Redcloud/Sunshine loop direction suggestions

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ronxhill
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Redcloud/Sunshine loop direction suggestions

Post by ronxhill » Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:43 am

I plan on doing a loop on Redcloud and Sunshine in a couple weeks, but I'm not sure if I'd like to go clockwise Redcloud to Sunshine, or counter-clockwise. Other than locating the correct gully near the gendarme while descending or ascending Sunshine, does anyone have any thoughts on other things to consider when deciding which directions? Thanks
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Re: Redcloud/Sunshine loop direction suggestions

Post by Scott P » Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:55 am

Last time I was there there was a sign saying that the trail that descends north of Sunshine was closed and to return over Redcloud.
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Re: Redcloud/Sunshine loop direction suggestions

Post by bekahnunn24 » Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:17 am

Or you can CLIMB them from Mill Creek campground to the south. Short and sweet, but steep almost right off the bat. Pretty much just an out and back that way.

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Re: Redcloud/Sunshine loop direction suggestions

Post by Ptglhs » Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:13 am

Scott is correct: the trail does have a sign which says you shouldn't drop off the saddle but rather return over Redcloud. But you can descend west-northwest off Sunshine and then gain a 13er, Sundog, and descend Sundog's north slopes back to the trail where silver creek joins the south fork. It's a bushwack but it's all downhill and it's relatively straightforward. Sundog is probably difficult class 2. It probably adds 500 feet of vertical but cuts the distance by 2 miles.
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Re: Redcloud/Sunshine loop direction suggestions

Post by RobLowe » Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:31 am

OP: It’s far easier to go up the garbage and do Sunshine first than to do Redcloud first and go down the garbage off Sunshine. The gully that you take is very obvious.

Scott, this is 100% a totally different place than the sign you are talking about.

Ptg... Sundog is a fun alternative. There is no sign preventing one from going down Sunshine and then down the gully between Sunshine and Sundog.

OP: there is a strong trail in the basin between Redcloud and Sundog that takes you straight toward the gully.
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Re: Redcloud/Sunshine loop direction suggestions

Post by bekahnunn24 » Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:55 am

As you descend, it might be a good idea to put a bright colored marker for yourself. If you don't, it can be easy to lose your direction on the way down the grassy hill to treeline. We climbed last summer and we tied a bright red shirt on a tree so it was visible from above. It was very helpful.
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Re: Redcloud/Sunshine loop direction suggestions

Post by Jim Davies » Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:09 pm

Save yourself the misery and go back over Redcloud. Remember the rule: if it isn't the normal route, there's a reason. Learn from the experience of the masses.
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Re: Redcloud/Sunshine loop direction suggestions

Post by Ptglhs » Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:11 pm

RobLowe wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:31 am
Ptg... Sundog is a fun alternative. There is no sign preventing one from going down Sunshine and then down the gully between Sunshine and Sundog.
The sign in question is between sunshine and Red Cloud. You are correct there is no signage, and not much of a trail, between sunshine and sundog.
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Re: Redcloud/Sunshine loop direction suggestions

Post by CaptainSuburbia » Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:39 pm

Sundog is a great way to make that route a loop.
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Re: Redcloud/Sunshine loop direction suggestions

Post by ronxhill » Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:05 am

Thanks for the suggestion on Sundog. As of now I'm going solo so I'll have to make sure I understand that route before doing it. I was only considering the routes described on this website, which were:

Clockwise up the Northeast Ridge route to Red Cloud, across to Sunshine and then down the Northwest face route.

or Counter-clockwise up the Northwest face route of Sunshine, across to Red Cloud, then down the Northeast Ridge.

I already noted the "do not descend" location in the saddle, so that wasn't part of the plan.

I just wasn't sure which of those options may be better. Thanks again for the Sundog route tip.
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Re: Redcloud/Sunshine loop direction suggestions

Post by huffy13 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:55 am

bekahnunn24 wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:17 am
Or you can CLIMB them from Mill Creek campground to the south. Short and sweet, but steep almost right off the bat. Pretty much just an out and back that way.

Sean Nunn
This is how I hiked Sunshine and Redcloud a couple years ago, but it is pretty steep, the trail fades out a few times, but there is usually a cairn to keep you on the general path. I wouldn't say short and sweet, I'd use the term steep and tedious on the ascent of Sunshine....but, after that portion, the rest of it isn't bad at all. I traversed over to Redcloud and descended the standard trail to Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch trailhead and started hiking the road back to Mill Creek. It is a longer day, a little over 14 miles round trip, but so much of that 14 miles is descending and the road that it really isn't all that bad. I prefer loop hikes when at all possible, plus it kept me from having to re-summit Recloud on the way out.
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Re: Redcloud/Sunshine loop direction suggestions

Post by psycholoco » Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:46 pm

ronxhill wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:05 am
Thanks for the suggestion on Sundog. As of now I'm going solo so I'll have to make sure I understand that route before doing it. I was only considering the routes described on this website, which were:

Clockwise up the Northeast Ridge route to Red Cloud, across to Sunshine and then down the Northwest face route.

or Counter-clockwise up the Northwest face route of Sunshine, across to Red Cloud, then down the Northeast Ridge.

I already noted the "do not descend" location in the saddle, so that wasn't part of the plan.

I just wasn't sure which of those options may be better. Thanks again for the Sundog route tip.
I did the counter-clockwise loop you described and had a great day. In retrospect, I kind of wish I had included Sundog, but like I said, it was a great hike anyway. I agree that going up the northwest face route would be better than coming down it, for both routefinding and terrain reasons.
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