The Pony Express (Fairfield to Ibapah)

4.7/5 (3 reviews)
Fairfield, Utah (Utah County)
Last Updated: 04/26/2017

Trail Information


Almost 2000 miles of dirt road stretching across the United States from St. Joseph to San Francisco sounds like an overlanders dream come true. Dating back to 1860, The Pony Express was one of the most historic routes in the country. The trail was originally laid out to provide a way for mail to be delivered. Over the course of eight to ten days, riders would traverse mountains and deserts across 8 states (Only two states back then) to deliver mail to Sacramento, where it was placed onto a steamer to continue its journey to San Francisco. At its peak, there were believed to be around 190 stations spanning across this historic route. Sadly after only 18 months, the telegraph was brought about and lead to the termination of The Pony Express in October of 1861. Today, much of the track is still available and maintained by the Bureau of Land Management. What took riders eight to ten days to cover at an average speed of seven miles per hour now can be achieved by vehicle in as little as 5 hours depending on speed of travel. Billboards and postings give plenty of information along this trail. Although it may be a maintained route, be sure to pack for desert travel bringing plenty of food, water, and clothing in the colder months.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Trail Reviews

4.7/5 (3)
Official Crew
Rated 5/5
Visited: 06/04/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This has been one of our favorite trails in Utah for decades. It's such barren, open land but with so much to soak in. This trail guide is excellent and very helpful in both navigating a long day and providing informative points on each of the stops along the way. Our primary initiative on this outing was finding the Onaqui herd of wild mustangs, which we did. If you're looking for the horses, you need to dedicate some research in advance and diligence with binoculars along the Pony Express Trail from Lookout Pass to Simpson Springs and beyond. Pay attention to the location of water holes. Come prepared with good maps - and download them before you head out. Frankly, you can do the Pony Express Trail with a passenger car or SUV. But it's a ton more fun in a Jeep, plus it allows you the opportunity to explore more off the trail. There are a ton of great mountain trails on the south side of the Pony Express Trail, and some nice, flat desert sand tracks on the north side. If you want a great breakfast on your way in, or a huge burger on the way out, check out Penny's Cafe south of Stockton. It's a true desert roadhouse with a great history and wonderful place to relax and tell stories about your day in the desert.
Rated 4/5
Visited: 05/15/2021

This trail was fairly straightforward as the listing states. We went on this one because we had a friend in a stock hatchback. The trail is quite dusty(at least this time of year). Plenty of blm camp sites. The first leg up to the springs campground was quite busy with ATVs but the latter portion was very quite. Would recommend this trip for beginners in stock vehicles ( or those looking for a very relaxing drive).
Rated 5/5
Visited: 08/16/2018

This trail follows the old railroad line and then cuts off around sulfur springs and is a very easy trail to take as a novice. fun day trip with markers for the pony express all the way along it. This will also take you to the Geode beds.

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