Thunder Mountain Loop

MODERATE 16 reviews
#2 of 13 trails in

Thunder Mountain Loop is a 25.1 kilometer 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.

DISTANCE
25.1 km
ELEVATION GAIN
533 m
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

birding

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

road biking

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no shade

no dogs

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Truly wonderful hike. Some of the same wonderful rock formations you would see at Bryce, but without the crowds. I also like that it is uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back, which is the opposite of hiking in Bryce Canyon. I did this 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. This trail is obviously used for mountain biking and horseback riding, but 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. I followed the Thunder Mountain trail for 3.1 miles and then turned around. I could see a radio tower on top of a peak in the distance, and that might be where the trail was headed. I'm have no idea of the location of the Thunder Mountain peak, and the folks at the Visitor Center didn't know either, but maybe I can find it on another trip.

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.

mountain biking
1 month ago

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!!

hiking
7 months ago

more for mountain biking

road biking
7 months ago

The first 9 miles are suitable for road bikes as it's a paved pathway.

Top notch views, short but sweet!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

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

Saturday, July 16, 2016

amazing bike ride but more of an expert trail.

hiking
Thursday, July 07, 2016

I was the only hiker on the trail. I didn't see another person until I was 5 miles in, and then just a few bikers. I left my bike on the west side and rode it 7.5 miles back to my car. Beautiful place. Eyegasms everywhere.

hiking
Saturday, June 02, 2012

Very fun trail. If you start at the dirt trail to the right, it's very difficult and technical about a mile into it and you will probably be the only one going in that direction. Otherwise follow the boring cement trail to a rocky road on the right. Then follow the rock road to the back entrance. From here it's about an 8 mile ride w lots of switch backs. The last cpl miles is straight down hill.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

mountain biking
4 months ago

mountain biking
9 months ago

mountain biking
Sunday, July 24, 2016

Thursday, August 16, 2012