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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 Frozen Ice Sculpture - San Luis Valley - Colorado

Zapata Falls Frozen Ice Sculpture - San Luis Valley - Colorado

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

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5 Responses

  1. Joseph

    Beautiful photo, Janine! Thanks for sharing it! I’ll have to get to Sand Dunes sometime to see this in person. 🙂

    April 13, 2012 at 9:24 pm

  2. Pete

    With you & kiah in the photo, we get the true scope of the falls….beautiful formation and nice shot.

    April 14, 2012 at 5:44 am

  3. Randy

    Nice shot. I feel like I’m there. Your smile (and the dog 🙂 make the picture even more attractive!

    April 14, 2012 at 6:36 am

  4. Well done with your photo. Nice work.

    August 29, 2012 at 5:02 am

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"As Seen by Janine: Eyes of the World Images Photo Blog"  by Janine Fugere. 

Come take a look at the world "As Seen by Janine." 

My cameras and lenses are my "Eyes of the World."  Please enjoy the view! 

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