Zapata Falls

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The views of the valley and the Sand Dunes are fantastic from Zapata Falls, and there are four miles of well-marked hiking and mountain biking trails below the parking area.  Access into the mountain peaks and wilderness area is also available on Forest Service Trail #852 beginning in the parking area.  This trail follows South Zapata Creek to South Zapata Lake.  There are several ruins of cabins along the trail to view.

The falls are particularly impressive in winter when it freezes into a sculpture of ice. In both fall and summer, the water is cold and the rocks can be slippery, so use good judgment as to whether or not you are up to the challenge.  Even in the summer, air temperatures inside the alcove can be cool, so bring a jacket.   

Access Zapata Falls from Highway 150, 12 miles north of the intersection with highway 160.  Turn right at the sign and travel three miles on the dirt road to the parking area.

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Upcoming Events

  • Fri, Jan 27 Two days completely packed with fun- family friendly activities. Live Ice sculpting, faux snowman building, a scavenger hunt, a kids costume contest, a Grub-n-Pub a fire and ice...

  • Mon, Feb 20 Celebrate Presidents Day with Free Admission to explore the tallest dunes in North America! Climb the tallest dune or just enjoy the views, either way it is an...

  • Fri, Mar 10 See thousands of Sandhill Cranes migrate to the San Luis Valley for their annual "Spring Break" of sorts. Bus tours will be taken with wildlife experts out to...

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