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 have 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

Elevation Map

GPX Track

Video Tour

Trail Pictures