US 50 in Utah


US 50
Get started Garrison
End Cisco
Length 335 mi
Length 539 km




Salina – Colorado state line:


According to, US 50 is a US Highway in the US state of Utah. The road forms an east-west route through the center of the state, from the Nevada border at Garrison to the Colorado border at Cisco. Most of the route is double -numbered with other roads, most notably US 6 and Interstate 70. Only a small portion is numbered as US 50 only. The route is 539 kilometers long.

Travel directions

The US 50 between Scipio and Salina.

Just north of the hamlet of Garrison, US 50 in Nevada crosses the Utah border from Ely, also the boundary between the Pacific Time Zone and the Mountain Time Zone. On the border there is only a small gas station, after which a part of 130 kilometers without any village, and without any intersection with other roads follows through the deserted desert. The US 50 is double numbered here with the US 6. The landscape consists of a sand and rock desert with some mountain ranges. The road is lonely and has one lane in each direction. The road sometimes runs straight for tens of kilometers, and the first village is reached after more than 130 kilometers, namely Hinkley. This area consists of irrigated agricultural areas around the river Sevier. The village of Delta is the main town on the route in western Utah, and US 50 then exits toward Salina for a more direct route to I-70. Both roads come together again in eastern Utah. US 6 runs toward Spanish Fork in the northeast.

US 50 then heads southeast, and the road continues past Fishlake National Forest, but remains in desert territory. At Holden, the road merges with Interstate 15, the highway from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City. This double numbering only lasts about 14 kilometers, after which the US 50 turns off again at Scipio and heads south. The road runs through a wide valley to Salina for 50 kilometers where there is an intersection with US 89, the road from Provo to Richfield in the south. Shortly thereafter, the road merges into Interstate 70. US 50 is double-numbered for the rest of the route through Utah with I-70 for 300 kilometers.


Route numbering

According to Liuxers, the US 50 was introduced in 1926. However, there was disagreement with Nevada over the route of this, Nevada wanted a southerly route via Ely, which followed the Lincoln Highway, while Utah wanted a more northerly route via the Victory Highway. In the end, Utah initially got his wish, US 50 to the west of Salt Lake City initially coincided with US 40. The route took a detour, first west from Salt Lake City to Wendover, then a long stretch south into Nevada to Ely, before heading west again. This dual numbering was discontinued in 1954 after a new paved road was built between Delta and the Nevada border and US 50 was routed over that route.

At the time, US 50 ran from Ely via Delta, Santaquin, Spanish Fork, Price and Green River to the Colorado border. This route coincided entirely with today’s US 6. In 1976, however, US 50 was extensively rerouted to a more southerly route via the newly constructed I-70 via Salina. This gave US 50 a zigzag route, from Delta via Holden, Scipio and Salina and from there via I-70 to Green River.

US 50 as an alternative between Denver and Salt Lake City

The route of US 50 between I-15 and I-70 is an alternate connection for traffic between Denver and Salt Lake City. Initially, this traffic will go through Wyoming, over I-25 and I-80 because this route goes through less mountainous terrain than I-70 in Colorado. A second alternative follows US 6 in Utah from Green River to Spanish Fork. The US 50 is the third alternative, via Salina. This route is longer than the alternative via US 6, but is largely via highways. In practice, however, this does not outweigh the considerably shorter route via the US 6.

Asphalting the US 50

When US 50 was introduced in 1926, no part of the current route was paved. Most of it was not even improved, but a dirt road that was difficult to drive on. In the 1930s the asphalting of the eastern part was given a high priority, in the period 1930-1937 the entire stretch from Green River to the border with Colorado was asphalted. This completely coincided with US 6.

Shortly after World War II, the first western section was paved, between Delta and Holden. This was the link between US 6 in Delta and the important US 91 in Holden. The part west of Delta was not tackled until the early 1950s, with the route partly being constructed as a completely new connection. The original dirt road ran via the 1950 meter high Margum Pass (now Marjum Pass), around 1952 an approximately 80 kilometer long asphalt road was built further south. This was the third paved road between Utah and Nevada at the time.

In the early 1950s, the part between Scipio and Salina was also asphalted. This made it possible to drive the entire route, but with the exception of the section between Salina and Green River, which was only accessible when Interstate 70 was constructed. Before I-70 was built, there were no paved roads in the entire region, this was virgin territory. I-70 opened in 1970 between Fremont Junction and Green River, and the section between Salina and Fremont Junction was completed in 1975-1976, replacing the old unpaved State Highway 10. This made it possible to drive the entire present-day route of the US 50.

Upgrades to the US 50

Other than double-numbering with I-70 east of Salina, no significant upgrades have been made to US 50 between the Nevada and Salina border since its original construction and tarmac.

Traffic intensities

About 1,500 vehicles drive daily between Delta and I-15 and 2,500 vehicles between I-15 and Salina. For the rest of the route, see Interstate 70 in Utah and US 6 in Utah.

US 50 in Utah