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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Redcloud & Sunshine Peaks, CO

no permit
33 8 0
Guide 8 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CO > West
4.8 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 11.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 10,418 feet
Elevation Gain 3,471 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 29.16
Interest Peak
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
12  2019-09-07 DixieFlyer
6  2015-07-30 toddak
15  2012-08-21 PrestonSands
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Jun, Sep
Sun  5:57am - 6:07pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Named place Nearby

Likely In-Season!

Author Full Detail Guide
Overview: Hike up to Redcloud and Sunshine peaks then back.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a difficult hike. Arrive fit and prepared or this could get ugly.

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    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Redcloud & Sunshine Peaks
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    This hike gives you 2 peaks for the price of one.

    We hiked from the Silver Creek TH, which is right across the road from the Grizzly Gulch TH, which goes up to Handies Peak.

    There was a bit of avalanche debris on the early part of the trail, and there was a decent amount of snow left in places along the trail -- we had to walk through some snow a couple of times, but it wasn't bad.

    A mile or so into the hike a rainstorm started, and we got pretty wet. There was no ligntning or thunder though, and the storm passed by us, with clear skies behind it.

    This was a nice hike, but it was my least favorite of the 4 hikes that I did in the San Juans. We got up to Redcloud, and then had to descend to a saddle between Redcloud and Sunshine, and then regain the lost elevation by hiking up to Sunshine. Then we had to descend Sunshine, and hike back up to Redcloud from the saddle between the two. From there it was mostly downhill back to the TH.

    There were more people on the trail than there were on the other hikes that I did this week -- presumably because it was a Saturday and the TH was relatively easy to get to.
    Redcloud & Sunshine Peaks
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Colorado Trip, Day 2:

    Nick and I left the comfort of the cabin in Lake City before dawn, and retraced our previous night's drive in, past Lake San Cristobal and up the stomach churning route of the shelf road.

    We departed Silver Lake Trailhead in the chill of morning shadows, with only the peaks above bathed in warm sunlight. Into the forest we went, moving quickly. In a short time we were at timberline, where the cascading waters of Silver Creek grew louder and closer.

    Climbing steadily into a broad, sloping alpine basin, our first goal, Redcloud Peak, came into view. The high pitched squeaks of skittish pikas and the steady whistles of numerous marmots greeted us.

    Wrapping around the northern base of Redcloud, we ascended to a high saddle at 13,000 feet, where our first fourteener of the trip loomed directly above. Our switchback ascent of Redcloud Peak's colorful and rocky northeast ridge was punctuated by frequent stops to catch our breath, our bodies not yet having been acclimated. The climb eased as we reached the summit ridge, and we were soon on top of Redcloud Peak's vivid red summit. After a brief moment of celebration, Nick and I continued south toward Sunshine Peak along the magnificent mountain crest. The views were amazing.

    We were soon pushing our oxygen starved bodies up one final ascent, having dropped nearly 500 feet of elevation along the mountain crest since Redcloud. The weather forecast had held true, and the sky was clear upon our arrival at the summit of Sunshine Peak. Here we spent quite a bit of time, taking in the views, shooting photos, and enjoying the entire experience.

    Eventually we made the return trek to Redcloud Peak, where we stopped for lunch before descending. An assortment of classic San Juan peaks were briefly visible to the north as we began our descent, and a lone biker pushed his bike up the trail past us. :? Silver Creek and the area's marmots were our companions as we hiked the last few miles back to my truck under bright, sunny skies.

    After lounging at the trailhead for a bit, we drove back to Lake City, stopping along the way to see the Alferd Packer Massacre Site. Back in Lake City, we gorged on pizza at Poker Alice's restaurant and poured over maps, finalizing the next day's plan. A perfect day, for sure! :y:
    Redcloud & Sunshine Peaks
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    big first day in colorado. preston and i hiked redcloud and sunshine peaks from the silver creek trailhead. we had perfect weather all day.

    trail starts off in the forest and within about a mile drops you down to hike along lovely silver creek. after that you climb up steeply to a hidden inner tundra-like inner basin...the secret lair of the marmots. squeaking filled the air as we were told off by numerous marmot enclaves. pikas ran wild as well. this inner basin is amazing to hike through and gives you a breather before a sharp climb up to a prominent ridge that thus leads to redcloud. the climb up redcloud is pretty steep. from there we decided to go straight to sunshine, which looks sooo cool sitting out there at the end of the ridge. we chilled at sunshine for a while, then came back and had lunch at redcloud.

    a beyond perfect first day in the san juans. :y: :y: :y:

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    page created by joebartels on Sep 03 2008 5:41 pm
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