Back to index Pony Express Trail from Lover's Leap hike
Trip Date:  05/08/2014

: 9.5 Miles

Vertical Gain: 1100'

Group Size: 2

Hike Rating:  Easy   Moderate    Hard    Strenuous
Pony Express Lover's Leap route
Download GPX GPX for this trip
Pony Express Lovers Leap Elevation Profile
Start Coordinates:   N 38 48.228, W 120 07.050     End Coordinates:   N 38 47.208, W 120 12.564
Car Shuttle Req'd:   Yes Parking Directions:   Take Highway 50 to the parking area at the coordinates provided which are just across the highway from Camp Sacramento.  A second car should parking just about a mile up Wrights Road (from Highway 50,) at the End Coordinates listed above.
Hazards of Note:   None. Crowd Factor:   High early, then Negligible.  You will probably run into other people near Lover's Leap and Strawberry, as this is a popular rock climbing location.  After this, however, your chances of running into another party on the pony express trail is very slim.
General Notes:
From the parking area, cross back over Highway 50 and head up into the Camp Sacramento area.  Head to the west side of the camp, and you will see a sign indicating the start of the hike toward Lover's Leap.  Within the first mile is a junction to either continue on to Lover's Leap, or head off to the right on the Pony Express Trail.  You can verify you route with the "XP" markers along the way on the trail signs and in the trees.  When you get to Strawberry, you will have to cross back over Highway 50 again, and then pick up the Pony Express trail on the north side of the road.

Starting at Camp Sacramento, there is a split where you can either head up toward the top of Lover's Leap, or head down along the Pony Express trail. Trail marker
My buddy Mark at an overlook early on the trail up toward Horsetail Canyon. Horsetail Canyon
These falls were close to the trail split, and are near a section of the trail that used to be a water crossing. Water on the way
Wildflowers were everywhere on the trail. Wildflowers
Graffiti along the trail from probably over 150 years ago. Pony Express era graffiti
Some of the crazy climbers who scale various parts of the Lover's Leap sheer granite cliffs. Rock Climbers Lover's Leap
On our way up the SW side of Hogsback, not the way I would ever recommend going.  The SE has a better route to the top that we came back down.
Scaling hogsback
One of the many inforamtion signs along the first couple miles of the trail that gave some of the history of the area. Pony Express memorial
Making our way along the spine of Hogsback toward a cache that brought us up here in the first place. Mark on the top of Hogsback
Here we are walking along an order section of Highway 50 with the new highway visible below us to the left.
Old and new highway 50
One of the two water crossing locations today which were not passable due to pretty fast water. Impassable Section
An old telegraph pole from the Pony Express days which we found a number of along the trail. Telegraph pole
The end of our trek, with the trailhead marker heading back up the trail.. At the end of the trek
GPS track of the first half of the hike, including two diversions up to the top of "Lew's Folly" and then "Hogsback" to find a couple of geocaches. Track first half
One last selfie at the top of Lew's Folly with Pyramid Peak in the back.. Selfie
GPS Track of the full hike. GPS Track of Hike