Thumper Loop (Cottonwood) - TRAIL

Thumper Loop (Cottonwood) - Trail, Sedona, Arizona

The Thumper Loop is actually comprised of portions of three trails: Raptor, Thumper, and Lime Kiln. The Raptor singletrack starts out rocky and rolling for about a quarter-mile, then a steep pitch, "the Evil Hill", appears. This is a real tester, and just about everyone has occasionally pushed their bike up this one (although it can be ridden in the middle ring). But, it's the steepest climb on the entire trail. After this, it's basically a 2 mile grind to the top. Halfway up the climb, you'll go over a cattle guard. At the top, you'll see a bunch of trail signs. Take a right. This is Thumper. Designed by mountain bikers, this section is mostly downhill. Just as the trail gets fun, you'll come to another cattle guard. NOW things start to heat up! The trail is rocky and loose. Small molded bunnies alert you at the hardest technical sections. Beginners will walk these sections, experts will laugh with glee as they fly down 'em. Then you'll come to a sandy doubletrack. Go right. This is Lime Kiln. Although not as "downhilly" as Thumper, it has some fast descending sections. First comes the sand, which gradually solidifies into small rocky dropoffs. Go left at the first fork with the Carsonite (NO Cars) marker. The terrain varies a lot, with sections like "the Stairsteps", and "the Chalk Chute". When you come to the next fork, go right. The trail runs to the right, past the Ranger residences, finally ending in a nice 2-3 foot dropoff that dumps you out onto the Park's main road. Go immediately right, then take the second right to get back to your car.

User Reviews (14)

Showing 1-10 of 14  
Dirt Dude   Cross Country Rider [Dec 11, 2011]

Overrated on all but one the earlier reviews. With recent trail work done by self titled volunteers(peeps that cant ride technical), the thumper loop has really been dumbed down. Some of the hills may still seem steep to beginners but all the technical challenges have been taken out. If you are looking for technical challenges don't waste your time. I used to think Cosmic Ray underrated this trail system 5 years ago but now with the modifications done I would say he has it over rated. All this being said I agree it is a real good place for teaching beginner mountain bikers

Customer Service

One reviewer mentioned Rust Bucket. If you want semi technical, ride that in clockwise, if you want it easier ride counter clockwise. Even the North Raptor portion of the trail has been dumbed down other than the elevation climb so I would suggest going up Rust Bucket and down North Raptor.

Similar Products Used: People rag on Sedona but it really does have something for everyone. Hard technical to easy. Plus its very pleasant to look at. I avoid Sedona on the weekends but if you can squeeze in a weekday ride by all means dont cheat yourself. Make some friends in the VV, there are some "private trails" they may share with you.
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Randy Victory   Cross Country Rider [Nov 08, 2011]

As Dead Horse Ranch State Park has been developed, trailwork's been done, and budgets have changed the descriptions and fees mentioned here have changed somewhat. It now costs $7 per vehicle to get into the Park, $3 to ride in. Here is the revised trail description:
The Thumper Loop is actually comprised of portions of three trails: Raptor, Thumper, and Lime Kiln. It's basically a 2 1/2 mile grind to the top of Lower Raptor. There, you'll see a bunch of trail signs. Take a right. This is Thumper. Designed by mountain bikers, this section is mostly downhill. Just as the trail gets fun, you'll come to another cattle guard. NOW things start to heat up! The trail is rocky and loose. Beginners will walk these sections, experts will laugh with glee as they fly down 'em. The former sandy sections have had major trail work done, and are now MUCH more hardened & faster. Then you'll come to doubletrack. Go right. This is Lime Kiln. Although not as "downhilly" as Thumper, it has some fast descending sections. Go left at the fork with the wooden motorized vehicle choke point. The terrain varies a lot, with sections such as "the Stairsteps. When you come to the next fork, go left. The trail also runs to the right, past the Ranger shop/residences, but has been pulverized to a powdery consistancy by heavy equestrian traffic. Either way leads to the main park road, and a short climb up Roadrunner Road leads back to the restroom/parking lot.

Customer Service

The preferred trailhead is the Raptor Hill Trailhead at the top of Roadrunner Road in the park. This trailhead offers a little shade and a restroom with actual flush toilets.
As of 2011, there is a new, additional option when riding this trail! (Finally, after more than a decade!) Take a LEFT when coming to the intersection of Thumper & Raptor Hill Trails. Go about 1/8 of a mile down some doubletrack, and go RIGHT into a wash. This is UPPER Raptor. 2 1/4 miles up, look for a fork leading to the LEFT. This is Rust Bucket. Rust Bucket winds around a little bitgoes downhill a couple of miles and hooks up with Forest Service Road 258. Take a right and this will lead back to the Dead Horse Trail System. A map is posted on the large 2-panel "kiosk". From there you can shoot over to Thumper and finish the Loop in is what's best termed "the traditional way". If you parked at the trailhead at the top of Roadrunner Road, then it'll end up being a figure 8 around 14.4 miles long by the time you get back to the car.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
tmwjr777   Weekend Warrior [Jan 10, 2009]

Good place to ride during the winter when things are snowy and muddy in N. A.Z. Plus it's way too hot there in summer anyhow. This is a decent ride but short, deffinately would'nt crack my top 10 or 15 rides in N. A.Z. though. Other reviews say this can be a little sandy in sections, that is a gross understatement. If it has'nt rained in a few weeks skip this one, unless you like feeling like you're riding on the beach. If it wasn't for the fun drops and stuff, I would'nt even waste my time with this one.

Customer Service

Same as everyone else says......clockwise loop.

Similar Products Used: Anything in Prescott, Sedona(V.O.C.), or Flagstaff blows this place away!!
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
tfrandal   Cross Country Rider [Feb 12, 2004]

What a terrific alternative to Sedona! Was two miles into a Sedona ride and just could not take being sandwitched in between residential development and the wilderness boundry. Sedona is over rated, over developed, and over run with a disney like atmosphere. The sound of a jack hammer carving out another building site into the red rock was just too much. I scrapped the Sedona ride and headed to Dead Horse State Park. The trail is pretty much summed up by the preceeding reviews. There is something for all types of riders and skill levels. Ranger Randy Victory has put together a great map of the trails. He is modest but proud of the trails, his map, his sweet cannondale and the fact he can ride the loop in 45 minutes. Very helpful guy. When the flagstaff trails are snowed in I plan to ride these trails every few weeks. A fun and challenging ride where a guy can have a little solitude. Nice views of Tuzigoot and Mingus.

Customer Service

Up Raptor and down Thumper in a clockwise direction.

Similar Products Used: Ranger Randy suggested riding the Thumper Loop then heading out Bones to Pecks Lake and back 89A. This is a 21 mile ride.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
  Downhiller [Dec 13, 2003]

Not bad. Climbing up the first part isn't difficult, it's not overly steep(but it has a few small sections that are) though. Thumper is fun, a few technical areas that are nice. Then there is Lime Kiln, and it's kind of like a mini "Porcupine Rim". Double track but really fun in places, dropoffs, etc. Nothing on these trails is bad, it can all be rolled, but a beginner will freeze up on some of the little drops and rocky areas. It's a nice loop though, especially to get away from the crowd at sedona. Not bad at all though, there's other stuff in cottonwood, and in the general area.

Customer Service

Clockwise.

Similar Products Used: Mingus Mtn Downhill...fun to do it once, not sure if I'd do it more than once, really nasty and technical trail at the top though.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Seth W.   [Dec 08, 2000]

From the Trailhead, you ride due north by north-east, the first hill is a GRINDER...! these sets of hills that run up the first part of the Trail are called RAPTOR... and there are 5... count em' 5 major hills, after these hills, there is a gate after the 2nd or 3rd hill, you can either open and close it..or... (my favorite), kiss the dirt and drag your bike under the gate (time saver too), after you've done the 5 major hills, you'll come to a fork, BONES goes left (never done that), and Lime Kiln Trail (Thumper) goes right, after about a mile of flat trail (RECOVERY!) the chain of descents come, some of em' are pretty sick... and after the first major descent you'll come to another gate.. and you'll have to open this one. keep riding for quite a while, and you'll pass the first and second thumper descent with no problem, and come out onto a sandy, somewhat flat fire road, and when i say sandy... i mean SANDY,follow this road for a while and you'll come to a fork in the road, take a right this time, and keep going, you'll come to a sick technical section (me an'my pa call it Bob falls... but i dunno why..) keep goin and you should be able to make it back to the road with no problem... just watch out for the last drop, its quite steep!! after hitting the road, take a cool down VIA the Verde River (only recommended in summer) or catch a Brew at the Local Bar or Convenience Store, Stop by Mingus Mountain Bikes and say a friendly Hello! to Carl and his Trusty Side-Kicks, and if'n yer in the mood for some real stuff... go to Aston Racing, (not for the faint hearted)... Well thats about it... Hope to see ya on th' Trail, RIDE BALLS TO THE WALL, AND REGRET NOTHING.
HAPPY TRAILS ALL

Customer Service

Take I-17 to Camp Verde exit, drive North on Hwy 260 through Cottonwood to DEAD HORSE STATE PARK or RIVERFRONT PARK, (depending on how close you want to be to the Trailhead). From the park enrance.. ride into the park, and take the SECOND LEFT and head up the road, at the first parking lot pull-off there is the trailhead...ENJOY!

Similar Products Used: I would recommend any ride in Sedona... Mingus Mountain Downhill is a good'n And ya got the ones in Flagstaff too, or Phoenix, or...anywhere for that matter.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Bert-o-matic   [Dec 19, 2000]

hey this is a desert trail that has a little of everything on it. the trail is mostly frequented by locals but lately a lot of out of towneres have been riding it because it is a fun and somewhat challenging shred. if you have a longer range, say around 20-25 miles repeat the raaptor section and go to the top and ride bones. it is fast,fun and the downhill is a challenge especially for a cross country geek like myself. it makes for a hell of a workout and on the way back swing by sosa's deli for a sandwich

Customer Service

See the above reviews, their prety close and accurate

Similar Products Used: mingus mt downhill
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
cosmic ray   [Mar 02, 2001]

this trail rocks. interesting terrain. great single track. great 3 season winter ride. too damn hot in the summer though.

Customer Service

as above

Similar Products Used: sedona
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Todd Runck   [Mar 15, 2001]

I rode Thumper both ways, the recommended clockwise way the first time, then backwards counterclockwise the second. Clockwise is easier clmbing & more technical decending, counterclockwise is more technical climbing and fast decending...DUH!!!

Customer Service

Same as above

Similar Products Used: This was my first visit to Dead Horse State Park to ride, usually blow by on my way to Sedona or Flag, but, I wil return. Dead Horse State Park has excellent facilities.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
MudMonkey   [Mar 18, 2002]

I don't know why this trail has a good rating. I mean there was nobody out there. I was so isolated I almost cried. The loose surface reminds me of my favorite toy as a kid - the Sit n' Spin. Rear wheel traction is not an option when climbing Raptor. Then the descent totally bites. I mean all those fast 2-4ft drops . . . I think the user fee should go towards paving the trail. Then there is Thumper itself. . . tight switchbacks, drops, and concrete bunnies. This trail is such a waste of time. You are much better off to go north to Sedona and join the hordes of tourist bikers on Subway Rock!

Customer Service

When I got to the Bones/Thumper fork via Raptor I went left approx 200yds and then Raptor climbs up on your right. Climb, climb, and more climb till you are somewhat on top of the mesa. Look for a large (5ft)concrete bunny on your right. Turn around and check your brakes and your panties. If you keep climbing there are miles and miles of forest roads and cattle trails. Many of these roads dead end on the mesa fingers. You can get lost up there so be aware. After descending the top of Raptor take Thumper and the sandy bog back home.

Similar Products Used: I17 and 89A
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 14  

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