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Thumper Loop (Cottonwood)

Average Rating:    (3.71 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 14

The Thumper Loop is actually comprised of portions of three trails: Raptor, Thumper, and Lime Kiln. The Raptor singletrack starts out rocky and rolling for about a quarter-mile, then a steep pitch, "the Evil Hill", appears. This is a real tester, and just about everyone has occasionally pushed their bike up this one (although it can be ridden in the middle ring). But, it's the steepest climb on the entire trail. After this, it's basically a 2 mile grind to the top. Halfway up the climb, you'll go over a cattle guard. At the top, you'll see a bunch of trail signs. Take a right. This is Thumper. Designed by mountain bikers, this section is mostly downhill. Just as the trail gets fun, you'll come to another cattle guard. NOW things start to heat up! The trail is rocky and loose. Small molded bunnies alert you at the hardest technical sections. Beginners will walk these sections, experts will laugh with glee as they fly down 'em. Then you'll come to a sandy doubletrack. Go right. This is Lime Kiln. Although not as "downhilly" as Thumper, it has some fast descending sections. First comes the sand, which gradually solidifies into small rocky dropoffs. Go left at the first fork with the Carsonite (NO Cars) marker. The terrain varies a lot, with sections like "the Stairsteps", and "the Chalk Chute". When you come to the next fork, go right. The trail runs to the right, past the Ranger residences, finally ending in a nice 2-3 foot dropoff that dumps you out onto the Park's main road. Go immediately right, then take the second right to get back to your car.
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Latitude
34.76271581041439
Longitude
-112.01647281646728
Trail Directions
The trailhead is at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, Arizona. There are brown signs directing visitors to DHRSP from many adjacent communities, and numerous signs in Cottonwood itself. The Park is in central Cottonwood, just off of Main Street. (Call 928-634-5283.) There is a $5 per carload fee to enter the park (which entitles you to use of the astonishingly clean shower facilities), and camping is available. Because Sedona is nearby (25 minute drive), Dead Horse Ranch is an excellent place to camp ($12 & $19 per night, RV hookups available) and make daily riding expeditions to Sedona's many trails. However, as long as you're at the Park, you should ride Thumper. Take the second left after entering the Park, and park in the first parking area to your right. The trailhead is clearly visible from there, a kiosk with a large map and sage trail advice. Free maps are available at the entry station/visitor center. A couple of the Park Rangers actually ride, and will be happy to provide visitors with detailed trail info. Bike & Bean (928-284-0210) and Absolute Bikes (928-284-1242) in the Village of Oak Creek are the nearest bike shops.
Trail Length
9 miles, 31-70 minutes, depending
Trail Level
Intermediate
Trail Type
Singletrack
City/County
Sedona
Web Address
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (14 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
December 11, 2011

Overall Rating
 2 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 1 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: Dirt Dude ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Overrated on all but one the earlier reviews. With recent trail work done by self titled volunteers(peeps that cant ride technical), the thumper loop has really been dumbed down. Some of the hills may still seem steep to beginners but all the technical challenges have been taken out. If you are looking for technical challenges don't waste your time. I used to think Cosmic Ray underrated this trail system 5 years ago but now with the modifications done I would say he has it over rated. All this being said I agree it is a real good place for teaching beginner mountain bikers

Recommended Route:
One reviewer mentioned Rust Bucket. If you want semi technical, ride that in clockwise, if you want it easier ride counter clockwise. Even the North Raptor portion of the trail has been dumbed down other than the elevation climb so I would suggest going up Rust Bucket and down North Raptor.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
People rag on Sedona but it really does have something for everyone. Hard technical to easy. Plus its very pleasant to look at. I avoid Sedona on the weekends but if you can squeeze in a weekday ride by all means dont cheat yourself. Make some friends in the VV, there are some "private trails" they may share with you.



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Review Date
November 8, 2011

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: Randy Victory ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
As Dead Horse Ranch State Park has been developed, trailwork's been done, and budgets have changed the descriptions and fees mentioned here have changed somewhat. It now costs $7 per vehicle to get into the Park, $3 to ride in. Here is the revised trail description:
The Thumper Loop is actually comprised of portions of three trails: Raptor, Thumper, and Lime Kiln. It's basically a 2 1/2 mile grind to the top of Lower Raptor. There, you'll see a bunch of trail signs. Take a right. This is Thumper. Designed by mountain bikers, this section is mostly downhill. Just as the trail gets fun, you'll come to another cattle guard. NOW things start to heat up! The trail is rocky and loose. Beginners will walk these sections, experts will laugh with glee as they fly down 'em. The former sandy sections have had major trail work done, and are now MUCH more hardened & faster. Then you'll come to doubletrack. Go right. This is Lime Kiln. Although not as "downhilly" as Thumper, it has some fast descending sections. Go left at the fork with the wooden motorized vehicle choke point. The terrain varies a lot, with sections such as "the Stairsteps. When you come to the next fork, go left. The trail also runs to the right, past the Ranger shop/residences, but has been pulverized to a powdery consistancy by heavy equestrian traffic. Either way leads to the main park road, and a short climb up Roadrunner Road leads back to the restroom/parking lot.

Recommended Route:
The preferred trailhead is the Raptor Hill Trailhead at the top of Roadrunner Road in the park. This trailhead offers a little shade and a restroom with actual flush toilets.
As of 2011, there is a new, additional option when riding this trail! (Finally, after more than a decade!) Take a LEFT when coming to the intersection of Thumper & Raptor Hill Trails. Go about 1/8 of a mile down some doubletrack, and go RIGHT into a wash. This is UPPER Raptor. 2 1/4 miles up, look for a fork leading to the LEFT. This is Rust Bucket. Rust Bucket winds around a little bitgoes downhill a couple of miles and hooks up with Forest Service Road 258. Take a right and this will lead back to the Dead Horse Trail System. A map is posted on the large 2-panel "kiosk". From there you can shoot over to Thumper and finish the Loop in is what's best termed "the traditional way". If you parked at the trailhead at the top of Roadrunner Road, then it'll end up being a figure 8 around 14.4 miles long by the time you get back to the car.



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Review Date
January 10, 2009

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 2 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: tmwjr777 ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
Good place to ride during the winter when things are snowy and muddy in N. A.Z. Plus it's way too hot there in summer anyhow. This is a decent ride but short, deffinately would'nt crack my top 10 or 15 rides in N. A.Z. though. Other reviews say this can be a little sandy in sections, that is a gross understatement. If it has'nt rained in a few weeks skip this one, unless you like feeling like you're riding on the beach. If it wasn't for the fun drops and stuff, I would'nt even waste my time with this one.

Recommended Route:
Same as everyone else says......clockwise loop.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Anything in Prescott, Sedona(V.O.C.), or Flagstaff blows this place away!!



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Review Date
February 12, 2004

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: tfrandal ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
What a terrific alternative to Sedona! Was two miles into a Sedona ride and just could not take being sandwitched in between residential development and the wilderness boundry. Sedona is over rated, over developed, and over run with a disney like atmosphere. The sound of a jack hammer carving out another building site into the red rock was just too much. I scrapped the Sedona ride and headed to Dead Horse State Park. The trail is pretty much summed up by the preceeding reviews. There is something for all types of riders and skill levels. Ranger Randy Victory has put together a great map of the trails. He is modest but proud of the trails, his map, his sweet cannondale and the fact he can ride the loop in 45 minutes. Very helpful guy. When the flagstaff trails are snowed in I plan to ride these trails every few weeks. A fun and challenging ride where a guy can have a little solitude. Nice views of Tuzigoot and Mingus.

Recommended Route:
Up Raptor and down Thumper in a clockwise direction.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Ranger Randy suggested riding the Thumper Loop then heading out Bones to Pecks Lake and back 89A. This is a 21 mile ride.



Comments
tmwjr777 (01/10/2009)
Sedona is not "over rated"!!!! So it's not in the middle of nowhere, who cares?!?! It's all about the trails, I've ridden Moab, Colorado, Nevada, etc...... VIllage of Oak Creek has some of the best trails in the western U.S., not just A.Z. I enjoy nature as much as the next guy, but I ride to have fun on my bike, mother nature is just a secondary bonus. The Sedona hype IS real, don't listen to this dude.
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Review Date
December 13, 2003

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by:  ,  Downhiller , from Camino

Summary:
Not bad. Climbing up the first part isn't difficult, it's not overly steep(but it has a few small sections that are) though. Thumper is fun, a few technical areas that are nice. Then there is Lime Kiln, and it's kind of like a mini "Porcupine Rim". Double track but really fun in places, dropoffs, etc. Nothing on these trails is bad, it can all be rolled, but a beginner will freeze up on some of the little drops and rocky areas. It's a nice loop though, especially to get away from the crowd at sedona. Not bad at all though, there's other stuff in cottonwood, and in the general area.

Recommended Route:
Clockwise.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Mingus Mtn Downhill...fun to do it once, not sure if I'd do it more than once, really nasty and technical trail at the top though.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (14 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

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