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Thunder Mountain

 55 votes

8.1 Miles 13.1 Kilometers


689' 210 m


-1,681' -512 m


8,263' 2,519 m


7,084' 2,159 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (15°)

Minor Issues

16 hours agoUpdate

Trail quality reminiscent of Sedona and majestic views reflective of Bryce Canyon. WOW!

Markk Knowles



Thunder Mountain Trail is just outside Bryce Canyon National Park. The amazing views of Thunder Mountain will blow you away. Trail quality is mostly smooth hard pack but has short serious sections of loose, steep, switchbackery madness. There aren't much in the way of steps or drops, the technical sections are short and walk-able with the climbing mostly moderate, making this trail a manageable ride for most riders.

The trail is mapped here as a mostly downhill (although you'll question that at times) but can be done a number of ways. We parked at the lower trailhead and shuttled to the top at Coyote Hollow and rode the dirt road to the Thunder trailhead (you can drive the dirt road to Coyote Hollow parking as well). Some ride the Red Canyon Trail (paved) to the top then down adding an extended warm-up climb of nearly 5 miles. Others may choose to ride the trail in reverse then back down to their cars on the paved trail that parallels the road (the "crazy" option).

The dirt road climbs gradually from 7800' to the trailhead at a bit over 8000' with a peak elevation of 8200'. After this the trail is downhill with a few short exceptions.

You'll enjoy the many swooping hills and valleys along the way with many memorable photo opportunities to store away.

The last mile to parking is a blast! Let the brakes free and fly through the smooth flowing singletrack at blistering speeds....if you dare!

An excellent Federal campground sits just east from the Red Canyon Visitor Center. Flush toilets, pay hot showers, grilled fire rings and barbecue grills are amenities for these cozy campsites nestled between the shady trees. There was even free wifi during our visit! Reservations can be made online but we arrived before noon on Saturday and great spots were available. There are also a number of free BLM campsites in the immediate area.


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4.6 from 55 votes

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Nov 10, 2017
Boardin Cuban
Nov 2, 2017
Ann Donnelly
Oct 23, 2017
Alexander Jonathan
Oct 18, 2017
Marc Daniel
Sep 13, 2017
Jim McKee
Sep 12, 2017
ottsville CC
Super fun trail with amazing scenery! Nothing really hard on this trail, a few short techy sections in some switchbacks and at the top of a few cl... 8.1mi
Aug 7, 2017
Paul Seltmann
Red rock to Bryce first 30mi
Jul 26, 2017
Curtis Carter

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Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 55 votes


in Red Canyon


  4.6 from 55 votes
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in Utah


2,049 Views Last Month
40,153 Since Jun 24, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult



Minor Issues 16 hours ago
Some Mud - Some mud and some snow.
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is there a bike rental place nearby? Jul 14, 2016
Rick Powelson
Colorado Springs, CO
Rick Powelson   Colorado Springs, CO
This trail is up and down and for the first half of the ride. Once at the hoodoos, it starts more downhill with a lot of switchbacks. There's a couple sketchy areas in the switchbacks, but nothing can't be walked if it's too much for you. It's one hell of a ride. If you can't shuttle, we parked at the bottom of the paved trail and rode up to the trailhead. It was a pretty easy climb that way. Nov 11, 2016
Like Steve, rode the paved Red Canyon and 113 trails to access trailhead. Very hot so was a bit burnt out at the top. The top section has a lot of short ups and downs with lots of hairpins so while the elevation profile is relatively flat, it still takes a bit of effort. Lots of loose rock sections on way down as well with tight switchbacks. The scenery is spectacular. Support Kirks comments as we Aug 24, 2017

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