Zapata Falls (9,250′), Sangre de Cristo Range

The Zapata Falls Recreational Area is approximately three miles south of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve entrance. The falls are located inside a cave and has a 30 foot drop that freezes in the winter months. Even in winter, water can still be heard flowing deep underneath the ice.

StatsRoute DescriptionDirectionsNotes
  • Trailhead:        Zapata Falls
  • Round trip:      1 mile / 1.6 km
  • Elevation:         9,035′-9,250′ (+215′) / 2,754m-2,819m (+66m)

From the Great Sand Dunes Visitor Center, drive south about 8 miles, then turn left (east) onto a dirt road. Drive the remaining 3.5 miles to the trailhead. To view the falls, hike about 1/2 mile, cross the creek, then scramble up the rocks and stream into a crevasse where the 30 ft. high falls cascade down.

The falls have a 25′ drop




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