Redcloud Peak - Northeast Ridge
Climbing mountains is dangerous! Please read the Mountaineering Safety Page and make sure you have a map+compass and can use them effectively. A GPS or cell phone can be very helpful with navigation but you should still be able to use a map+compass in case your device stops working.
|Difficulty:|| Class 2 |
Ski: Intermediate, D5 / R2 / III
|Trailhead:||Silver Crk/Grizzly Gulch|
|Total Gain:||3,700 feet|
|RT Length:||9.00 miles|
|USGS Quad.:||Redcloud Peak|
|County Sheriff:||Hinsdale: 970-944-2291
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. From the start of the 30 road, it's nearly 16 miles to the trailhead. Stay right near 11.8 miles. After 12.5 miles the road becomes more rough, and between 13 and 14.5 miles it's a shelf road that hugs the south side of Sunshine Peak. Before 16 miles, reach the trailhead in an open area. Parts of this road are rough, but when it's dry good-clearance 2WD vehicles should be able to get to the trailhead.
From the Silver Creek trailhead parking area, hike northeast up the hill and into the forest - Photo #1. Near 11,100', leave the trees and continue on the trail as it parallels Silver Creek on your right. After about 1.5 miles from the trailhead and near 11,300', the trail gets close to the creek ( 37.94888° N, -107.43918° W). Continue northeast along Silver Creek And pass several areas where red rock has piled up on the left side of the creek - Photo #2. Taken near 12,000', Photo #3 shows how the terrain begins to open up as you enter the basin ahead. Continue on the trail as it curves around to the right (southeast) and enters the center of the basin near 12,200' - Photo #4.
This area usually holds snow in early summer. To this point, you've hiked approximately 3 miles and gained 2,000' of elevation - Photo #5. Follow the trail south across the basin and begin to ascend the slope below the saddle between Redcloud and Point 13,561'. Zigzag up the easy slope to reach the 13,000-foot saddle ( 37.94607° N, -107.41471° W) - Photo #7.
From the saddle, turn right (west) to see Redcloud's Northeast Ridge and summit - Photo #8 and Photo #9. Begin climbing the ridge and then follow new trail segments off to the right that regain the ridge at a higher point. Photo #10 was taken near 13,700'. Near the top of the ridge, the summit is off to the left but you must first gain a false summit - Photo #11. At 13,900' the final summit pitch comes into view - Photo #12. Follow the trail up to the summit ( 37.940880° N, -107.421654° W) - Photo #13, Photo #14 and Photo #15.
Stay alert on the road to the trailhead as it climbs around the base of Sunshine on the shelf road. In spring, there may be rocks on the road.
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