The day after our trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park, Dave and I took a trip to the nearby Zapata Falls trail for a short hike. Our neighbors told us to be sure to experience the hike, and we’re so glad we did! Like Medano Creek, Zapata Falls will be most exciting to visit when the snow is melting most aggressively: so the month of May is probably best, if you can.
The turn off to the trailhead road is about 3 miles before the main entrance to the National Park. There’s a 3 1/2 mile rocky unpaved road full of switchbacks that needs to be driven up to the trailhead itself. The views during the drive are gorgeous, but it’s also important to keep your eyes on the road — you don’t want to accidentally drive over a large rock! There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the views of the sand dunes from up there.