Saturday, August 27, 2016

Zapata Falls Recreation Area

While Thomas and I were in Alamosa and visiting the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve we also decided to make our way to Zapata Falls Recreation Area. So after spending most of the day at Geat Sand Dunes we drove the short distance down CO 150 to the turnoff for the falls. There is a BLM sign where you turn onto a dirt and rock road. From the sign you travel about three and a half miles on this very rough and rocky road to the parking area for the falls. When we arrived the parking lot was full but we were lucky to find one spot to park. From the parking lot you have a great view of Great Sand Dunes. Thomas and I had been to the falls once before back in 2006 and we knew that to see the falls you had to wade through the South Zapata Creek to get to a cave to view the falls. So we had done some planning. We brought our water shoes that we use for kayaking and towels.

So from the parking lot we hiked up the rocky half mile trail to the edge of the creek. Once there we found a bench and changed into our water shoes and headed into the water. For August the water was damn cold. But we got use to it and trudged along. The creek is full of rocks made smooth by the moving waters so they can be slippery and I was glad we had our rubber soled shoes. There were quite a few people around but when we got to the cave (just a short little wak through the water) there were only three people there. When you first enter the cave you see a small water fall at the back and when you go further into the cave you can see a second fall higher up. It is absolutely beautiful and worth the rocky hike and cold water to see. We spent ten or so minutes taking pictures and enjoying the falls and then made the short walk back to the trail. We took our wet shoes off, dried our feet and put our other shoes on to walk back to the car.

We were only there a short time but we thoroughly enjoyed it - the area is beautiful and relaxing. I think it would be great to take some sandwiches and have a little picnic in the shady area along the creek. I wouldn't mind taking another trip back here soon.

Here are a few links with information and pictures about Zapata Falls . . .
Zapata Falls National Recreational Area
Hidden Colorado Gem: Zapata Falls
Zapata Falls - National Park Service
BLM Colorado | Zapata Falls Recreational Area
Zapata Falls Trail - Colorado |
Zapata Falls - Alamosa
Zapata Falls Hike Colorado | Day Hikes Near Denver
Zapata Falls - Southern Colorado Guide
Zapata Falls: Short Hke to a Hidden Waterfall

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