B. Scott Holmes

Just trying to stay alive and keep my sideburns too

River Bed Station - Pony Express

River Bed Station (N39 57 35.8 W112 53 42.5) (M#88)

Location: NE1/4NE1/4 Section 18, Township 10 South, Range 9 West, Salt Lake Meridian, 8 miles from Simpson Springs.

After Simpson Springs is the River Bed Pony Express Station, which lies on the floor of the ancient Sevier River bed formed by evaporation of Lake Bonneville, that drained from the area of Garfield County into Lake Bonneville. The water contained in the northern portion of the great inland sea had a greater surface than the southern portion. Consequently more evaporation occurred in the northern part. Water seeks its own level and in this case, the water was squeezed into a low channel between two mountain ranges on the east and west. Here the movement of the water from south to north dug the river as the lake receded.

The road drops into the old bed of the Sevier River and the site of Riverbed Station. It was built near the end of the Pony Express era, and is not mentioned in the mail contracts or schedules. Substantial structures were found here to serve the stagecoach line. It is on BLM land and has a monument however, nothing remains but the original trail can be seen north of the monument.

Because of flash flooding, little evidence today remains of the station’s existence. It is mentioned that it was hard to keep a station keeper at Riverbed because the area was supposedly haunted by “desert fairies.” A monument was established at the site by the Civilian Conservation Corp in 1939 or 1940.


Sources generally agree on the identity of the site, listed as Riverbed in the 1861 mail contract, although for an unknown reason Mabel Loving cites it as Redbed. [34] Fike and Headley identify this station eight miles west of Simpson's Springs. [35] William F. Horsepool, Oscar Quinn, and George Wright managed operations at the vertical log structure, named for its location in a dry riverbed. [36]

The Civilian Conservation Corps erected a monument at the site about 1939 or 1940. [37]

39.960048675537, -112.895080566410