Following the Trail of the Pony Express in California

Driving distance = 118 miles - Driving time = 3 hours xp-drive-ca

Return to Route Map East to Nevada

The route of the Pony Express in California essentially follows U.S. 50 east to Stateline at South Lake Tahoe. When planning a trip, you might want to match this map with those that detail the locations of the California stations and those that show a historical map of the route.


1. In 1860 Sacramento became the western terminus of the Pony Express. The first eastward journey of the Pony Express started from the B.F. Hastings Building. Located at 2nd and J Streets in Old Town Sacramento, this building housed offices of both the Pony Express and Wells Fargo operations. Across from the B.F. Hastings Building in Pony Express Plaza is a Pony Express Statue.

2. Folsom was the transfer point for mail from railroad to the Pony Express and was the western terminus of the Pony Express from June 1860 to June 1861. The Old Mint on Main Street was the site of the Poony Express relay station in Folsom.

3. Pleasant Grove House east of Folsom on Green Valley Road was a relay station for the Pony Express.

4. A reconstructed hotel in Pollock Pines now stands at the site of Sportsman's Hall, California's only Home Station. Between Camino and Pollock Pines the Pony Express route follows the Pony Express Trail frontage road.


Alternate Route

Driving distance, 37 miles
Driving time, 1 hour.

For the first few months of operation the Pony Express route passed over Echo Summit, down Hawley Grade, into Tahoe Valley, continuing over Luther Pass (State Route 89) to Woodford's in upper Carson Valley. The route then continued northward along the Emigrant Trail (State Route 206) to Genoa.