and rafting opportunities, while late in the season it is popular for paddleboarding, tubing, body surfing, and as a refreshing swimming hole for the community. 

The structure incorporates a fish ladder for passage upstream, and the river work includes bank restoration work and new trout habitat structures. 

The Riverfront Park will remain a natural habitat with old cottonwood trees and willows.  The park contains a new boat ramp, ample parking area and turn-around space, an ADA accessible picnic area with a pavilion, benches, wildlife-proof trash cans, and a clothes-changing structure.  

The project physically connects the people of the valley to the Rio Grande.  The Rio Grande is and has always been the lifeblood of the Valley, and now families are touching, playing, and enjoying it together.

Del Norte Riverwalk Project

Future Vision

Del Norte Riverwalk Project

Future phases of the project will include improvements to the existing park on the south side of the Rio Grande. These improvements include new and improved sheltered picnic areas, a nature play area for children, and an amphitheater for public entertainment and events. A new vault toilet facility is planned on the north side of the river.


The public and partners have been fundraising for a long time and will continue to do so until the projects components are completed. Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project, Trout Unlimited, Town of Del Norte, Riverbend Engineering, and Del Norte Trails Organization have worked in cooperation to bring this project to the point of construction.

Rio Grande – Our Life Blood

In addition to all the obvious benefits from the design elements of the project, the ability to physically connect the people of the valley to the Rio Grande is the biggest accomplishment. The Rio Grande is and has always been the life blood of the Valley, and now families will be able to touch and enjoy it together.

Riverwalk Project Overview

Del Norte Riverwalk Project

Project overview courtesy of Del Norte Trails Organization.