Mile 1588: Route Deviation to Ely, NV

Detour, Ely, NV
Detour, Ely, NV

Just past Mile 1588, the Pony Express trail veers to the right from the road. The Pony Express Bikehiking Trail map deviates from the original route. This adds approximately 60 miles to the route. Following is Jan’s explanation:

“This is an area of the route that I struggled with a great deal. It also proved to be quite an experience to bikepack it solo!

Once you leave Salt Lake City there is no food resupply directly along the route until you hit Austin, NV, nearly 400 miles away. While I was at the Bikepacking Summit in Gunnison, CO a few years ago I ran this section by a number of exceptionally experienced bikepackers and the consensus was to simply make it a part of the route. If folks wanted to bypass it, that was up to them. Because of the remoteness of this section all felt that it was prudent to direct folks to resupply and let them make the decisions themselves if they wanted to continue along the original route instead.

Simply put, if you are of the opinion that you can haul enough food to make it 400 miles across the desert then these route deviations are not necessary. Your daily mileage and comfort level will dictate this. I would encourage you to take into consideration your daily mileages on a fully loaded bike, at elevation, in an extremely arid environment. Especially in the middle of the summer. I definitely don’t want to sound alarmist, but this area of the country is not an area to take lightly.”