Thunder Creek Trail

HARD 25 reviews

Thunder Creek Trail is a 10.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Marblemount, Washington that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
10.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1305 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

old growth

Directions from Diablo Lake: Follow State Route 20 to Diablo Lake. Enter the south side of Colonial Creek Campground at milepost 130. Park in the lot above the boat ramp. One of the two trailheads for Thunder Creek Trail lies uphill from the parking lot behind the trailer dump station. This is the preferred trailhead for horses. To reach the other trailhead, walk the length of the campground, following the signs to the amphitheater. The main trailhead is marked by an informational display nearby.

2 months ago

backpacking
3 months ago

We hiked this trail over the Labor Day weekend. Trail was in great condition. The elevation gain to our final campsite was tough on the knees. We camped in a clearing with beautiful mountain views with cascading waterfalls. 10.3 miles to our campsite.

hiking
3 months ago

backpacking
4 months ago

Hiked this trail with my 11 and 13 year old daughters starting at the Colonial Creek Campground. Find the entrance and parking near the amphitheater of that campground. It is well marked with bathrooms near the parking. The trail has small elevation gains and we hiked to McAllister Campground. It is about a 6-7 mile hike with overall elevation gain, but really much more up and down terrain. There are a few wood bridges and small fording of streams through the hike. The terrain is beautiful with most of the hike through forested areas which move parallel to the creek, but you can't see the creek the majority of the trail. Once you reach McAllister campground, it is really beautiful with a bridge that inexplicably has only one guardrail! A little scary for the girls if there is traffic on the bridge over the fast moving Thunder Creek, but really beautiful campgrounds there. The campgrounds are far apart so there is ample privacy. Flies were the main bugs there more so than mosquitoes. Others mentioned they saw signs of bears, but we didn't. Pit toilets are present at various sites at the campground. Overall a really nice trail and campsite!

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

backpacking
5 months ago

Well maintained trails with some cool wooden bridges. Mild up and down elevation changes the first 6 miles. (Only recorded part of the hike) We camped at a campsite near the river - had a fire pit with a steel cooking surface, which certainly saved us because our propane cooker failed. Plenty of fallen firewood to be gathered. A few mosquitos evening and mornings, not a problem but suggest you bring long pants and something with long sleeves to wear in the evenings. Our dog loved it too!

hiking
6 months ago

Such an awesome hike!! Hiked 6 miles in 6 miles back on a beautiful day and took a little over 5 1/2 hours. Completely worth the day!! The path is very narrow at points so if you bring a pet be sure to make space for others that may be on the path too. All-in-all great hike :) will totally do it again!

backpacking
6 months ago

Multi-night backpack
Trail in good condition
Road suitable for all vehicles
Bugs were not too bad
Snow free

5/25: Hiked into Neve Campground with 7 year old. Had an outdoor latrine, easy stream access, plenty of dry firewood. Just before arriving to neve campground there is a stream across the trail, about 10ft wide ankle deep.

5/26: Left gear at Neve and hiked up 2,000 feet (2.5 miles) to fourth of July Campground for the day. Took almost 4 hours due to the 7yr old. Less than 2 hours coming down. patches of snow were on ground just past the campground. Campground had a latrine and fresh water stream.

5/27: Hiked out. 

Excellent choice for young children, great mountain views, and abundant resources

hiking
6 months ago

6 months ago

backpacking
7 months ago

The trail was a really nice one! This is a great hike earlier in the year (less snow) or later on in summer as hikers choose more aggressive terrain. The first portion is a gentle incline, nothing serious. Trail is very navigable but there are trees down from time to time. Camped at Neve this time around and had a lot of privacy. There were downed trees everywhere but that just made an extra challenge!

8 months ago

Quite a trail! After crossing the bridge, the trail goes on and on through the moss covered forest with ocasional glimpses of the incredible Cascades. Once you get up into Thunder Basin itself, the scenery is astounding. Mounts Logan and Buckner dominate the basin on the south and glaciers descend into the valley on the west side.

Be aware that you need a permit (free) to camp. There are a number of designated areas to camp along the trail. And in the morning, the trail is crowded with wet bushes and plants. Your pants and shoes will be soaked.

backpacking
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

We hiked in and camped at Mcallister, approx 6.5 ish miles in! There's some incline, but fairly easy terrain, I would rate moderate mostly because of the distance and some of the log crossings. It was a beautiful home, thunder creek lives up to its name!

hiking
Monday, May 02, 2016

Good trail, roughly 6 miles in there were too many trees down on the trail for me to attempt to navigate. Turned back and camped at Neve camp after that.

camping
Saturday, May 23, 2015

I wouldn't rate this trail as difficult at all, moderate at the most. It's stunningly beautiful forest but you'll have to go to Junction Camp to get the views of the mountains. It's well worth the trip!

hiking
Monday, July 28, 2014

hiking
Monday, July 14, 2014

Pretty cool trail. The first mile or so is all uphill and a lot of pretty steep grade, but the forest around is beautify and calm. The trail levels out and comes around the side of the mountain and begins to descend that side. It begins to switchback steeply again towards the creek. The "creek" seemed more like a rushing river to me. Gorgeously clear blue, it is loud and powerful. There are some spots here by the river where the trail was quite a bit overgrown. It is a neat walk by the creek though.

hiking
Thursday, July 03, 2014

Loved this trail. Hiked 10 miles to junction camp and was rewarded with amazing views of the glaciers. Next morning hike 5 miles to Cosho camp (down fisher creek trail) mile from junction camp seen a black bear walking towards me on the trail. A couple "hey bears "had it going away from me. This camp was on the creek not as nice as junction but still a great spot. The next morning made the 15 mile hike back to the trail head. No bears.
The trail was clear all the way to junction, with bridges over any creek that was more than ankle deep. After junto on the trail is not as well maintained. At around 2 miles there is a large creek to cross and the bridge has been washed out for a couple years now. There is a log jam down stream that makes crossing possible. I left colonial camp ground about 5PM on Friday June 27 and after 5 miles did not see another person until Sunday after Mcallister camp. Very secluded for such a great trail.