Zapata Falls is a waterfall located in the San Luis Valley near the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on Bureau of Land Management land adjacent to Rio Grande National Forest and south of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Alamosa County, Colorado. The waterfall has a drop of about 30 feet (9 m). Access to this waterfall entails a mildly steep 0.5-mile (800 m) hike. Viewing the falls requires fording the stream and climbing rocks.With our online itinerary creator, Mosca attractions like Zapata Falls can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
Black swifts nest near the falls, one of the few known breeding sites for this species in Colorado.
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Zapata Falls reviews
It’s a long, windy, gravel drive up to the parking area at the base of the trail head. The hike to the falls is not a long one, but is steep and over rock. Once you get near the falls, thee is lots.... more »
A short uphill hike that is rocky. It is not too steep and easily done by most fitness levels. The water level was low so we were able to rock hop across the steam to get to the waterfall. more »
What an amazing trip! The drive up is indeed very rocky. 3.1 miles (20 or so minutes) of full-body jostling. Definitely make sure your vehicle can handle the bumps! The hike to the falls is rocky, but pretty quick. Getting to the falls is very wet! I'd read recommendations in other reviews that suggested water shoes - I'm so glad I bought some for me and my family! The water was freezing and the rocks were very slippery. The water came up to my husband's calf (he's 6') in certain areas. We lost feeling in our feet, but that didn't stop us from getting up to the falls. By far, one of the greatest hikes and waterfalls I've been on. The falls are absolutely beautiful and the roaring is impressive!
AWESOME EXPERIENCE!!!! We went in early summer with a stock Jeep Wrangler. It was an easy drive to the trail head, then an easy short hike up to the Falls area. The river was flowing fast and the water was ice cold...probably 32 degrees. So then things gets tricky. The last 25 yards or so, we waded knee-deep rushing water upstream over rocks into a large opening in the rocks. Inside there was still a ton of ice frozen to the walls of the cave. There was one small rock we could step up on which was a great photo spot, but with the cold water, we could only hang out there for a few minutes before wading back. Wading into the tunnel during high flow is tricky and not a good idea with small children. Maybe late in summer it would be different after the snow melts and things dry out. Overall, highly recommended if you are in the Sand Dunes area!
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