Sand Springs We Visited: January 9 2004
39 17' 28"N, 118 25' 05"W Fourmile Flat Quad

Directions: 26 miles east of Fallon on Highway 50., 3/4 mile north of highway, turn left at sign. Hike in. OHV prohibited.

From Fallon: 26 miles

What Was

In 1860 the Sand Springs Pony Express Station was built. Sir Richard Burton describes its accommodations:

"Sand Springs deserved its name. Like the Bazas de Diego ad other mauraises terren near the Rio Grande, the land here cumbered here and there with drifted ridges of the finest sand, sometimes 200 feet high and shifting before every gale. Behind the house stood a mound shaped like the contents of an hour glass, drifted up by the stormy S.E. gales in esplanade shape and falling steep to northward or against the wind. The water near this vile hole was thick and stale with sulphury salts: it blistered even the hands. The station house was no unfit object on such a scene, roofless and chairless, filthy and squalid, with a smoky fire in one corner, impure floor, the walls open to every wind, with the interior full of dust."

Sand Springs stood at the end of Four Mile Flat, about 28 miles east of Fallon, in between Salt Wells station and Frenchman's station. At Sand Springs, there were corrals on the east side of the road on the spot where the State monument now stands. Directly across the road on the west side were the station buildings. A well and pump were located outside the corral. Several hundred feet south of the buildings on the west side, C. L. Benadum had a private station for his four horse fast freights company, which traveled between Fallon, Fairview, and Wonder. The only remaining trace of Benadum's station is manure where the corrals once stood. Widening of the highway right-of-way has erased all traces of the cabin and horse barn. (Interview with Firmin Bruner- Churchill County In Focus 1988-1989)

Post Office: none
Newspaper: none

What is

The Sand Springs Pony Express site was only recently rediscovered in 1976. The BLM excavated and stabilized the site in 1977, and it is now the The Sand Springs Pony Express Station and The Desert Study Area.

It's interesting something so large could have remained hidden for so long. The loop through the desert was pleasant and informative, and eventually took us to the Pony Express station. Over 100 feet long with multiple rooms, it's certainly quite the large rock structure, and within view of Sand Mountain and Highway 50 as the photographs reveal. Standing inside in the drifting sand, it's probably not much different that it was when the ponies were running.

Some day we'll scout around the highway and see if there are any visible signs of the other Sand Springs Station besides decades-old horse and cow manure and- if so- we'll report it here.

Defintely worth a look.

Unidentified persons at an unidentified time at Sand Springs. This is why you should write on the backs of your photographs, folks. Looks like Grandma's job was to carrythe spare tire.
(Photo courtesy Churchill County Museum)
In 1936, Firmin Bruner clears snow from Sand Springs Pass on Highway 50 the old-fashioned way
(Photo courtesy Churchill County Museum)
Looking down the hallway inside Sand Springs Pony Express Station
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