Losee Canyon Thunder Mountain - Trail, Panguitch, Utah

Losee Canyon Thunder Mountain - Trail, Panguitch, Utah

DESCRIPTION

Access Losee Canyon by riding back along route 12 the way you came for about a quarter mile. Turn right onto a dirt road that is signed Losee and Casto canyons. Two miles later look for a treed trailhead on the right. There are hitches for horses and a pit toilet. Ride up Losee for 3 miles to a junction. Turn right towards Red Canyon and climb out to the mesa top. You'll descend from the mesa out onto the pink and red dirt again and meet another junction. Go left. Descend to Red Canyon road. Ride up the road (east) to the top of the plateau and turn right onto a dirt road signed "Fremont ATV, Great Western trail". Follow the road a couple miles to an obvious trailhead. Seven or eight miles later you end the ride at your car or truck.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 11  
[Sep 09, 2010]
SoCalAdv
Cross Country Rider

Not sure why Losee and Thunder Mountain are lumped together. Sure, they're across the road from one another, but these are two different trailheads. Anyway, road Thunder Mountain in the morning...third time doing this trail and it never disappoints. It was a little tougher making some of the tighter switchbacks on my new 29'er, but you just can't beat the views. The last two miles of fast singletrack are awesome, though some storms have laid more rock in the trail and it's not as fast as it has been in the past.

In the afternoon, we rode the Cassidy-Losee loop. Cassidy was great! Loved the view at Brayton Point (2.8 miles in), and probably should have just turned around there for some screamin' smooth singletrack on the way back down. Instead, we continued on to catch Losee, which has always been billed as "awesome." Well, it's truly NOT awesome if tons of horse trains have left the trail a mess. Sandy, rocky, slow. Right now (early September), it's what I would call a "working downhill." We were wishing we could just flow and cruise, but it just didn't deliver. I suppose it'd be great a couple of days after a rain, or if it was out of season for the horseback rides.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Oct 26, 2008]
panchosdad
Cross Country Rider

We rode Thunder Mountain from the trailhead at the bottom, riding first up the bike path to the ATV trail, then down Thunder mountain. It's a great ride, smooth up and down single track the first 4 miles or so, then some steep switchbacks down, and finally a big chainring bomb out the Grandview trail. Great ride, the switchbacks were intimidating for me, but my wife rode almost all of them. I recommend riding up the bike path rather than out and back as the switchbacks would be really tough going up.

Next day we rode from the Red Canyon trailhead out the Cassidy trail, then on to the Losee/Casto junction. We then went up towards Casto, but turned around at the top of the first climb, and went all the way back down Losee. Really great ride, amazing scenery and fun, varied riding. Just a couple technical sections on the descent from Cassidy into Casto, most of the rest fun intermediate technical single track. World class just as the Utah mountain bike site says. If I were to do it again I'd start at Red Canyon, drop down Losee, go up Casto and then ride Cassidy back to Red Canyon for a long single track ride.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Apr 23, 2005]
Krit-5
Cross Country Rider

Find a map to see how to get to Losee Canyon tr hd. Easy to find...read other reviews to see... Once at the tr...hd up a nice meander thru Ponderosas and hoodoos..beautiful...lots of horse traffic..that's why you go up Losee and hook left on Cassidy Tr. over to Casto Canyon and down...or in our case..up .. then down..

Customer Service

What a hoot. Esp. Cassidy trail..technical, view and singletrack at its best...a very cool trail. When we got to the intersect with Casto . we went up even more and found a rarely used section off the left side after we hit 2-track. This proved to also be a gas as it was whoop-d-doos and carvy track thru the trees..then suddenly spit back onto Casto down...if you can find this route..takes a little tr.routing and instinct to find but well worth..And then finish off with the rest of Casto down ... redrocks, More big pines, hoodoos .. killer! Once you hit 2-track @ bottom of Casto, hook a left and ride back to the car/truck..

Similar Products Used:

Anything over at Brain Dead...some of the best downhills around. (Brian Head)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Oct 19, 1999]
Matt

The first part of Casto Canyon is a ATV trail - which
just fine. The views are really what your going for here. BEWARE! Half way through you come to a sign that
says Casto (I think) Spring. Bear right at this sign even though you see mtb tracks to the left. I made this mistake at spent another two hours roaming on cow paths (luckily I brought lights.) After the "Spring" sign is when the views and the riding really turn spectacular. Gorgeous red-rock formations, fast-rolling single track through pink and white hard-pack...there is absolutely no way I can do it justice. Simple breathtaking...although this trail is not technically/aerobically challenging - I literally felt my breath leave my boddy when I first laid eyes on the scenery...and evey new rise was the same...awesome!

Next day did Thunder Mountain which I actually found more impressive than Casto! Lot of the same pink/white-hardpack-roller coaster-fast single track with views that will blow your mind!

Customer Service

Park at the Red Canyon visitor center. I was alone so
I used this as my base. If you only do Losee you'll miss some of the sweetest riding - in Casto Canyon. (The visitor center will give you a pretty good map of Losee/Casto.)
I spent a day and half in Red Canyon. I did big Casto Loop day one and then did Losee and Thunder Mountain the next day. Get the local (free) MTB paper that will give you very good directions to Thunder Mountain.

Similar Products Used:

Hit Brian Head and Moab on same trip...too much to mention...

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Oct 26, 1999]
Tom

Aside from some road riding midway through, it's one of the most unique, varied, beautiful, and challenging (steep, very tight switchbacks) singletrack rides you will ever take. Descending to the road from the top of Losee Canyon is a screamer. The top of the Thunder Mountaion trail is a mountain biking experience you will not forget. Stop reading and just go ride it.

Customer Service

As described. I've ridden Casto Canyon several times. It's good but in my humble opinion it doesn't compare to Losee. Losee is ALL singletrack, getting out of the top of Casto is a dirt road.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Nov 10, 1999]
Hugh

This was a great ride. The view from the top of Thunder Mountain was awesome. The ride down made the ride up worth it. The bottom of Thunder Mountain had some whoopty doos that were a blast.

Similar Products Used:

Brian Head Mountain. You could easily spend a couple of days in Red Canyon.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[May 25, 2000]
Rick Sederberg

This was a great ride esp with only one day to work with and wanting to do it all, a good endurance challenge. However for the beginner or moderate rider there are many ways to determine the distance. Esp liked Losee and Cassidy trails but the full on kicker ride is Thunder Mt, the best trail I've been on and that was after a long day of riding, great scenery, perfectly sculpted trail, fun as can be and just enough technical esp on the final switchback descent to challenge the expert rider. I had a blast, the trailside hoodoos alone are worth the ride, don't forget your camera, this is the one to bring the pics home. Whoever constructed this trail ( I've built quite a few myself ) is an artist and needs to be congratulated and put back to work, this trail is a mt biker's dream ride. If you have a shuttle it's only a 7 mile ride and can be done mostly as a downhill, otherwise to make a loop you include a climbing section of Hwy 12. Don't miss Thunder Mt if you're in the area !!!

Customer Service

Did a figure 8 loop so that we could do all the sgl track of Casto/Losee/Cassidy with no road or hwy riding and no need for shuttle, what a way to go. Started at the Red Canyon TH just west of the Red Canyon Visitor Center where the staff were helpful, friendly and glad to advise mtbr's, watertap . Parked at nice TH and started ride there on Cassidy trail down Losee to TH, then rode up very short section of road to the Casto TH, then up Casto back to Cassidy and back on the Rich trail. You repeat very little, almost no road, almost all sgl track except for some dble track on Casto and end up back where you parked your car, what a concept. This was a great way to max quality trail for someone like us who were there only for a day. Then, if you've got the guns, and a shuttle, you can do Thunder Mt oneway which is what my partner did for me since he'd had enough riding just doing the first loop. To do even the first part you must be strong endurance wise because it is long, est 25 miles so doing just the first loop so this option is recommended for the very fit biker only.

Similar Products Used:

Gooseberry Mesa for the bike handling challenge, a bit of a drive but worth it to ride Rainbow Rim at the Grand Canyon's north rim.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[May 29, 2001]
Ted

The Thunder Mountain trail is fabulous! It's a sometimes challenging, always beautiful high-altitude singletrack that winds through an other-worldly, blood-red, eroded landscape of hoodoos with snow-capped mountains for the backdrop. I loved it, I can't recommend it highly enough, and I wish I could have ridden it 100 times. But some may find the trail too strenuous or too technically difficult (the Forest Service has signed it "most difficult" at the east trailhead), and the weather is unpredictable even in summer, so seek advice before proceeding. To get current information, call the U.S. Forest Service at its Dixie National Forest Red Canyon visitor center: (435) 676-2676.

According to my altimeter, the singletrack section starts around 7900 feet (~2410m) beginning at the east (high) trailhead and mostly remains at or above that elevation, rising to 8130 feet (~2480m) at its highest point. The distance for the whole loop from the Red Canyon visitor center is 15.5 miles (~25 km), with 1520 feet (~465m) of climbing. But there are so many small ups and downs that the climbing total is probably much greater than what my altimeter registered.

I was told by Forest Service volunteers that I should take a side trip to Inspiration Point, via a turnoff near the bottom of the steep, switchbacked descent. I didn't do it. But they said it's spectacular, so you may want to check it out.

After you've ridden Thunder Mountain, you'll legitimately wonder why you should spend $20 for the privilege of entering nearby Bryce Canyon National Park along with 10,000 recreational vehicles from Lima, Ohio, and Natchez, Miss., creeping along at 5 mph. Well, I'm probably exaggerating, but I'm beginning to think designating any public land a national park is a mistake, because doing so results in commercial development, tourists seeking an instant, effortless experience, and bureaucracy. Better to keep places like Thunder Mountain a secret, which means out of the national park system. And speaking of $20 fees, don't drive to Thunder Mountain via Utah Highway 9 from Hurricane unless you want to see Zion National Park. The toll for driving on that road is also a stiff $20! And the road is slow. Better to drive on I-15 to Utah Highway 20, U.S. Highway 89, and Utah Highway 12. Nearby Panguitch has nice and inexpensive motels.

In sum, if the Michelin Guide ever gets around to southwest Utah (maybe next century), it should give Thunder Mountain its top rating of three stars (mrite le voyage).

Customer Service

Start and end at the Red Canyon visitor center (see below).

Similar Products Used:

Green Valley, St. George (a blast!); J.E.M. trail, Hurricane (nice); Paradise Canyon, St. George (nice).

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Jul 08, 2001]
John, Rita and Bob

We had planned to spend the July 4th holiday weekend over on Gooseberry Mesa, but the 100+ degree predictions encouraged us to seek a cooler, higher place. We've seen a bit written about Red Canyon and it's off-road bicycling lately, and that seemed to fit the bill. We've often driven through, but never stopped. This time we made it our destination.

We arrived Wednesday, July 4th, in the early afternoon, and set up our "car-camp" in the Red Canyon campground, All of our rides began and ended there. The site is very pleasant and provides beautiful ambience, ... and three "friends" can easily refresh within the eight-minutes-for-eight-quarters shower facility! We "warmed up" the bikes and body on the Cassidy/Rich trail complex that late afternoon: Moderately challenging, but, as mid-50s riders, our testosterone levels (especially Rita's) were not so high as to prevent an occasional off bike stroll.

Thursday we accessed the Thunder Mountain route, and thoroughly enjoyed the rolling single track, fabulous scenery, and (what else?) thunder on the mountain. On the descent, some of us were insecure on a few of the loose, rocky, steep, exposed switchbacks, knife edges, and exposed side hills, but walking was always an option. We cannot imagine more satisfying ride!

Unless it would be the Casto to Losee loop we rode Friday. The trails in both canyons follow the creek beds, and there are numerous crossings, all very rideable at this time of the year. We rode Casto in, Losee out, and recommend that route. Bryce-like scenery is all around in both canyons. The canyons can be enjoyed by any moderately competent off roader. The connector between Casto and Losee, by way of the Cassidy Trail, provided much more challenge, but lots of fun and varied terrain. (The turnoff is well disguised, however .. a nondescript scarf on the West side of the creek coming out of Casto Spring.) And, while the Casto route is shared with ATVs, and the Losee trail accommodates horses, and both welcome hikers and bikers, we encountered no one else, on any of the trails! That won't last!

We've ridden all over the West .. Idaho, Arizona, Colorado, and Northern and Southern Utah. Red Canyon is the best so far! We'll go down again! Maybe we'll see you there. (But, hopefully, not TOO many of you!)

Customer Service

Well, you know: From Panguitch south on US 89 to the turnoff to Bryce Canyon National Park. About 5 miles East into Red Canyon. Look out your windows. You can't miss it!!

Similar Products Used:

There is a very nice, new Mountain bike only trail along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, called the Rainbow Trail, which we rode last fall, and recommend highly.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Feb 25, 2002]
Mike and Brandon

We rode only the bottom part of Casto Canyon. That far it is a great introduction to single track for the kids. The scenery is fantastic. We can't wait to go back and ride more. Every year the kids get bigger and can ride harder and harder trails, if Dad can keep up. Our 11 year old daughter/sister loved it.
We rode Thunder Mountain 1 way, downhill. The altitude and climbs still provided a good workout. It is one of our favorite trails. The challenge, scenery, and singletrack are fabulous! We rode it on Labor Day, 2001 and only saw 3 other people (3 ladies hiking)! There are some loose areas next to steep drops that make this trail better suited to intermediate riders who have good balance. We think most 13 year olds with some trail experience could ride it. The climbs will burn your legs, the altitude will test your lungs, and the views are just what you need to revive your soul and remind you of why we do this. Ride it! You won't be disappointed! Slickrock is still our favorite, but this is a very close second and it's cool in the summer! The Panguitch/Bryce Canyon/Cedar Breaks area makes a great biking destination. Have Fun!

Customer Service

We rode Casto from the bottom (west end). We rode Thunder Mountain from the Coyote Trailhead down to Red Canyon Trailhead.

Similar Products Used:

Powell Point, Virgin Rim

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 11  

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