Bill Hammons: Writing and Running in Boulder, Colorado


Sunshine Peak, Colorado

Sunshine Peak's Elevation: 14,001 Feet

Sunshine Peak's Rank Among Colorado's Fourteeners in Terms of Elevation: #53

Sunshine Peak is located in the San Juan Mountains

Sunshine Peak is considered walkable

Best months for climbing Sunshine Peak are June through September

Click here for a Mapquest map of Sunshine Peak

Sunshine Peak, with an elevation of 14,001 feet, is the 53rd highest peak and the lowest Fourteener in the state of Colorado. Redcloud Peak and Sunshine, being separated by only a mile and a 534-foot ascent/descent, are often climbed together.

The Mill Creek trailhead provides the best road access to Handies, Redcloud, and Sunshine Peaks (you can continue on past Mill Creek to the Grizzly and Silver Creek trailhead, but that drive involves miles of "hairy" driving and possible snow closure). To reach the Mill Creek trailhead, drive south from Lake City along CO 149. Shortly out of town, take a right onto the Lake Fork/Cinnamon Pass Road, and drive 11 miles to the Mill Creek Campground trailhead.

After parking at the Mill Creek Campground, cross the road and hike up steep terrain through the brush. Follow Sunshine's east ridge all the way to the summit, then, if you wish to bag Redcloud Peak as well, follow the Class 2 saddle between the two peaks. Note that reaching Sunshine via this route is a "rough and tedious" eight hour round-trip, and an extension to Redcloud and back will add two hours for a total 10 hours of hiking and climbing. Be aware of cliffs along both sides of the ridge.

Sources:,, Dawson's Guide to Colorado's Fourteeners, Volume 2: The Southern Peaks

This page last updated 8/15/06

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