Mile 1480: Route Alternate

At Mile 1480 (west side of Fish Springs, UT), the XP Bikepacking continues north on the Pony Express-Overland Stage Trail to go around the north end of the Fish Springs Range. There is a road that leads directly west through the range, labelled “Pony Express Pass Trail,” which rejoins the Pony Express-Overland Stage Trail on the west side of the range. The distance across the pass looks to be about 4 miles (as compared to 8) and have about 1,000 feet of climbing.

I found this entry from a hiker:

Our route today does a horseshoe out and around the tip of a descending ridge that juts out into the desert flats. We decide to take a shortcut, considered by some to also have been a route taken by the Pony Express. It goes directly up and over. For lack of a better name, we’ll call it Boyd’s/Butte Cutoff. The climb up is uneventful, easy enough, just steady, with up and more up. Bart muscles his cart along. At the summit, however, and looking down the other side, a scary situation—the trail drops nearly straight off, down and through a boulder-choked, narrow canyon. We look down, then back in the direction from which we just came. Quick decision; we’re not going back. So over the edge we go! No time at all, Bart must off-load his heavy pack from the cart, and shoulder it in order to control his descent. I work my way down, trying to find a way (other than straight down) through the tangle of brush and the jumble of boulders. How the Pony ever got through here, heaven only knows. I manage; Bart manages, but it takes us awhile, quite awhile, before we finally emerge on a two-track above an old abandoned mine. A most fascinating place. Shafts straight down into the echoing darkness. A rock dropped takes three seconds to hit bottom—how far is that? Some interesting photos. Gotta check them out!