Capitol Butte in Sedona Arizona

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Capitol Butte

Also known as “Thunder Mountain” Capitol Butte forms one of the highest summits in Sedona. It is said to have been the inspiration for Disneyland’s Southwest-themed ride Thunder Mountain Railroad. Visitors arrive to the area in awe of Capitol Butte’s strong presence, as it towers over many of the other mountains and rock formations in Sedona.

  • Capitol Butte A.K.A. “Thunder Mountain” is one of the highest peaks in Sedona 
  • Thunder Mountain is rumored to have been Walt Disney’s inspiration for the ride Thunder Mountain Railroad. 
  • There is system of trails at the base of Thunder Mountain open to hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

What can I do and see at Capitol Butte?

Views of Capitol Butte:
Capitol Butte becomes visible as you enter Sedona from Hwy 179 and intersect at Hwy 89a. One of the best spots to view Capitol Butte is atop Airport Mesa, located in the heart of Sedona.

Trails Near Capitol Butte: 

  • Thunder Mountain Trail, Chimney Rock Loop, Sugarloaf Loop and Summit 
  • Accessible via Thunder Mountain Trailhead the above-mentioned trails are apart of a system of connecting trails that offer a few different hiking options. 
  • A short and easy loop hike can be made using the Lower Chimney Rock Trail and the southern portion of Thunder Mountain Trail. 
  • For a moderate hike and great 360-degree view, take Summit Trail from the loop to Chimney Rock Vista. 
  • A moderate figure 8 trail is formed by Chimney Rock Pass Trail and Thunder Mountain Trail.

*If this all seems a bit confusing, don’t worry, there is a trail map at the trailhead, as well as clearly marked signs along the trail.


  • Hiking 
  • Biking 
  • Horseback riding 
  • Dog Friendly 
  • Wildlife Watching

Where is Capitol Butte?

From the Hwy 179/Hwy 89a intersection head southwest on 89a, turn right onto Dry Creek Road, right at Thunder Mountain Rd, drive about 4.3 miles and trailhead parking will be on the left.

When is Capitol Butte open?

The trails are open year-round.

How much does Capitol Butte cost?

To park a vehicle at the trailhead you will need to purchase a Red Rock Pass at either the Red Rock Ranger District on your way into town or at one of the vendors or self-serve machines in town.

  • Day pass- $5
  • Week pass- $15
  • Year pass- $20

Who can I call if I have more questions?

For all trail, pass, and wilderness related questions contact the Red Rock Ranger District at (928) 282-4119