Directions: From Highway 160, about 5 miles west of Blanca, turn north on Highway 150 and travel about 10.5 miles to BLM road 5415; turn east and travel another 2.7 miles to the trailhead.

To reach the road to the trail from the Great Sand Dunes National Park, travel about 7 miles southwest on Highway 150

The South Zapata trail is 4.8 miles long. It begins at BLM Road 5415 (the Zapata Falls road) and ends at South Zapata Lake.

Hike one-half mile from the trailhead to Zapata Creek, wade upstream into the narrow cave to view the falls. The 30 foot high waterfall cascades within a narrow chasim. Watch for falling rocks. The water is swift and deep in early summer.

The trail proceeds from the waterfall up South Zapata Creek to South Zapata Lake. The trail is steep in many places.About 2.25 miles up the trail, North Fork South Zapata Creek Trail #868 begins.

The trail is open for the following uses: Horseback riding, hiking, and backpacking.


 There is a designated National Forest campground at the trail head. Fee required.

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