Camping at Lathrop State Park
Location and Overview
Lathrop State Park is located in the beautiful Spanish Peaks region of Colorado, about 3 miles west of the city of Walsenburg. It is actually the first state park in Colorado and features two lakes—Martin Lake and Horseshoe Lake—that offer a variety of water activities.
- Water Sports: You can enjoy fishing, boating, paddleboarding, and windsurfing on the lakes. Martin Lake allows powerboats, while Horseshoe Lake is a wakeless lake, making it perfect for fishing and paddle sports.
- Camping: The park offers various campsites, including sites for tents, RVs, and group camping. Amenities like electric hookups, shared water, picnic tables, and fire pits/grills can be found at most sites.
- Hiking and Wildlife Viewing: Several trails provide the chance to observe local wildlife and enjoy the park's scenery.
- Golfing: The Walsenburg Golf Course is nearby, which is a 9-hole course.
- Campgrounds: Yucca and Pinon Campgrounds offer developed sites, and many have electrical hookups. They come with restroom facilities and showers.
- Picnic Areas: There are designated day-use areas with tables and grills.
- Visitor Center: The park has a visitor center where you can find more information about the park and purchase necessary permits.
Camping Reservations and Fees
- Reservations: It's recommended to make reservations for camping, which can be done online or by phone.
- Fees: Visitors are required to purchase a daily parks pass or have an annual parks pass, and there are separate fees for camping.
Wildlife and Vegetation
The park is a habitat for various wildlife species, including deer, waterfowl, and fish. Vegetation in the park consists of a mix of grassland and shrubland, juniper, and pinon pine.
Weather in this region can change quickly, and it's important to be prepared for conditions that range from hot summer days to chilly nights. Afternoon thunderstorms are common during the summer.
Rules and Regulations
- Fishing Regulations: Anglers must follow Colorado fishing regulations, and a valid Colorado fishing license is required.
- Pet Policy: Pets are allowed in the park but must be kept on a 6-foot leash at all times.
- Fire Restrictions: Depending on current conditions, there may be fire bans or restrictions in place.
- Boating: Boats must be inspected for aquatic nuisance species before entering the water.
Access and Contact Information
Most GPS and maps will provide accurate directions to Lathrop State Park. For current conditions, reservations, and any questions, you can contact the park directly via phone or visit the official website of the Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
- Arrival: It's best to arrive early during peak season to secure a good spot, especially if you haven't made a reservation.
- Supplies: Make sure to bring all the necessary supplies, including plenty of water, as resources can be limited.
- Leave No Trace: Practice "Leave No Trace" principles to preserve the park's natural beauty for future visitors.