This is just a fantastic ride. One of my favorites. It is not
challenging, but the essential carvy, swoopy nature of the trail is
satisfying. And the climbing is quite manageable. Most folks do it
as a shuttle run or a loop using the rather nice paved trail that runs
Utah 12. But starting at the "end", the lower trailhead and doing the
as an out and back is a good way to get in some riding without
to pound any pavement or juggle vehicles in a shuttle kerfuffle. Plus
beer is right there when you finish.
A bit of background information. There is no Thunder Mountain, the name
made up by the forest service for reasons known only to themselves. It
a nice dramatic name for such an excellent ride, and I have been chased
of there by loud, dark, ominous clouds before, so despite its dubious
the name is apt.
The Paiutes called the area Unka-timpe-wa-wince-pock-itch
to "red rocks standing like men in a bowl-shaped canyon. And these
stones, hoodoos, or whatever one wishes to call them are the dominant
of this ride. Many places allow you to view rumpled landscapes of
from afar. Thunder Mountain lets you ride among them.
These hoodoos are the remains of the Wasatch formation, which was laid
sedimentarily in an Eocene Sea some 54 million years ago. The seas
and later uplift formed blocks which stream erosion carved into
Because the Wasatch beds vary in hardness, they weather at different
which creates the standing formations.
From the upper area of the trail you can look East towards the Aquarius
And to the west is the Markagunt Plateau, with Brian Head peak and all
the excellent riding thereabouts.
A nice little series of a fun section.
Mountain, Show Me MORE!!!