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Thunderhead Hiking Trail is a 3.3 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Steamboat Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.3 miles Elevation Gain: 2,155 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

rocky

Please note this trail can be done in either direction or as an out and back. There is a gondola near the start point of this trail as well as near the end point of this trail. The trailhead marked here is at a parking garage. Continue on mapped route to begin trail, as well as following signs located in the area. Please note: Users have reported that the Thunderhead Lodge is closed, but you can still hike the trail and get good views all the way to the Lodge. Please refer to the Lodge's page for updates.

hiking
1 day ago

Great trail, very open up catwalks in the beginning but goes through the trees for the second half of the hike. Pretty tough. The Gondola wasn’t operating when we hiked it on a Wednesday in the summer, so hiked down as well

hiking
bugs
4 days ago

Strenuous steep hike at 3.8 miles one way. (The total mileage is not an out and back.) The hike was in and out of the trees which was nice for shade. Tons of wildflowers towards the top around late June. There were quite a few bugs and flies that were biting but could have been from recent rain. Took the gondola down which was an awesome way to end it. No charge for taking it just make sure you have a mask since they require it.

hiking
5 days ago

Very Pretty. Steep hike. Took the gondola down.

hiking
bugs
off trail
rocky
7 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

Beautiful and not many people for a Saturday!

hiking
1 month ago

got free parking in gondola square, had an awesome hike, great foliage and views once you get to the trail, and we had a perfect thunder cloud at the top!

hiking
4 months ago

Straight up

hiking
muddy
snow
8 months ago

hiking
closed
9 months ago

We were excited to do the entire trail but it was closed at mile 2 for mountain work. Otherwise a great workout and gorgeous day.

hiking
closed
10 months ago

Nice day. The first mile is up hill pretty tight. Play hide and seek with the sun just sucking in the shade briefly. Once you get to top of Christy Express, the last part is closed for construction. If you break the rules a little (I did not of course), it’s a nice moderately difficult to top of Thunderhead. Quarter mile to go to top of Thunderhead ran into a big black bear just south of trail, so didn’t make the top (if I had gone where I shouldn’t have). I’ll try again next season.

hiking
10 months ago

nice hike. my sea lungs felt it a bit. beautiful views and flowers

recorded Thunderhead Hiking Trail

hiking
10 months ago

Difficult uphill trail from base of the ski area. Thunderstorm rolled in on way down. Lots of metal infrastructure at the ski area base.

hiking
10 months ago

This would be a nice trail but there are lots of snakes along it!! We started on it, then encountered a couple snakes and decided to take the multi-purpose trail instead. Great views from the top!

hiking
11 months ago

thunderhead lodge closed for summer 2019... bring lotsa water

hiking
Sat Jun 22 2019

Very boring until you get above midway point of Christie Peak chair lift. Boring until you get above Christie Peak. But once you get above that point, trail is very good. Shade and great views all the way to Thunderhead Lodge. I just wish at least the deck at Thunderhead was open. Should be a great view from there. I would rate this as moderate. Elevation, but trail is clean and an easy zig-zag up the mountain.

hiking
Thu Jun 13 2019

Took the lift up then hiked down. A nice, kid friendly hike.

Sun Jan 06 2019

A little tough to find trail head and to stay on the trail for someone not familiar with the area. Beautiful views of the mountain during the summer! Worth the hike to the top!

hiking
Sat Sep 29 2018

Great moderate trail right at base of ski hill. Started early to avoid heat and crowds. Amazing colors all the way up the Gondola.

hiking
Sun Sep 02 2018

Absolutely beautiful scenery! Need sturdy shoes and lots of water. We went up yesterday mid-morning to afternoon, it was 92 degrees, the heat radiates off the sandy trail. Thank goodness for all the shade! Trail is well maintained, couple rocky areas to climb over. Rated as moderate for the experienced hiker, those with less experience or endurance it's going to be strenuous. The gondola offers a wonderful, free, option back down. You can also refill your H2O at the top.

hiking
Sat Aug 18 2018

I use this Trail 2-3 times per week for training purposes, as do many locals. With a 2200 ft elevation gain in less than 4 miles, it works for me! The trail is nice, shady, and dogs may be off-leash!

hiking
Fri Aug 17 2018

Great hike. Go early and will have lots of shade. Started at 7:10 and got to the top before sun became an issue.

hiking
Mon Aug 13 2018

I cheated to some extent. Went up gondola to catch the Friday morning yoga class, had lunch and then hiked down the trail. Nice views of valley and wild flowers. Challenging enough to use a walking stick.

hiking
Sat Aug 11 2018

This is a well marked trail with a steady pitch all the way to the top. Beautiful scenery and lots of shade. We hiked up and took the tram down (free).

hiking
Tue Jul 10 2018

We took the gondola up and hiked down, which is $25 per person. The views of the valley are just stunning! I would rate this hike as strenuous even for just going down. I didn’t give it five stars because the trail is very overgrown, and there were a ton of bees (mid July) that we had to avoid. I would recommend wearing long pants if you have any grass-related allergies. Overall the hike was worth it, but it was a challenge!

hiking
Tue Jul 10 2018

Very strenuous hike. Views are great. Make sure you have good gripping shoes. Mostly sand on trail. Takes about two hrs with plenty of breaks. Gondola ride is worth the hike.

hiking
Fri Jun 22 2018

Beautiful views! Did this in late June on an 80 degree day. I’m 43 but I had major brain surgery about 8 months ago. It is 2,180 foot climb but pretty steep hills all the way. 1.5 hours. This should be rated moderately difficult for most. The beginning of the hike is the worst bc most is not shaded and not that pretty. The last half is nice due to the pretty walk in the woods and spectacular views. If a view of the city is what you want this is for you! Beautiful wildflowers etc...It is Almost all a steep uphill climb on dirt. Which could be tricky for those without good balance. We hiked 2 days ago to the upper falls at Fish Creek Park. It was more beautiful and an easier hike although scarier! Some may disagree with me. Free Gondola ride down made it worth hiking! My 10 and 12 year old did the hike with us! Turned on the trail tracker very late in the hike.

hiking
Sat Jun 16 2018

Steep! I was fine but if you aren’t used to hikes, it’s pretty much a hard hike, 3.8 miles with almost no flat spots. Good wildflower spotting and views, and it connects to the gondola, but it’s prolly not “moderate” for 70% of normies.

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