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Zapata Falls

432 Reviews
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Zapata Falls

432 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
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Ashley A wrote a review Oct 2020
Austin, Texas49 contributions36 helpful votes
Be prepared to either hike up the mountain or bring 4 wheel drive vehicle, because the trip up is not meant for a low riding vehicle with the rocks and the incline. But once you get to the top, the view and the falls are so worth every bump and jostle. It was a gorgeous oasis with amazing tree foliage, raging waterfalls, and crystal clear waters.
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Date of experience: October 2020
1 Helpful vote
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Michael B wrote a review Oct 2020
Allen, Texas8 contributions3 helpful votes
We never make it there. You need to drive on the rocks about 30 minutes each direction. Not something that normal people can do in regular (not off-road) vehicle. It was extremely shaking and we turned around after few minutes.
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Date of experience: October 2020
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Nebraskachick23 wrote a review Oct 2020
McCook, Nebraska62 contributions52 helpful votes
I was worried about the road. Yes, it's bad. I would not try in a car, although I saw many cars at the top. We have a minivan. We followed a trail of someone's leaking oil up the whole way, so clearly some vehicles bottom out and get damaged on the rocks. It's basically 3 miles of 12ish inch river rocks imbedded willynilly in the road the whole way. The first mile is the worst, but honestly it never gets much better. In a minivan, expect to go 6-10mph the whole way and drive carefully to avoid any high rocks and deep potholes. Drive on the smoothest part, even if it's the left side of the road. Let the 4x4s pass you. The upside is that the road is wide. I saw a few minivans turn around after the first 100 feet. I saw one hiker trying to walk it, but it would be a tough walk. The falls themselves are gorgeous, even in October. Lovely fall colors Oct 10th. Wear/bring water shoes or water hiking sandals. You can't get to the high falls without walking in the icy water quite a lot.
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Date of experience: October 2020
2 Helpful votes
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Steamboat323 wrote a review Oct 2020
Windsor, Colorado568 contributions290 helpful votes
Read the reviews, pondered whether to skip this due to the challenging road to the trailhead... so happy we pushed ahead! The road stinks.... it's totally doable for a small SUV vehicle, but it's bumpy and takes 30 minutes to go 3.5 miles. So if you're ready for that, it's the worst part. The short trail to the falls is also rocky, and it's not very scenic. That being said, when you arrive at the stream near the falls, things change magically. When we went, it was the first of October and the fall colors were in their prime - lots of gold around the stream. To reach the falls, you must walk through/ scamper over rocks/ navigate the stream to the cave. Hiking poles help immensely - we had our High Stream Gear folding hiking poles and they were lifesavers for these 50-somethings trying to traverse the boulders among the water. In October, the stream was low flow so even if you just walked in it, it's doable. We hopped rocks and our feet did not get wet. Once in the cave, be sure to look UP as it's beautiful and the lights and shadows are amazing - similar to looking up a small slot canyon in Utah;. The 2-tiered falls are around the corner at the end of the cave. The area is pretty; just know that you need to go through water to actually see the falls. So fun! Tip: Go early in the morning to beat the crowds. We arrived about 9 am on an early October Saturday, and were the only people in the cave upon arrival after passing one small group. But on our way out, there were quite a few folks hiking in. There is no charge to get in.
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Date of experience: October 2020
2 Helpful votes
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Carolina wrote a review Sep 2020
1 contribution
Zapata Falls is the sort of place you can’t find unless you look for it. Despite this, I stumbled upon it largely by accident as it happened to be the only open campsite in all southwestern Colorado because it is first come, first serve. It’s a bit of an adventure to find, miles and miles through the wide open expanse of the San Luis Valley, and the a sharp right turn onto the roughest three mile dirt road my ford fusion has ever seen that seems to be going nowhere the entire 25 minutes it takes to wind up the side of the valley without popping a tire. The campsites sit on the west facing slopes of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, from which you can see the tallest sand dunes in North America and a spectacular view of the sunset over the valley. It is great for car camping, for $11 a night the sites are decently spaced, there is good tree coverage and clean bathrooms. The weather is unpredictable, so be prepared for short bursts of strong winds and heavy rains, especially in late summer. The hike to the falls from the campsite is short and sweet, uphill but not too steep, though if you’d like to see the waterfall be prepared to wade upstream for 20 feet or so. The water is cold, but it’s worth it to wade into a chasm carved out by the force of a little creek over a millennium. The falls themselves aren’t large, but it’s the sort of place where time ceases to exist, or maybe is a little more present, just for a moment until someone else comes in and they aren’t wearing a mask and damn its 2020 isn’t it?
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Date of experience: August 2020
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