Skip to main content
| Jerry Peppers | Trip Reports

2018 - Trip Report - West Salt Lake Desert

Desert Explorers at Large

West Salt Lake Desert

I have now been on two very enjoyable and rewarding tours through the West Salt Lake desert in Utah and would suggest Desert Explorers consider a trip a little further afield than the Mojave.

My first auto trip left Ely, NV on Alternate US 93 and turned east into the desert just west of Dutch Mountain in UT. The views from that pass, the small desert community of Callao, the open desert, Simpson’s Spring, Fish Springs N.W.R., and Dugway Pass are highlights of the route that once was used by pioneers on the Oregon Trial, the Overland Stage, the Pony Express and the Lincoln Highway. There are plenty of markers in the desert to commemorate historic sites.


The second trip started near American Fork at Camp Floyd Park (from the 1858-59 Mormon War) and traversed the desert to Fish Springs. We were exploring Oregon Trail sites and our group actually cemented in a T-rail marking part 

of the trail. There are still many trail ruts and swales to see.

Some routes skirt Dugway Proving Ground with its “Lethal Force Authorized” signs. We were able to actually tour on the grounds but it contains the U.S.’s inventory of chemical weapons, drone testing facilities, weapons firing ranges, etc. and is difficult to get passes to see.

I am a new member and look forward to the time I may actually join a tour in the Mojave beyond my enchanting forays along the original U.S. Route 66 alignment and into Death Valley; judging from the newsletter there are beautiful desert stretches to explore and wonderful friends I have not met yet.

Jerry Peppers