Sunshine Peak

 Via Redcloud Peak
Difficulty Class 2 
Risk FactorsExposure: Moderate
Rockfall Potential: Moderate  
Route-Finding: Low  
Commitment: Considerable  
Start10,400 feet
Summit14,004 feet
Total Gain4,800 feet
RT Length12.25 miles
Last UpdatedOct 2022
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First, take Highway 149 to Lake City. 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.


This is the best way to get Redcloud and Sunshine together. Some people choose to do a "loop" of both peaks by using Sunshine's northwest face route but the easiest (and safest) way to get both is to hike Redcloud, traverse to Sunshine and return over Redcloud on your descent. Yes, there's some re-gain to get back to Redcloud but it's still the best option.

Follow the Redcloud Peak - Northeast Ridge Route to the summit of Redcloud. Sunshine is 1.5 miles to the south and there is a trail between the two peaks - 1. Hike south from the Redcloud summit and follow a trail along the right side of the ridge - 2, 3 and 4. After passing unnamed Point 13,841', descend to the Redcloud-Sunshine saddle , at 13,500' - 5, 6 and 7.

To reach the summit, you must gain 500 feet of elevation along Sunshine's north ridge. Leave the saddle and hike past some rugged points ( 8) to reach a flat spot , near 13,700' - 9. Follow the trail to the summit - 10. For your descent, return over Redcloud. Do not descend west off of the Redcloud-Sunshine saddle because the terrain is steep, loose, and dangerous.


Doing a complete loop of the two peaks? Ok, if you want to hike both Redcloud and Sunshine without returning over Redcloud, you're going to have to do a bit of research on Sunshine's Northwest Face Route which can be used as your descent or ascent route, depending on if you're doing the loop clockwise or counter-clockwise. Ascending Sunshine's NW face first (counter-clockwise loop) makes for easier route-finding when you get to the gully which connects the South Fork basin to Sunshine's NW face. If you do Redcloud first and descend Sunshine's NW face (clockwise loop), you need to make sure you get the correct descent gully from the base of Sunshine's NW face. Study the NW face route photos so you know what to look for when you approach the gully.
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10

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