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Thunder Mountain Loop is a 15.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Panguitch, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Length 15.6 mi Elevation gain 1,748 ft Route type Loop

Kid friendly

Hiking

Horseback riding

Mountain biking

Nature trips

Road biking

Walking

Bird watching

Partially paved

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

No shade

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)

We started off from the Red Canyon Campground along SB12, and rode the paved bike trail to Coyote Hollow and then started the loop at the Coyote Hollow TH. The initial ascent is slow going and quite a good warm up before hitting the main trail. The first part of the trail is an up/down ride with some good climbs, but very doable in the right gears. At the midpoint, the ride becomes a little more level with some great views and a few steep climbs. As you descend the mountain, you encounter some tight switchbacks, and then a really nice bomb downhill (no pedaling needed) for over a mile, that dumps you right back into the Red Canyon campground. Fantastic ride.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (75)
Photos (381)
Recordings (62)
Completed (103)
Michaella Lawson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 08 2020
Horseback ridingRocky

So this app says it’s a loop but it’s really not a loop for horses. However, we continued on the bike trail in order to make it a loop. It’s a gorgeous trail that has some very rocky parts. My daughter and I did it and absolutely loved it. The view is spectacular with shade on a good majority.

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Brett Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 25 2020
Mountain biking

Fun trail, more climbing than downhill until the very end, but it’s super fun with beautiful views especially on the top and backside. Moderate to difficult ride, probably not a beginner trail. Early morning is the best time to ride of course, but good anytime of day unless it’s super hot. :) Bring a good amount of water, camera and be prepared for a good workout.

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Deja Schweitzer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 23 2020
Horseback ridingNo shade

Riding out the Equestrian Campground this is a 9.4 mile, 4 hour ride to the Thunder Mountain Trailhead at the bottom of Red Canyon where our truck and trailer were waiting. Riding out from the campground we followed the road 1.2 miles to the Coyote Hollow Trailhead. There is plenty of room at the trailhead for trailers. I would stage trailers and drop off at the top and pick-up at the bottom of the trail. 3.6 miles from the Coyote Hollow trailhead are hitching posts and an outhouse (outhouse is missing it’s door). This first section winds through the trees with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, the second half of the ride, after the hitching posts is what this trail is know for, breathtaking hoodoos and sandstone rock formations. It’s so beautiful, I felt like I was riding through a theme park ride or on another planet. It’s just unreal and I personally feel like there isn’t a better way to experience this trail than on horseback! Notes on the Coyote Hollow Equestrian Campground. The campground has three hitching posts and plenty of trees to secure a highline. The camp ground has water (non-pottable) for the horses. The water ran dry on our second day, apparently ranchers use the same well for their cattle so we had no notice that we wouldn’t have water for the horses. Our trailer has a tank which we were able to fill at the gas station just up the highway. This campground is first come first serve with no priority given to equestrians even though this is an equestrian campground. We arrived Wednesday and had our choice of the four campsites. There is some movement to set aside one or two sites for equestrian use like they have at other equestrian campgrounds in the Dixie National Forest, please contact or email https://www.fs.usda.gov/contactus/dixie/about-forest/contactus to let them know how important this campground is for equestrians.

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Jennifer Robino
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri May 22 2020
Mountain biking

One of the most beautiful trails I’ve ever ridden

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Devrin Carlson-Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu May 21 2020
Mountain biking

Perhaps my fav in Utah!

Frank Clayton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri May 08 2020
Hiking

One of the best trails!

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Michael Nordenstrom
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 03 2020
Mountain bikingRocky

This is a premier bike trail. Don't think of hiking it on a weekend or you'll get mowed down and make all the bikers mad. Golden Walls is the neighboring trail and is hiking only (it is more beautiful and photogenic). Thunder Mountain is a serious gig. I prefer the uphill portion to the down. The fast pace, steep descent, and hairpin turns are not for the faint of heart. I have hiked a lot, and I would say this is moderate/difficult. It's a workout.

Oren Zvulun
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Apr 30 2020
Hiking

Biked it.

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Kevin Osabuohien
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Apr 28 2020
Mountain biking

Fun trail will go again next time

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Janelle Romano
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 26 2020
Hiking

Bottom line up front - beautiful hike! This is an easy hike but made moderate due to length. Highly recommend for hikers to hike counter-clockwise. Also, recommend hikers leave bikes at the eastern trailhead so you can bike the last 5 miles back to the west end trailhead as the bike path is nice but would not be an enjoyable walk.

Ryan Barney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Apr 11 2020
Mountain bikingMuddyRockySnow

Simply smashing!!! Quite lovely.

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Eric Losee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Oct 09 2019
Mountain biking

Awesome trail -uphill both ways lol

Alex Riddle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 15 2019
Hiking

Really nice trail. Pack all your water in because there aren’t any springs along the trail. Most people use it for mountain biking but it’s easy to step off trail to let them pass. We backpacked in a few miles the night before and stayed the night but you could easily do it in a day.

Ansel Noakes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jun 05 2019
Hiking

Great trail, but it seems to be rarely hiked. We ran into several friendly mountain bikers and a horseback tour. The hoodoos and the Pune forest trail are incredible, but the 5 or so mile walk back to the truck on the asphalt bike path wasn’t what we were expecting. Awesome trail nonetheless and I’m sure incredible for mountain biking!

Tal A.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri May 31 2019
HikingMuddy
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Erick Rosales
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 26 2019
Mountain biking

really good trail and beautiful views

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Braxton V.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu May 02 2019
Hiking

An absolutely amazing hike I did with my dogs. Just like Bryce, but without the crowds, and pets are allowed can't get better than that.

Doris Corbeil
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Apr 23 2019
Hiking

Beautiful views. Met a group of bikers as this is a bike trail as well. Saw 2 antelope and spectacular hoodoos

Eric Rosenthal
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 21 2019
Hiking

Hiked 4.5 miles from the trailhead near the visitor center to the clearing with the hitching posts and doorless outhouse. Thunder Mountain looks to be covered in snow, but the trail to where I stopped was almost completely snow-free and only muddy in short places. Just me, and one mountain biker all morning.

Drew Partridge
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Apr 09 2019
Mountain bikingMuddySnow

Trail is pretty much impassable with deep snow in some parts. Couldn’t bike very far.

Brad Knutson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Apr 01 2019
RunningSnow

Awesome trail. Traffic was non-existent for my cold sunrirse run. Portions of the trail were covered in 1-2' of snow and the only way to stay on the trail was to follow footprints. Still had an excellent run.

Eric Rosenthal
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 10 2018
Hiking

I just did this as an out and back starting from the clearly marked trailhead at milepost 3 on Hwy 12, just before the Red Canyon Visitor Center. The trailhead has a restroom, but no water. Truly wonderful hike. Some of the same wonderful rock formations you would see at Bryce, but without the crowds. I also like that it was uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back, which is the opposite of hiking in Bryce Canyon.This trail is obviously used for mountain biking and horseback riding, which is more practical if you are going to do the whole loop. I was the only one on the trail this morning. Evidence of the past presence of horses is abundant, but not bothersome. For the first 1.4 miles you are walking gradually uphill on a nice path, with pleasant but not spectacular scenery. After reaching a junction, and continuing on the Thunder Mountain trail, things get really interesting. There is a slightly steep uphill with switchbacks and then you are walking along a ridge, rolling up and down, with beautiful views in all directions. At about 2.4 miles, there is a side trail for Inspiration Point, which goes up to a wonderful viewpoint in about .3 miles. It's absolutely worth the extra effort.

Darrel-Brenda Gordon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 05 2018

Beautiful hike! If hiking we think it is better to do counter clockwise. We were the only hikers, two mountain bikes and 6 people on horse back. Loose rock and some steep climbs make somewhat technical. Would do it again.

b. gasinski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 15 2018
Mountain biking

Amazing!! A good mix of fairly short/easy climbs and fun downhill sections. Initial descent loose, technical, and rocky.....final descent to highway fast and fun!!! Would recommend for sure!!

Zach Alan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Dec 22 2017
Hiking

more for mountain biking

Jared Ellis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Dec 19 2017
Road biking

The first 9 miles are suitable for road bikes as it's a paved pathway. Top notch views, short but sweet!

Lee Nuttall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jul 26 2017

Exceptional MTB Trail. I would not recommend for inexperienced riders.

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