There are no user or entry fees for the Pony Express National Historic Trail. Fees may be charged at some trail-related federal, state, or locally owned historic sites and interpretive facilities. Please visit Plan Your Visit / Places To Go for an interactive map and extensive list of places to visit by state or our Links and Resources page for useful trip planning websites. Contact information is available for each site to call and find out about fees.
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.
Enjoy the Pony Express National Historic Trail!
Essential Information for Your Trip on the Trail
The Pony Express has fascinated Americans since its first riders hit leather in April 1860, heading west from St. Joseph, Missouri, and east from San Francisco, California. This innovative overland mail service lasterd only 19 months, but it created an immediate sensation and won a permanent place in the history of the American West. The legend of "the Pony," as it was affectionately known, may overshadow its brief history, but the bold founders and brave riders of the Pony Express helped spread important news, shrink a continent, and bind a nation that was being torn apart by civil war.
Today, the Pony Express Trail still beckons the adventurous and modern highways overlay much of the route. These corridors near the original trail route are called Auto Tour Routes. Follow these Routes to travel in the footsteps of these rugged pioneers.
The Pony Express National Historic Trail (NHT) was designated by Congress in 1992 and is administered by the National Park Service as a component of the National Trails System. Despite the name, the Pony Express NHT is not a continuous traditional trail from end to end, but consists of many trail traces, structures, graves, landmarks, and markers left on the landscape to remind us that the trail still lives on.
Here is some information to help you plan your visit along the Pony Express NHT.
Places To Go offers site listings by state that include site name, address, phone number, access, historical significance, onsite interpretation, and website.
Fees & Passes offers information on what costs may be associated with your visit.
Protect the Your Trail Heritage
To foster trail preservation, do not use metal detectors, dig at sites, collect artifacts, or remove anything. Please respect these historic places.