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Overland Pass

White Pine County, Nevada

Between Ruby and Huntington Valleys

Elevation:  6983 feet

 

Overland Pass is another one of the historically significant and beautiful places in northeastern Nevada.  As you drive through this remote pass you can almost feel the spirits of the Shoshone Indians watching you.  It is an eerie feeling.  In the middle 1800's this was a hopping spot.  In the 1840's through the 1860's wagon trains were passing though here on the Hastings Cutoff trail.  On Monday, September 21, 1846, the Donner Party rattled over the pass in covered wagons headed for destiny.  In 1860 and 1861, the Pony Express riders were galloping though this pass.  From 1862 - 1869, the Calvary stationed at Fort Ruby rode through this pass.  On September 9, 2001, when we drove through here - we owned the road.  No one else was in sight.  

 

Nails in the Coffin:

 

On October 24, 1861 the First Transcontinental Telegraph ended the Pony Express.

Fort Ruby was closed in 1869, when the  Transcontinental Railroad Line was completed on May 10, 1869.  This ended the need for westward travel by wagon train.

 

USGS Topographic Map of Overland Pass

USGS Aerial Photograph of Overland Pass

 

Click on photos to see original high clarity digital photographs

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Ruby Valley road at entrance to Overland Pass (looking east).  Small butte in left center is Station Butte.  Pony Express site is at right (south) end of butte.  The Original Pony Express  Cabin from this station is now located at the Northeastern Nevada Museum.  Distant mountains are the Maverick Springs Range.
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Looking west toward entrance to Overland Pass from Ruby Valley.  Big Bald Mountain is the large mountain in the center of the picture.
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Trail marker at junction of Ruby Valley road and Overland Pass road

"HASTINGS CUTOFF - ENTERING OVERLAND PASS

'CONTINUED OUR COURSE ALONG THE BASE OF THE MOUNTAINS ... WHEN WE LEFT THE VALLEY BY TURNING TO OUR RIGHT THROUGH A GAP IN THE MOUNTAINS' COSTMOR H. CLARK AUG 6, 1850"

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US FOREST SERVICE SIGN

"PONY EXPRESS ROUTE

For a brief 16 month period, during 1860 and 1861, this was the Pony Express route.  Mail was carried by horseback from St. Joe Missouri to Sacramento, California - in only 10 days.  The Pony Express ended in 1861.

Humboldt National Forest"

eastern foothills of Big Bald Mountain in distance

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Overland Pass road. Looking east toward Ruby Valley.
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Near top of Overland Pass, looking east toward Ruby Valley
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Trail marker near top of Overland Pass

"HASTINGS CUTOFF - OVERLAND PASS

'THE PASS IS AN EXCELLENT ONE - NO ROCKS - NOT VERY STEEP AND THE ROAD VERY FIRM.  RIGHT ON THE SUMMIT IS A SPRING OF ONLY TOLERABLE WATER'  MADISON B. MOOREMAN  AUG 10 1850"

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Near summit of Overland Pass looking east.
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Overland Pass looking west toward Huntington Valley.  Big Wash is on the left of the road.
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Remnants of Pony Express sign on Huntington Valley side of Overland Pass.  Big Bald Mountain in background.  Big Wash is in the foreground.
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Bureau of Land Management Pony Express trail marker
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Trail marker on Huntington Valley side of Overland Pass

"HASTINGS CUTOFF - LEAVING OVERLAND PASS

'THE ROAD WOUND FIRST TO THE NORTHWEST AND FINALLY WHOLLY TO THE NORTH, NO GOING STEADILY DOWN INTO THE (HUNTINGTON) VALLEY'  HEINRICH LIENHARD, SEP 5 1846"

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Looking southeast at Bald Mountain from trail marker on Overland Pass.
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On a future trip to the area we plan to visit the Pony Express Stations.  For now, the following links are of the locations of five Pony Express Stations in northeastern Nevada.

 


Pony Express Stations

Ruby Valley

Jacobs Well

Diamond Springs

Sulphur Springs

Roberts Creek

 

 

Pony Express Route

Garden Pass

 

 

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Links

   

 Time-Line, Elko County, Nv

 

 

 

      

 

 

 

 

Additional Information:  Northeastern Nevada Museum

 


© 2001 - Elko Rose Garden Association

Recent Photos by Dan Turner