Pony Express Trail

Relive a dramatic part of the West's history as you travel the same trail that Pony Express riders covered over 100 years ago.  You can stop at stations and modern interpretive sites along the Backcountry Byway where exhausted riders once rested before continuing on to complete their 1,800-mile run.  You can extend your visit to the past with a night's stay at the campground and reconstructed station at Simpson Springs. The Pony Express Trail is a designated National Historic Trail and Backcountry Byway. 

Pony Express National Historic Trail emblemSimpson Springs Station

Traveling This Byway:

To follow the Pony Express Trail, head west from the town of Fairfield (located west of Utah Lake) through Faust, over Lookout Pass, to Simpson Springs, and then on to Fish Springs.  From here, the road then continues west to Callao, thru Overland Canyon, and on into the bucolic town of Ibapah.  There are no services along this 133-mile byway.  Cell phone coverage is spotty at best. Allow five to six hours travel time with interpretive stops.

Scenery and Attractions:

The Pony Express Trail is marked with the monuments or ruins of 14 Pony Express Station sites.  This byway crosses desert valleys, climbs remote mountain passes and serves as the main street of small, isolated communities such as Callao and Ibapah.  A popular stop is Fish Springs, the most remote wildlife refuge in the continental U.S. 

Road Conditions:

The first five miles and the last two miles of this "trail" are asphalt.  In between lie 126 miles of maintained gravel and dirt road.  The route is open throughout the year; however, the best and safest seasons for travel are spring and fall.  There are no vehicle restrictions, but proceed with caution. Make sure you have adequate fuel and spare tires as there are no services available. During good weather, high-clearance two-wheel drive vehicles are adequate for traveling the route. However, four-wheel drive and/or chains are recommended after heavy rain or snow. Roads in the Utah west desert can become impassable during inclement weather.

Other Useful Links:

Pony Express trail sign

For additional information, contact Bureau of Land Management, Salt Lake Field Office, 2370 South Decker Lake Blvd, West Valley City, Utah 84119, (801) 977-4300.