Thunder Butte Hike

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
2.5-3.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
8.0 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
447 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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Directions to Trailhead

The Thunder Butte Hike is an epic outdoor excursion for those who don’t mind blazing their own trail. This trail is overgrown and primitive, so it is very hard to follow, but if you have the trail GPS and a keen sense of adventure, you will enjoy this expedition into the wilderness.

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Route Description for Thunder Butte Hike

Experience the stunning Colorado wilderness on the Thunder Butte Trail. Hike through grassy meadowlands, under pine forest shade and up a rocky ridge to the summit overlooking the surrounding wilderness. This path is almost entirely exposed, so be prepared for windy weather as you gain elevation. Additionally, parts of this path were burned in the Hayman Fire. Hike through the eerie burn and notice the scorched trees. As we mentioned, this trail is not well marked. We recommend using the trail GPS to help you navigate the hike.

Departing from the trailhead, the Thunder Butte Trail tracks northeast through a vast meadow. Walk through the open plains and admire the rolling mountains that line the horizon. Hike the route as you near the pine forest. Here you will notice the left-over burn and new vegetation that has begun to grow in the area. Hike through the pine woodlands and you will encounter a junction. At this point, you can complete the loop up to Thunder Butte Mountain from either direction, but we recommend going clockwise. Take the rocky path up through the sparse tree coverage. Travel northwest up to the summit of Thunder Butte. Enjoy the spectacular vistas of the mountainous Colorado landscape from the overlook.

Once you are through admiring the scenery, track southeast down the mountainside. Hike down the saddle and curve southwest. Eventually, you will meet back at the intersection. From this point, retrace your steps along the Thunder Butte meadow trail back to the parking lot.

Getting to the Thunder Butte Hike Trailhead

Find the Thunder Butte Trailhead off W 9-J Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Dispersed backcountry camping, restrictions apply.

  • When to do

    April-October

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Poor

  • Crowd Levels

    Low

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

Thunder Butte Hike Elevation Graph

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Thunder Butte Hike Reviews

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