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Matt Marine

Matt Marine is an Arizona resident who loves exploring Arizona's wonderful outdoor adventures. To find out more about Matt, click the link below.

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Sara Harelson

I’m Sara! I’m 21, a senior in college, and a journalism major.  I love to read, write, travel, and listen to music.  I’m always on to my next adventure.


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Trails and roads listed within this site may be closed at any time by the Forest Service, private property owners or other governmental agencies. It is your responsibility to verify state of trail prior to attempting to run it.

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Name: Thunder Mountain Author's Rating:
Author: Matt Marine Avg. User Rating: Not rated yet
Type: Hike Difficulty: (Beginner)
Time: 1 - 2 hours Region: NW Arizona
Length: 3.75 miles (loop) Elevation gain/loss/change: +471 / -471 ft / +0 ft (loop)
Type: Loop Avg Elevation: 4600 ft
Best time to go: fall, summer, spring Fees: Requires Red Rock Pass. These can be purchased at any Ranger station, kiosks, Circle K's and many other stores in Sedona or Oak Creek.
Fitness rating: Medium Educational Merit: Low
Danger/fear rating: Low Scenic Beauty: High
Hours of Operation: Area is only open certain hours - verify before going Last updated: April, 2010
Short Description: An easy suburban hike in Sedona
Geocaches: A few geocaches in the area. Top O Sugarloaf; Moving Forward
References / Contact Information: Coconino National Forest Trails
Points of interest: Chimney Rock, Coffee Pot Rock
Special Considerations: Requires Red Rock Pass. These can be purchased at any Ranger station, kiosks, Circle K's and many other stores in Sedona or Oak Creek.
How to get there: The trailhead (Waypoint 001) is at the Thunder Mountain Trail parking area. Click here for directions.

Trail Description

This is a nice, close-in trail to hike in Sedona. That’s the good news, the bad news is that it’s close to town and you’ll see a lot of houses during your hike. But it didn’t matter too much to me, it was still a nice hike.

General Information and History

The trail hugs the southern end of Chimney Rock and Capitol Butte. There are a bunch of other trails in this area, including Chimney Rock, Capitol Butte and Coffeepot Rock.

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The Trail

The trail immediately heads up toward Chimney Rock. At Waypoint002, take a right, keeping on Thunder Mountain. A left here onto Chimney Rock. Keep walking along the eastern edge of Chimney Rock until you get to Waypoint003. The Andonite trail is to the right, the Thunder Mountain trail continues straight.

As I headed out, I kept on the Thunder Mountain trail and came back on the Andonite trail. At Waypoint004, keep straight on Thunder Mountain. You’ll hike the next mile or so in the southern shadows of Capitol Butte passing Waypoint005, until you reach Waypoint006. This is the intersection to Andonite trail again, and where you access the Andonite trail on the way back.

Keep hiking along the trail until you reach Waypoint007. This is the intersection of the Teacup, Thunder Mountain and Sugarloaf summit trails. I’ve heard the Teacup trail down into the valley below is nice, but I didn’t take it.

From here, I turned around and went back to Waypoint006. I took a left onto the Andonite trail. Continue straight at Waypoint008 and hike until you reach the trailhead at Waypoint009. Go through the parking area, the continuation of the trail is to your left (south). Continue until you reach Waypoint003, then take a left back on Thunder Mountain trail and head south to the trailhead.

Have fun and be safe!

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