Salt Lake City

Public Lands Department

Warm Springs Park

Warm Springs Park is a recreational open space that is home to natural warm springs that were used by Native Americans prior to the arrival of Mormon pioneers in the middle of the 19th century. The park now hosts recreational and community activities and events.

At the center of the park is the original Warm Springs Plunge building, which was repurposed as The Children’s Museum of Utah until 1983. Although the building is now vacant, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Improvements to the park over the years consist of walking paths/trails, parking, restroom facilities, tennis courts, play fields, artwork, landscaping, and interpretive signage/panels.

The park is near bus stops for UTA routes 455, 460, 462, 470, 471.

Amenities

  • Playground
  • Restroom
  • Multi-purpose fields
  • Tennis
  • Drinking Fountain
  • Picnic Tables
  • New off-leash dog area
  • Time limited off-leash hours

Projects

  • Design for multi-use field improvements and events area
  • Design to enhance the natural warm springs area

Park Details

Zip Code: 84103
Council Member: Chris Wharton
Community Council: Capitol Hill
Acreage: 19.6
Property Type: Community Park

History of Warm Springs Park

While Warm Springs Park itself isn’t historic, it borders the original 1922 Warm Springs Municipal Bathhouse and historic warm springs.

The warm springs were first used by Native Americans then by fur trappers and pioneer settlers in the early 1800’s. According to early settler Thomas Bullock, the warm springs had healing properties, “every person who was sick that bathed in it recovered…those who once bathe there want to go again.” Three years later, a 15’X30’ adobe bathhouse was erected using pine-log pipes to channel the spring water and a ditch nearby for freshwater. 

Journal entries dating back from the 1850s indicate that the bathhouse was one of the first venues for balls, socials, and weddings in Salt Lake City. It had twelve rooms (six on each side), a ballroom, two parlors, a dining room, a double kitchen, an indoor pool for women with an outdoor pool for men.

Little was changed to the bathhouse until 1865 when it was replaced by a larger facility two/tenths a mile north (close to where the drinking fountain is in Warm Springs Park today). Seven years later, in 1872, the City installed a mule-driven streetcar system to make the commute from downtown convenient. Eventually, the bathhouse became repurposed as The Children’s Museum of Utah, which was open until 1983. Although the building is now vacant, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.