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This is a great campground. Beautiful views, plenty of space and access to some great hiking.
The hike to Zapata Falls was very crowded, even when the campground wasn't full; a lot of people make the drive just for the falls. I would highly recommend the hike to Zapata Lake. It's strenuous but beautiful.
The road to the campground is very rough. Be prepared to go slow, especially if you have a small car. I have a small car and driving this road was one of the most stressful things I've ever done. Take your time. And let people who are going faster than you pass.
Not far from Great Sand Dunes NP, this state park has some very nice spots and a easy hike to the falls. We were there the last ski day of the year in April and we had the entire campground to ourselves. Maybe that's why I liked it so much. :)
Leave no trace.
These sites were pretty large and very private. There was plenty of space in the surrounding trees to explore a little. Each site was very unique in its space and set up, which is really cool.
Clean vault/pit toilets were available with toilet paper provided, but you need your own sanitizer.
The proximity to an amazing trail to the Falls is of course an obvious bonus.
Group camp sites are available (although not during COVID)
I spent a night here earlier this summer, back in May. Amazing find. The road up to it is long and can be pretty rough (gravel, but with big rocks and dips) so if you're in a low-clearance car might want to take it slow.
The campground overlooks a huge expanse and the views are really stunning. Sunset and sunrise are perfect, and you can see Great Sand Dunes National Park off to the right. Maybe the campsite with the best views of all those I've ever stayed at. Really kind of mind-boggling if the weather is clear and the visibility is good.
Waylan, the camp host when I was there, is a total character but a really nice guy. We made friends with him and he decided to take us up for a midnight hike to the water fall. So cool. Headlamps and rock-jumping trying not to get wet as we made our way up the creek. Definitely give this man a beer if you see him. He even hooked us up with some camp wood when we realized we forgot to buy some.
On that note, it does take a while to get up here and to get back, and when you get back to the main road it's still in the middle of nowhere so you might want to stock up on ice and food and wood and whatever else you might want if you're planning on hunkering down for a while.
All in all, a truly special spot. Next time I'm in southern Colorado I'm definitely heading back. Hopefully Waylan will still be there.
Site is well maintained and the host was so nice and helpful. Views over the valley are great. The rough road is fine- to be expected BUT you have to pay a fee, it is not dispersed camping, it is a campground with all sites right off the road that was super full and not private at all. Again, great views for car camping, well maintained and great host. Just get here early and expect people to be driving through late into the evening.
This was my most primitive campsite up to the point of staying here! I was surprised to find there was a camp host, but Tim was great. The vault toilets were the cleanest and freshest I’ve ever experienced. I was in campsite 24, which is technically a site for campers/RVs, but luckily there was a clearing for a tent just below the car pull in and there was also a path already worn from that tent clearing to the bathroom, so it almost felt like I had a private entrance. lol
The sites are first come, first serve, but I def saw people camping along the route up when I drove back up late at night one night. Also, most people are pretty much “one and done” with this campsite, so if you’re determined to stay here, but don’t find something on your first try, just come back in the morning.
Great views of the valley below on a clear day!
The road up is 3.5 miles from the highway and it is ROUGH. It is manageable with a 2wd drive car (I have a Camry), but my hands were sweating the whole way. This road stays fairly busy with visitors to see the falls. There is also a trail to Zapata Lake, which few seem to take advantage of.
Smooth dirt road with large spots and smaller spots right off the road. Perfect for when all the other nearby campgrounds are full, but make sure you get there before sunset because it will fill up. We stayed on a busy Friday and didn't go up the road too far; it looked like it gets steeper and rocky.
Yeah… the road is bumpy. My Subaru made it fine. Most cars will make it up the hill just fine. Drive slow and be smart. The campsite was straightforward. I was at site #7 for tents. Good amount of shade, nice views, and a flat padded area for the tent. My only complaints would be people showing up late and being noisy and some guy who was yelling on his cell phone literally all day from the back of his camper, but these are situational and you can’t beat that view. Close to the dunes, clean bathrooms and sites, and safe. Good for everyone including kids and pups.