Zapata Falls Hiking

Southwest of Colorado Springs and northeast of Alamosa, the short 1 mile round-trip hike to Zapata Falls offers a up-close view of this scenic falls. The secluded 30 foot falls has cut a gorge in a sheltered rocky crevasse. It is accessed by a steep 0.5 mile hike. While on the final approach to the falls, the route cross the water and then goes up a small ladder, before entering a narrow gorge in order to view the falls. The highest creek flow is in the spring and early summer. During low creek flow in late summer and fall, it may be possible to scramble up the rocks in the creekbed to access the falls. In winter, the falls and stream are frozen, and the access road may be closed.

To reach Zapata Falls hiking trailhead from Denver, Colorado Springs or Pueblo, head south on US25 to Exit #50 for Walsenberg. Head west on US160 for about an hour passing through Fort Garland. Turn right heading north on SR150 which leads into Great Sand Dunes National Park. The trailhead is located on the east side of SR150 between milepost 10 and 11. Head east on the signed county road for 3.5 miles up to the trailhead parking area.


Local Contact(s):  Great Sand Dunes National Park (719) 378-6300; CO Visitors (800) COLORADO.

Recommended Book:  "Hiking Colorado" from Maryann Gaug

Average Difficulty:  Difficult

Base Camp:  NP Pinon Flats Campground; Great Sand Dunes Lodge (719) 378-2900

Luxury Loding:  Zapata Ranch (719) 378-2356

Breakfast Restaurant:  Oasis Restaurant at Park Entrance (719) 378-2222

Date Published:  

Date Updated:  6/23/2016


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For hiking the Zapata Falls in Colorado, our printable trail guides offers trail descriptions, maps, lodging suggestions, driving directions, levels of difficulty and points-of-contact.