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Zapata Falls

Easy/Intermediate
  4.4 ( 16 ) Favorite

Trail

1.0 mile 1.6 kilometer loop
73% Runnable
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 289' 88 m
Descent: -288' -88 m
High: 9,382' 2,860 m
Low: 9,093' 2,772 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 32% (18°)

Dogs

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Trail shared by Kristen Arendt

A great, short out-and-back run to Zapata Falls.

Kristen Arendt

Features Fall Colors · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

While this short run won't have you breaking a sweat, it is worth the short side trip to explore Zapata Falls and for the expansive views of the Great Sand Dunes on your way out.

Need to Know

The drive into the parking lot at the trailhead can be a bit rough (lots of washboard). While it technically isn't a 4WD road, it definitely helps to have some ground clearance, and just be ready for a bouncy, dusty, rocky drive in (the trailhead is located about five miles in off of 150).

Runner Notes

A super short trail with easy footing and cool views and some other trail options in the area to make for a longer run.

Description

A short, wide, easy trail with mild grades, Zapata Falls Trail is an easy run to a hidden waterfall. The views from the trailhead back across the valley to the Great Sand Dunes aren't too shabby either. The path itself is wide and only has a couple rocky or steep sections, but nothing too hard to navigate.

While the falls themselves aren't the most impressive you'll ever see, it is unique to be able to run back into the cavern where the falls originate. In the springtime, the falls will be swollen with snow melt, and runners had better be ready for frozen feet and legs if planning on dipping their feet in the water. Later in the summer, the flow of South Zapata Creek will have lessened, making the falls easier to reach (and the water won't be as frigid). In the winter, Zapata Falls will freeze over with a beautiful sheet of clear blue ice that allows you to still see the water flowing underneath which is equally as intriguing as viewing the falls in the summer.

Flora & Fauna

Pinion pine and wildflowers in the springtime. Cottonwoods by the creek.

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Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 16 votes

#627

Overall
  4.4 from 16 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
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Featured Run Rankings

#129

in Colorado

#627

Overall
136 Views Last Month
3,434 Since Feb 15, 2016
Easy/Intermediate

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