Peak(s):  Redcloud Peak  -  14,034 feet
Sunshine Peak  -  14,001 feet
Date Posted:  07/29/2007
Date Climbed:   07/28/2007
Author:  Gabe K
 Redcloud & Sunshine (photos included)   

Having one day of from my volunteer gig with the National Park Service at Curecanti NRA/Black Canyon of the Gunnison I was planning to do Sneffels from the Blue Lakes or Shavano & Tabagueche. BUT!!! One of my coworker/friend, Danielle, also had the day off. AND she has an all wheel drive Subaru, which is more than I can say for my PT Crusier. After discussing several options, we decided on Redcloud and Sunshine. Some of our friends arrived from doing Uncompaghre as we were packing our things into Danielle's car, so we all at some awesome burgers at the Gunnysack in Gunnison. Danielle and I drove to the Silver Gulch/Grizzly Gulch Trailhead and set up camp. I was amazed at the number of people there, it looked like Everest Basecamp with the number of tents setup around the trailhead. Danielle asked me if they are always this packed, and in my experience I had to say "no", but I think it's because I usually have had Mondays and Tuesdays off and this was a Friday/Saturday, so more people were there probably because they had the weekend off.

It rained on Friday and even Saturday morning at around 4:00am. We woke up to a cloudy, cool, and damp morning. I was leary about the clouds, but we decided to do the hike and just watch the weather as we treked up the mountains. We started our hike at 6:00am and went up the standard route to Redcloud. WHAT A GORGEOUS HIKE! The trail was really mellow, perhaps the easiest trail up any fourteener that I have been up so far. There was an array of wildflowers! I think that I saw every variety of paintbrush imaginable, I recall seeing red, pink, fucia, orange, and yellow. The pika and marmots were out in force yelping and squeeking at us. As we neared the saddle to hike up Redcloud, clouds started rolling in over the mountains to the north. It was very mystical looking. We reached the Redcloud summit at 9:00am, where upon I aksed Danielle if she wanted to continue, because this was her first fourteener in Colorado. She said she had done one in California. She was up for going over to Sunshine, so we did. By the time we got to Sunshine, clouds were covering the peak, so we literally had no view at all. Several people had been going up and down an alternative route from Sunshine, we chose to do this on our way back. We were doing fine until we got to this short but steep rocky face area with several small chutes between the rock faces and we wasn't sure which chute to take. we took one just to the left of a runoff stream formed by snowmelt, well we got don, but there was a really sketchy section that required some rock climbing/bouldering skills. It was an adventure or sure! A man we met earlier was on a large talus field watching us descend, he would yell periodically asking if we were alright. As Danielle got through the gnarly section he was yelling her some props, like "For only your 2nd fourteener you are doing some serious stuff, you rock girl!". Danielle loved getting the props from the man We hiked over a large talus field and eventually found a trail along a creek that flows into Silver Creek. There was an old cabin along the way. Wildflowers abound along this little creek as well.

I have always wanted to do Redcloud and Sunshine, and now I have. It was an awesome trail and I definitely would recommend it to people who are interested in doing a fourteener, it's one of the easier one's that I have done so far.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions

11/30/2010 17:20
Hey, congrats. I think I saw you breaking down your tent. I got a later start and did only Redcloud because of weather. But it really was a beautiful, easy trail so I don't mind going back. I never did see the trail junction that went up/came down from Sunshine. Was it easy to find and I was just tunnel-visioned at the time?

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