Peak(s):  Redcloud Peak  -  14,034 feet
Sunshine Peak  -  14,001 feet
Date Posted:  07/01/2009
Date Climbed:   06/30/2009
Author:  Gabe K
 Deja Vu of Redcloud & Sunshine   

I find myself back for a 4th consecutive summer volunteering for the National Park Service at Curecanti National Recreation Area & The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and definitely trying to make the most of my 2 months here in Colorado. I set my alarm for 4:30AM so that I could drive to the trailhead from the Park Service living quarters at Elk Creek located on the Blue Mesa. And, like most of my other morning when I set an alarm, I woke up about 10 minutes before it went off. I grabbed my daypack, brewed some coffee and was off for Lake City. I arrived at the trailhead by 6:30AM and was hiking by 6:45AM. I was wondering how well I would hike today, because I am a flatlander afterall, and for the most part I think that I didn't slow down too much from years past. I was greated by the eeks of pikas and whistles of marmots upon reaching the alpine meadow (image #1). MAN! I love those little critters, they are so cool! I made it to the saddle (image #2) by 8:00AM, and summited Redcloud (image #3) by 8:45AM. On top of Redcloud you get commanding views of the northern San Juans; Wetterhorn, Matterhorn, & Uncompahgre Peak (image #6). I went over to Sunshine (images #4 & #5), where I met a few "14er" folk and chatted for a while. Afterwards, I traced my steps back over the standard route to summit Redcloud again, took my photo with a Which Wich? sandwich bag (image #8 ) so that I can get a free sandwich at participating sandwich shops, and work my way down the mountain side. I made it back to my subaru outback a little after 1:00 in the afternoon, and headed to Lake City, where I had an Italian Sandwich and Fat Tire at Poker Alice's, then went over to The San Juan Soda Company for a big fat ice cream cone. I could tell it was summer, because of all the Texans in Lake City. Afterward, I headed back to the Park Service Dorms at Elk Creek to ponder about my next hiking alpine adventure.

PS: Those of you curious about the road conditions...I actually saw a Honda Fit (image #7) at the trailhead, which I was a little surprised to see. So, if that thing can make it, I assume most vehicles can. My 2007 Subaru Outback had no issues with getting to the trailhead, it was just rocky on the shelf road, so take it slow when you get there.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Comments or Questions

Don‘t knock the FIT!!!
07/02/2009 15:32
Hilarious that you have a pic of my car at the TH! The Fit made it without a hitch up that road...I did actually laugh when I came back to the TH after the hike and saw how small it looked next to all the other vehicles! Nice chatting with you on the trail; enjoy the rest of your time in this amazing state!

Gabe K

FIT for the road
07/02/2009 21:22
Well, if I came off knocking, I didn‘t mean it. I honestly was surprised to see it there. Being someone who is always animately wondering about the road conditions, I was very taken by the FIT being parked there. If you didn‘t bottom out, then I applaud your mad driving & navigating rough road skills.

It was great talking with you as well, maybe I‘ll see you around on the trail this summer. If you are ever in the area looking for a hiking partner, give me a ring/email. I always have Mondays & Tuesdays off.


07/02/2009 23:58
Actually, I thought your pic was pretty funny! I even showed it to my sister! Sometimes my sarcasm doesn‘t translate...sorry! It‘s a midwest thang I can‘t get rid of. I‘m off for the summer and would be psyched to hike on a Monday or Tuesday. I‘ll send you a PM!

   Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2021®, 14ers Inc.