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  1. #1
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    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon

    This is not a huge loop ride wise but as far as quickly getting that high back country feel quickly and a 5+ mile downhill that rivals Toads in my IMHO this ride rocks. I don't have the exact stats in front of me, but we spent just over 2 hours in ride time and there was around 2300 feet of vert and apox 13 miles of pure single track love. Since we had two cars we did a short shuttle up hwy 88, leaving one car at Oyster point and the other at the Thunder mountain trail head. This can be ridden as a loop off road, get the Mokelumne Wilderness map which covers this route better than any other map.
    Once we hit Horse Canyon from Thunder Mountain we rode to the top for an out and back for the top 2.1 mile section of Horse Canyon (The fun techy part)

    Is that the eight on top of the ridge?
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    Can you tell which half of the picture is wilderness
    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-img_1903.jpg

    Sharing the trails
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    Edit to add track if you want to start at Kirkwood, you can also ride trails from down lower at the Wood to get to this starting/End point also
    https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1263054631

    This track has one flaw as you climb the old hwy 88 road bed on the north side of 88 when you get to the camp ground, do not go past the bathroom, look left of it for a trail that travels though a couple campsites before heading off to the top of the spur. This track will get you onto the same single track but with some dirt road first, better to do single track all the way
    Last edited by TahoeBC; 07-28-2016 at 04:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nice!

    That and Sayles are on my list of fall rides up there. Is the wind bad in the fall?
    Hey man, wanna go for a klunk?

  3. #3
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    Looks like a great ride and some great pictures. The multiple exposure shots show the line nicely. Thanks for sharing.
    .

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bailout
    That and Sayles are on my list of fall rides up there. Is the wind bad in the fall?
    Sales is a dandy, never really paid attention to which time a year has the worst wind, although it's been fairly windy the last couple weeks, for this ride it was totally calm.

  5. #5
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    Nice pix! That's definitely the way to do H.C., in my opinion.... most bang for the buck!

    Man... you guys all look the same!
    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC

  6. #6
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    Nice, I'd love to tag this on our ride next week but will probably be too epic for me.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nutballchamp
    Nice, I'd love to tag this on our ride next week but will probably be too epic for me.

    I was thinking about part of this but not sure about how long an unknown primitive trail might take, got a few option's in mind

  8. #8
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    The 3d pic looks like Glove Rock at Kirkwood. Can you get there from the ski resort or do you have to come over from the other side? Great ride and pics.
    "Time won't leave me as I am "

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passenger13
    The 3d pic looks like Glove Rock at Kirkwood. Can you get there from the ski resort or do you have to come over from the other side? Great ride and pics.
    There might be there is a trail that drops down to Kirkwood before that rock, reading the sign posted at the trail head it seems it is a new trail under construction, not sure if it goes all the way yet or not. Wish I'd taken a photo of the sign cause I can't remember everything it said. I'm gonna spend a whole day exploring some potential routes in that area before long this will be one of them.

  10. #10
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    Didn't know who I was with

    I didn't know I was riding with TahoeBC that day but I was on this trip. It was good to meet you and thank you much for picking up the bar tab. Sweet pics! Let's do another ride soon.

  11. #11
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    Great pics, looks like another ride to add to the hit list.

    -slide

  12. #12
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    I've done a lot of exploring in this area. In an old thread someone hinted at the following and the exploratory discussion here seems like someone might just have an answer...

    Let's say you wanted to get a hike instead on Horse Canyon. Would it be relatively easy access to come up the backside of Kirkwood (Chair 4/Sunrise) and enjoy a nice walk down the old emigrant trail which would conveniently take you right to the start of HC?

    Now back to biking. I've asked about this a couple times here as well. If you look at maps and do the climb up from behind Silver Lake passing Granite Lake to take Squaw Ridge. It would appear there are at least Jeep trails (possibly ST?) descending all the way to Bear Resi. Anyone ever bite this one off or explore it?

  13. #13
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    The trail/jeep road is called squaw ridge OHV its on USGS maps
    it ends at Lower Bear Res. This is NOT single track, Better on motorcycles than mtn bikes. I've mtn biked from Allen Ranch/Plasse east towards kirkwood this section is pretty good for mtn bikes, though

    Quote Originally Posted by Slap Happy
    ....
    Now back to biking. I've asked about this a couple times here as well. If you look at maps and do the climb up from behind Silver Lake passing Granite Lake to take Squaw Ridge. It would appear there are at least Jeep trails (possibly ST?) descending all the way to Bear Resi. Anyone ever bite this one off or explore it?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBoy
    I didn't know I was riding with TahoeBC that day but I was on this trip. It was good to meet you and thank you much for picking up the bar tab. Sweet pics! Let's do another ride soon.
    Heh, small world eh, your welcome for the drink, but if your who I think you are I was just lubing the tracks for a ride on your sno-mo this winter to the top of killer pow shot PM me your e-mail addy I might have a couple pics you might like.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slap Happy
    I

    Let's say you wanted to get a hike instead on Horse Canyon. Would it be relatively easy access to come up the backside of Kirkwood (Chair 4/Sunrise) and enjoy a nice walk down the old emigrant trail which would conveniently take you right to the start of HC?
    I've looked at this on the map also, seems that section of the trail that connect's to HC is outside the wilderness, is that trail closed to bikes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC
    I've looked at this on the map also, seems that section of the trail that connect's to HC is outside the wilderness, is that trail closed to bikes?
    My understanding is it is closed hence the hiking... I can't claim that with 100% certainty though. If you were feeling super lazy, and it was open to bikes, you could take the chair lift at the resort, drop the backside and only have one climb up towards the top of chair 4. It would be pretty darn easy to get to the start of HC that way...

    And speaking of Kirkwood, have they done anything to change trails in there last 5/6 years? I rode the whole place in about 1.5 hours just tooling around years ago. Fun XC stuff, but not worth chairlifting it. It was far from DH bike worthy. The mention of a new trail earlier in this thread from Thunder Mtn into Kirkwood might open some sweet possibilities...

  17. #17
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    Cool. I've done the Horse Canyon thing, but not Thunder Mountain. Some time I'd like to get back and ride that stuff again. It's a great area.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slap Happy
    If you were feeling super lazy, and it was open to bikes, you could take the chair lift at the resort, drop the backside and only have one climb up towards the top of chair 4. It would be pretty darn easy to get to the start of HC that way...
    That climb to the top of 4 is a lot of nice HIKING, with your bike or without. Pretty darn easy is not the phrase that comes to mind.

    The route from Silver Lake via Plasse is a good one, but there is a fair bit of hike-a-bike (or trials riding) until you're past Granite Lake.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC
    There might be there is a trail that drops down to Kirkwood before that rock, reading the sign posted at the trail head it seems it is a new trail under construction, not sure if it goes all the way yet or not. Wish I'd taken a photo of the sign cause I can't remember everything it said. I'm gonna spend a whole day exploring some potential routes in that area before long this will be one of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nutballchamp
    New trails are awesome. Struggling on how this would combo though. I guess you could plan the Thunder/HC loop and side shoot this to session the trails at Kirkwood. Then back up and over? Or maybe a longer point to point from Caples, through Kirkwood, then on to HC?

  21. #21
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    Did this as a loop today, riding the single track up at the bottom of the Horse Canyon trail, you then cross 88 and ride up the old highway bed to Martin Meadows. The single track from Martin Meadows to the Thunder Mountain trail head is really nice, runs along some cliffs with great views. Check out the little spur trail to Castle point for a killer 360 degree view.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slap Happy
    New trails are awesome. Struggling on how this would combo though. I guess you could plan the Thunder/HC loop and side shoot this to session the trails at Kirkwood. Then back up and over? Or maybe a longer point to point from Caples, through Kirkwood, then on to HC?
    So we parked in a kirkwood neighborhood at the trail head, trail is nice adds 3+ miles to the loop by adding an out an back on this trail, starting an ending the ride on it. Has some long fast sections , some tight switchbacks overall a nice trail. See Kirkwoods Trail map online for a map.

    Did not get quite to the top of Horse Canyon as my partners ankle was bothering him, wild flowers right now make this a good ride right now.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-thunderhorse.jpg  

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  23. #23
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    TahoeBC. Thanks for the post! I was wondering if this loop was open given the snowfall we had this past year. It's a great loop and one can always ride the Kirkwood XC trails and Super D's if you want more mileage.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC
    So we parked in a kirkwood neighborhood at the trail head, trail is nice adds 3+ miles to the loop by adding an out an back on this trail, starting an ending the ride on it. Has some long fast sections , some tight switchbacks overall a nice trail. See Kirkwoods Trail map online for a map.

    Did not get quite to the top of Horse Canyon as my partners ankle was bothering him, wild flowers right now make this a good ride right now.
    Looks like a nice ride. Is the preferred direction of the loop clockwise or counter-clockwise?

    Any other ride suggestions along 88, such as a loop from Caples north?

    Thanks,

    -D

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    Thuncer Mtn - Horse Cyn ride direction

    Diesel - I would ride it clockwise starting at the Thunder Mtn trailhead as the drop down Horse Cyn is more fun IMO. Thunder is pretty smooth versus Horse Cyn so dropping HC is preferred.

    There are some creative loops you can do near Little Round Mtn but be prepared for a long day in the saddle as none of them are short or easy with the exception of climbing from the Caltrans maintenance station up to the summit and taking the primitive singletrack along the ridge. You can then drop back down to H88 but expect deadfall and some hike-a-bike.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by slide mon
    Great pics, looks like another ride to add to the hit list.

    -slide
    Hell yeah! Nicely done.

    Wow, what terrrain.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diesel~
    Any other ride suggestions along 88, such as a loop from Caples north?

    -D
    If your looking to just extend the Thunder mountain ride on the same day, maybe an out an back on the 9 to the PCT it's a really nice section of trail.

    See this Thread for a bigger loop option, and a map for the 9
    Tahoe (Stawberry Ride) Ride Saturday 7/17

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    Good info, guys...thanks.

    Thanks for the info, guys.

    If things work out, my brother and I are planning on camping at Silver Lake, riding Friday (open), riding Sat (a buddy of my brother's wants to ride TM...don't think he is up for an all day ride), and coming back Sunday morning.

    Last year, we did the counterclockwise loop of Thunder Mountain, via Granite Lakes, ridge Jeep Road, Thunder Mountain,and down the thunder mountain trail on the silver lake side. That was not all that fun, especially the first half of the ride. Lots of slogging and sand.

    On Saturday, I'm thinking of doing TahoeBC's loop up the new trail, starting from the Kirkwood neighborhood, up the sentinels trail.

    Friday I'm still trying to figure out. Thinking of Caples to Sayles to lover's leap and up the strawberry canyon road and back to caples. Not sure if my bro is up for it, but he still holds a grudge for past "death marches", so this would be nothing new.

    If anyone wants to do some adventuresome riding on Friday, let me know.

    Thanks,

    D

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diesel~
    Thanks for the info, guys.

    If things work out, my brother and I are planning on camping at Silver Lake, riding Friday (open), riding Sat (a buddy of my brother's wants to ride TM...don't think he is up for an all day ride), and coming back Sunday morning.

    Last year, we did the counterclockwise loop of Thunder Mountain, via Granite Lakes, ridge Jeep Road, Thunder Mountain,and down the thunder mountain trail on the silver lake side. That was not all that fun, especially the first half of the ride. Lots of slogging and sand.

    On Saturday, I'm thinking of doing TahoeBC's loop up the new trail, starting from the Kirkwood neighborhood, up the sentinels trail.

    Friday I'm still trying to figure out. Thinking of Caples to Sayles to lover's leap and up the strawberry canyon road and back to caples. Not sure if my bro is up for it, but he still holds a grudge for past "death marches", so this would be nothing new.

    If anyone wants to do some adventuresome riding on Friday, let me know.

    Thanks,

    D

    I was thinking of doing Thunder Mtn. and down Granite Lakes. Do you think the Jeep road over to Granite Lakes trail will be miserable? Years ago I climbed up Granite Lakes and down Horse Canyon and didn't like it either.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by nutballchamp
    I was thinking of doing Thunder Mtn. and down Granite Lakes. Do you think the Jeep road over to Granite Lakes trail will be miserable? Years ago I climbed up Granite Lakes and down Horse Canyon and didn't like it either.
    I think that would be the preferred direction, if you want to do the loop. The jeep road along the ridge is not that bad in either direction. It is the moto torn, sandy, and rocky quasi-singletrack that takes you from the ridge back to the lake that is no fun going up. At least if you were heading down hill, you'd likely be able to ride much more of it.

    -D

  31. #31
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    I may be up for something silly on Friday...
    Since when did Need have anything to do with this?

  32. #32
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    After a good TM/HC ride, enjoy a dip in the nice swimmin' holes across the road from the HC Trailhead (Oyster Creek). You gotta pedal in a little bit (past the fence)... follow the dirt road... and you'll end up at a fun granite playground and a couple waterfalls and slides.


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-dsc07658_small.jpg  

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  33. #33
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    Wow, this is a timely thread...
    A couple of friends and I went up the single track past Granite Lake, then rode along the ridge to Horse Canyon and dropped down to the cars at Oyster Point. I had done this loop about 15 years ago and would have thought a ride like that would be better remembered as a pretty tough slog in parts. But NOOOOOO. I had to take my buddies, one with a semi hurt ankle that turned up pretty lame by the end, and another friend that is a solid rider but not that enthusiastic about the trials part of the ride. We did this last Sunday.

    The ridge is where the mutiny began. We had already worked our way through many sections that were very technical (I like it) but it does wear you down from exertion let
    alone the altitude. You are at around 8200' when you hit the ridge and it climbs to around
    9000' before dropping down Horse Canyon. Unfortunately, you end up climbing more than 800' as the trail dips and gains as you go. Some of the ups are tougher than they look. There is a lot of loose sand and some sections have short, steep climbs.

    Every time we started what we thought was the final climb, we were greeted with another.
    It was more the uncertainty of where we were headed that caused the ruckus from the peanut gallery. (I think they will be riding the paved creek trails locally for a while now)

    We saw the Thunder Mountain trail sign where it cut into HC.I am eager to go in from the Kirkwood side and try what TahoeBC is telling us. Might even save some kitties in the deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer
    After a good TM/HC ride, enjoy a dip in the nice swimmin' holes across the road from the HC Trailhead (Oyster Creek). You gotta pedal in a little bit (past the fence)... follow the dirt road... and you'll end up at a fun granite playground and a couple waterfalls and slides.

    Good stuff, EB!

    Nine, I feel your pain. We did that loop last year, but I hit up TM at the end. Too bad you missed the summit; that was the best part of the ride.

    Icegeek, PM me if you want to try to hook up on Friday.

    -D

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    Hey Diesel

    Your probably camping out that way and that's why your doing a loop from Caples. But if you happen to be hoteling it in South lake another option is to get shuttled out to Schneider Camp and instead of riding up that crappy fire road from Strawberry take the Pony Express up to Echo Summit, drop Hawley then hit up Toads for a nice full day ride.

    Here are the quotes I got from Meyers to Schneider Camp (www.wannaridetahoe.com)
    Pricing is $40 for 1 passenger, $20/person for 2 passengers and $15/person for 3 or more passengers.

    Pretty Sweet Profile also

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diesel~
    Good stuff, EB!

    Nine, I feel your pain. We did that loop last year, but I hit up TM at the end. Too bad you missed the summit; that was the best part of the ride.

    Icegeek, PM me if you want to try to hook up on Friday.

    -D
    I was actually doing very well that day and cleared a lot of tricky spots. We rode Toads the day before and I was able to get through the techie parts up top with just a couple of dabs. That was my first ride on it and choosing a line quickly was my biggest problem. I am pretty confident that I can clean it with more familiarity.

    Anyhow, if I so much as joked about going up TM from HC I might still be walking home.
    My buddies had had it by the time we started riding Squaw Ridge.

    There is talk that we are going back 8/21 weekend. I want to get to Toads from the Kingsbury side. We went up Oneidas to the single track at the gate and went up that to
    the TRT and on to Toadies. I also want to get to the Thunder Mountain trails and see
    what's what.

  37. #37
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    Thought I'd add a video from our ride last Friday. Horse Canyon is temporally closed (along with a bunch of other trails & fireroads in the area) to moto's right now, pending a study forced on the FS by the Enviros, so it's holding up a bit better, although it's a dry year anyway so the lower part is still dusty. Mix emotions on the closure as these guy's should have some place to ride and it put's us next in the cross-hairs.

    HD Link - Thunder Mountain & Horse Canyon - YouTube


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    The F.S. closure in El Dorado of 42 high country trails has effectively shut down the Hwy 88 corridor for OHV activity. As a mountain biker you may not care, but keep in mind that as BC said, we are not immune. In addition, this has had an adverse impact on the local economy as jeep jamborees, etc. have had to look elsewhere.

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    So how long was that loop total, miles and total vertical? The Mrs and I are looking for a sub 20 mile loop for Saturday and that looks pretty nice.


    Thanks
    Ian

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    I don't recall the exact mileage but it's under 20. Expect some bike pushing near Thunder mountain, but not all that much.

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    Great thanks.
    Ian

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    Here's some data from someone that did a little extra before/after the normal loop: Mountain Bike Ride Profile | Thunder Mountain To Horse Creek Canyon near Kirkwood | Times and Records | Strava

    I prefer to park at the bottom of Horse Canyon Trail so I end with a DH. I also like riding up to the top of HC once TM connects into HC, then come back down from the top (not shown on link).

    I just noticed on the linked track, the rider did some dirt I'm not aware of (about 10-12 o'clock on the map, and at the very end of HC, to connect to the service road along 88. Maybe it was gps drift, but maybe not).

  43. #43
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    There is definitely a single track near the bottom of horse canyon on your right, just before the end of the trail. Just ride up it, cross 88 to the old 88 up to the Martin Meadow campground to catch the single track that heads back up to the top of the spur.

    You can see that little trail on this map, near the "TH" for horse Canyon

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    There is definitely a single track near the bottom of horse canyon on your right, just before the end of the trail. Just ride up it, cross 88 to the old 88 up to the Martin Meadow campground to catch the single track that heads back up to the top of the spur.

    You can see that little trail on this map, near the "TH" for horse Canyon
    There was a new "no trespassing" sign on that trail last week.

  45. #45
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    Awesome. In the mid '70s I backpacked up Horse Canyon to Scout Carson Lake with my Dad. I recall that as "singletrack" winding up the mountain then connecting to a 4X4 route that led us around to the other side of the lake. I doubt I still have my topo maps anywhere, what map is shown here? Just got a site to camp at the lake and ride this loop. Wanted one more camping outing this summer anyway. I think I will follow the route EB found on Strava and have a go.
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    That is Mokelumne Wilderness map.

    Nutball the little trail that runs next to 88? wierd figured its on forest service land and it's on the maps, I wonder why.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    That is Mokelumne Wilderness map.

    Nutball the little trail that runs next to 88? wierd figured its on forest service land and it's on the maps, I wonder why.
    Yep. Takes off to the right just before HC parking when descending.

  48. #48
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    The NatGeo Trails Illustrated maps seem to have eliminated their governor (for previewing)... click on view #2, go full screen and enjoy! I like these maps because they tend to be the most up to date on what trails still exist. If it's a red dotted line, it usually exists. If it's a faint, black dotted line (primitive trail, as per the map key), it often times doesn't exist anymore.

    http://www.natgeomaps.com/ti_806/zoom#

  49. #49
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    I snagged the last campsite at Silver Lake East just after this thread was posted. So the fam and I headed up Friday afternoon. It gets real dark out there and as we climbed up 88 it sure seemed foggy! Soon a blood orange moon greeted us, and the strong smell of smoke - there were no stars that night. Saturday dawned and I could see (and smell) just how bad this was. My ride might have to be put off. Everyone else was going to hang at the lake for the day so, that was when I got my first look at the gray skies and the gradual fading of Silver Lake into nothing. I went down the road past the cabins and played on a big slab of granite, looking up at the jagged rock formations I presumed to be my intended destination. The air was "okay" and I was here so what the hell, I rode back out to 88 and turned off on the semi paved road that began the Thunder Mtn loop, then back onto 88 up to the Thunder Mtn TH. A good breeze was blowing, making the climb ok. The Sentinels up on the Thunder Mountain were pretty cool. But the views were non-existant, bummer as the vistas seemed endless. Due to my late start I just wanted to get up there and decided to ride down the same way - pretty fun and fast. then I crossed 88 and rode the Castle peak trail. Wow. Cool little trail, with more rock formations. Awesome area, and a great campground. Have to go out here again when the fires are gone.


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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by nutballchamp View Post
    There was a new "no trespassing" sign on that trail last week.
    Official new sign there today, ride on!


    Snow is all melted and the wild flowers are out

















  51. #51
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    Updating the thread with some photo's from about a week ago, we did a short loop starting from the bottom of Horse to the top of Thunder, on over to Horse and up a ways towards the wilderness, then turned around and bombed it back to the car

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-13692826_1341814409180866_5733081081166468428_o.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-13692980_1138041802935355_3346980580990643638_o.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-13698238_1341814992514141_1607155240102105117_o.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-13719479_1138041712935364_6039098277553981978_o.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-13719587_1341814375847536_6300117816109437505_o.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-13725093_1138041322935403_5862684236829467616_o.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-13730819_1138041452935390_1717024141551537779_o.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-13731000_1138041326268736_6611374939503487725_o.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-13731054_1138041392935396_4373687259134832041_o.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-13731797_1341814902514150_4195792518341533824_o.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-13731869_1138041542935381_5297723559219387112_o.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-13731902_1138041339602068_2963990004865953000_o.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-13735576_1138041539602048_2521834208895655835_o.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-13735598_1138041559602046_7376140368315067021_o.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-13765739_1138041842935351_4615879887685437051_o.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-13767417_1138041906268678_2859027056692326702_o.jpg

    A few more from a couple years ago with Ronski and his better half
    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-img_3997-img_4000_small.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-img_4033.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-img_4035.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-img_4048.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-img_4057.jpg

  52. #52
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    I rode the same exact thing (except we started in Kirkwood and rode up and down Sentinel trail to access the loop you did) just this past Saturday. Also rode up behind Thimble peak as a out-and-back as well. Did you take the little detour near the top/end to check out Scout Carson Lake? Love that little lake...good lunch spot before turning around and bombing back down Horse Canyon proper. Finished with burgers and beers at Kirkwood Inn..good times.

  53. #53
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    Nice! I've seen pics of this route before and have always wanted to do it but have failed so far. TBC, got any stats and/or gps routes?
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  54. #54
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    Tyronne I have gone to the lake before, did not do it this time.

    Ryanxj, I updated the first post of this thread with a gps track that starts/ends in Kirkwood, I used to do this a lot but I'm not a huge fan of either going up or down that trail, so now I just start at the bottom of horse and end with a downhill, but it's a good way to extend the ride as well as the out and back to Scout Carson lake Tyronne mentioned.

    Also the out and back to Thimble peak is a neat area to explore if you have time and if your looking for something a little primative and new, keep dropping the trail from Thimble right down into the backside of Kirkwood, climb the dirt road back over to the frontside and drop single track back to the base area.

    Another little extension is when you drop towards horse from the top of Thunder, watch for a trail that heads to the right, it's an out and back to a interesting area, I remember seeing a natrual arch back there also.

    I don't have a track of the short loop though as I typically don't take a gps along with me unless doing something new. Even though it's a relativity short ride it feels much longer.

  55. #55
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    Killer pix once again, TBC! You keep the stoke alive better than most!

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-dsc06743.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-dsc06751.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-dsc06771.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-dsc06791.jpg

    Can someone tell me how to upload photos to MTBR so that they are larger than 2.5" x 3.5"? I see some larger photos posted but most are tiny compared to the white space around it.

  56. #56
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    Damn those are beautiful pics!

  57. #57
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    My buddy posted up some pics on Facebook yesterday from our ride, wildflowers are going off, get up there soon if you can
    https://www.facebook.com/ACwithFT/po...56859250144903

    We ended up doing a point to point shuttle yesterday ending at the cables creek trailhead, great swimming hole at the end of the ride!!!

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-img_4129.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-img_4104.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-img_4306.jpg

    Thunder Mountain / Horse Canyon-elevation2_crop.jpg

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    Damn. I was just thinking about Kirkwood to caples creek as a shuttle ride.
    And now tbc pulls it off. Nice

    Wildflowers are peaking now. Iíll have to go do solo

  59. #59
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    Solo shuttled this ride yesterday. A hidden gem, and the wildflowers on Thunder Mountain are everywhere.

    The only downer was the motorcycle tracks on the trail around Martin Meadows.
    Someone has been riding up to Carson Spur and down to Caples creek. Tearing up a otherwise nice single track.

  60. #60
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    I've hiked Thunder (from the main trailhead) countless times, and occasionally see some mtbrs. And while I can't help envying them the downhill, man there sure isn't really enough air up there to climb 2k'++ in 3.5mi.
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