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Overview of Pony Express Dispersed

Pad Type mixed

Elevation 5,413 ft / 1,649 m

Max Stay 14

Tent Camping Yes

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Reviews of Pony Express Dispersed 2 people have reviewed this location.

Ratings Summary

Overall Rating
Access
Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
Noise

Cell Phone Coverage

1bars
Verizon 3G
Confirmed by 1 User
Last reported 4/26/2018
3 reviews
“Nice open area camping, must love sheep”

Reviewed 5/2/2018

Nightly rate: FREE!
Days stayed: 1
Overall Rating

We stopped at Simpson Springs campground, but after a harrowing situation where we nearly tipped our 36’ fifth wheel, we needed to look for something else, and fast. (Once we had internet, we realized Simpson Springs has max equipment length of 30’, so that was our bad!) FYI- Simpson Springs was about 25 miles in on very very bumpy dirt Pony Express Road. The road was graded but we’re RV/boondocking newbies, so it was a bit stressful on the way in!

We ended up at the little pond at 40.0430118,-112.7940905. Some sheep ranchers were settling in for the night and said they didn’t mind us staying, though they’d have sheep coming through the next day. I checked several sources, this does seem to be BLM land, though it could be leased by the ranchers. (What I read also indicated we’d be ok camping even if the land was leased.)

In the morning we got a better look at our beautiful campsite. There was plenty of room for several RVs. There was also quite a bit of sheep poop, but we told our kids to watch their feet. We didn’t notice an excess of flies or smell. Sunday afternoon was likely the highlight of the trip for my kids! After hiking to see a nearby “cave,” we came back to camp for lunch and were delighted when several thousand (I’d guess) head of sheep were herded to the pond and nearby watering troughs. (The flies definitely came with the sheep!) Overall, the sheep were there for about an hour before being herded to graze freely about 1/4 mile away. The sheep were loud, freshly shorn, and so fun to watch! My kids loved it! We even had another family drive up just to watch. The flies followed the sheep back out, but we had a few more sheep patties to watch out for after that!

This was a convenient spot for leaving the camper at while we went to the Dugway Geode Beds. With my Verizon iPhone, I got 1x service randomly but not often, and never longer than being able to send/receive a couple of texts.

Access
Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
Noise
1bars
Verizon Voice Only

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of Campendium.com

Thumb grandadventure
Grand Adventure
Salt Lake City, UT 26' Forest River Evo T2050 Toyota Tundra
48 reviews
“Desert junipers, wild horses, Pony Express history & military exercises”

Reviewed 4/26/2018

Nightly rate: FREE!
Days stayed: 3
Site Number: N/A
Overall Rating

(Video at https://youtu.be/4esScZWu6Ck)

There are a ton of dispersed boondocking sites along the Pony Express Route, from the west side of Lookout Pass to the Simpson Mountains and beyond. A quick scan of the area with Google Satellite view will spot many of them.

The sites at Lookout Pass were pretty much occupied when we arrived, so instead we chose a site a couple of miles west of Lookout Pass at 40.106545,-112.6380377, although our nearest neighbors an eighth of a mile away at 40.110471,-112.6405707 had a better site. Access at this latter spot is easy for a larger rig -- they were a group comprised of a travel trailer, a fifth wheel and a class A motorhome. That speaks volumes about the Pony Express Road itself, which is well graded dirt and gravel to accommodate visitors to the Simpson Springs Pony Express station even though it's many miles from the nearest paved road. Even small foreign sedans were driving the Pony Express Road.

We arrived on a Friday evening and claimed our spot nestled amongst the junipers. We only had one other vehicle arrive at camp all weekend -- he was already camped elsewhere nearby but was looking for a better spot. We had stars from horizon to horizon, and sweeping views out across Government Creek to the Simpson Mountains and Davis Mountain in the middle ground, and the towering peaks of the Deep Creek Range on the western horizon, some 70 miles distant. With our westerly views from camp, sunsets were stunning.

We heard what sounded like rumbles of thunder in the distance, even though there wasn't a cloud in the sky. On Saturday we found the source: the military was conducting training exercises in the Dugway Valley, on the Utah Test & Training Range near Simpson Springs. It was hard to make out what vehicles were lined up across the desert floor shooting at one another, but they must have been tanks or other very large pieces of artillery. Every now and then a plume of smoke from one of the impacts would rise into the sky.

The Simpson Springs Pony Express Station is worthy of a visit, a well preserved stone cabin that served as a rest station for the riders of the short-lived Pony Express. Interpretive signage is provided by the BLM.

And just west of Simpson Springs we located the Onaqui Herd of wild horses, some 100-200 animals that move together as a band of various families in this part of the West Desert.

All in all, the dispersed sites along the Pony Express Trail gave us everything we were looking for on a weekend of camping: peaceful solitude, a stunningly beautiful site, and lots to see and do in the area. Five stars!

We picked up 1 bar of Verizon with data speeds that varied between 3G and 1X, unboosted. I'm guessing that we were barely picking up a tower located somewhere near the Test Range entrance at Dugway. 1 star deducted for cleanliness because we picked up a zillion bullet casings and a bunch of shotgun shells. 1 star deducted for access just because it's such a long way from asphalt.

Access
Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
Noise
1bars
Verizon 3G

Grand Adventure would stay here again

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of Campendium.com

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Grand Adventure
Salt Lake City, UT 26' Forest River Evo T2050 Toyota Tundra
48 reviews
Grand Adventure Ep. 31: Wild Horses & Pony Express Trail | RV Utah boondocking travel

Utah's West Desert comprises a lonely series of mountain ranges and extraordinarily flat valleys, stretching from the Wasatch Front to the Nevada border. It's home to such curiosities as the original P...

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Amenities

Hookups
  • dry camping
  • Dispersed Camping
Recreation
  • recreation trail
Pets
  • pets
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