Zapata Falls, Colorado

A Scenic Colorado Waterfall In The San Luis Valley And Near The Great Sand Dunes National Park

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Zapata Falls Colorado
Above: Katie proved to be the bravest by scrambling up the wet and slippery rock to the base of the waterfall.

Zapata Falls is a beautiful waterfall near Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado. A short 0.5 mile hike (one way), the trail is popular for casual hikers and ends at the base of a creek, where one must travel through or on the creek (depending on the season), to waterfall in a tall rock crevasse. Zapata Falls is fueled by underground spring water and Zapata Lake, a high elevation lake far above in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains. This is a unique place in the San Luis Valley that is a "must see" for those who love waterfalls.

Directions: A google maps search for Zapata Falls, Alamosa, Colorado pinpoints the waterfall. From the main entrance of the Great Sand Dunes National Park, travel south on Highway 150 (as if you're traveling to Blanca) for a few miles. (Not sure of the exact mileage at this time.) On the left (east) is a dirt road that is marked for Zapata Falls. Take that dirt road towards the end, where there is a clearly marked trailhead and parking lot.

Photos by Steve Garufi in Buena Vista, Colorado. Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest - YouTube

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Summertime. They hike through the icy cold water of the creek.


During the colder season, when much of the creek is frozen.


More Of My Photos

Traveling up the dirt road to the trailhead of Zapata Falls.

Great Sand Dunes National Park The trail itself offers stunning views of the San Luis Valley, the Great Sand Dunes and the mountains afar.

Some of my San Luis Valley pages:

  • UFO Watchtower
  • Bonanza
  • Villa Grove
  • Cabin in Sangre De Cristo Mountains
  • Near the waterfall, one must walk through a tall rock canyon.

    The left photo shows the eye-level view; the right photo was facing straight up.

    Zapata Falls Colorado Another photo of my friends at the base.

    Other great Colorado waterfalls:

  • Agnes Vaille Falls (Nathrop)
  • Rainbow Falls (Manitou Springs)
  • Cascade Falls (Ouray)
  • Browns Creek Falls (Nathrop)
  • Bridal Veil Falls (Telluride)

  • Zapata Falls Ice
    My photo from a visit in April, when the waterfall was covered in ice and snow.

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