- District 12 County Officials Conference in Laredo
Welcome to Zapata County
Zapata County is on U.S. Highway 83 south of Laredo in the Rio Grande Plain region of South Texas. The county, named for local rancher Antonio Zapata is bordered on the north by Webb County, on the east by Jim Hogg and Starr counties, and on the west by Mexico. The center of the county is at 26°58′ north latitude and 99°10′ west longitude. The county’s largest town and county seat is Zapata, which is on the Rio Grande at the junction of U.S. Highway 83 and State Highway 16. Other communities include San Ygnacio, Ramireño, Chihuahua, Falcon, and Lopeño. Zapata County covers 999 square miles, with elevations from 200 to 700 feet above sea level. The county generally has light-colored loamy soils over reddish or mottled clayey subsoils. The flora includes thorny shrubs, grasses, mesquite, and cacti. Zapata County’s climate is subtropical-subhumid. Temperatures range from an average of 44° F to 69° in January and 75° F to 100° in July. The average annual temperature is 74°. Rainfall averages nineteen inches a year, and the growing season lasts 295 days The county’s economy primarily relies on the oil & gas industry and tourism. Tourist draws include fishing on Falcon International Reservoir, hunting,hand gliding, and birding. Zapata has a significant “Snowbird” population that calls the community home from November – April. Beef cattle & hunting are the main contributors to the local ag economy. Melons, onions, and grain sorghum are also cultivated along the Rio Grande in the northern part of the county. There are currently 3 active 4-H Clubs in the county and popular projects include, beef, sheep, meat goats, swine, poultry, rabbits, and horses. The Zapata County Fair is known throughout the region and draws spectators from all over South Texas every March.