Thunder Mountain Loop Trail

MODERATE 37 reviews
#24 of 78 trails in

Thunder Mountain Loop Trail is a 12.3 mile loop trail located near Pioneer, California and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

12.3 miles
2532 feet

dog friendly


trail running

2 months ago

We started from Thunder Mtn. trailhead and headed towards Kirkwood. Was a great hike until we made the turn at the bottom of the loop at Horse Canyon Trail. Once we hit the Horse Canyon parking lot, we ran into private property and decided to hike the last few miles back in 88. App is accurate at about 12 miles. The altitude is real, we drank more water than we normally would have.

2 months ago

Great trail.Some confusion coming back to hgw.88.Beautiful view from the ridge over the canyon.

3 months ago

3 months ago

3 months ago

Started the trail at 8 am Saturday morning, made it to the top with my 50 pounds of gear by noon. Made camp at 9200 feet of elevation. Training at altitude for High Sierra Trail/Mt Whitney in 2 weeks. I was surprised at the amount of snow still present. Did some exploring and practicing with my gear, melted snow for water etc. Great views and a decent challenge with so much weight, I stopped frequently due to heavy breathing, a great workout. Overnight camping was a blast but you'll need to put in the effort to prep a flat spot for your tent. Broke camp Sunday morning and make it back to the truck in about 2 hours. What a great local trail we have here.

4 months ago

Beautiful views! decent hike, just a few steeper parts

4 months ago

4 months ago

6 months ago

11 months ago

Monday, October 10, 2016

Great hike with fantastic views

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

Awesome trail I've done many times slightly different than the route displayed . The hike we take gets us closer to the campgrounds at silver lake on the way back.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The hike to the summit is awesome, but the loop trail is not worth the extra miles. Once you're close to Horse Canyon trailhead and turn onto Castle Point trail, you parallel Hwy 88 for a short distance, then cross over the highway and walk on a forest service road. It's hot, you're tired, and all the while you hear nothing but cars going by.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Friday, July 15, 2016

This review is for the portion from the Trailhead to the summit and back. Great place to hike with awesome views of the surrounding areas. Went in mid July and most of the snow was gone. Just a few patches remained.

I'd rate this as a moderate hill as the incline really works the legs and the decline can be tough on the knees and feet. The overall climb from the trailhead to the summit is about 1800 ft and about 7 miles round trip.

Make sure to have plenty of sunscreen as once you clear the tree line you are at the mercy of the sun. Also it can be very windy up there. When my group was there winds were around 30-40mph. There were a couple of times it blew us a step over.

Recommend looking at the weather as temperatures can be in the 60's the higher you go. Make sure to pack the right clothes.

Overall a great hike though and I recommend it for nearly everyone except the really young or those who have a tough on inclines/declines.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

It had some awesome views of the surrounding mountains and Silver Lake

Monday, May 16, 2016

Due to the amount of snow still at the top and on the back side of Thunder Mtn this trail is much more than a Medium level trail and in some spots very very very dangerous!

I did this trail clock wise, with shoe chains on and a day pack. What I needed was an ice pick, helmet and a 2nd day do finish the trail. The trail was ice covered making it much slower than a normal hike or snow shoe.
We completed the loop in 7.75 hours of none stop hiking. Longest stop was 5 min. and a quick look at the view from Thunder Mtn.
This is not a safe hike for newbies during the spring! Lots of creeks to cross, snow covered trail is not marked, lots of falling into melted undersnow and sliding down hills.

I suggest waiting until after July or August. If you snow shoe this trail in the winter I suggest having a radio beacon and rope. I think I"ll do the trail c'clock wise next time. Clock wise was brutal.!
We were the only people on the trail and only saw tracks from a solo hiker from a few days before us.

I'll go back in the summer to do the loop again.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

This hike was off the charts beautiful. Views are endless after the first mile and ridge views expand both directions. We've hiked many trails off 88 and this one is right at the top.