A Dip in Zapata Falls

By August 6, 2019 August 30th, 2019 Campsites, Excursions

Day Five finds us just south of the Great Sand Dunes of the Sangre de Christo Mountains.  3 miles up a very bumpy road provides not only a 70 mile viei to the mountains on the far side of the San Luis Valley, but also a chance to wade up a  snowmelt creek to Zapata Falls, which plummets into a cavelike box canyon.

The entrance to Zapata Falls is a narrow slot canyon that you wade up to the soundtrack of the fall’s deafening roar.

The rushing, ice-cold waters of Zapata Creek.

The Sangre de Christos earned their name from the blood-red hue they take on at dawn and dusk.  There’s a 70 mile stretch across the San Luis Valley that allows one of the more stunning sunsets I’ve seen.

The view looking southwest, from 1000′ off the valley floor.  Storm clouds squashed the evening’s colors shortly after this shot, as I watched cloudbursts  where the rain never made it to the plain.  Only 8 inches of rain fall annually out here.