Statistics: mileage 8 1/2 miles, ascent 1400′
Thunder Mountain is the dominant feature overlooking Silver Lake, with extensions that can be seen as legs, tail, ridged back, head and mouth of a very large dragon. Kids always get a kick out of this geology. This day, we were once again hiking in the smoke from all the fires in the area but had a great walk anyway. My hiking friends for this hike were Lynda Sorrick, her granddaughter Sophia, Deborah Kulisch and Alexa Lay. Prior to the hike we shuttled a car to the end of the trail at the north end of Silver Lake, then returned to the Thunder Mountain Trailhead about two miles north of Silver Lake. The trail starts uphill immediately and finally eases a bit as the trail breaks out of the trees (below) and toward the crest of Thunder Mountain.
The ascent continued and the views just got better and better, even with the smoke.
This is a dog friendly trail, but it requires that water is packed in for any dogs as there is no water until the downhill portion of the trail, towards the end of the hike. (Take care of everything that is taken in!)
Near the top of Thunder Mountain is a striking bowl often filled with high mountain wildflowers.
Unfortunately, swarming, flying red ants at the mountain’s top forced us to grab a few quick pictures and leave quickly. Yes, that is Silver Lake behind Alexa, our house/cabin guest from Mexico City.
In completing the loop back to the Thunder Mountain Trail trailhead, we followed Horse Canyon Trail for a span and found another lush area of wildflowers.