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Redcloud and Sunshine Peaks

HARD 58 reviews

Redcloud and Sunshine Peaks is a 11.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Silverton, Colorado and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 11.9 miles Elevation Gain: 4,553 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

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snowshoeing

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long trail, about 12 miles round trip. Trail rises gently for about the first half of the hike. You'll be in the shade of the trees for about the first mile or so. After you get out of the trees you hike up the valley into the basin. The basin still rises gently and has a lot of great views. Beware the false summit when you're in the basin. Once you get to the end of the basin it begins to switch back to the saddle. When you get close to the saddle, you will see the real summit. Once you get to the saddle it rises fast switch backing up the ridge. At the false summit it levels out for a few hundred feet and gives you a welcomed break just before the summit. At the summit you can see Sunshine Peak. The saddle is around a mile long and has some steep sections and some flat sections on it. At the bottom of the saddle there is a trail that goes into the basin to the west. There are signs that tell you not to go into the basin that way. when you get to the top of Sunshine there is a trail that goes off the other side down into the same basin, if you don't want to hike back up Redcloud this is a good route to take, just be carefull. The saddle between the peaks gives you more elevation gain than just hiking to the top of Redcloud, especially if you hike back across the saddle and up Redcloud again.

hiking
rocky
snow
3 months ago

hiking
blowdown
rocky
3 months ago

One of the best valleys I have seen. I climbed Handies five years ago and remember this drive. Lake city is amazing and has everything pre trip you might forget. The peaks are far apart but easy hiking.

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked this on 8/26/19. Decided to take the non-standard route and go up Sunshine first. The trail is really washed out from avalanches this past winter, so make sure you pay attention. I would only recommend the non-standard route if you have GPS and are fairly experienced. Once thru the valley you need to do some technical scrambling up to the ridge which is more like class 3 than class 2 - fun but tricky! Very windy up top. Great views but preferred the views from Handies, which starts at the same trailhead.

hiking
5 months ago

I did this last year with a good friend. The tail up to Red-Cloud was near prefect for my first 14er. Wild flowers, beautiful scenery a tad rocky ( which I noticed much more on the way down! ) I absolutely loved Red-Cloud! I was not as thrilled with Sunshine, which looks MUCH closer then it is and was fairly precarious on the loose rocks all in all I still rate this one of my favorite memories! just know that when you're about to set out on the saddle and someone says it's just across the way, you're practically there... That is sarcasm & they are lying!

hiking
5 months ago

Trailhead Approach: We drove up to the trailhead and camped in our car the night before. The road up was in good shape, passable by most vehicles, despite the road having been washed out in a few places two weeks prior. Road crew was working on drainage in a few spots but otherwise in fine condition. Climb: We opted to get a very early start (3:15 am) and completed the valley portion of the hike, all the way up to the first saddle, in the dark. Stars were beautiful. Crossed a few very small snow debris fields. Trail was a little hard to follow in a few spots due to debris. Overall, the trail up to the first saddle was gradual and pleasant. From here to the summit of Redcloud the trail was well-maintained and quite enjoyable. Redcloud summit just after sunrise was beautiful. Proceeded from here to Sunshine. Traverse was about a mile and a half. Beautiful views looking southeast especially, from the Sunshine summit. Returning, we regained the summit of Redcloud, and then made our way back. As an aside, from the first saddle below Redcloud you can, instead, turn left towards a few of Colorado’s Centennial 13ers. Overall this has been our favorite 14er hike. Total distance for us: 12.5 miles

hiking
Sat Sep 22 2018

One of my favorite 14er hikes. Mid-sept is a great time of year to hike with the great temps and changing aspens. I stayed on the main trail and did the out-and-back from Sunshine; didn’t follow any shortcuts (seriously bad erosion happening and unnecessary steepness). My round trip clocked in at 13miles, 7.5 hours.

Tue Aug 14 2018

Gorgeous views of the San Juans! You can see Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre from both summits. Traverse from Redcloud to Sunshine was relatively easy with a well defined trail. Had to summit Redcloud again to return and there were a few false summits on the way back but the traverse was one of the easier ones I’ve done. Only took about half an hour each way to traverse. The entire trail was pretty gradual which made it one of the easier fourteeners I’ve done. Nice thing about this one is you can get two done in a day easily. Tracker logged 11.5 miles with both peaks.

hiking
Fri Jul 13 2018

Absolutely Stunning! The peak of RedCloud is a dramatic rusty orange landscape with nothing visible but mountains as far the eye can see (no towns etc). Feels like you’re on another planet! The hike is mostly mellow and meandering (for a 14er) but there are some steep scree sections near the top which are challenging, especially on the way down (especially in Chacos)! A long drive from the front range but highly recommended!

Thu Jul 12 2018

Last mile is the hardest

Tue Jul 10 2018

It was a perfect hike for my 1 year old pup and I! The weather was amazing and only had some shadowing clouds in the late afternoon! After the Sunshine summit, the trail down the skree was intense and was hard to get down with my dog. The trail down it is advised to look for cairns but follow the stream down and it should lead back to the trail. With this app's GPS I was able to find the loop's trail easy. A great first 14-er for the pup and I!

hiking
Mon Jun 25 2018

Great hike! Hiked it on 6/23 - snow free. Typically if you do both you come back over Redcloud. We did not, and instead went down the Northwest Ridge of Sunshine. It’s a relatively easy route, but make sure you don’t descend from the saddle between Redcloud and Sunshine. It looks like a route and there are some faint trails, but it is not easy; it’s super steep, super loose and will dead end in a lot of places. We saw a group get stuck and have to climb back up.

hiking
Thu Aug 20 2015

Easy but long ;)

hiking
Sat Aug 09 2014

Nice way to bag two 14ers in one day. Not all that difficult. Just a walk up.

skiing
Mon Dec 03 2012

These peaks make for an excellent spring ski/snowboard. Starting from Redcloud, I snowboarded about 1000 feet down the east face. Next, I regained the ridge and hiked over to Sunshine. I snowboarded down to the saddle between Sunshine and the unnamed 13er to the northwest. A somewhat precarious ridge traverse puts you on the summit of the 13er. From there, a beautiful couloir on the west face gives you over 2000 feet of spring corn down to the creek, just a mile or two from the car.

hiking
Wed Oct 20 2010

Hiked at the beginning of August. The trail was beautiful and the view of the San Juans from the top is amazing. There were a few people on the trail but it wasn't as crowded as most of the other 14ers I've done. Made it to the top of Redcloud around 11:00. Saw some weather coming in but no lighning so we decided to push on to Sunshine. Made it to the top of Sunshine in a blizzard. Stayed at the summit just long enought to get a few pictures and a short snack. By the time we made it back to the top of Redcloud the weather was gone and the sun was shinning again. Saw a few marmmots on the way down. Made it back to camp around 3:30.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

recorded Redcloud and Sunshine Peaks

hiking
4 months ago

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4 months ago

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4 months ago

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5 months ago

running
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

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