Zapata Falls  
USGS 7.5' Map: Zapata Ranch, Twin Peaks
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Easy 1 BLM 5415 3.44 7,800 to 9,040 ft. NA 0.5 hours
County: Alamosa
Adopted by:      
Managed by: BLM, San Luis Valley Field Office 1313 E. Hwy. 160, Monte Vista, Colorado 81144 719-655-2547
Summary: An easy, rough road to the Zapata Falls trail head and campground.
Attractions: Waterfall
Natural - closed by heavy snows.
Best Time: May - Best
June - Best
July - Best
August - Best
September - Best
October - Watch for early snows
Trail Heads
Zapata Falls Trail - Hiking
South Zapata Creek Trail, FT852 - Hiking
Camping: No dispersed sites. BLM Campground.
Base Camp: Good area to base camp and explore the other hiking trails in the area.
Fall Colors: Poor - Sage and pine only.
Navigation: From Alamosa, CO. head east on 6th Street toward US Hwy 285 and go 0.7 miles. Turn left onto US-160 E/Denver Ave and continue to follow US-160 E for 14.5 miles. Turn left onto CO-150 N and go 10.7 miles. Turn right on to the Zapata Falls road, BLM5415.

From Blanca, CO. head west on US-160 W/Main St toward Weaver Ave and continue to follow US-160 W for 6.0 miles. Turn right onto CO-150 N and go 10.7 miles. Turn right on to the Zapata Falls road, BLM5415.
After leaving Hwy 150 you will pass a wide area with a loop road around a kiosk. The road is two lanes wide, but becomes very rough. It will climb into the sage brush through a series of switchbacks. As you continue to gain altitude you will do two very long swtichbacks before coming to the main Zapata Falls parking area and trail head. There is a side road to the campground and a loop road with two parking areas at the trail head. Some picnic tables are in the trees around this loop. At the trail head there is a restroom.

The hike to Zapata Falls is a short half mile walk with benches to rest along the way. The trail is well constructed. The trail will do a single switchback before coming to the mouth of Zapata Canyon.
Zapata Falls canyon

photo by:
Adam M

Here you will have to walk in the creek in order to get a view of Zapata Falls. It is best to have water shoes to hike in the creek as the rocks can be slippery. The water in the creek will be cold. Zapata Falls is a 30 foot waterfall tucked back in a short tunnel in the rock where the water funnels down from the creek high above.
Zapata Falls (mist shows up in flash as white spots)

photo by:
Adam M

Zapata Falls is accessible in the winter when it turns into a frozen waterfall of ice and snow.
Data updated - December 31, 2017      4WD Road driven - September 6, 2015      Copyright - 2000-2018