With 14ers.com fall gathering; family and dogs and I traversed from Redcloud, perfect day
Four hours and twenty six minutes from the bridge by the campground to the summit. I absolutely would NOT recommend this trail for the descent sans snow unless you have climbing poles as it is very steep (few switchbacks) and occasionally covered in round gravel and pinecones making for treacherous footing. The area above treeline on the grass was not cairned (use your best judgement) but the talus section was excellent. I walked over to Redcloud next.
Sunshine Peak's days as a 14er are limited. 14,001' and propped up by a stone cairn, erosion will eventually reclassify it. A 1.3 mile scenic ridge-line traverse with what started out as rain turning into something worse. Equipped for the slow progress in the clouds, Redcloud offered a retraceable 500' steady ascent preferable to wet steep scree in the saddle.
Highly recommend going up the Northwest Face and down the standard route via Redcloud. Did Handies via American Basin after for a very satisfying day in the mountains :)
Just under 2 hours out and back from Redcloud.
Climbed Redcloud from Grizzly Gulch/Silver Creek via north face. Great snow climb while in the shade. Bagged Sunshine via the ridge from Redcloud. Aptly named as the snow warmed up under the intense sunshine. Postholing was a fair price to pay for the fun glissades.
I walked the ridge from Redcloud with Kate, who was from Gunnison. We chatted on the summit of Sunshine for a bit since the wind had died down. The view down the southwest slope was amazing. I left the summit at 2:50 and reached Redcloud peak summit at 3:40. I can take briskly to catch up to the others and met them half way down the trail. We ran into Wayne about a mile up from the bottom of the trail - no luck with the tire repair. We returned to the TH at 6 PM.
Hike through the basin was nice. Wind, clouds and rain picked up on the switchbacks. Didn't even stop for a photo on Redcloud; just kept walking out towards Sunshine. But there were only clouds and wind, getting colder by the minute. Visibility at both summits only 40'. Sleet (horizontal, but fortunately at our backs) started on return to Redcloud. Soaked through, I was glad not to get hypothermic. Sun finally peaked out last 30 minutes of hike!
Opted to return via Redcloud rather than down 13er Sun Dog as we weren't sure of the route. Turns out if you descend via Sun Dog there is a long stretch of brutal talus slope to down climb. 1/2 inch of snow dusting peaks above 12000'.
Wow, five more feet! Sunshine did seem to be harder ascent than Redcloud. We intended to go down Sundog, but the weather wasn't looking great and Sundog was looking rotten, we we retraced. A wonderful day though!
Redcloud, Sunshine, and back over Redcloud
9/5/04 - Standard route with Redcloud after a big Labor Day weekend snow. Got snowblindness very badly. Lesson learned!
3/8/08 - Winter ascent of east ridge from Mill Creek Campground.
1/2/16 - Winter ascent of east ridge from Mill Creek Campground.
Kessler and I climbed Redcloud and Sunshine Peaks. We got a late start and moved quickly, climbing Redcloud in about two and a half hours. We hiked the ridge to Sunshine Peak and came down the Sundog Ridge. Kessler wasn't feeling well, so we bailed off the ridge early. There was a lot of scree and one 5th class downclimb, so it may have been better if we had just stayed on the ridge. The two peaks took six hours round trip.
Hiked 14,034 ft. Redcloud Peak and 14,001 ft. Sunshine Peak on Saturday and then 14,048 ft. Handies Peak on Sunday. So far I've climbed 35 Colorado Fourteeners!
On Saturday I drove to the Grizzly Gulch trailhead and car camped. I hit the trail around 5AM and quickly hiked through the woods to treeline. I gained the ridge to Redcloud and made the summit around 9AM. I then hiked down to a col and then up again towards Sunshine, arriving at the summit by 10. This added over 2 1/2 miles to the trip and an extra 1000 ft. of overall elevation but it was well worth it because I beat the crowds and had the summit to myself. I then backtracked up the trail to Redcloud and headed back to the trailhead, which I arrived at by 1PM. From the trailhead I drove west towards American Basin and spent the night at the trailhead.
Nice trail along the saddle. Didn't stay long due to inclement weather nearby.
#1 7-5-15 about one hour each way and worth it. Some of the trail is frustrating talus, but one can't have red carpet all the time! Fantastische Gesellschaft.
Excellent hike. Some of the best and most scenic views in the state.
Up the standard route to Redcloud, then over Sunshine, and down via Sundog.