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Zapata Falls, Mosca

4.5
#34 of 143 in Nature in Colorado
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 falls has a drop of 30ft. Access to this waterfall entails a mildly steep 0.5mi hike. Viewing the falls requires fording the stream and climbing rocks.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
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
348 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • After a short and not too challenging hike, you will need to actually finish the last part of this adventure by actually entering the stream formed by the waterfall. We were there late season so the w...  more »
  • The falls themselves are reasonably impressive, but it’s more about the journey. After a short, slightly steep, trail, you have to walk up the - pretty cold – creek to actually see the falls. It was g...  more »
  • After a 3 mile dirt road drive, you hike about 1/4 mile to the edge of the stream that leads to the falls. Prepare to get your feet wet. As you make your way into the cave that contains the falls, you...  more »
Google
  • I have been to this both many many times both in the winter and summer it was two kids first time,the other two’s first time, and wife’s second. This place is totally awesome and worth the hike to see it. Just a word of warning you will not see the falls like in my picture without getting wet. Spring and early summer will offer the most water of course. Winter is a pretty neat time to visit too as the falls will freeze but not completely in spots. You can hear and see the water still flowing under and in the ice. Another warning...... while I have seen many cars on the road to this place it is by far a very rough one.
  • The half mile hike up is rocky, so make sure you have good shoes. That people were doing it in flip-flops made my feet slightly insecure. The stream leading up the falls is fun time are through and beautiful. Once you get to the falls, you only see a short 3 foot waterfall, so make sure you go in another 15 feet to see the big waterfall. I climbed up into the upper rocks and it was breathtaking....it could have also been the freezing water, but I'd say it was probably the view. Lots of people so be prepared to have people trying to squeeze past you, but totally worth it. I swear I didn't trip that guy....the rocks were slippery.....
  • Beautiful place and perfect for a camping trip with the family! You can park a car at a camping spot and set up a tent. Once you do that, you can take a brief hike to the cave where the waterfall is. The climb into the cave and to the water is very rocky and slippery, and I actually lost my shoe trying to go across the stream barefoot. But the trouble is worth it.. truly a sight to see!
  • I've made this hike 4x in my life. Again just last week. Always worth it. It's in a bit of a cave and if the river is running high be prepared to hike in the water to get to see the actual waterfall but that's half the fun!!
  • An easy hike to a really cool waterfall and a great view of Great Sand Dunes National Park. Be prepared to wade through a bit of water to get back to the waterfall. You can stay mostly on the rocks, but shoes will not stay dry! If you're coming from the overflow lot, it's worth walking to the main parking lot and leaving from the trailhead there. We took a wrong turn and ended up taking the trail toward Zapata Lake on accident. When we realized it, we had to do some backtracking to get to the falls. Once we made it there, though, the trail was super easy to find!

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