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TR: Bryce Canyon - Red Canyon/Thunder Mountain Loop... Lot's of pics!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Got off work Sunday afternoon, packed my bikes/bike gear & headed South to Panguitch, UT.  Monday was a 50 mile road ride through Bryce Canyon National Park.  I did an out & back beginning on the east side of Red Canyon.  The Park is pretty bike friendly & is a gradual 2000' climb to the end of the paved road.  Mountain bikes are not allowed off the paved road in the Park.

 

Rain was threatening & temps were cool:

Bryce Canyon 005.JPG

 

The views are expansive:

Bryce Canyon 012.JPG

 

A cool hole in the wall:

Bryce Canyon 011.JPG

 

Hoodoo's rule:

Bryce Canyon 017.JPG

 

Almost to the top which is just over 9000':

Bryce Canyon 023.JPG

 

Looking back down the canyon:

Bryce Canyon 029.JPG

 

These lovely ladies saved my ass... Literally.  I had broken my seat during a dumbass move upon my arrival in Panquitch.  I purchased the only bicycle seat in town (being displayed by Lizzy), they were kind enough to trade me for a real saddle.Bryce Canyon 035.JPG

 

 

Today was Mountain Bike day.  The ride was going to be up through Red Canyon to Thunder Saddle as a loop.  I have done this one a couple of times before, but it is one of those special ones that is worth traveling for!

 

Here is a description of the ride: 


Starting from the Thunder Mountain TH (aprox 7100 ft., restrooms, parking) ride E on the paved trail that follows river (#113) for 5.4 miles then turn on to dirt road and follow it 2 miles through a small campground to Coyote Hollow parking (8050 ft., restrooms, parking). The Thunder Mountain single track (#098) starts here winding through forest canyons climbing and descending the same 250 ft many times for the next 3 miles. The trail gradually climbs to roughly 8300 ft at 10.5 miles from the start (awesome views!) and then starts a rapid decent past red cliffs & hoodoo's, switchbacking down the canyons. Some technical stuff as the switchbacks are rather tight & steep and some of the trail is very narrow along ledges. At mile 14.2 and roughly 7300 ft you intersect with trail # 066, go right and the trail quickly turns into a 20 mph downhill scream on a forested single track back to the Thunder Mountain TH almost 2 miles later.


This is an awesome ride!

 

Leaving Red Canyon on the paved bike trail.  This is where I started the ride to Bryce yesterday.

Red Canyon-Thunder Mountain loop 004.JPG

 

Almost at the top of Thunder Mountain:

Red Canyon-Thunder Mountain loop 005.JPG

 

Looking east from the summit ridge:

Red Canyon-Thunder Mountain loop 007.JPG

 

First of the DH:

Red Canyon-Thunder Mountain loop 016.JPG

 

Hoodoo:

Red Canyon-Thunder Mountain loop 025.JPG

 

Coming thru a slot:

Red Canyon-Thunder Mountain loop 031.JPG

 

A little more up:

Red Canyon-Thunder Mountain loop 030.JPG

 

The switchback canyon we just descended in the background:

Red Canyon-Thunder Mountain loop 035.JPG

 

The next knife edge ridge before the final descent:

Red Canyon-Thunder Mountain loop 037.JPG

 

Entering the bottom of the canyon:

Red Canyon-Thunder Mountain loop 038.JPG

 

Thanks for looking,

JF

 


Edited by 4ster - 9/27/11 at 9:58pm
post #2 of 13

Nice TR. Its about that time isn't it.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

Nice TR. Its about that time isn't it.

Yes, need to hit Moab before ski season.


 

 

 

post #4 of 13

If I couldn't live where I do, I would pick to live in that part of Utah.  I've been there several times and pictures don't do it justice.

post #5 of 13

Great TR! Thanks for posting. I did some hiking in Bryce about 10 years ago - love that area! 

 

There's a tour operator that has a Bryce to Zion MTB ride -- maybe someday....

post #6 of 13

sweet pictures and the last mile of Thunder Mountain is the best singletrack in the world!

post #7 of 13
Tasty!

Enjoy the fall, Jim. It's not too long now.

Mike
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowsport View Post

Great TR! Thanks for posting. I did some hiking in Bryce about 10 years ago - love that area! 

 

There's a tour operator that has a Bryce to Zion MTB ride -- maybe someday....

Rim Tours out of Moab does that trip.  It is called "Best of Bryce & Zion".  My brother used to go with them every year, & I joined them for a few, this was the best one & how I discovered Thunder Mountain.   Highly recommended if you are doing an assisted tour.  We began at Brianhead, rode portions of the Virgin Rim trail, Navajo lake, Cedar Breaks etc.

 

JF
 

 

 

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

Rim Tours out of Moab does that trip.  It is called "Best of Bryce & Zion".  My brother used to go with them every year, & I joined them for a few, this was the best one & how I discovered Thunder Mountain.   Highly recommended if you are doing an assisted tour.  We began at Brianhead, rode portions of the Virgin Rim trail, Navajo lake, Cedar Breaks etc.

 

JF
 

 

 

 

 

http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/

 

has tons of good info for those not willing to pay for a guide. Virgin River Rim trail is an amazing piece of trails as well.

 

Thunder Mountian - best scenery you ever see on a ride, and its not bad riding either!

 

Virgin River Rim - one of the best epics in the country that noone rides.

 

Gooseberry - the most fun tech XC I have ever done.
 

 

post #10 of 13
That looked like a very cool trip. need to make time to do that some day.
post #11 of 13


nice off season tr.  Perhaps we can ski together if you make it out to Tahoe for spring hiking extravaganza.  Of course, my wife is due November 20th, so we'll see if I get to ski much at all this year...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post

If I couldn't live where I do, I would pick to live in that part of Utah.  I've been there several times and pictures don't do it justice.



Southern Utah is the sh*t.  'Course, I like me a more alpine/treed climate, but I can't wait to get back.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by splitter View Post

nice off season tr.  Perhaps we can ski together if you make it out to Tahoe for spring hiking extravaganza.  Of course, my wife is due November 20th, so we'll see if I get to ski much at all this year...


Thanks splitter, if your winter is anything like last year I will be out again for the corn harvest.

Congrats on the new kiddo!!!  BTW, they fit nicely in the backpack ;)

 

JF

 

 

post #13 of 13

Tx for the TR. Bryce is some awesome, almost remote terrain.

We were out there back in the fall of '06 and we had snow at the top of Ponderosa for a day or so.

The sky is so dark that you can see the Hercules Globular with binos. It almost looks like a comet in those skies.

Also did a helo tour from the resort there at the park.

Unfortunately our computer crashed after loading our pic files and were lost in cyberspace.

Tx again for the scenery flashback.

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