These are the remains of Point...
These are the remains of Point Lookout Station west of Lookout Pass. At 6,100 feet, Lookout Pass is the highest point on the historic byway.
Lone Writer picked up the Pony Express Trail at the Historic marker for Faust Station located along Highway 36 north of Vernon, Utah. That location is the beginning of the unpaved Pony Express National Back Country Byway across western Utah. From Faust Station it is 126 miles of desert with no services or supplies.
Faust Station was a rider and horse relay station. At this point, the arriving rider would hand the mailbag to the departing rider. About 1.8 miles west of Faust is the Visitor Information Site. It consists of numerous panels built on pedestals with some of the history surrounding the era of the Pony Express. There are also numerous warnings about the blazing summer heat and the dangers involved in traveling alone.
Each station along the Pony Express trail has a historic marker. The names of the stations were originally on the markers but vandals have stolen many of the metal plaques. It is still possible to find all the names on some Web sites.
Simpson Springs is the most modern of all the relay stations along this route. It has a BLM campground with 14 sites, drinking water available, pit toilets, and a replica of a relay station. There are also an abundance of great primitive camping sites along the route. Although the main route is graded gravel, there are many dirt trails branching off and wandering into the hills. Because it was a dependable water source, Simpson Springs was used for many purposes through the years. Numerous foundations still exist in the area, but no records were kept to identify the purposes for which they were used.
About eight miles from Simpson Springs, Lone Writer stopped at the site for Riverbed Creek Station. Dugway Station came 11 miles later. It's located on the south side of the current route on a faint two-track trail. Dugway Pass is a short distance past the station and offers the most scenic views along the route.
The next two stations were also missing plaques. The first one was called Black Rock and the next one was Fish Springs. Boyd Station was occupied for many years by a man named Bid Boyd. When the Pony Express stopped, he stayed.
Willow Springs began as a relay station but has continued to exist long after the Pony Express disbanded. The name was changed to Callao. There are no services. A few homes and some old buildings are still being used. Lone Writer could not resist taking a few photos of the llamas.
Canyon Station occupied two different locations. The first one was burned to the ground by Indians. The second one was built on a hilltop for easier defense. It still has the remains of a building and some interpretive panels have been added. The historic marker for the original station can be seen at the bottom of the pass across the wash on the left.
The Ibapah Trading Post is an interesting place. From the highway, it looks like a residence, but there is a sign at the driveway. Going down the long driveway eventually reveals the trading post nestled among some buildings. Besides gasoline, the store was stocked with a limited supply of odds and ends. The sheriff stopped by. Lone Writer could not help wondering if he really needed gas or if he was just curious about the stranger who had driven back and forth through town a couple times.
The mileages were taken with a '98 Isuzu that has not been calibrated. When a zero appears under the trip meter column, reset your trip meter.
The route begins by turning off Highway 36 north of Vernon, Utah, between mile post 26 & 27. There is a sign pointing west for the Pony Express Route. It's about 130 miles to Ibapah so be sure you have enough gas.
This building at Simpson Springs...
This building at Simpson Springs is a replica of what the relay station might have looked like. A campground is available with drinking water and pit toilets. There are also numerous foundations from other buildings that no longer exist.
Riverbed Station was located...
Riverbed Station was located in this barren location. Historic markers such as this one have been placed at all the station locations along this route in Utah.
The original trail branches...
The original trail branches off the modern road in some places. Markers have been placed to mark the original route.