The Route: Rock Springs to Reno

Pilots flying the mail cross-country in 1921 followed these directions to find landmarks along the way.

A Varney Air Lines Swallow outside the airmail hangar at Elko, Nevada in April 1926. (NASM (SI-85-6459))

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Salt Lake City to Reno


0. Salt Lake City—Fly west from Salt Lake, keeping the two railroads running due west from Salt Lake to the south.

12. Saltair—Near the salt works there is an open field which is possible for an emergency landing. The field lies between the highway and the electric railroad that runs into Salt Lake City. Is rolling and covered sparsely with sagebrush and should be used only in case of absolute emergency.

14. Antelope Island—In the Great Salt Lake, 6 miles north of the course.

30. Stansbury Island—In the Great Salt Lake. The course crosses this island about 2 miles from its southern edge.

45. The Union Pacific Railroad is crossed where it runs northeast-southwest. Two miles north of the course the railroad makes a sharp bend and runs southeast-northwest.

50. The Union Pacific Railroad is crossed again. The Union Pacific continues southeast from here for 10 miles and then turns westward and parallels the course to Wendover. The course is 6 miles north of the railroad.

98.Salduro—On the Union Pacific Railroad, 6 miles south of the course. There is an emergency field here in vat No. 5, marked by a black T. The vat is circular, 400 feet in diameter and the bottom, composed of white salt, is hard as a pavement.

108. Wendover.—On the Union Pacific, 6 miles south of the course. Opposite the Conley Hotel and the Union Pacific station there is a landing field L-shaped, 1,200 feet long each way and 600 feet wide, a good emergency field. Four miles west of Wendover the Union Pacific Railroad turns to the north and east and is crossed 8 miles west of Wendover. The railroad continues northwestward and reaches a northern point 11 miles from the course. The railroad curves and runs southeast, where it crosses the Nevada Northern, running north-south at Shafter.

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