Sunshine Peak - From Redcloud Peak
Climbing mountains is dangerous! Please read the Mountaineering Safety Page and make sure you have a map+compass and can use them effectively. A GPS or cell phone can be very helpful with navigation but you should still be able to use a map+compass in case your device stops working.
(WINTER) HOLD ON! If you don't have much high-elevation, winter climbing experience, be careful in your planning and take a partner. Even the "easy" 14ers (Quandary, Sherman, Grays & Torreys) can be deadly in winter.
|Difficulty:|| Class 2 |
|Trailhead:||Silver Crk/Grizzly Gulch|
|Total Gain:||4,800 feet|
|RT Length:||12.25 miles|
|USGS Quad.:||Redcloud Peak|
|County Sheriff:||Hinsdale: 970-944-2291
From Lake City, drive about 2 miles south on Colorado 149 and turn right on County Road 30 toward Lake San Cristobal and Cinnamon Pass. From the start of the 30 road, it's nearly 16 miles to the trailhead. Stay right near 11.8 miles. After 12.5 miles the road becomes more rough, and between 13 and 14.5 miles it's a shelf road that hugs the south side of Sunshine Peak. Before 16 miles, reach the trailhead in an open area. Parts of this road are rough, but when it's dry good-clearance 2WD vehicles should be able to get to the trailhead.
Follow Redcloud Peak Route #1 to the summit of Redcloud. Sunshine is 1.5 miles to the south and there is a trail between the two peaks - Photo #1. Hike south off of the Redcloud summit and follow the trail (Photo #2) as it mostly stays on the right side of the ridge - Photo #3. Hike over a couple of bumps on the ridge as the trail stays near 13,800' with Sunshine in full view - Photo #4. After passing unnamed Point 13,841', descend toward the Redcloud-Sunshine saddle - Photo #5 and Photo #6. Reach the 13,500-foot saddle ( 37.92852° N, -107.42367° W) where the remaining hike is fairly obvious - Photo #7.
To reach the summit, you must now hike 500' of elevation along Sunshine's North Ridge. Leave the saddle and follow the trail past some rugged points (Photo #8) where you will be able to peer down some ugly terrain. Reach a flat spot ( 37.92534° N, -107.42582° W) near 13,700' where the remaining route up the North Ridge is obvious - Photo #9. Follow a rough trail to the summit ( 37.922604° N, -107.425606° W). Photo #10 looks north from the top. On your descent, return over Redcloud. Do not descend west off of the Redcloud-Sunshine saddle because the terrain is steep, loose, and dangerous. If you must descend from the saddle, traverse northwest along the slope for a bit before dropping down the easiest terrain that you can find. This entire slope is covered with scree and loose rock.
This is a long hike with 550' of elevation gain on your return over Redcloud Peak.
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