The Pony Express was inaugurated 3 April 1860 with high hopes for eventual government subsidy. The venture was a publicity success but a financial failure, lasting only eighteen months. Losses mounted to $500,000 before the books were closed. The ponies and their riders could not compete with the Overland Telegraph, which was completed on 6 April 1861.
In Utah, under the leadership of Major Howard Egan of the Nauvoo Legion, the Pony Express operations ran rather smoothly. The route east to west started with the Needle Rock station, and then moved west to the following stations: Head of Echo Canyon, Half Way, Weber, East Canyon, Wheaton Springs, Mountain Dale, Salt Lake House (143 South Main), Travelers Rest, Rockwell's (100 yards south of Utah State Prison, Draper), Dugout, Camp Floyd (East Rush Valley), Rush Valley, Point Lookout (Government Creek), Simpson Springs (Riverbed), Dugway, Blackrock, Fish Springs (Boyd's), Willow Springs, and Deep Creek. At the time of operation, 20 of the 190 stations were in Utah. Utah companies also supplied many of the horses for the Pony Express.
The route crossed the Jordan River where the river cuts through the Transverse Mountains at Point of the Mountain. The route then went west to the south of the Oquirrh Mountains, to Faust, continued west, north of Vernon, and on to Fish Springs before crossing into the Nevada Territory.
See: William M. Egan, Pioneering the West (1917); and Raymond W. Settle and Mary Lund Settle, Saddle and Spurs: The Pony Express Saga (1955).