Imlay, Nevada: Thunder Mountain Park

RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Report

Address:
Frontage Rd, Imlay, NV
Directions:
I-80 exit 145, turn east, then turn left onto Star Peak Rd. Drive straight as the road turns to gravel and Thunder Mountain is ahead on the left.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights
Thunder Mountain Park. Thunder Mountain Park
Sprawling habitat of junk sculpture, the life's work of the late Frank Van Zant, aka "Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder." Roadsideamerica.com Report... [02/23/2009]

Visitor Tips and News About Thunder Mountain Park

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Thunder Mountain. Thunder Mountain Park

We were driving down I-80 and saw this on the side. My husband said, "Wanna pull over?" Heck yes! It's easy to get to and quite fun and interesting. Worth it just to see the brick house structure with windows made out of windshields. Met a nice couple there and borrowed their cute little dog, Pez, for a picture with our dog, Zolie.

[Lisa Gorog, 06/27/2014]
Odd folk art at Thunder Mountain. Thunder Mountain Park

Thunder Mountain Park -- this place is great!

[Kristen Rainville, 05/12/2014]

The folk art constructions of the late Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder continue to gracefully degrade in the desert heat of Nevada.

Thunder Mountain. Thunder Mountain Park

I have driven by this on countless trips between Reno and Battle Mountain and finally took the time to stop and check it out. Definitely worth a stop to see all the strange art the original owner amassed and built a home out of. The sky and mountains around it make for wonderful photo opportunities.

[Christy Shelton, 08/15/2013]
Indian sculpture at Thunder Mountain. Thunder Mountain Park

Not a tip, so much as a cultural history reference:

In the late 1970s, during the Darkness on the Edge of Town tour, Bruce Springsteen was fond of introducing his song "Thunder Road" by relating the story of his visit to Thunder Mountain with friend and fellow E Street Band guitarist Steve Van Zant (no relation to the monument's creator).

In one recording of a live concert from 1980 that I have, Springsteen describes finding the monument by accident during a cross country car trip, and seeing there a statue of Geronimo with a sign that read "Welcome to America, the land of peace, love justice and no mercy." Up ahead, he continued, "the sign post read "Thunder Road" ... (I'll leave it to those who know the song to now cue in their imaginations the amazing piano opening).

When I happened upon the monument in 1985, also by accident during a cross country car trip, I immediately recognized it as the site Springsteen was talking about. I was disappointed, though, not to find any statue of Geronimo nor any sign about American mercy.

[J.B., 01/22/2009]

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September 21, 2014

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