Thunder Mountain trail - TRAIL

Thunder Mountain trail - Trail, Kirkwood, California

Steady climb through forests, then ridgeline traverse with short technical sections (rocky & steep). Good view to both east (Kirkwood resorts) and west. Once past Thunder Mountain, the trail eventually connects to Horse Canyon trail described elsewhere.

User Reviews (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2  
sminniear   Cross Country Rider [Jul 27, 2009]

This review is for Thunder Mountain from the trailhead off Hwy 88 up to the summit. The trail is posted as 3.5 miles long, but don't let that deceive you. The grade and loose soil make for a challenging climb that starts at right around 8K ft in elevation and ends well over 9K.

The initial ascent is pleasant and hard packed through a nice forest canopy. This quickly gives way to more exposed terrain with loose decomposed granite with some switchbacks and rock outcroppings. You should plan on an hour to reach the summit and you will become friends with your lower gears.

After emerging from the forest, you'll enjoy fantastic views of Kirkwood and ultimately Silver Lake as you ascend the rocky spline of the ridge line. This ride will leave you breathless in more ways than one! It took me an hour up and only about 15 minutes to descend. The descent is fast but not at all technical and the return-on-your pedaling effort is not there for you DHers out there. While I haven't ridden Horse Canyon which connects to this, my understanding is that this trail makes for a better descent with more natural obstacles, etc.

Customer Service

Hwy 88 trailhead ... 2 miles west of Kirkwood

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
derbilly   Cross Country Rider [Sep 08, 2004]

The initial part of the trail involves lots of climbing, but quickly leads to outstanding views of the surrounding countryside. The climb up the ridge is followed by a fast downhill on the connector trail, rocky and then fast downhills on the Horse Canyon trail and back uphill on trails and roads to the trailhead. I gave the trail a technical rating of 4 due to the rocky section on the Horse canyon trail. Otherwise, the trail is only mildly technical.

Customer Service

Start at the Thunder Mountain trailhead and head up the smooth trail to Thunder Mountain. Take the side trail up to Thunder Mountain to enjoy good views over Silver Lake. Ride back down to the junction and turn right down the connector trail, a nice fast downhill section. Turn right onto the Horse Canyon trail. The Horse Canyon trail is initially very technical with lots of boulders and dropoffs, but eventually becomes a nice quick rolling downhill. Right before reaching highway 88, turn right onto a trail leading uphill to Castle Point. At the end of this trail cross highway 88 onto a broken pavement road running uphill roughly parallel to the highway. When you reach the campground take the trail marked with posts up to Castle Point. Make the sidetrip to Castle Point for views over Caples Creek. The trail ends at highway 88 directly across from the Thunder Mountain trailhead.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-2 of 2  

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