Campground info

Info
Reviews
Nearby
Approx $11 / day
Zapata Falls Campground
5.0 (5 reviews)
Directions
Share
Add to trip
Roam with care
Remember to enjoy these campgrounds in a sustainable, respectful way. Clean up after yourself, be friendly with others, and don't overstay your welcome :)
Details

Zapata Falls a Bureau of Land Management Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) is BLM. The campground is located on BLM road 5415, seven miles southwest of the Great Sand Dunes National Park. 

The campground sits at 9,000 feet at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It offers sweeping views of the San Luis Valley, the San Juan Mountains and nearby Great Sand Dunes National Park—plus spectacular sunrises, sunsets and night skies.

A new trailhead in the campground supplies a link to the South Zapata Creek Trail # 852, and the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. A second trail, North Fork South Zapata Trail # 868, just above the campground in the day-use area, leads visitors on a mildly steep half-mile hike to the falls that give the campground its name.

The falls were formed when South Zapata Creek wore a groove in the crystalline rocks of the Sangre de Cristos, allowing its water to spill onto the soft alluvial soils below.  Over millennia, the creek has carved a dim, deep and narrow chasm through which water tumbles some 30 feet.  In the summer, the falls offer a cool respite; winter temperatures turn them into a giant ice sculpture.

Getting to the falls is an adventure in itself, involving a wade through cold creek water and a climb over slick boulders.  The falls are located on land owned by the Colorado State Land Board, and people who visit them need to be cautious and realize that the climb can be risky.

Location
Cell signal
Verizon LTE
AT&T
AT&T LTE
Sprint LTE
T-Mobile LTE
Weather
Averages
Forecast
jan
0.53"
34.2°
9.4°
feb
0.46"
38.1°
14°
mar
1.12"
46.6°
22.4°
apr
1.04"
55.4°
28.5°
may
1.2"
65.5°
37.6°
jun
0.85"
76.1°
45.9°
jul
1.8"
80.4°
51°
aug
2.08"
77.6°
49.3°
sep
1.43"
70.7°
42.4°
oct
0.98"
58.8°
31.6°
nov
0.47"
45°
20.3°
dec
0.45"
34.7°
10.5°
Seasonal scales
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter
Crowdedness
You can see others, but they're 50+ feet away
Fullness
Nearly impossible to find a spot
Noise
Rare man-made noise (trains, cars, etc...)
Shade
Some shady spots
Cleanliness
Pristine, no trash at all
Safety
Very safe
Road difficulty
Mostly accessible, some spots can be hard to get to
Are we there yet?
kegger
4
Dec 2021
Legit AF

The road has been improved, any 2WD vehicle can get up here. Beautiful views, 13 is a prime spot.

0
deannabuttaro
12
Jul 2021
Lovely

Beautiful sunsets, cheap ($11), with fire rings, bear boxes, good Hammock spots, and nearby hikes. Pit toilets were clean. The area felt extremely safe with lots of families. The road is a little rough but I saw sedans make the drive just fine.

0
jessp
1
May 2021
Beautiful views

Expansive view of the San Luis Valley and beautiful sunsets. A bit of a rough road up, you either need good clearance or you are going really slow. Great access to Zapata Falls and only a few miles outside GSNP. Campground has clean pit toilets, bear storage lockers and trash. No water, so come prepared.

0
laurawingfield
163
Feb 2020
Best San Luis Valley View

If you're looking for a good place to spend the night outside GSDNP, this is where I'd recommend! Great tent camping, but to be honest, the best RV site is usually taken by the host (but rightfully so). Bathrooms are always clean, and so are the sites. The sunset view is more than ideal, and the lights from Alamosa and the other valley towns can be seen. Storms crossing the valley and on the mountain are fairly common, as it is in most of Colorado, so come prepared.

2
stv1973
15
Nov 2019
Nice find near the National Park.

First, the road to get up to the site is rough. I made it in my Promaster no problemo, just take your time. There are 20+ campsites with only a couple of pull throughs that weren't very big. The views of the valley are staggering sunrises and sunsets-amazing. 11bucks to stay one night is a good deal. Clean vault toilets and very quiet this time of year!

2
Show cell towers
Pinyon Flats Campground Dump Station
dump
water
npwater
Exon truck stop
dump
water
npwater
groceries
propane
gas
Walmart Alamosa Supercenter
31.53 miles away (41 min)
groceries