Numerous backroads are found in this region and they offer great opportunity for automobile touring and backcountry exploration. Some are maintained and suitable for people driving family cars. Others are rough dirt and can only be explored in high clearance vehicles.
In all cases, expect to travel long distances between towns. Depending on your route, you may travel 100 miles or more between service stations.
Two popular routes are described below:
Pony Express Trail
The Pony Express National Historic Trail extends from Missouri to California, cutting across remote parts of Utah and Nevada along the way. In Utah, the trail extends west from Salt Lake City, past Camp Floyd/Stagecoach Inn State Park and then across the west desert. As the trail enters Nevada it drops south and roughly follows what is now Hwy 50 across that state and into California.
The portion of trail through Utah's west desert was considered one of the most difficult legs. There are few springs along the route. The terrain is difficult, rocky, steep, desolate, with many points where hostile forces could ambush riders.
A graded dirt road now follows the Pony Express Trail through this area. During dry weather it is passable in a family car. During wet weather you may need high clearance and/or four-wheel drive. The dirt section extends for over 120 miles and the going is slow, so allow plenty of time if you choose to drive the route.
Relics from old Pony Express stations can be seen along the way. There is an impressive, partially restored station at Simpson Springs.
Many people enjoy bringing horses or mountain bikes to the trail and then riding portions.
Highway 93 (Alternate)
US Hwy 93 runs through sparsely populated parts of eastern Nevada, from the Las Vegas area on the south up through Wells and then to the Nevada/Idaho border. Alternate Highway 93 forks from the main route and runs up to Wendover. Both are paved roads, but both may become temporarily impassable during wintery weather.
Both routes are scenic, passing through remote mountain and desert terrain. From Wendover, you can follow the routes down to Ely and then continue south to Las Vegas, or fork east onto Hwy 6 and visit Great Basin National Park.
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