Scouting: Mormon Tavern

Mormon Tavern Station Marker
Mormon Tavern Station Memorial

There are two places of interest on the Pony Express Bikepacking Route between Placerville and Folsom, California. One is the Duroc Station marker near Shingle Springs (Mile 2157). I stopped by that one on my Folsom–Shingle Springs scouting trip. The second is the marker for Mormon Tavern. This lies a couple of miles south of the Route (near Mile 2165). The actual spot is here.

Notably, the Mormon Tavern marker isn’t on either of the routes I scouted. So on my drive home from my Shingle Springs–Placerville scouting trip, I took the time to drive by to se the marker.

According to one source,

“. . . there were as many as two dozen inns or taverns maintained by Mormons in El Dorado County and surrounding areas. Porter Rockwell himself maintained three of them in 1849-50. The most famous of the inns was known as the Mormon Tavern, situated on the Placerville road, about twenty miles west of Hangtown (Placerville). It was the frequent meeting place of Howard Egan, Porter Rockwell (who went under the alias of Brown), Charles C. Rich, and Amasa M. Lyman. Captain Asahel A. Lathrop was the proprietor. A captain of ten in 1847, it was he who had been the spiritual leader of the relief train to the southern settlements in the winter of 1847-48, returning to Utah with cattle and supplies.” (J. Kenneth Davies, “Mormons and California Gold,” Journal of Mormon History, Vol. 7 (1980), p. 95) 

All things considered, I don’t know that I would say it’s worth the detour. So I thought I’d post a couple of pics here in case you decide to skip it.

Pony Express Trail Marker by the Memorial
Pony Express Trail Marker by the Memorial

The marker stands alone on a dead-end road just south of US 50. And like the Duroc Station marker, it is not much to look at. The roads leading to the marker are not particularly pleasant to ride on. And given all the development in the adjacent areas, if you find a relatively quiet course to ride through this section (such as the 2017 Centennial Route, which follows the Eldorado Trail), I’d suggest sticking to it. You can read more about the marker here.

Road to the Mormon Station Memorial
Dead-end road to the Mormon Station Memorial