Basic Information

National Trails Intermountain Region
Pony Express National Historic Trail
1100 Old Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Young men once rode horses to carry mail from Missouri to California along the Pony Express National Historic Trail across eight states. Please see our Directions page for more information on following the Pony Express National Historic Trail across the United States.

Pony Express National Historic Trail

The Pony Express National Historic Trail is not a clearly marked hiking trail. Instead it is a route that passes through communities as well as wild areas and through different states and land ownership. Each location varies as to the hours of operation and access. Please check individual locations along the trail to plan your visit.

Standard Hours

  • Sunday: -
  • Monday: -
  • Tuesday: -
  • Wednesday: -
  • Thursday: -
  • Friday: -
  • Saturday: -

Due to the length of the Pony Express National Historic Trail, be sure to consult local weather sources for the region you'll be visiting. The trail passes through seven states.

Entrance Fees:

Entrance fees vary site by site - $0.00

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 Places To Go (http://www.nps.gov/poex/planyourvisit/placestogo.htm) 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.

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.

 
Many people gather around a grey wooden cabin surrounded by green shrubs and trees with mountains in the background.
National Pony Express Association riders greet visitors at a reconstructed Pony Express station at This is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

National Trails Intermountain Region
Pony Express National Historic Trail
PO Box 728

Santa Fe, NM 87504

Phone:

(801) 741-1012

Contact Us