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  1. #1
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    2018 Thunder Mountain & Horse Canyon

    I've seen some posts about this. The ones I saw were old. I'm trying to get some good info on this ride.

    1.)Where do I park?
    2.) Do I need to do this as a shuttle with 2 cars?
    3.) Does someone have a gpx I can follow?
    4.) Anything I need to know before headed out there?
    5.) Anyone have a map of this?
    6.) Is this sanctioned? I'm assuming yes by the other posts I've seen.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by B1KER View Post
    I've seen some posts about this. The ones I saw were old. I'm trying to get some good info on this ride.

    1.)Where do I park?
    2.) Do I need to do this as a shuttle with 2 cars?
    3.) Does someone have a gpx I can follow?
    4.) Anything I need to know before headed out there?
    5.) Anyone have a map of this?
    6.) Is this sanctioned? I'm assuming yes by the other posts I've seen.
    Wouldn't it be great if there was an online repository of trail information including parking, ride descriptions, a map, etc. that answered your questions?

    It would also be SUPER NEAT if there was a mobile app for that too!

    If only...

    https://www.trailforks.com/trails/thunder-mtn-dh/

  3. #3
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    For your first two questions, the answer is "it depends". Some people will prefer to do it as a shuttle, other prefer to pedal it as a loop (personaly, I'm in the loop camp).

    For a .GPX, here is one example, this is the basic loop pedaling the whole basic loop (no shuttle): https://www.strava.com/activities/187564186/overview

    There are lots of other options to do longer gnarlier versions of this basic loop that include the trails within Kirkwood proper, or super chunk trails around Silver Lake.

    And yes, it is legal.

    Also -- Not sure if all the snow is melted out of there yet..especially in north facing / shaded aspects

  4. #4
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    That's awesome, thanks. However, that doesn't give me the perspective of someone that has ridden it at all. Have you ridden it? From the looks of the trail forks you just ride up the road until you can catch Castle Rock. However the first time I saw this mentioned it sounded like you could ride Horse Canyon and Thunder Mountain together. That map on the other hand looks like it would be an out and back on Horse Canyon. I was hoping to see ProZach chime in. I noticed it was his pics on Trailforks, as well as his recommendation for this on another thread.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    For your first two questions, the answer is "it depends". Some people will prefer to do it as a shuttle, other prefer to pedal it as a loop (personaly, I'm in the loop camp).

    For a .GPX, here is one example, this is the basic loop pedaling the whole basic loop (no shuttle): https://www.strava.com/activities/187564186/overview

    There are lots of other options to do longer gnarlier versions of this basic loop that include the trails within Kirkwood proper, or super chunk trails around Silver Lake.

    And yes, it is legal.
    Thanks dude. Is catching the trail off 88 pretty obvious?
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  6. #6
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    The internet is a great resource, if you're willing to exert just a tiny bit of effort!

    Start here: LMGTFY

    Result #2: http://forums.mtbr.com/california-no...on-554416.html

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by B1KER View Post
    Thanks dude. Is catching the trail off 88 pretty obvious?
    Follow the Strava ride I linked to and you won't get lost really (it's my ride, I've ridden the trails up here a ton).

    The basic loop is that you park at the end of Horse Canyon (i.e. you finish with the descent right at your car). I think the turn out off of 88 where you park there is called "Oyster Creek". It is just past Silver Lake....if you start gaining elevation up to Carson Spur you went too far.

    Then after parking there, pedal on the shoulder of 88 up the first grade, cross the road to the north side when you see a dirt turn out over there and you'll see kind of a broken pavement climb that parallels 88. Take that as it gets you off of 88...this old "road" will take you into some dispersed camping and when it basically dead ends look for signs for "Castle Point" trail. This will be singletrack. Follow Castle Point up and over Carson Spur...you can't get lost, there are no turns.

    Castle Point Trail dead ends on Hwy 88 at the top of Carson Spur. At this point, cross back over 88 to the other side at the "Thunder Mtn Trailhead" dirt parking area. The next part of singletrack leaves from right there.

    This is a stiff climb that will take you up to the backside of Kirkwood. Some bits at the very top will be mandatory hike-a-bike around Glove Rock at the top of Kirkwood but not much.

    From here keep climbing and you'll see signage for Thunder Mtn. Follow those off the backside of Kirkwood and enjoy the ripping descent all the back right to your car. I enjoy this descent more than Toad's. Just a head's up as it is also open to equestrians and motos which CAN be climbing up, but that is rare...just head's up about it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodypalms View Post
    The internet is a great resource, if you're willing to exert just a tiny bit of effort!

    Start here: LMGTFY

    Result #2: http://forums.mtbr.com/california-no...on-554416.html
    With that being said I guess there is no reason to talk about riding bikes here. You might as well just delete your account.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    Follow the Strava ride I linked to and you won't get lost really (it's my ride, I've ridden the trails up here a ton).

    The basic loop is that you park at the end of Horse Canyon (i.e. you finish with the descent right at your car). I think the turn out off of 88 where you park there is called "Oyster Creek". It is just past Silver Lake....if you start gaining elevation up to Carson Spur you went too far.

    Then after parking there, pedal on the shoulder of 88 up the first grade, cross the road to the north side when you see a dirt turn out over there and you'll see kind of a broken pavement climb that parallels 88. Take that as it gets you off of 88...this old "road" will take you into some dispersed camping and when it basically dead ends look for signs for "Castle Point" trail. This will be singletrack. Follow Castle Point up and over Carson Spur...you can't get lost, there are no turns.

    Castle Point Trail dead ends on Hwy 88 at the top of Carson Spur. At this point, cross back over 88 to the other side at the "Thunder Mtn Trailhead" dirt parking area. The next part of singletrack leaves from right there.

    This is a stiff climb that will take you up to the backside of Kirkwood. Some bits at the very top will be mandatory hike-a-bike around Glove Rock at the top of Kirkwood but not much.

    From here keep climbing and you'll see signage for Thunder Mtn. Follow those off the backside of Kirkwood and enjoy the ripping descent all the back right to your car. I enjoy this descent more than Toad's. Just a head's up as it is also open to equestrians and motos which CAN be climbing up, but that is rare...just head's up about it.
    Would you mind emailing me the gpx? I don't have premium on Strava. Thanks for the write up. That's exactly what I was looking for. I appreciate it.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by B1KER View Post
    With that being said I guess there is no reason to talk about riding bikes here. You might as well just delete your account.
    Why in the world would I want to do that? I would miss funny, inadvertently entertaining, posts like yours.

    Despite your pity party of one, folks will keep on talking about bikes and surely will keep on asking simple questions about stuff that they are too lazy to find for themselves in seconds.

    Heck, if there was "no reason to talk about riding bikes here" the 2009 thread with maps, photos and answers to your questions wouldn't be there for you to not find on your own.

    p.s. No Strava Premium needed to send the track to your device/save the course via the link in the 2009 post:

    https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1263054631

  11. #11
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    Could be a bit early for that ride, I'm sure you will walk though some snow, that said do it and report back on conditions!

    July 25th last year. less snow this year but it is on the crest where the most snow drops


    Personally I like to park at the bottom of horse canyon these days and loop up from there and end on a killer downhill.

  12. #12
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    a friend just tried riding thunder and it was still under alot of snow. Needs another few weeks.

    Park at the trailhead of thunder mtn. Thunder Mountain Trailhead
    CA-88, Pioneer, CA 95666
    https://goo.gl/maps/HeygVZf3VE32

    Perfectly fine to ride and film. No shuttle its a loop. If you do Horse canyon i believe its an out and back off thunder, havent ridden it myself. Not much more to know really. TF description is spot on.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by B1KER View Post
    I've seen some posts about this. The ones I saw were old. I'm trying to get some good info on this ride.

    1.)Where do I park?
    2.) Do I need to do this as a shuttle with 2 cars?
    3.) Does someone have a gpx I can follow?
    4.) Anything I need to know before headed out there?
    5.) Anyone have a map of this?
    6.) Is this sanctioned? I'm assuming yes by the other posts I've seen.
    use either strava or tf and create a route - its easy.

  14. #14
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    Pm, me man. I probably ride that area more than anyone. In my opinion that's the best loop in the Tahoe area. And there are options for other trails that will make even great riders feels challenged. Thunder mtn has a small window. Usually August/Sept. Maybe end/ mid July. It's a chill loop, expect to HAB a good portion of the climb.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    For your first two questions, the answer is "it depends". Some people will prefer to do it as a shuttle, other prefer to pedal it as a loop (personaly, I'm in the loop camp).

    For a .GPX, here is one example, this is the basic loop pedaling the whole basic loop (no shuttle): https://www.strava.com/activities/187564186/overview

    There are lots of other options to do longer gnarlier versions of this basic loop that include the trails within Kirkwood proper, or super chunk trails around Silver Lake.

    And yes, it is legal.

    Also -- Not sure if all the snow is melted out of there yet..especially in north facing / shaded aspects
    Only thing I'd change, is don't hike out to the actual thunder mtn peak. Just continue down the hill for 20-30 minutes of DH!!

  16. #16
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    So here's a question- what other riding is there off of 88? I have ridden and am aware of Thunder mtn and Kirkwood. I have also rode a good amount off of of Sly Park in Pollock down Mormon Immigrant. But is there anything else up there around 88?

    I have been going to Bear River Reservoir quite often the last 2 summers with my girl's family. I usually bring a bike. I have cruised some of the fireroads in the area but I am not aware of any known mtn trails other than the ones mentioned above. Fireroad riding is mostly just dodging Toyotas, side by sides, and motos.

    Any advice on riding close-ish to that lake? Or maybe near Pioneer? So much open forest, strange to think there's no mtn biking nearby.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoHillBri View Post
    So here's a question- what other riding is there off of 88? I have ridden and am aware of Thunder mtn and Kirkwood. I have also rode a good amount off of of Sly Park in Pollock down Mormon Immigrant. But is there anything else up there around 88?

    I have been going to Bear River Reservoir quite often the last 2 summers with my girl's family. I usually bring a bike. I have cruised some of the fireroads in the area but I am not aware of any known mtn trails other than the ones mentioned above. Fireroad riding is mostly just dodging Toyotas, side by sides, and motos.

    Any advice on riding close-ish to that lake? Or maybe near Pioneer? So much open forest, strange to think there's no mtn biking nearby.
    You kinda need your Adventure Rider card, but there is some amazing terrain off 88. Its just a matter of giving it a go, and going prepared for anything.

    Sometimes you don't need a trail... just a sense of adventure:
    2018 Thunder Mountain &amp; Horse Canyon-p1040739.jpg

    Save 17 hours of driving to Moab and enjoy this...
    2018 Thunder Mountain &amp; Horse Canyon-img_2891.jpg

    2018 Thunder Mountain &amp; Horse Canyon-img_2894.jpg

    And if you search hard enough... you might find a saloon in the middle of BFE...
    2018 Thunder Mountain &amp; Horse Canyon-p1020806.jpg

    But watch out for those old ski resorts... they are haunted!
    2018 Thunder Mountain &amp; Horse Canyon-34841079_10214662518349504_8768334141767811072_n.jpg

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    You kinda need your Adventure Rider card, but there is some amazing terrain off 88. Its just a matter of giving it a go, and going prepared for anything.

    Save 17 hours of driving to Moab and enjoy this...
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Looks really sick

    And if you search hard enough... you might find a saloon in the middle of BFE...
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1203355

    Yeah but do they even have a hazy ipa?

  19. #19
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    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	P1020806.jpg 
Views:	83 
Size:	137.9 KB 
ID:	1203355

    Yeah but do they even have a hazy ipa?[/QUOTE]


    The Hideout Lodge? Biking in there is the only way I'd be able to afford that place.
    Live to Ride, Ride to Live

  20. #20
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    Damn Empty Beer, that looks awesome. I don't even know what to start googling.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by B1KER View Post
    Damn Empty Beer, that looks awesome. I don't even know what to start googling.
    The internets is hard! - Chapter #3

    https://stayhideoutlodge.com/

    https://www.sierrasun.com/news/envir...o-graded-runs/

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brah View Post
    The Hideout Lodge? Biking in there is the only way I'd be able to afford that place.
    Yeah...$25k for a weekend.... BYOHAZYIPA too!

  23. #23
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    B1KER - don't let anyone talk you into riding this loop to get to Horse Canyon... the climb going up Squaw Ridge sucks balls. There might be a tiny window where the OHV road (Squaw Ridge) isn't soft and sandy and unrideable, but its just better to wait for Thunder Mountain to be free of snow.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/412469095/overview

  24. #24
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    When you hit Horse Canyon I think it's worth it to turn left and out and back to the summit. It's a bit of hike a bike here and there but makes for a longer descent. Beautiful terrain. You can also start on the Kirkwood trails that will put you onto Thunder Mountain.

    Melinda gunning for me on lower Horse Canyon
    2018 Thunder Mountain &amp; Horse Canyon-horse-canyon-01.jpg

    Melinda on upper Horse Canyon
    2018 Thunder Mountain &amp; Horse Canyon-horse-feathers-01-3-.jpeg

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronski View Post
    When yo hit Horse Canyon I think it's worth it to turn left and out and back to the summit. It's a bit of hike a bike here and there but makes for a longer descent. Beautiful terrain.


    Just make sure not to go past this sign
    2018 Thunder Mountain &amp; Horse Canyon-img_3996.jpg

    Ronski and his girl getting down with the sickness
    2018 Thunder Mountain &amp; Horse Canyon-img_4057.jpg

  26. #26
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    ^^ Thanks for the stoke! I'm hoping to get up there soon.

    However, I'm embarrassed to say that it took me over a day to realize that Pete took time away from his profolio building to troll this thread. It's not hard to recognize his style of attack. And nobody starts off on the forum that snarky. It takes months or years of practice.
    Last edited by dirtvert; 06-13-2018 at 09:34 AM.
    The broken are the more evolved. Rejoice.

  27. #27
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    Id give that ride a few more weeks. Still some good snow drifts up top. Everything on the other side of 88 down to Silver Fork just got cleaned up and is running good.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post

    However, I'm embarrassed to say that it took me over a day to realize that Pete took time away from his profolio building to troll this thread. It's not hard to recognize his style of attack.
    I thought it was Pete... but slightly different. Almost like he's trying to blend in better. I'm not convinced bloodypalms is Pete yet.

  29. #29
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    haha clearly you've not known pvd enough. he uses his real name. and his answer would be something like: "the information is obvious. it's not my job to help you find it."

    but in this case... those rocks look neat. they also look like the sort of thing where the hints provided are probably already almost too much. though the name of the saloon's hosting thing was quite useful--i tried to find others with the same name and nothing was nearby.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoHillBri View Post
    So here's a question- what other riding is there off of 88? I have ridden and am aware of Thunder mtn and Kirkwood. I have also rode a good amount off of of Sly Park in Pollock down Mormon Immigrant. But is there anything else up there around 88?

    I have been going to Bear River Reservoir quite often the last 2 summers with my girl's family. I usually bring a bike. I have cruised some of the fireroads in the area but I am not aware of any known mtn trails other than the ones mentioned above. Fireroad riding is mostly just dodging Toyotas, side by sides, and motos.

    Any advice on riding close-ish to that lake? Or maybe near Pioneer? So much open forest, strange to think there's no mtn biking nearby.
    Trail forks app has pretty much everything you need

  31. #31
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    Those trails look fun...definitely chunky. Just the kind of ride I can embarrass myself

  32. #32
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    Any ride reports from this summer? Horse canyon cleared out of deadfall? Gonna head over there today from South Lake.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flat Pedals View Post
    Any ride reports from this summer? Horse canyon cleared out of deadfall? Gonna head over there today from South Lake.
    Had a friend ride it last week, said it was pretty blown out which is pretty much expected this time of year especially since Moto's use it. Be better to wait after we get some rain again, but if this is your only chance, might as well go for it.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flat Pedals View Post
    Any ride reports from this summer? Horse canyon cleared out of deadfall? Gonna head over there today from South Lake.
    I rode it last Saturday...loose and dusty but, still fun

  35. #35
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    Thanks, guys. Yeah I rode it, with your feedback unseen, as a friend was visiting and wanted to take him up to the awesome Carson Pass area. Horse Canyon in my opinion is SUPER blown out. I'm okay with moto moon dust, and loose baby heads. However, yesterday after having ridden Horse Canyon my update is that the motos really seemed to rip up the rocky sections and displacing boulders making them mostly un-bikeable compared to when I rode it last year. Granted I rode in late July last year which, given the winter, was about the first week you could ride it. Also, they seemed to create a lot of ride arounds to the areas they blew out the boulders. So you had some shitty social trails as well. Is that normal? Do peeps go in and reassemble the rock cascades to make them bike able again? I would be willing to lend a hand on that if I knew it was going to be re-blown out by the time I got to the top of the climb ;-) Thanks to any of you that already care for this trail.

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