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Thunder Mountain

Intermediate
  5.0 ( 6 ) Favorite

Trail

7.9 mile 12.8 kilometer out and back
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,858' 566 m
Descent: -1,858' -566 m
High: 9,388' 2,861 m
Low: 7,929' 2,417 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 29% (16°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Michael Ahnemann

A remarkably beautiful summit with surprisingly low relative effort - a true standout in the area.

Michael Ahnemann

Features Views · Wildflowers

Overview

This is an absolute must-do hike in the area. It sees surprisingly low traffic, but it's a real gem. The ascent is never brutal and the trail isn't too long. However, you'll climb steadily as you work your way up to the Thunder Mountain summit, which offers incredible 360 degree views from Yosemite to the Desolation Wilderness.

Description

Start at the trailhead off CA 88, near Carson Spur. (Look for the parking sign on this map)

The ascent has tons of scenic views and resting points to keep you busy as you're working hard to climb nearly 1900 feet to the summit of Thunder Mountain. You'll start climbing through forest, then work your way along the ridgeline. Along the way, you'll see hillsides covered in wildflowers, dramatic views of Two Sentinals (8780 ft peaks) and the dark volcanic north face of Thunder Mountain, as you approach heading south.

About 3.5 miles in, most of your climbing will be complete, and you'll have left the trees as you continue on the Thunder Mountain Spur Trail to the summit for spectacular 360 degree views. Look for the Yosemite mountains to the south and the Desolation Wilderness to the north.

Retrace your steps on the way back, and enjoy all of the incredible scenery you missed on the way up!

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, History & Background

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Check-Ins

Sep 29, 2018
Donna Endacott
Chilly and windy at the top but well worth the hike! 7.9mi
Sep 28, 2018
Susan Suesser
Sep 8, 2018
dennis dworman
Jul 1, 2018
Heidi Galvez
First time doing this hike and I will definitely do it again! The views are stunning.
Jun 16, 2018
Pooh 55
May 25, 2018
Jay-Deb Sawicky
Dec 20, 2014
Anthony Koberstein
Good trail...Dog had a great time. 7mi
Jun 23, 2014
M. Morley

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 6 votes

#1

in Kirkwood

#577

Overall
  5.0 from 6 votes
5 Star
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Featured Hike Rankings

#1

in Kirkwood

#101

in California

#577

Overall
148 Views Last Month
3,768 Since Aug 18, 2016
Intermediate

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Photos

Carson Spur
Dec 5, 2017 near South L…, CA

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