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Thunder Mountain Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.0 (3)

A mostly stunning trail leading to Thunder Mountain summit - with extra sections worth skipping.


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Map Key

6.5

Miles

10.5

KM

Point to Point

9,296' 2,834 m

High

7,608' 2,319 m

Low

1,946' 593 m

Up

973' 297 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

30%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Views · Wildflowers

Description

Though this trail shows up on maps as a loop trail, to create a full loop you'll have to conclude your hike on a series of roads, making it not an ideal looped route. The most common use of this trail is to start at the trailhead off CA 88, near Carson Spur. (Look for the parking sign on this map) Most visitors work their way up to the Thunder Mountain summit, which offers incredible 360 degree views with a surprisingly low amount of effort on the way.

That most commonly traveled section climbs steadily to 9300 ft, and you'll feel you've gotten quite a workout. But the climbing is never brutal - just steady. The ascent has tons of scenery to keep you busy. You'll start climbing through forest, but along the way, you'll see hillsides covered in wildflowers, dramatic views of Two Sentinels (8780 ft peaks) and the dark volcanic north face of Thunder Mountain.

Continue up Thunder Mountain Spur Trail to the summit for spectacular 360-degree views.

You can tack on and additional section at the start, by starting further southwest on CA 88, at the true start of this trail, and you can continue further on this trail past the Thunder Mountain summit, but most agree that wouldn't be worth it.

Contacts

Shared By:

Michael Ahnemann

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 3 votes

#7

in Kirkwood

#10796

Overall
  4.0 from 3 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
33%
3 Star
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2 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#7

in Kirkwood

#1,105

in California

#10,796

Overall
6 Views Last Month
810 Since Aug 18, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

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

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Check-Ins

Aug 25, 2019
Keirsten B
2h 59m
Sep 29, 2018
Susan Suesser