During the late 1600s, Spanish conquistadors entered New Mexico and enslaved numerous Native Americans. Many of the Indians were able to escape and fled to southern Colorado. In 1778, a battle was initiated between the Spanish troops and the Comanche Indians. After seven battles, which occurred only 20 miles north of Lathrop State Park, the Comanche Indians were defeated and the chief of the tribe was killed at the base of Greenhorn Mountain along the Greenhorn creek. Both the mountain and the creek were named after the chief.
Lathrop State Park was introduced as Colorado’s first state park in 1962 and was named after Harold W. Lathrop, who was the first director of the state parks and recreation board from 1957-1961. The park is 1,460 acres of recreational enjoyment with two lakes, Martin Lake and Horseshoe Lake, which offer a variety of boating and angling opportunities. Visitors can also take advantage of the fantastic southern Spanish Peaks in the Sangre de Cristo mountain range while playing a round of golf, or hiking along prairie trails.