Sunshine Peak

East Ridge
Difficulty Class 2 
Risk FactorsExposure: Moderate
Rockfall Potential: Considerable  
Route-Finding: Considerable  
Commitment: Moderate  
TrailheadMill Creek
Start9,450 feet
Summit14,004 feet
Total Gain4,600 feet
RT Length7.00 miles
Last UpdatedOct 2022
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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. On the 30 Road, drive approx. 10.9 miles to reach the Mill Campground on the left. To hike Sunshine Peak, walk across the road and look for a trail which starts next to a green utility box.


Sunshine's east ridge is often climbed in Spring when the road is not open to the standard, Silver Creek trailhead. It requires nearly as much elevation gain as the standard Redcloud+Sunshine combination route and the first 2,500' of elevation is on a steep, rugged slope.

Near the entrance to the Mill Creek campground ( 1), locate the start of the trail at a green utility box, approx. 50 yards up the road and on the north side - 2. After a short distance, the trail turns east and traverses below some rock outcroppings before turning west and ascending broad ledges - 3. Follow trail segments and/or cairns to reach the end of a ledge, before a gully - 4. Turn right here and continue north up steep, forested terrain ( 5) and a couple of talus fields ( 6 and 7) to reach easier terrain, near 11,600'. Continue northwest to reach tree line, near 12,000' - 8.

Gain the crest of the east ridge and turn left for your first view of the summit - 9 and 10. Hike west along the ridge to reach a flat spot at 12,500' - 11. Continue west/northeast and ascend a large ridge bump ( 12, 13 and 14 to reach 13,300' on the narrowing ridge - 15. Follow the Class 2 ridge ( 16 and 17) to a small, 13,600-foot saddle, below the final pitch - 18. Ascend the final 400' by staying on or right of the ridge crest ( 19, 20 and 21) to reach Sunshine's summit - 22 and 23.


#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20 #21 #22 #23

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