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Thunder Mountain Ride

Difficult

Trail

15.9 mile 25.7 kilometer point to point
55% Singletrack
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,627' 496 m
Descent: -1,633' -498 m
High: 8,261' 2,518 m
Low: 7,085' 2,159 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 24% (13°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Brian Smith

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

Brian Smith

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

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

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Check-Ins

Apr 4, 2020
Shannon Brady
Nov 3, 2019
M L Pogue
14.4mi — 2h 41m
Oct 8, 2019
Eric Harrill
15.9mi
Oct 2, 2019
Cb Pc
Aug 24, 2019
Stephanie F
W Ellie Jenn Fin Harris
Jul 22, 2019
Dylan Webb
description is pretty accurate. 15.7mi
Jun 9, 2019
Ernest G
Way harder than expected 18mi — 4h 32m
May 30, 2019
Chris Chris

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 47 votes

#1

in Red Canyon

#151

Overall
  4.7 from 47 votes
5 Star
81%
4 Star
13%
3 Star
4%
2 Star
2%
1 Star
0%
Ride Rankings

#1

in Red Canyon

#18

in Utah

#151

Overall
781 Views Last Month
17,724 Since Jan 10, 2018
Difficult

0%
0%
19%
4%
77%
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
Thunder Mountain Trail downhill.
Jul 19, 2019 near Panguitch, UT

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