Thunder Mountain Trail to Horseshoe Canyon Trail

HARD 3 reviews
#49 of 72 trails in

Thunder Mountain Trail to Horseshoe Canyon Trail is a 16.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Pioneer, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and nature trips and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

16.2 miles
3,861 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly


nature trips

trail running




wild flowers



8 months ago

I really enjoy camping at Silver Lake and swimming in the nice, cold, crystal clear waters. This time I decided to try out the Thunder Mountain hike. I hiked it on July 8th and there were still large patches of snow I had to hike through making it pretty treacherous at some parts. There were times I was hike along a massive , steep snow patch and was afraid I would slide way down the mountain if I slipped. I also lost track of the trail a few times but luckily found my way back. So, it was a pretty intense hike, especially since it was just me and my dog out there. I only passed one other person the whole time and that was when I was just about to the end. The sense of solitude out there was unreal. But, it was a really cool, but steep, hike with great views all around and I'd like to do it again when there is no snow to trek through.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

We did the full loop back on May 16th, 2016. There was a ton of snow and some areas that were a bit dangerous. The Summit is very cool but had some pretty sketchy edges with snow and Ice on them.
I"ll go check it out again in the spring or summer.

Monday, October 24, 2016

One of my favorite trails that I did almost every year we camped at Silver Lake. When you get up to the ridge you have incredible views of Silver lake on one side and Kirkwood Ski area on the other. The 1st time I did it with my sons and my best friend I had the only case of altitude sickness I've ever had. The sicker I got the more my hiking mates laughed at me. i almost had to crawl to the summit. I got back at them because once I got back down a few hundred feet from the summit I felt great and I was lighter so I ran them down the mountain for a couple of miles... They stopped laughing somewhere along the way... The hike has a very good rake and is a little challenging at times and some years even in the middle of summer there was a little snow turned to ice across the trail.