Thunder River Trail / Deer Creek Trail

Trail summary

North Rim Trails


6,400 feet (1,950 m): Thunder River trailhead
7,200 feet (2,194 m): Bill Hall trailhead
2,000 feet (609 m): Colorado River


15 miles (24 km): Thunder River trailhead (Indian Hollow) to the Colorado River
12 miles (19.3 km): Bill Hall trailhead (Monument Point) to the Colorado River


Wilderness Trail

Washouts and rockslides require some route-finding skill. Hot and dry in summer. Stash water on way in for use on way out. Use instep crampons in winter.

Rumors of placer gold drew miners into the area in 1876. They constructed the upper portions of the trail, used by geologist Clarence Dutton several years later. Crews built the present trail into Tapeats Creek in 1926. Thunder River, one of the world’s shortest rivers, flows for only 0.5 mile (0.8 km) before entering Tapeats Creek.

Deer Creek Trail: Once in Surprise Valley, the Deer Creek Trail branches west (right) into Deer Creek Valley. Entering a deep narrows, the trail traverses a ledge on the west side. Leaving the narrows, it descends a talus slope to the base of the waterfall and the Colorado River.