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 Pony Express Trail National Backcountry Byway & National Historic Trail

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Pony Express Trail National Backcountry Byway
Bureau of Land Management, Salt Lake District Office
2370 South 2300 West; Salt Lake City, Utah 84119
Phone: 801-977-4300; E-mail

Pony Express National Historic Trail
National Park Service
324 S. State Street, Suite 200; Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Phone: 801-741-1012, ext. 119; Fax: 801-741-1102

A portion of the Pony Express Trail near Simpson Springs, Utah.

The Pony Express Trail National Backcountry Byway traverses 133 miles through western Utah. Covering topography from barren desert mountains to wide basins, this route follows one of historical importance. This National Backcountry Byway retraces the Pony Express and the Overland Stage route, as well as a leg of the Lincoln Highway, the nation’s first coast-to-coast auto road. Interpretive sites and ruins help you relive the Pony Express’s 19 months of operation (from 1860 to 1861) and stagecoach travel. You can view wildlife year round at Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge.

Ruins at Boyd Station and Simpson Springs Station; vault toilets near Simpson Springs Station; campground near Simpson Springs. No drinking water available along the trail.


Directions

To follow the Pony Express Trail, head west from the town of Fairfield (located west of Utah Lake) through Faust, over Lookout Summit, to pass Simpson Springs and Fish Springs. The road then travels through the Snake Valley to Callao and northwest to Ibapah. There are no services along this 133-mile byway. Allow five to six hours travel time with interpretive stops.

  • Google Maps | MapQuest
  • Map Coordinates (NAD83):
    • Boyd Station: 39 50.608N; 113 33.136W
    • Black Rock Station: 39 52.678N; 113 16.342W
    • Simpson Springs Station: 40 02.367N; 112 47.286W

Weather

Click for Dugway, Utah Forecast

Regulations and Precautions

  • This is a graded gravel and dirt road can become unstable when wet and is safer to drive in summer and fall, when it is dry. Four wheel drive is recommended for exploring adjacent canyons and washes. Areas may look solid; however, getting stuck is very easy.
  • Watch for flash flooding during the thunderstorm season and be very careful during extreme hot and cold periods.
  • Desert terrain is deceptive in distance and orientation, so study the map carefully.
  • Come prepared for desert travel. Bring extra water and plenty of gas. There is no gas available between Vernon and Wendover, although gas is sometimes available in Ibapah.

Archaeological Resources Protection Act Hotline: 800-227-7286.

Pony Express Trail National Backway, Utah.

Site design by Frank Stehno
All photographs by Frank Stehno unless otherwise indicated.
Copyright © 2017 by Frank and Anne Stehno. All rights reserved.
Site established in 2000.