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Level: Intermediate
Length: 6 mi (9.7 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: One-way
Elevation: +151/418 ft
Total: 107 riders
 

Mountain Biking Thunder Mountain

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#15 of 692 mountain bike trails in Utah
#390 in the world

This trail can be done as a loop or if you have enough vehicles start ride at Coyote Hollow Trailhead parking.

Loop Directions
Starting from the Thunder Mountain TH (aprox 7100 ft., restrooms, parking) ride E on the paved trail that follows river (#113) for 5.4 miles then turn on to dirt road and follow it 2 miles through a small campground to Coyote Hollow parking (8050 ft., restrooms, parking). The Thunder Mountain single track (#098) starts here winding through forest canyons climbing and descending the same 250 ft many times for the next 3 miles. The trail gradually climbs to roughly 8300 ft at 10.5 miles from the start (awesome views!) and then starts a rapid decent past red cliffs & hoodoo�s, switchbacking down the canyons. Some technical stuff as the switchbacks are rather tight & steep and some of the trail is very narrow along ledges. At mile 14.2 and roughly 7300 ft you intersect with trail # 066, go right and the trail quickly turns into a 20 mph downhill scream on a forested single track back to the Thunder Mountain TH almost 2 miles later.
This is an awesome ride! However if you are like me and from near sea level it will quickly remind you that you are at 7-8000 ft as the air is pretty thin and the climbs can be pretty tough. Big kudo�s to the folks at the Dixie Forest dept (office in Panguitch, UT) for all the new signage and maintenance of the many trails in the area.

First added by AK_Dan on May 1, 2020. Last updated May 1, 2020. → add an update
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Getting there
Mile 3 of Utah highway 12, 10 miles W of Bryce Canyon N.P., at the W entrance to the Red Canyon area.

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Thunder Mountain bike trail
 
THUNDER MOUNTAIN 2010
 
Thunder Mountain, UT - 2010
 
Mountain Biking the Thunder Mountain Trail…
 
Thunder Mountain, Part 3
 

Mountain Bike Trails Near Red Canyon, Utah

***
Intermediate | 13 mi
| 10 mi

Rider questions

Q: How long is the actual Thunder Valley trail if shuttled?

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Reviews

  • Nathan Nieman
    *****

    Thunder Mountain Trail - one of the few trails in Bryce Canyon National Park open to mountain biking - starts at 8,000 ft. elevation where it follows a wooded forest path for the first 1.5 miles. From there, you'll climb a series of steep switchbacks to a 8,300 ft. ridge overlooking Red Canyon to the north, Wilson Peak to the southeast, and the Sevier River Valley to the west. This trail rewards riders with amazing red rock Hudoo views and varied terrain. Parts of the trail can be challenging but, in general, it's not a difficult trail to ride, uncertain riders can always walk sections of the trail.
    One 100 yard section of Bryce Canyon's Thunder Mountain trail is only 5 feet wide; sheer 40 feet drop on both sides of the trail encourages riders to keep their balance and eyes directly on the path in front of them; unfortunate given the amazing 360 degree vistas. This Ridge is not for those know to suffer from vertigo.
    Once past the ridge, you'll descend around 1,000 ft. elevation on some fairly steep switchbacks. This is probably the most technical section of the trail - hairpin turns and 20 degree slopes are sure to get your adrenaline flowing. Assuming you survive the switchbacks, the final section is a fast rolling decent that is sure to put a smile on your face. At a total distance of 8.8 miles, Thunder Mountain isn't a very long ride; however, the breathtaking views will leave you speechless and wanting for another run. The trail is well maintained and marked; no worries of getting lost. During peak park season the trail can get a lot of bike traffic.
    Overall, I rate Bryce Canyon's Thunder Mountain bike trail 5 out of 5 stars. This truly unique area makes this destination worth the drive.

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  • buffalogerl@hotmail.com
    *****

    This has to be one of my favorite rides. Not technically or aerobically demanding, but a lot of fun and the scenery is some of the most surreal you'll ever ride through. I did this in 2013 and there was absolutely no place to rent a bike with the exception of the Best Western at Ruby's Inn near the entrance to Bryce. These bikes were beat up old schwinn "mountain" bikes. Hardly any brakes, horrible tires, and gears that didn't work. But regardless of of our gear this was truly a remarkable ride!

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  • dgw2jr
    **

    This is a scenery ride no doubt. The actual riding is terrible. It's up and down the whole way until the last 2 miles. Half the trail tread is horse crap. The trail needs some serious maintenance due to the erosion and postholes caused by equestrians. Also, if you are allergic to bees, stay away in May. Blooming manzanita bushes attract them in droves!

    I would never ride this trail again and I can easily see this trail falling off the list of Utah destination rides within the next 5 to 10 years.

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  • *****

    This is an absolutely stunning ride! You will climb, you will descend, you will see the most stunning scenery of your life! Prepare to work - at 8,200 ft your lungs will burn. I'm an East Coast rider and took this trail in reverse of the norm - Thunder Mountain Trail head to Coyote. The switchback/uphills at the beginning were brutal, but the downhills were fantastic. Seriously, every turn is scenic heaven and the technicalitly of the entire ride makes it 8 miles of bliss.

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  • Eric Foltz
    ****

    This is a great trail but would be so much better if they could figure out a way to cut out the bike trail/fire road section and make it all singletrack. You'd have a hard time finding a more scenic ride. Bring a camera.

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  • bluejudad
    ****

    Stunningly scenic. Techy in areas. A bunch of ups and downs with high level switch backs. Only negative is the trail is shared with horses. Horses seem to be use it predominantly and they inevitably create loose soil and rocks. All in all... well worth a journey to ride it.

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  • getouttheretoo@gmail.com
    ***

    I enjoyed the scenery, but found that the trail was at times very loose with tight switchbacks, could use some serious trail maintenance.

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  • Ryan Palmer
    *****

    Awesome ride. Nothing like this anywhere else in the world. Incredible "fin" features will give you a heart attack.

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  • moorhead14
    *****

    The most beautiful trail I have ridden. Bring your camera for great biking and scenery shots.

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  • trisporter717
    *****

    Road this in early September and it is my current all time favorite. Bryce Canyon NP quality views and you get to ride to your hearts delight. Nothing too technical but some open ridgeline riding, steep climbs, and some tough switchbacks along the way. Not to be missed for the fun and locale

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  • p2moguls
    *****

    This was our first rode of the season in May on our road trip through Utah. Awesome, scenic loop thru some of the most visually stunning scenery you could ride a bike through. Like being on another planet...We saw only one rider the entire day and that was on the paved bike trail climbing up. The paved bike path is a good warm up and has fine views of Red Canyon. The single track is downright epic. Downhills and side excursion to Inspiration Point are unforgettable. The switchbacks and my favorite, the knife edge ridge are thrilling, and for any riders with above average skills, worth the price of admission by themselves. Photos and videos are a must!

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  • cbotto79

    the status says "closed" yet it appears it has been ridden already this year. Can someone shed light on this? Going thru that area in May, would love to ride this....

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  • david_darling
    *****

    This could be "THE" trail. Superfantasic bam shooby doo wah day! Amazing scenery plus amazing trail equals amazing ride. Must do if riding Brian Head or passing through. Instant Classic. I was lucky enough to have ridden this trail just days after it had opened.

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  • ckaep
    *****

    I did this trail many years ago and it was INCREDIBLE! Still one of my favs. Looking forward to going back and doing it again! Great views, great singletrack!

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  • notley1
    *****

    ridden twice as a loop. ride the pavement back to car. first part of the ride is just nice, with some climbing. once you get up on the ridge- very nice! beautiful and some challenging spots. 2-3 switchbacks coming down are a little scary at first but doable. from the bottom back to pavement fast and flowy.

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  • John Fisch
    *****

    This is an A+++ trail! There is some of the best scenery you will ever see, combined with fantastic singletrack. You can only start from Coyote Hollow if you have a shuttle. Even if you have to do the loop including the pavement and dirt road, this ride is so worth it. From Coyote Hollow, the trail starts with typical wooded mountain singletrack, but it is very well laid out and a lot of fun. Then, you break out onto the ridge in Red Canyon and things get really interesting. The scenery is like no other bike trail and the singletrack just keeps getting better. There are killer views of the canyon and the valley beyond, narrow ridgetop singletrack, tight switchbacks and a big plummet down to the canyon floor. Don't miss the right turn (well-signed) shortly after hitting the canyon floor. Then it's a short climb and the last mile is super fast, flowy singletrack with some great air opportunities. You absolutely can't beat this ride!

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  • abegold
    *****

    Do not forget your camera. Watch out for horses. This trail is unique and truly beautiful. Lots of hoodoos!
    Only thing like it is nearby Bryce National Park.* Review edited 10/1/2012

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  • rich67
    *****

    Absolutely amazing and fun ride. I have to say this has by far been one of the best trails I have ridden. You absolutely must start at Coyote Hollow; riding the other direction from Red Canyon CG is pointless. The last portion of the trail was an absolute blast, fast singletrack with sweeping turns, able to get up to serious speeds! A must do for this area.

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  • mozey
    *****

    A great trail with awsome "out of this world" scenery, strange red rock formations, and vanilla scented pines. The last mile or so is a fast downhill. This is a trail everyone should ride if they get the chance.

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