As I collect information about bikepacking the Pony Express Route, I’ll post the link here for future reference.
As the person who has done the most to map the Pony Express Bikepacking route, Jan Bennett is probably the best person to inspire anyone to attempt the ride.
- Read about Jan’s passion for the route on bikepackingroots.org
- For an inspiring route overview and scouting report, see Jan’s Scouting Report (including pictures) on ridewithgps.com.
- Jan Bennett’s Pony Express Bikepacking Route map is available on ridewithgps.com.
- The organization Bikepacking Roots is taking stewardship of the route. Their Pony Express Route page is here.
Other Online Maps
- An interactive map created as part of the NPS “Feasibility Study Revision for Additional Routes to the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer, and Pony Express National Historic Trails.” This map has overlays of portions of different routes, including the Pony Express. Its main value is that it is the most detailed topographic map, allowing you to discover the name of every creek, valley, pass, and mountain range along the route. You can find it here. (Link originally posted on the Pony Express National Historic Trail Facebook page , 2/25/20
- USGS Topographic Map: You probably don’t need this, but at least one rider who scouted out portions of the original trail (beginning at Mile 1944 on the Pony Express Bikepacking Route) used this to track the trail across a barren part of the Nevada outback.
- US Park Service online map (including interactive maps with points of interest)
- Route info and updates from Jan other riders appear on the Facebook page Bike the Pony Express.
- I’ve collected route reports from various current sources, as well as historical accounts of points along the way, in the Route Reports section of this website.
- Jan maintains a “Pony Express Bikepacking Route Resupply Spreadsheet,” an open-access Google Doc file that is updated periodically.
- Camping on Public Lands info sheet from the Bureau of Land Management
- Jan Bennett’s Pony Express Packing List
- The Bikepacker’s Guide – A pdf offered by bikepackingroots.org for a $5 donation (which includes membership in the organization). Topics include: Route Planning; Food & Water Planning; Bike & Gear Planning, plus additional tips and tricks, and some field notes. (N.B. The booklet seems underwritten by Salsa bikes, and sometimes seemed like an extended Salsa ad. But there is a some useful information mixed in with inspiring pics.)
- Expedition Utah maintains a Pony Express page. Toward the bottom is a list of all Pony Express stations (as of March 1861) and links to each station, with notes, organized by state.
History of Mail to California
- The US Postal Service has a section of its website dedicated to brief histories of mail delivery in the US. The histories include:
- A brief history of mail service to California from 1848 to 1859 (pdf), as well as
- A nearly useless thumbnail sketch of the Pony Express (pdf)
National Park Service
- The National Park Service has a Pony Express National Historic Trail page with links to maps and other resources.
- The book-length Historic Research Study in support of the NPS Pony Express National Historic Trail is also available online in two versions: