Utah Trip Part 1 - Pony Express Trail , Simpson Springs Campground, and Antelope Island State Park

I visited Utah for a wedding and during my downtime explored several sites.

I arrived Thursday evening and tent camped at Simpson Springs campground. This is a scenic remote campsite situated on the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Pony Express National Backcountry Byway. The well maintained campground has a mix of reserved and first come first serve sites. There were at least six other campers that night, including at least two tents despite the 38 degree temperature.  

The campground is near the Simpson Springs station, a replica of a Pony Express station that stood there in 1860.  

The Pony Express Backcountry Byway starts at Faust, Utah and continues west into Nevada. It's unpaved and has signage warning to be prepared for rough conditions, no services and no cell coverage. Fortunately the drive from Faust to Simpson Springs was not bad and I noticed a few 2WD vehicles braving the road. The Byway passes over Lookout Mountain, with distant views of the vast desert.   

On my way back to civilization Friday morning I encountered small herds of wild horses, antelope and mule deer near the road.  

I met up with my brother midmorning and we visited Antelope Island State Park. Only a short distance from Salt Lake City, 28,000 acre Antelope Island has a remote feel with mountain hiking and free roaming bison, bighorn sheep, antelope, mule deer and coyotes. The park has an extensive network of hiking trails ranging from short easy trails to hard mountain hikes, but time constraints limited us to a short hike, tour of the park's roads and trip to the visitor center. It was hard to miss the park's several hundred bison.

We finished our visit to the park with a stop at the Island Buffalo Grill, where they serve bison burgers among other foods.



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