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

Quick Facts

Zapata Falls Area

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

View from Zapata Falls Parking Area - 10.98
Copyright: Jamiebea Hall - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
View from Zapata Falls Parking Area - 10.98
A very rough dirt and rock road leaves State Road 150 approximately 11 miles north of Highway 160. A hike of 2.7 miles or a four-wheel drive vehicle is needed to reach the parking area. There is a restroom and picnic area by the parking area.

This hike is not for everyone. Be prepared to climb a short ladder, get your feet wet in cold water and balance on slippery rocks. Hike 1/2 mile up the trail to the creek, climb up the ladder and continue in the creek through the rock canyon where the falls cascade inside the rock walls.

Directions from U.S. Highway 160: From U.S. Highway 160, proceed north on State Road 150 for about 11 miles to a dirt road on the right side. Four-wheel drive is recommended for this road. It is approximately 2.7 miles from State Road 150 to the trailhead.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: May through October (NOTE: The best time to view the Falls is when the creek is at minimum flow since you have to walk at least one-fourth mile up the creek to reach a point where the Falls can be seen in the cave.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: tom (liberal, ks)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Dirt road is very rough, but not hard for two wheel drive. Trail to falls has several benches along the way. Once you get into the slot canyon falls are visible from about ten to fifteen feet in, smaller fall about five feet, then about twenty feet above that another fall. Lots of pinion pines. Saw about a dozen deer along road at dusk on the way back fromthe sand dunes.

Difficulty: Easy
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Correction to trail head access. The road to the Zapata Falls trail head is dirt but is passable by most any 2wd regular clearance vehicle. Just take it slow.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cold Water Fishing South Zapata Creek; South Zapata Lake
ICON Forest Areas Zapata Falls Area
ICON Four-Wheel Driving A very rough dirt and rock road
ICON Hiking & Walking Zapata Falls Trail & South Zapata Creek Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Trail is steep in many places
ICON Picnicking Picnic tables at parking area.

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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