Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster (2023 Guide)

The Berkshire East Mountain Resort in the mountains of Western Massachusetts is the venue for the Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster.

The only mountain coaster of its kind in the state, this ride opened in the fall of 2014 and is one of the longest mountain coasters in North America.

The Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster is a thrilling experience that takes riders on a journey down the mountain, featuring twists, turns and breathtaking views.

If you’re looking for more information on the Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster then you have come to the right place!

In this article, we provide a comprehensive guide for anyone looking to experience this one-of-a-kind attraction so keep reading to find out more.


How Long is the Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster?

The Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster has 3,879 feet (1,183 meters) of downhill track and offers riders an exhilarating ride with multiple 360-degree loops, twists and sweeping turns as the cart makes its way down the mountain.

The total downhill ride time is about 2 minutes depending on your speed (mountain coasters are fitted with a manual brake so you’re in control of this.

The total ride time, including the cable-pulled ascent, is about seven minutes.

Interesting fact: The total length of the Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster is 5,450 (1,660m). There is an uphill section of 1,580 feet (482 meters) which takes riders from the loading area to the top of the mountain.

Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster

How Fast is the Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster?

The Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster can reach a maximum speed of 25 mp/h (40 km/h).

There is an automatic braking system that prevents the carts from going over the maximum speed.

In addition, this mountain coaster is fitted with a manual brake that lets riders control the speed of their descent.

If 25 mp/h (40 km/h) is too fast for you, you can slow the ride down to a speed that feels more comfortable.

The brake lever is located between your legs, pulling it back to engage the brakes.

It doesn’t take long to get the hang of it and before you know it you’ll be cruising down the mountain.

What is a Mountain Coaster?

If you’re unfamiliar with mountain coasters (also known as alpine coasters), check out the post we wrote.

Mountain or alpine coasters are gravity-powered roller coasters that use the natural contours of a mountain to provide riders with a thrilling downhill ride experience.

Mountain coasters are a great activity that the whole family can enjoy. However, given the nature of this ride, there are some age and height restrictions that apply.

In addition, mountain coasters are equipped with a manual brake, enabling riders to adjust their descent speed.

This unique feature allows riders to have greater control of their experience.

If things get a bit too fast for your liking you can apply the brake, if you’re more of the daredevil type then you can leave the brake untouched for maximum speed.

And finally, no prior experience or training is necessary. You can just jump in and enjoy the ride.

Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster Video

One of the great things about mountain coasters is that many people have filmed their experiences.

These videos give you an opportunity to “experience” the ride before you go on it.

The video below gives you a first-person view of what you can expect from start to finish on the Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster.

One thing to be aware of though is that point-of-view videos can be a bit misleading.

The wide-angled lens makes the drops shallower and the ride seems way slower than it is in real life.

They provide a good idea of what the ride looks like but only real-world experience tells you how they feel.

So get out there and try it for yourself!

We also came across this short documentary on the construction of the Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster.

If you’re interested in getting an insight into how mountain coasters are installed, then be sure to check it out.

How Much Does the Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster Cost?

At the time of writing, the cost to ride the Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster is as follows:

Age1 Ride3 Rides5 Rides10 Rides
Ages 3 – 5FreeFreeFreeFree
Riders (Ages 6-8)$12$29$49$94
Drivers (Ages 9+)$17$42$69$139

Due to the capacity of the ride, there are a limited number of tickets available each day.

To guarantee a ride on the mountain coaster we recommend purchasing your tickets in advance. You can do this here.

Note that a ticket doesn’t reserve a specific timeslot so you’ll need to join the queue when you want to go on the ride.

Special hours for the mountain coaster can be reserved for groups larger than 25 participants. Call 413.339.6618 for more information.

Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster Operating Hours

The Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster only operates during the summer season.

The first run in 2023 will take place in May.

Operating hours during summer are as follows:

Thursday – Friday12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Saturday – Sunday10:00 am – 5:00 pm

The ticket window closes at 4:30 pm each day.

After Labor Day, the Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster will open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Tickets can be purchased online in advance by going to the official website here.

Rider Requirements

As with any ride of this nature, there are some rider and passenger requirements that are put in place for your safety:

  • Children must be at least 3 years old and 36″ (92cm) tall.
  • The minimum height for single riders is 52″ (132cm).
  • The minimum age for single riders is 9 years old.
  • If there are two people riding together, the minimum height for the passenger is 36″ (92cm) and the driver must be at least 52″ (132cm) and 16 years or older.
  • The maximum weight per cart is 300 lbs (136kg).
  • Signed waivers are required for all riders. Riders under 18 must have a signed waiver from a parent or legal guardian.

Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster Location

The Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster is located at the Berkshire East Mountain Resort in Charlemont, Massachusets.

Address: 66 Thunder Mountain Rd, Charlemont, MA 01339

Directions to the mountain coaster can be found on the map below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Thunderbolt North America’s longest mountain coaster?

Not anymore – the Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster used to hold the title of America’s longest mountain coaster.

However, that title is now held by the Cliffside Coaster which is located at Lake Placid in New York.

What roller coaster goes through the mountains in Massachusetts?

The roller coaster that goes through the mountain in Massachusetts is known as the Thunderbolt Mountain Coaster.

Unlike traditional roller coasters, mountain coasters are gravity-powered and use the natural contours of a mountain to provide riders with a thrilling downhill ride experience.

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