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Thunder Mountain Trail #33098

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.7 (80)

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


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Map Key

8.1

Miles

13.1

KM

Singletrack

8,263' 2,519 m

High

7,084' 2,159 m

Low

689' 210 m

Up

1,681' 512 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Off-leash

E-Bikes Unknown

Features Views

Description

Thunder Mountain Trail is west of Bryce Canyon National Park in Red Canyon of Dixie National Forest. 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 5.0 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 7,800' to the trailhead at a bit over 8,000' with a peak elevation of 8,200'. 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!

Red Canyon Campground is an excellent Federal campground that sits just east from the Red Canyon Visitor Center. Open seasonally usually from May-September. 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! National Forest campgrounds in the Powell Ranger District are first-come-first-served except the group site at Kings Creek campground near Tropic Reservoir (camping reservations for all of Dixie NF can be found here: recreation.gov/camping/gate…) Private campgrounds are nearby and may have reserveable spots made online. We arrived before noon on Saturday and great spots were available. There are also a number of free BLM and USFS dispersed sites in the immediate area, check with Red Canyon Visitor Center or Powell District office (located in Panguitch) for current regulations and closures.
Red Canyon Visitor Center: 435-676-2676
Powell District Office: 435-676-9300

Contacts

Shared By:

Markk Knowles with improvements by Josh D and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 80 votes

#1

in Red Canyon

#2

Overall
  4.7 from 80 votes
5 Star
76%
4 Star
18%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
1%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#1

in Red Canyon

#1

in Utah

#2

Overall
1,570 Views Last Month
72,654 Since Jun 24, 2013
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
31%
3%
66%
0%

Photos

This is an AMAZING trail.
Nov 21, 2013 near Panguitch, UT
Susan B rolling through the Hoodoos near Bryce. Behind the camera is Zach B.
Aug 10, 2016 near Panguitch, UT
Thunder Mountain Trail near Bryce Canyon, Utah.
Oct 26, 2016 near Panguitch, UT
Riding with the hoodoos.
Jun 14, 2016 near Panguitch, UT
Shredding another switchback
Jun 24, 2013 near Panguitch, UT
Hoodoos at Thunder Mountain UT
Aug 14, 2016 near Panguitch, UT

Weather


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Check-Ins

May 26, 2020
E Tucker
May 16, 2020
Chris P
Oct 16, 2019
Lisa Munsch
Sep 22, 2019
kenneth silvestri
Being from Florida, this Stretched my lungs! I did dismount on numerous steep, rocky hairpins or switch backs. Big TEST for 67. 8mi
Sep 17, 2019
Glenn Bukata
8.1mi
Aug 1, 2019
Garrett Sessions
Great! 8.1mi — 1h 00m
Jul 6, 2019
Hector Ortiz