Warner Springs Ranch Resort
PO Box 70 • 31652 Hwy 79, Warner Springs, California 92086        T: (760) 782-4200    F: (760) 782-9242

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Warner Spring Ranch History

Native Americans have been traced back at least 6,000 years at Warner Springs. These pre-historic tribes were the fore-runners of the Cupeña Native Americans who occupied the land from as early as 1700.

In approximately 1830 John Trumbull Warner left Connecticut and headed to California, joining a trading expedition headed by famed mountain man Jedediah Smith. Warner passed through the Warner Springs area (known then as Rancho San Jose de Valle) and Temecula in 1832 on his way to Los Angeles.  Later in Los Angeles, John Warner met and married Anita Gale, who had been raised as a ward of the widowed mother of Pio Pico, who would later become the governor of California under Mexican rule. Soon thereafter Warner became a naturalized Mexican citizen and changed his name to Juan Jose Warner. 

In 1844, Warner applied for a land grant that awarded him ownership of the 48,000-acre Rancho San Jose de Valle. Here, he established a successful cattle ranch and trading post under the name Warner’s Ranch. He and his wife Anita moved into the adobe building next to the hot springs while they built the ranch house and trading post several miles away at the intersection of the road connecting Los Angeles and San Diego to Yuma, Arizona.

The Mexican-American War (1846-48) followed in the wake of the 1845 annexation of Texas (which Mexico considered part of its territory) and preceded California’s statehood. General Stephen Watts Kearney, led by Kit Carson, marched through New Mexico and Arizona, and then passed through Warner Springs on the expedition that led to the Battle of San Pasqual. (John C. Frémont would later become a U.S. Senator from California and run for president of the United States.)

Learn more about John Warner >