Thunder Mountain -> Javelina

Sedona

Combine a longtime Sedona classic trail with a flowy loop on the end.

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
18 km
Ascent
429 m
Descent
429 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
1.5 km
Gradient
Thunder Mountain -> Javelina Map

Thunder Mountain is a longtime classic Sedona trail that, along with its namesake mountain, have had their name adopted by the best local bike shop in the area.

Description

Beginning this ride from the Thunder Mountain trailhead helps you bypass many of the crowds that inundate the trailheads closer to Soldier Pass. While you'll end up riding over to Soldier Pass and then hitting the trails near Adobe Jack, the trailheads on the far end of Thunder Mountain aren't nearly as busy, making it much easier to park. That doesn't guarantee you a parking spot on the weekends, however... it's Sedona, after all.

Thunder Mountain is a tough, technical mountain bike trail. The singletrack shoots straight up and then rockets straight back down, with the punchy hills repeating over and over again. Many riders will find themselves hiking up the short, brutal climbs, but the rocky ledge-filled descents are well-worth it. Andante offers a flowier, more rideable alternative, but you should take the chance and brave Thunder Mountain on at least one leg of this lollipop loop.

The Thunder Mountain trail flows seamlessly into the Teacup Trail—yet another challenging black-diamond singletrack. Instead of the short, punchy climbs and descents, Teacup offers slightly longer climbs and more rewarding descents. Several exposed slabs of red rock provide iconic Sedona mountainside riding!

Once past Soldier Pass, be sure to stop and view the Devil's Kitchen—an interesting rock formation reminiscent of a sinkhole. The vistas from this point are also fantastic, and as the approximate halfway point through the ride, this is a great spot to stop and enjoy a snack.

Once done enjoying the view, pedal along the Jordan Trail for a short distance until you turn right onto Javelina for the main descent.

Javelina is fast and flowy on the way down, the singletack bobbing and weaving through the pinon pines and skirting along steep hillsides. However, similar to Adobe Jack, the singletrack is mostly smooth, except for where it drops down cobblestone-style descents into the washes and then powers back out. There are a few additional spicy rock garden descents, but it's Sedona... what did you expect?

Once down at the bottom, turn around and climb Adobe Jack back up to Soldier Pass. The singletrack along the climb is smooth and pedally, wwith the only spicy bits consisting of chunky cobblestone rock sections where the trail drops into a wash and then subsequently powers back out of it (similar to Javelina). In between, the singletrack is buff and smooth.

Once back at Soldier Pass, it's time to retrace your tire tracks back along Tea Cup and Thunder Mountain to return to your car. Yes, you're in for some more climbing... but you'll also get to enjoy the descents in the opposite direction. All sections of this trail are a blast on the downhill, no matter how much you have to work for it on the climbs!

Difficulty

Severe

Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level riders.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • Drops
  • Roots
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area