Bryce Canyon Area Mountain Biking
Thunder Mountain Trail in Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon and its surroundings provides spectacular red rock mountain biking. Within the park itself, bicycling is only allowed on paved roads. However, many nearby trails are popular with cyclists. There are opportunities to ride on both single and double track trails, on forest roads, and on pioneer trails.
The narrow and winding main road to Rainbow Point at the end of Bryce Canyon is 17 miles long and ascends from 7,900 to 9,105 feet. The road is paved, narrow and winds through forests and meadows to the top of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. The amphitheater’s colorful pinnacles, spires and monuments can be seen from viewpoints along the east side of the road.
This easy double-track trail is a connecting route between the Bryce Canyon National Park entrance and the Tropic Reservoir. If you take the entire loop, it amounts to a 12-mile trip. It follows the Great Western Trail through ponderosa pine forests and meadows. The ride starts at the large Bryce Canyon National Park boundary sign on Hwy 63, about 1 mile south of Ruby's Inn. Take the dirt road heading west.
A shuttle is suggested for this moderate 17-mile one-way ride in the Red Canyon area. The ride's single and double-track trails pass incredible red rock formations in the Dixie National Forest. Stop at the Red Canyon Visitor Center for details. The ride starts and ends along Hwy 12. Ruby's Inn offers a mountain bike shuttle service for the ride. About 8 miles east of junction US 89 and Hwy 12 (just east of Red Canyon) is Tom Best Road (FR117). This is the trailhead and the start of the double-track.
This moderate-to-advanced 18-mile loop ride passes Tropic Reservoir and red rock formations, and overlooks Sunset Cliffs. From Hwy 12 east of Red Canyon, turn south onto FR087 to Tropic Reservoir. Park at King's Creek Campground and start riding southward along the west shoreline roa - FR 091.
This ride takes you over technical singletrack through spectacular country near Bryce Canyon National Park. It winds up a steep ridge, along a narrow hogs back and through Bryce-like hoodoos. It is 7.8 miles one way, with some loose rock on the trail.
Most riders do the trail from top to bottom, capitalizing on the downhill aspect, with a shuttle vehicle waiting at the bottom. The ride starts at the Coyote Hollow Trailhead, on top the mountain near the east entrance to Red Canyon. It ends at the Thunder Mountain Trailhead, at the bottom of Red Canyon.
Another good option is to do the ride as a loop. Starting at the bottom of Red Canyon, ride the paved and easy Red Canyon Trail uphill to the top of the canyon. Use the Fremont Trail as a connector to Coyote Hollow. Then ride Thunder Mountain downhill back to the starting point.
Thunder Mountain can be ridden as a grueling out and back, covering 15.8 miles and some 3000 vertical feet.
An easy trail that parallels Highway 12 beginning at the Red Canyon Visitor Center.
For more info on trails in this area stop at the visitor center in Red Canyon.
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