July 30, 2016

UT - Thunder Mountain

First up on my roadtrip list of rides to do was Thunder Mountain in southern Utah. We had camped at Red Canyon Campground not far from Bryce Canyon National Park. This made things super easy for this ride as I could simply pedal from camp up the paved bike path, onto a short forest road to the trailhead. My goal was to keep the ride around 2 hours since we had plenty of sightseeing to do later that day.

I got spinning early and spooked a fellow rider on the forest road as he was messing with his bike. I think for an instant he thought I was a bear coming after him!! We departed at the trailhead and I was anxious to see what all the hype was about.
Let the fun begin!!
The first part of the trail is mostly forested singletrack following the contours of the terrain. Fast, fun, swoopy dirt through the trees.
Soon the orange dirt became more prevalent.
I think that's Thunder Mtn.
Hardly the scene I was expecting.
Near the top of the climb, the views opened up.
Cool looking knotted trees.
Random outhouse in the woods. This appeared to be a staging area for equestrians.
There was a bit more climbing, then the landscape changed to what I expected. Orange hoodoos everywhere!! The next couple of miles descending through Bryce Canyon type terrain should be on everyone's list. So much fun.

The trail meanders through the orange rock just above my rear wheel.

I exited through a lower canyon to a trail junction. Heading right it led me on a fast rip out to the trailhead and paved bike path leading back to camp. Only a few minutes past the 2 hour mark on my first ride of the trip, I'll call that a success!! For me, Thunder Mountain surpassed the hype. I hoped my other planned rides could equally deliver.

Paved bikepath makes for an easy loop option.
Here's a really cool third party app for Strava:

Relive.cc - Thunder Mountain

Full photo album for this ride:

Thunder Mountain pics

And finally, the route:

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