One of my favorite places to travel is to the San Luis Valley. To me, wide open land surrounded by mountains just radiates beauty. This picture was taken an hour before a crazy wind storm hit; dust bunnies tumbling across the road as if the place were deserted. Tornadoes of dust spinning towards my car and then gone in the wind.
Once the storm cleared up after about three hours I drove a long 30 or so miles towards the Sand Dunes. I saw a sign reading Zapata Falls right 10+ miles; of course I went right, to chase waterfalls. I turned onto a dirt road and continued up towards the Zapata Falls (the dirt road is about 10 miles or so to the top). I reached the top of the dirt road and was in awe to see nothing but the amazing panoramic view of the Sand Dunes pressed against the base of the mountains.
Hiking up to Zapata Falls is one of the easier hikes I have done, there is no incline. As I got closer I could smell the fresh water of the melted snow run down the creek. Making it to the top, I saw that part of the waterfall was still frozen; only one thing crossed my mind, I am going to climb in there and take pictures. In every way, worth it and I highly recommend doing that if you go up there and it is still frozen!
These pictures do not do it justice but once you get up through the opening you look up and are surrounded by the rocks that go straight up and down. The frozen part is in the far back corner of the cave like structure.
Hiking out of the waterfall was just as gorgeous as hiking in. Everything so green with so much life.
Zapata Falls is very easy to get to if you do not mind driving for long periods of time on straight roads. It is beautiful any time of the year. During the winter you can hike up into the cave no problem and the ice does not break. Spring time in my mind is the best time to go because you do not need a jacket and the waterfall is still frozen with some fresh water flowing down the creek. Summer is lovely because of the very warm weather but unfortunately you can not hike up into the waterfall (unless you don’t mind the cold water). I have never been in the fall but my guess is it would be stunning to see all the trees changing!
You can also hike up above the waterfall and look down into the caved area. Be very careful doing that because there are loose rocks and dirt that are very untrustworthy. If you decide to do that just watch your footing and make sure you look up to see the view!
I love this area of Colorado and I hope you do to!
Enjoy your final destination!
Zapata Falls, Mosca, CO 81146 (4 hrs and 12 mins).