In 1860 a pony express station was built here which started the town. A school was built in 1872 and continued until 1937.
The site of the former town of Castle Rock and the former Pony Express Station is at N 41.11238 W 111.20466, a little down the canyon from the current junkyard and freeway exit with the same name.
Head of Echo Canyon(*)
The station at the head of Echo Canyon was also known as Frenchies and Castle Rock. It was a contract station on the Pony Express and Stage route. Jabusch believes that the station originally stood in the abandoned town called Castle Rock, which was located about a mile and a half down the canyon from the present junk yard site known as Castle Rock. The structure was apparently built of logs, and after being sold to a French trapper in 1867, was moved up to the canyon to the junk yard site, owned in recent years by the late Curtis Moore.Traveler and author Horace Greeley did not enjoy the ride through Echo Canyon. His description:
“The canyon reminded me afresh that evil and good are strongly interwoven in our earthly lot. Throughout the desolate region which stretches from the Sweetwater River nearly or quite to Bridger, we had in the main the best natural road I ever traveled…. But in this fairly-grassed ravine, hemmed in by steep, picturesque bluffs… we found the ‘going decidedly bad,’ and realized that in the dark it could not be but dangerous.”
Burton, who often found little to praise on the western frontier, seemed to be fascinated with the “picturesque bluffs.” Despite a team of unbroken and rather fractious mules he wrote,
“A whole Petra was there, a system of projecting prisms, pyramids, and pagoda towers, a variety of form that enabled you to see whatever your peculiar vanity might be; columns, porticoes, facades and pedestals. Twin lines of bluffs, a succession of buttresses all fretted and honey-combed, a double row of steeples slipped from perpendicularity, frowned at each other across the gorge. And the wondrous variety was yet more varied by the kaleidoscopic transformation caused by change of position: at every different point the same object bore a different aspect.”Echo Canyon has but one fault: its sublimity will make all other similar features look tame.”
Back to the southeast, and unfortunately on private land, one finds the well-known trail landmark called Cache Cave. The cave was a popular camping spot on the emigrant trail, and, high up on the cave walls where livestock cannot rub, the names of many Mormon Pioneers can still be seen.Information provided by Patrick Hearty, NPEA Utah, 2005.