Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Zapata Falls - Alamosa County
Ownership: None Listed
Description: Perched at the top of the highest public road in the county, Zapata Falls is a wonderfully cool spot both literally and figuratively. After driving up the road through several miles of excellent PJ and hiking the hot, dusty half mile up to the falls, the perpetual cool breeze in the canyon will feel terrific. Below the falls, a few mid-elevation riparian cottonwoods and spruces support the likes of Hermit Thrush and Yellow-rumped Warbler, but the real prizes are the American Dippers and Black Swifts that nest at the falls themselves. Although the swifts outnumber the dippers manyfold, they are much harder to see unless you are here near dawn or dusk. If you want to bird the only true high-mountain part of Alamosa County, outfit yourself for a major hike and continue past the falls up the steep, challenging South Zapata Lake Trail.

Habitat: Pinyon-Juniper Forest, Lowland Riparian, Stream
Directions: From US 160 fourteen miles east of Alamosa and five miles west of Blanca, turn north on CO 150 and proceed about eleven miles to the turnoff, signed for Zapata Falls, on the right (east). The steeply winding gravel road rises about 3.5 miles to the parking lot for the falls.
Other Wildlife:
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