Locomotive Springs |

North Great Salt Lake

Roadside Attraction Locomotive Springs - North Great Salt Lake Roadside Attraction Locomotive Springs
North Great Salt Lake

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments

Overview

RATING: Roadside Attraction
LENGTH: 1+ hours

Fri

89 | 65

Sat

84 | 61

Sun

87 | 61

Mon

89 | 60

Tue

89 | 59

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Any, hot in summers. Roads usually passable in the winter, but may be impassable with heavy snow.
WATER: None, bring all you need.

Fri

89 | 65

Sat

84 | 61

Sun

87 | 61

Mon

89 | 60

Tue

89 | 59

View Full Weather Details
Baker Spring and Locomotive Springs WMA

Baker Spring and Locomotive Springs WMA

In 1888, when some of the first pioneers visited the north end of the Great Salt Lake, the springs at Locomotive Springs where flowing with such force, that the pioneers named them Locomotive Springs for their thunderous sound. Today, the area is managed as a waterfowl management area (WMA) as it is a critical habitat for migratory birds. Drought and ground water pumping for agriculture have reduced the springs by as much as 80% of what they were in the 1960s. There are still ponds and wetlands, but much smaller than they used to be.

This is a remote place to visit, and most popular with bird watchers, hunters, and the those looking to get off the beaten path. The springs are in stark contrast with the vast desert surrounding them. A couple of old buildings and old railroad cars in the WMA are relics of a long-gone time, and interesting to visit.

The largest springs that make up the WMA are Locomotive Springs West, Bar M Spring, and Baker Spring, Teal Spring, and Off Spring. These springs currently have ponds at them, and then feed impoundments that in wetter times would have held large pounds. Today aside from the ponds right at the springs, the impoundments are mostly dry with a small stream or wetland area running through them.

Note: There is not great primitive camping at the WMA, at least to my eye, but continuing east to the Monument Point area a few miles, or west on the old railroad grade past Kelton has some options.

Also note, many of the roads around the impoundments are closed, or only open during hunting season.

Well placed graffiti for a talkative toddler!

Well placed graffiti for a talkative toddler!

Getting There

There are two common ways to visit Locomotive Springs, the first is from Golden Spike National Monument, and the second is from Snowville. If coming from the north, or looking for less dirt road, Snowville is the best choice. From Golden Spike is the better choice if coming from the south/west or wanting a more scenic drive.

From Snowville:
On the west side of town, head south on Locomotive Springs Road. Follow this road southwest for 21 miles to the WMA and the first spring the road reaches, Baker Spring.

From Golden Spike Visitor Center:
Go north from the visitor center about 1.1 miles to the major junction with 7200 N Rd. Go left (west) on 7200 N Rd. Stay on this main dirt road as it heads west then a bend to the north. At 4.3 miles a 4-way junction is reached with farm to the south. Stay straight. The road bends north, then west as it crosses salty flats. At 15.1 is another major junction. Go left here. The road gets closer to the salty flats of the Great Salt Lake and passes around Monument Point. At 19.5 miles, go left onto Locomotive Springs Loop road. The road passes a salt operation. Follow it, staying on the main road as it goes west for 3.5 miles to the Bar M/Locomotive Spring in the WMA.

Old buildings at locomotive springs.

Old buildings at locomotive springs.

Route

Once at the WMA, it is an easy place to wander. Be sure to visit the old buildings, they are fascinating! I thought Baker Spring was the most scenic on our trip, but all are interesting to visit.


Maps

Printable Maps:
Baker Spring

12T 339702mE 4620214mN

N41° 43' 03" W112° 55' 37"

Bar M Spring

12T 340181mE 4619339mN

N41° 42' 35" W112° 55' 16"

Off Spring

12T 340907mE 4618621mN

N41° 42' 13" W112° 54' 44"

W Locomotive Spring

12T 339276mE 4620907mN

N41° 43' 25" W112° 55' 56"

Teal Spring

12T 340094mE 4618101mN

N41° 41' 55" W112° 55' 18"

Old Building

12T 339059mE 4619601mN

N41° 42' 43" W112° 56' 04"

Railroad Car

12T 338964mE 4619602mN

N41° 42' 43" W112° 56' 09"

North Route WMA Boundary

12T 340422mE 4621186mN

N41° 43' 35" W112° 55' 07"

East Route WMA Boundary

12T 341982mE 4618894mN

N41° 42' 22" W112° 53' 57"

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