Society of Explorers and Adventurers Wiki

This article is about the in-universe location. For the attraction that takes place there, see Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Big Thunder Mountain is a mountain range in the Western River Valley of Arizona. It is the setting of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at the Disney Parks.


Big Thunder Mountain is a large mountain-range in Arizona composed of several peaks and rock features. There are several different peaks and smaller mountains making up the range which are colloquially known as, "Big Thunder Mountain" rather than having distinguishing names from one another. The mountain is home to the Spirit of Big Thunder (also known as the Thunderbird), which is highly vengeful to those who


  • Rivers of the Far West: The Rivers of the Far West are a series of rivers found south of Thunder Mesa, Arizona. While predominately found in the vicinity of Thunder Mesa, the rivers connect to the other towns and colonies of the region.


  • Thunder Mesa: A mining colony which was established in 1848 by Henry Ravenswood and which was the original home of the Big Thunder Mining Company. It has a long and bloody history due largely to the evil actions of Henry Ravenswood leading to the town holding a great number of malicious spirits, curses and haunted locales.
  • Tumbleweed: Tumbleweed is a mining town established c. 1880 by the Big Thunder Mining Company. It was relatively small and suffered from both droughts and flash-floods.
  • Rainbow Ridge: Rainbow Ridge was a mining-town founded in 1869 and in 1879 became a new outpost for the Big Thunder Mining Company. It was located along the riverside and constantly suffered from extreme accidents and earthquakes.
  • Stillwater Junction: Stillwater Junction is a town which was established prior to the 1880s and which was connected to the other settlements via the Rivers of the Far West.

Thunder Mesa Region[]

  • Big Thunder Island: An island in the Rivers of the Far West which holds the mountain-peak where the Big Thunder Mining Company made its original operations.
  • Geyser Plateau: The Geyser Plateau was a rock-plateau of geysers and fossils from the Cretaceous era located outside of Boot Hill.
  • Rainbow Arch:

Tumbleweed Region[]

  • Dave V. Jones' Mine:

Rainbow Ridge Region[]

  • Bear River Trestle Bridge:[1]
  • Big Thunder Gorge:
  • Big Thunder & Little Thunder Falls:
  • Busted Flats:
  • Coyote Canyon:
  • Dinosaur Gap: Dinosaur Gap is a rock gap nearby Rainbow Ridge's station for the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad which was so named due to the skeleton of a tyrannosaurus rex being fossilized in the rock-work overhead of the trains.
  • The Living Desert:
  • The Nevermine:
  • Rainbow Caverns:
  • Spiral Butte:


The mountains were formed thousands of years ago by the natural forces of the world. Indigenous groups settled in the areas, believing that the mountains were guarded by a spirit. When white settlers began to move into the areas, they were warned that the spirit was not kind to fortune finders and the greedy. Their warnings fell onto deaf ears the moment gold was discovered in the mountains. The Big Thunder Mining Company was formed in 1849 in the town of Thunder Mesa, when Barnabas T. Bullion received a land grant. Years later, the towns of Rainbow Ridge and Tumbleweed were established for similar purposes.

Soon, the towns suffered several natural disasters. Thunder Mesa was hit by a massive earthquake in 1860. Rainbow Ridge suffered from an earthquake, and Tumbleweed was hit by droughts and floods. Despite the risk, the mining continued, even as the populations dwindled.


Big Thunder Mountain Railroad[]

At the Magic Kingdom, a painting of the mountains can be found in the queue (see above). It is an amalgamation of all of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroads around the world, implying that they're all apart of the same mountain range.

Phantom Manor[]

The mountains can be seen in the background of Phantom Canyon, where all of the souls who died in the earthquake at Thunder Mesa are forced to reside.

Disney Kingdoms[]

The mountains are located in Arizona, like the attraction. Abigail Bullion travels deep into the mountains to learn more about the mining.


Adventurers Club[]

During Barnabas T. Bullion's mining-operations, the Adventurers Club member Madame Zarkov at the Museum of the Weird would insist he cease his mining due to the spirits of the land.

Discovery Bay[]

In the backstory for the proposed Discovery Bay land, it would have been constructed by former Big Thunder miner and inventor Jason Chandler. After a cave-in Chandler was presumed dead but secretly survived with gold from the mountain which he used to construct his colony of Discovery Bay in California.

Haunted Mansion[]

The Museum of the Weird originates from a proposed but unbuilt expansion for Disneyland's Haunted Mansion.


  • Big Thunder's peak in Tumbleweed is formed to look similar to an Indigenous American chief.[2]