Pony Express

National Historic Trail - CA,CO,KS,MO,NE,NV,UT,WY

The Pony Express was a mail service delivering messages, newspapers, and mail using relays of horse-mounted riders that operated from April 3, 1860, to October 26, 1861, between Missouri and California in the United States of America. The Pony Express route was designated the Pony Express National Historic Trail August 3, 1992, by an act of Congress. Its route goes through eight states and includes substantial sections of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management in California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.

location

maps

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of Seasonal and Year-Round BLM Public Land User Limitations in the BLM Rock Springs Field Office area in Wyoming. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Wyoming Public Land - Rock Springs

Map of Seasonal and Year-Round BLM Public Land User Limitations in the BLM Rock Springs Field Office area in Wyoming. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Map of Seasonal and Year-Round BLM Public Land User Limitations in the BLM Pinedale Field Office area in Wyoming. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Wyoming Public Land - Pinedale

Map of Seasonal and Year-Round BLM Public Land User Limitations in the BLM Pinedale Field Office area in Wyoming. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Map of Seasonal and Year-Round BLM Public Land User Limitations in the BLM Lander Field Office area in Wyoming. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Wyoming Public Land - Lander

Map of Seasonal and Year-Round BLM Public Land User Limitations in the BLM Lander Field Office area in Wyoming. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Map of Seasonal and Year-Round BLM Public Land User Limitations in the BLM Kemmerer Field Office area in Wyoming. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Wyoming Public Land - Kemmerer

Map of Seasonal and Year-Round BLM Public Land User Limitations in the BLM Kemmerer Field Office area in Wyoming. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

brochures

Map of Pony Express National Historic Trail (NHT) in New Mexico and Texas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Pony Express - Map

Map of Pony Express National Historic Trail (NHT) in New Mexico and Texas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

The Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail route across Iowa. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).NHT Auto Tour Guides - Iowa

The Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail route across Iowa. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

The National Historic Trail route from Western Missouri through Northeastern Kansas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).NHT Auto Tour Guides - Missouri and Kansas

The National Historic Trail route from Western Missouri through Northeastern Kansas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

The National Historic Trail route from Nebraska through Northeastern Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).NHT Auto Tour Guides - Nebraska and Colorado

The National Historic Trail route from Nebraska through Northeastern Colorado. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

The National Historic Trail route along the Snake River through Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).NHT Auto Tour Guides - Idaho

The National Historic Trail route along the Snake River through Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

The National Historic Trail route across Wyoming. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).NHT Auto Tour Guides - Wyoming

The National Historic Trail route across Wyoming. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

The National Historic Trail route across Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).NHT Auto Tour Guides - Utah

The National Historic Trail route across Utah. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

The National Historic Trail route across Nevada. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).NHT Auto Tour Guides - Nevada

The National Historic Trail route across Nevada. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/poex/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pony_Express The Pony Express was a mail service delivering messages, newspapers, and mail using relays of horse-mounted riders that operated from April 3, 1860, to October 26, 1861, between Missouri and California in the United States of America. The Pony Express route was designated the Pony Express National Historic Trail August 3, 1992, by an act of Congress. Its route goes through eight states and includes substantial sections of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management in California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. It is hard to believe that young men once rode horses to carry mail from Missouri to California in the unprecedented time of only 10 days. This relay system along the Pony Express National Historic Trail in eight states was the most direct and practical means of east-west communications before the telegraph. You can visit many sites of the Pony Express National Historic Trail over the 1,800-mile historic route that crosses 8 states. Visitor Centers vary from state to state The Pony Express National Historic Trail passes through seven states. A variety of visitor facilities are available along the trail. See our Things to Do page for recommendations. Simpson Spring NPEA rider, Utah A rider in a red vest on a horse in a grassy patch surrounded by sagebrush with clouds in the sky. A National Pony Express Association rider poses at Simpson Springs in Utah. Devil's Gate, Wyoming A tall rock buttress with a cleft in the center sits behind a sagebrush covered valley. Devil's Gate was an important landmark on the trail in Wyoming. Schelbourne Station, Nevada A footbridge leads to a dark steel silhouette of a Pony Express rider. A Pony Express rider silhouette can be found at the Schelbourne Station site in Nevada. Fort Laramie NHS monument, Wyoming A tall obelisk monument with bronze plaques sits on a paved pathway in front of a building. A monument and plaque about the Pony Express can be found at Fort Laramie in Wyoming. Stables at St. Joseph A large brick historic stable. Visit the historic stables in St. Joseph, Missouri. The Lands of the Overland Trails: Protests against the Mexican American War Almost every movement in American history has a corresponding counter movement. The Mexican American War (1846-48), which resulted in Mexico ceding much of the modern-day American Southwest to the United States, is a good example. With the stroke of a pen, parts of the Santa Fe, California, Oregon, Pony Express, Mormon Pioneer, and Old Spanish trails, as well as El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, suddenly became American territory. A dirt road snakes down a steep cliff face in the desert. Sagebrush and Salt Flats along the Overland Trails The Great Basin, that Big Empty between hither and yon, is a raw and merciless land. Many 19th century emigrants, after several months trudging from the Missouri River with ox and wagon, stopped at its hither edge to settle near the Great Salt Lake. Many others, gazing west into that alien expanse, wanted urgently to meet its yon side at the Sierra Nevada as quickly as possible. Very few stopped permanently, willingly, in the thirsty in-between. A salt flat, covered in shallow water, stretches out to distant mountains. What Happened to the Bison? Crossing the Southern Plains in 1806, Zebulon Pike described herds of bison that “exceeded imagination.” Yet by the 1850s, many of the Native nations that relied on bison for sustenance—such as the Kiowas, Comanches, Cheyennes, and Arapahoes—were seeing fewer bison than ever before. What happened? A bison stands and eats grass. Gateway to the West: National Historic Trails Across the Continental Divide The Rocky Mountains stretch like a jagged spine between Alaska and Mexico, splitting North America into East and West. The Continental Divide is not a simple line of peaks, easily threaded by tracks and roads, but a complex of overlapping mountain ranges and treeless sagebrush steppe, hundreds of miles wide. In the days of covered wagon travel, the Rockies were an imposing barrier to the movement of people, commerce, and communications. South Pass was the gateway to the West. Historic image a covered wagon train meeting tall mountains. War on the Oregon & California Trails Once-friendly Western tribes watched with mounting anger as emigrants helped themselves, often wastefully, to their game, grass, water, and wood. Indian agents warned of bloody conflicts ahead if the issues between native peoples and emigrants were not soon resolved. In response, the U.S. government called for a treaty conference to be held near Fort Laramie, Wyoming, in September 1851. Some 12,000 members of 11 different Northern Plains tribes answered the call. A green lawn stretches back to a distant historic fort. A Gathering Storm: American Indians and Emigrants in the 1830s As American settlers surged westward across the eastern woodlands and prairies in the early 19th century, they pushed American Indians out of their ancestral homes. The U.S. government resettled many of those displaced Eastern tribes —the Kickapoo, Delaware, Potawatomi, and others— in congressionally designated Indian Territory west of the Missouri River and south of the Platte. The resettled Eastern tribes were among the first Indians encountered by emigrants through Kansas. A Socially Distanced Excursion to Original Pony Express Stations in Nevada Two original Pony Express stations still stand, windblown and lonesome, along US 50 between Fallon and Austin, Nevada. In the winter, especially, a visitor can explore those places in solitude and experience a bit of what the Pony riders and station-keepers endured out there some 160 years ago: biting cold and cutting wind. A ruins of a stone wall with distant desert mountains. Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guides: Pony Express Trail Download one of these booklets and begin your state by state trail adventure! The Auto Tour Route (ATR) guides provide an overview of local trail history while giving driving directions to suggested points of interest along the trail. There are auto tour route guides available for the trail across MO, KS, NE, CO, WY, UT, and NV. The cover of a travel guide that has an illustration of a large, wide canyon with a wagon train Become a Junior Ranger for National Historic Trails Learn about the National Historic Trails and earn junior ranger badges! These activities can be completed virtually or after visiting a site along the National Historic Trails. Booklets can be submitted either electronically or by mail. Take a look and start exploring the trails today! small photos of different trail sites with junior ranger badges. The First Ride on the Pony Express With only two months to make the Pony Express a reality, the team of William H. Russell, Alexander Majors and William B. Waddell had their hands full in January 1860. Over 100 stations, 400-500 horses and enough riders were needed - at an estimated cost of $70,000. But on April 3, 1860, the first official delivery began at the eastern terminus of the Pony Express in St. Joseph, Missouri. A man dressed in a historic pony express rider uniform, on horseback. The Pyramid Lake War Of the many potential problems facing the Pony Express - weather, supply difficulties, rider fatigue, etc. - the biggest one was unforeseen. The Pyramid Lake War crippled the operation of the Pony Express starting in May 1860, and continued to do so for many months following. A case of white mineral-seekers encroaching on traditional Indian lands led to the war. A map showing topography of western Nevada and the California border. Color the National Historic Trails Express yourself and learn more about the trails with these coloring sheets! Download, print, color, and then share with us! Do you want to know what pioneers thought about bison? Elk? Salmon? Pick an animal, learn more, and download your coloring sheet today. A coloring sheet with an image of a wolf walking. Historic Valentine's Day Cards Valentines day cards rose to popularity in the United States in the mid-1800s. Victorian cards were elaborate, decorative, often-lace trimmed, and mass-produced. Not everyone could afford such cards, so handmade cards were very popular with pioneers and others who couldn't buy an expensive card. You can take your Valentine back in time by making a historic card! Use the provided template, or make a handmade card, and return to the 1800s with your love. A historic valentines day card with a rose illustration. Hogsback Summit Winter Views Winter view of the Wasatch Mountains from Hogsback Summit, near Henefer, Utah, on the Donner Party route of the California Trail. The Donner Party reached this point on July 19, 1846, having been directed by Lansford W. Hastings to cut their own trail through these mountains. Here they had their first glimpse of what that would mean for them. Enjoy a virtual visit with a few different views of this significant trail location. a wintery landscape leading to distant snow-covered mountains. Series: National Historic Trails Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guides Interested in planning a trip along a national historic trail? Use these guides to follow the historic routes while learning more about local and trail history. The cover of a travel guide that has an illustration of a covered wagon train in the plains. Series: The Emigrant Experience Have you ever wondered what the experience was like for the emigrants who traveled west on the Great Platte River Road? A man dressed in period clothing leans on a covered wagon. National Historic Trails: Historical Routes of National Significance Wondering about National Historic Trails? Check out this infographic with basic information about the trails, their purpose, and where you can go for more information! Infographic about National Historic Trails featuring a map. Full description available at link. Biking the Pony Express Trail Riding the Pony Express National Historic Trail on an off-road bicycle, such as a gravel or mountain bike, is as close as you can come to seeing and experiencing the original trail as it was back in 1860. Follow along with Scott Alumbaugh as he describes his experiences and tips for planning this epic adventure. A bicycle sits in front of a historic brick barn. National Historic Trails Scrapbooks Imagine if early travelers on the National Historic Trails had a polaroid camera... what would their scrapbooks look like? Though we have many journals describing their experiences, there are obviously very few or no photos at all from these journeys. Cameras didn't exist! Well, we took a crack at it and created scrapbook pages for them! Take a look at what we imagine a trail traveler's scrapbook would like! A scrapbook page depicting multiple scenes from the trail, and relevant icon images. National Historic Trails Fashion Inspiration During NPS Fashion Week, we are exploring some ways fashion inspiration may be found on National Historic Trails (NHTs). On NHTs you’ll find intriguing colors, shapes, textures, histories, and stories. From golden sunsets to feathered hats, NHTs have diverse natural and cultural environments that can inspire the fashionista in us all! A red rock cliff with a path winding through it Wildfire Destruction along the Pony Express NHT Trail partner Jim Swigart, of the National Pony Express Association (NPEA), hiked out recently to check damage to the Pony Express National Historic Trail (NHT) resulting from last summer’s ferocious Caldor Fire in California. The wildfire burned 221,835 acres, along with some 20 miles of the Pony Express NHT. A man in a burgundy jacket stands in front of large tree that lies across a recreational trail. Things to Do in Nebraska Things to do and trip ideas in Nebraska national parks. Steep bluff with pink sky above and yellow leaves below. Things to Do in Kansas Things to do in Kansas national parks. Single story square building in the distance partially obstructed by a field of golden grass. Things to Do in Missouri Things to do and trip ideas in Missouri national parks. Purple flowers bloom on a grass-covered landscape under a partly cloudy sky. Pony Express Rider's Graze With Death One Rider's Graze with death on the Pony Express Series: Things to Do in Midwest National Parks There is something for everyone in the Midwest. See what makes the Great Plains great. Dip your toes in the continent's inland seas. Learn about Native American heritage and history. Paddle miles of scenic rivers and waterways. Explore the homes of former presidents. From the Civil War to Civil Rights, discover the stories that shape our journey as a nation. Steep bluff with pink sky above and yellow leaves below. Pony Express Trail Timeline Spreading the news! For millions, email and the Internet have replaced letters and newspapers. But, how did we communicate 50, 100, or 600 years ago? Learn more about the highlights of some key people, inventions, and technologies that changed how we spread the news, including the Pony Express National Historic Trail. Pony Express Trail Junior Ranger Interested in becoming a Pony Express Trail junior ranger? Use this information to complete your worksheet and earn your badge!

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