Sunrise Peak is a relatively obscure peak in the Wasatch range. It is often overlooked since it shares the same approach as Twin Peaks
. On most topo maps Sunrise is labeled as O'Sullivan Peak. Locals refer to it as Sunrise Peak. The easiest route on the mountain is Class 3. Sunrise is the prominent mountain that comes into view approaching from Broad's Fork.
The trailhead is located in Big Cottonwood Canyon. To reach Big Cottonwood Canyon take the 6200 S exit off I215 and follow the signs east for the Brighton/Solitude ski resorts. The trailhead is located 4.5 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon from the intersection of Wasatch Blvd at the mouth of the canyon. There is a parking lot on the righthand side of the road. This parking lot also serves as the trailhead for Lake Blanche and the approach to Sundial Peak. The trail is located at the west end of the parking lot and has a sign indicating Broad's Fork.
Broads Fork Approach
The trailhead is 4.5 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon at 6200 ft. There is a well-defined trail that climbs steeply for the first two miles to the meadows at 8400 ft. Generally, the trail crosses the creek to the east and follows the east side of the valley. However, in early spring snow conditions may be such that consolidated snow may allow for easier ascent up the western side of the valley. The north face of Sunrise is in clear view the entire approach from the meadows. Continue climbing another 2 miles until directly under the north face of Sunrise. This is also where the route to Twin Peaks heads up and to the west. One may either ascent to the saddle between Twin Peaks and Sunrise and ascend the peak via the western ridge (this is a little longer route) or ascent the chute just to the east of Sunrise. This chute leads to the saddle between Sunrise and Dromedary. Climb the chute via snow or loose scree to the saddle. From the saddle climb class 3-4 ledges and blocks to the rounded summit at 11,275 feet. The north face of Sunrise offers some exposure. The easier climbing stays to the south side of the ridge.
No permits or fees are required and camping is allowed within the Twin Peaks Wilderness area. Summer weekends may present some parking challenges.
When To Climb
The general climbing season is June-September, however, the mountain can be climbed all year. Winter ascents present avalanche danger and only experienced mountaineers should attempt the peak in winter. Late spring ascents are recommended once the snow has consolidated and the final snow has broken off the slabs east of Twin Peaks. Crampons and ice axe are recommended for winter or late spring ascents.
Camping is allowed within the Twin Peaks Wilderness area. Camping at the meadows within 2 miles of the trailhead is usually preferred.
The Triple Traverse
Twin Peaks, Sunrise and Dromedary can be climbed in one day from the Broads Fork trailhead. It is a long day at 11 miles and 6000 ft elevation gain. All 3 peaks can be climbed either west to east or east to west. Generally, the traverse is done beginning with Twin Peaks on the west and ending on Dromedary.
From upper Broad's Fork follow the standard route for Twin Peaks to the Twin Peaks/Sunrise saddle. Continue up the southwestern ridge to Twin Peaks. Return to the saddle and ascend the west ridge of Sunrise to it's summit. Descend Sunrise's east ridge to reach the Sunrise/Dromedary saddle. This point provides a good option to end the traverse if inclimate weather or fatigue becomes an issue. If conditions and stamina are good, drop slightly down to the southeast from the Dromedary/Sunrise saddle. Contour to a small couloir and ascend the couloir to Dromedary's summit. Either return to the Dromedary/Sunrise saddle or descend the east slopes of Dromedary and contour underneath the north face of Dromedary on talus or snow.