Zapata Falls Frozen Ice Sculpture
Zapata Falls are a spectacular attraction located in Colorado’s San Luis Valley nearby Great Sand Dunes National Park. This photo was taken on a side trip; I was merely planning on killing time waiting for the harsh mid-day sun to ease to late-day light, which is ideal for photographing the contrasts amidst the Dunes. Little did I know how spectacular Zapata Falls is itself, especially in this frozen solid ice sculpture state!
Zapata Falls are located south of the Great Sand Dunes National Park Visitor Center, about 8 miles down Highway 150 and then east about 3.5 miles on a gravel dirt road to the trailhead. The falls are a short 1/2 mile hike with a creek crossing, or on our trip, a walk on a still-frozen creek, since it was only the last week of March. Visiting Zapata Falls feels like being on a remote backcountry adventure, despite how easy the access is, because the falls are deep in a slot canyon crevasse which is strikingly beautiful in and of itself.
This photograph of Kiah and me in front of Zapata Falls was taken with my camera on a tripod using the self timer. It was no small trick making my way quickly across the ice without falling, in order to pose with Kiah in time to to get the shot. Mental note to self: next Spring, bring Yaktrax traction devices for shoes! As usual, my faithful Photo Assistant Doggie, Kiah, thought I was totally crazy but cooperated beautifully.
This is the first of quite a few photographs I have of the falls, since this view shows only about 1/2 of the entire waterfalls. The right side of the falls is obscured behind the rock wall; that side was in a truly surreal state which looked like icy glass lace with flowing water visible through the crystalline lace behind it. So stay tuned, more to come!
As Seen by Janine: Eyes of the World Images