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Thunder Mountain Ride

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.7 (78) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A bucket list ride in middle-of-nowhere Utah that could be mistaken for Mars.


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Map Key

15.9

Miles

25.7

KM

55%

Singletrack

8,261' 2,518 m

High

7,085' 2,159 m

Low

1,627' 496 m

Up

1,633' 498 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

24%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Overview

This ride has it all: A mellow climb on a paved bike path, rolling singletrack through alpine pine forest, and ripping descents through an otherworldly Martian landscape littered with hoodoos.

Need to Know

  • This route can be approached from a couple different ways: Riders looking to speed things up can shuttle to the start of the Thunder Mountain Trail and bypass the bike path climb. Or, if you want more challenge forego the loop and ride the Thunder Mountain Trail as a more technically-demanding, 100% singletrack out-and-back adventure.
  • Though desert-y, this ride is at elevation and is susceptible to winter conditions during the season.

Description

From the parking lot at the bottom of Thunder Mountain Trail #33098, hop onto the Red Canyon Bike Trail #33016 and settle in for a mellow and extremely scenic 5.5-mile climb. After the path flattens out and enters a broad prairie, look for the turnoff to Coyote Hollow Road (FSR #113) on the right.

Pedal the mellow dirt road for about two miles to the upper Thunder Mountain TH. Jump onto the beautiful singletrack and enjoy the undulating ride as it contours into and out of countless forested drainages. Eventually, the grade will trend more continuously upward and you'll climb to the ride's high-point at about mile 11.75.

Take in the ridiculously unique and scenic views and prepare yourself for some amazing descending to come. A couple short climbs break up what is an otherwise ripping 1,400-foot descent, but you'll be thankful because the climbs allow you to soak in the incredible surroundings.

The trail varies from wide-open and smooth to tight and technical, so be ready for anything. The pea gravel tread rolls fast as all get out but can be less-than-inspiring through corners. Trust the hardpack underneath the ball bearings and ye shall have a grand ol' time.

Eventually, after a series of snaking switchbacks, you'll find yourself in a canyon bottom facing the last short climb of the ride. Grind it out and get ready for a ripping straight-away back to the trailhead. There you'll find your car, pit toilets, and hopefully some post-ride libations.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brian Smith

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 78 votes

#1

in Red Canyon

#48

Overall
  4.7 from 78 votes
5 Star
76%
4 Star
18%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
1%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Red Canyon

#10

in Utah

#48

Overall
753 Views Last Month
23,329 Since Jan 10, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
17%
20%
63%
0%

Photos

Susan B rolling through the Hoodoos near Bryce. Behind the camera is Zach B.
Aug 10, 2016 near Panguitch, UT
This is an AMAZING trail.
Nov 21, 2013 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
Thunder Mountain Trail downhill.
Jul 19, 2019 near Panguitch, UT
Shredding another switchback
Jun 24, 2013 near Panguitch, UT

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 27 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Nov 4, 2020
Robert Stephenson
Beautiful November ride with Paul, Randy, and Cody
Oct 23, 2020
Charlene Mercer
Oct 20, 2020
Rob Picker
Great ride. Last 4 miles were stunning. Forest area was fun too. 15.9mi — 4h 00m
Oct 17, 2020
Jenny Hawke
Sep 21, 2020
Tim Bro
Unfortunately, trail gets heavy horse traffic which has pulverized much of the trail into fine dust. Might ride better in the Spring. 15.8mi — 2h 21m
Aug 24, 2020
Jasmine Board
Aug 20, 2020
Chad Davis
13h 30m