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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Rio Grande National Forest > Conejos Peak Ranger District

Quick Facts

Zapata Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,200 Feet (3179.6 Meters) West side of Huerfano Road 580
Difficulty: Difficult
Elevation: 13,849 Feet (4317.0 Meters) California Peak
Elevation Gain: 1,640 Feet (511.2 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 11,840 Feet (3690.8 Meters) Ridgetop in Rio Grande Nat. Forest
Length, One-way: 1.8 Miles (3.0 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 853
Usage: Moderate
USGS Map: Mosca Pass

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Indian Paintbrush
Copyright: Unknown
Indian Paintbrush
The trailhead for Zapata is about 3/4 mile inside the forest boundary and it can be used to access California Peak. From the ridgetop where the trail ends one can see vistas of the Huerfano and San Luis Valleys. There is also the possibility of seeing wildlife.

The trail climbs the whole time; a little less than 1/2 way up you go through some nice, open benches and then the trail climbs again and you go through an old burn area. You are in and out of the timber most of the way, but you begin to have vistas the last 1/4 of the trail. The trail to California Peak is an alpine ridgewalk and is not maintained by the Forest Service.

Directions from Highway 69: Take Highway 69 just northwest of Gardner and turn left on County Road 550 toward Redwing. This becomes County Road 580. It is about twenty miles to the trailhead from Highway 69 and the roads are signed. 4WD vehicles are highly recommended, but some high clearance 2 WD will do. There is parking for about 10 at the trailhead. Park before or after the sign.

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Zapata Trail
ICON Hunting In season
ICON Viewing Scenery Vistas of the Huerfano and San Luis Valleys
ICON Viewing Wildlife Possible to see wildlife

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Conejos Peak Ranger Station, 15571 County Road T-5, P.O. Box 420 , La Jara, CO, 81140, Phone: 719-274-8971, TTY: 719-274-3139


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