Sunshine Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: Via Redcloud Peak
Posted On: 2022-08-07, By: dr_j
Info: Straightforward trail from Redcloud to Sunshine. The final ascent to the summit was stable compared to the scree going up to Redcloud. Summer conditions. The entire route was free of litter and poop bags, good job, let's keep it that way. 
Route: Northwest Face
Posted On: 2022-06-08, By: Veory
Info: Gully is now free of snow, but very loose. A few snow crossings on the way to the gully that are easy to cross, but occasionally obscure the trail. 
Route: Northwest Face
Posted On: 2022-06-09, By: Been_Jammin
Info: Facts: 98%+ summer conditions Opinion: The gully you need to climb to get to the ridge is spicy 
Route: Via Redcloud Peak
Posted On: 2022-06-05, By: ballardwf04
Info: Beautiful summer conditions. There's a small patch of snow on the final summit push to Sunshine, but is easily avoidable. Happy to be done with the Grizzly Gulch 14ers- that road gets me every time. Have fun adventuring! 
Route: Via Redcloud Peak
Posted On: 2022-05-19, By: fmv093042
Info: Ridgeline from Redcloud too/from Sunshine is perfectly clear! My plan was to descend the Northwest Face of Sunshine Peak back to the Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch Trailhead. However, when I approached the Gully recommended for the descent, there was a decent amount of snow and ice. So I chose to head back up Redcloud and descent that way. It was a warm and windy day, snow is melting QUCIKLY! Good chance Northwest face is ready to go soon! 
2 3
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-05-10, By: Gumby420
Info: Great weather and conditions. No traction or flotation necessary. Snow is melting quickly. 
5 4
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-05-01, By: CO_Wolfe
Info: Stellar weather and snow conditions on Saturday. Dry and steep up to above the talus crossings. Snow is drifted in patches near treeline. Then there is a large snow field to cross to reach the "flat area" around 12,500ft. Above that is half dry, half shallow snow. Snow is avoidable if you prefer loose rock, but the snow stayed firm most of the day. We skied the NE basin from the summit - consistent, predictable snow even in the early afternoon. 
6 3
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-04-17, By: Will_E
Info: Summitted Sunshine and Redcloud today from the Mill Creek Campground. The route is mostly dry until just before tree line. I put on snowshoes right at tree line, the snow was really firm, I mostly wanted the heel riser to ease my old ass ankles. On ascent I kept snowshoes on almost all the way to summit. Carried snowshoes down to the saddle to Redcloud, on return I only used them for the Sunshine bypass, snow was still firm enough on descent that I didn't put them back on. A little postholing around tree line, but not worth putting them back on. 
12 2
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-04-10, By: Ash_peterson5
Info: The first mile or so is totally dry, well besides a few muddy spots. I used snowshoes after that for awhile, and microspikes near the top. The trail is pretty steep but not as bad as I was expecting. Took just over 4 hours from car to Sunshine summit. Then I trekked over to Red Cloud. Pretty stable snow, pretty breezy as well. The descent got real slushy and was definitely a pain. Took a little over 10 hours round trip. Glorious sunrise; love me a good alpine start. 
4
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-04-03, By: BrandonChristnovich
Info: **Hiked yesterday and unfortunately lost my phone, if anyone finds a black iphone please contact me at Brandon7227@gmail.com!** As for the hike it was dry and wicked steep initially as promised. Started at 5am and made it to the summit with just spikes and poles as the snow was firm enough. Bopped over to Red Cloud to bag another then headed back for home. Only used snowshoes on the way down near tree line and through the woods as the snow softened up. Overall a big send (~16+mi, ~6kvert, ~9hrs) but incredible views! 
3
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-03-28, By: denverfromdenver
Info: First 1000' of climbing is dry, then snow starts and the trail starts to disappear. It quickly becomes a "choose your own adventure" type of trail with the main goal being to go UP (north). The final 500' of climbing before you hit treeline is very soft, and patches of unconsolidated sugar snow that I punched through past my knee with snowshoes on and made for some extremely arduous climbing. Hit 12k' and treeline about 7am as the sun came up and the snow was more firm. Kept snowshoes on until the base of E ridge of Sunshine. Used ice axe along the ridge for the remainder of the climb. Didn't use any other traction for this part of the climb, but microspikes wouldn't have been unwarranted. Took approx. 4.5hrs from car to Sunshine summit. I stashed the snowshoes and continued onto Redcloud sticking very close to the ridge, if you do so, be prepared to resummit Sunshine on the return as there is avy concern on Sunshine's E slopes. The snow started turning sloppy around 11:30 and the descent was almost as difficult as the climb as you posthole with each step (in snowshoes). 9hrs RT. Started at 4:30am and that might've been too late based on the snow conditions I encountered. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-03-25, By: amitchell
Info: Made it to 12500 but was turned around by sustained hurricane force winds with gusts of 100. Heads up, if you end up in wind like this, turn around. Getting stuck in those conditions would mean certain death. Otherwise, the route seemed super doable. There was no snow up to the talus field. Had to wear snowshoes past the talus field. Be sure to stick to a trench, as the snow up there is breakable crust with 3 feet of powder underneath, not fun to break. Also a heads up to anyone looking to do this route: it is one of the steepest approaches below tree line I've ever seen, be prepared to hike up and down 100% grades. The perks: it feels like you get to tree line in 30 minutes. 
2
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-02-21, By: taylorharris50
Info: Hike up to the ridge is steep and taxing in winter boots. Used floatation from roughly 11,500 to 12,500 and spikes on the way down. Pretty muddy on hike out in the woods. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-02-19, By: LetsGoMets
Info: Almost zero snow to around 11k, into snowshoes around 11,200. Last slope to the ridge holds the most snow, but it was generally stable on a 27ish degree slope. Currently can drop snowshoes above that point and boot/spikes from there. Pretty steep, rough route (particularly to the ridge). Bluebird day with almost zero wind. 
1
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-02-08, By: Ryspriggs92
Info: Spikes helpful. Didn't use snowshoes. Great trench right now. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-02-08, By: Ryspriggs92
Info: Spikes helpful. Didn't use snowshoes. Great trench right now. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-02-07, By: cloudkicker
Info: Latest snowstorm dumped a whopping 1" to 4" on SS/RC. The bottom portion of the steep section through the trees was a mixture of dirt/gravel/mud and thin snow, with some short (steep) icy sections. Microspikes were helpful. Above the boulder field crossings (still in the trees), there was some new snow, and some light trailbreaking was required to refresh the old trench. We put our snowshoes on at treeline to provide better floatation while we navigated the one possible avy slope on the route. The snow was reactive here but we made it through just fine without any signs of trouble. CAIC forecast was "Low" with small Loose Dry avy's being the only concern. If Slab avalanches were a problem I would be more wary of this slope. Kept snowshoes on all the way up to the narrow part of the ridge, where we swapped to microspikes. The rest of the route to SS summit was a mixture of talus hopping and travel on firm, supportive snow. The traverse to RC went fine. A couple tricky 2+ moves on the downclimb from SS but nothing too crazy, and on supportive snow. Stay close to the ridge when possible. After the saddle you can stay close to the ridge or follow the summer trail which is filled in with low angle snow but could be sketchy in places. On the way back we bypassed the summit of SS by contouring the NE face about halfway between the saddle and SS summit. Mixture of short kickstep sections on supportive snow, with some rock hopping. Return via SS summit if steep crossings like this gives you pause, or if conditions worsen. 
13 3
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-02-01, By: the_hare
Info: Really enjoyable short winter day in the San Juans. The steep path up the south-facing slope is a mix of packed snow, ice, frozen dirt, mud, and loose dirt & gravel. Used some hefty Hillsound trail crampon microspikes to cruise up the trail. The sketchiest part I think is the talus chute crossing. I didn't see the cairns on the other side of the chute and ascended the extremely loose rock & dirt on the side after crossing. Every rock is loose and the large ones can crush your foot. The trail actually keeps going a bit past the chute and continues on up steep less loose dirt. At around 11.9k the trees open up to a snow-covered hill where snowshoes became mandatory. I went straight up without issue but there was a track off to the right that curved around and went over some shallower snow. Dropped my snowshoes off on top of the small hill on the ridge at 12.5k. For the following wide, rocky ridge I ascended the bare, fairly stable rocks on the left side. I wish I had stayed on the snowy trail, so much faster ascending that with spikes. On the last part of the ridge towards the summit, I mostly stayed on top of the ridge which was hardpack enough to ascend easily with spikes. Didn't go over to Redcloud for multiple reasons—late start, a bit wiped from weekend ice climbing, & forgot some wind gear in the car that I would need for the ridge. Instead I spent a bit longer on the summit taking in the utterly magnificent San Juan vistas. The descent went quickly. Spikes kept me from slipping in the mud but the snow didn't deteriorate to slush nearly as much as I thought. Winds felt as forecast on the summit blowing towards the east at 20mph. Before that I only felt the wind in occasional gusts above treeline. This report is mostly for posterity due to an incoming heavy snow. Yes, it is a steep route overall but I didn't find it too bad with traction, I kindof prefer trail angles that use quads over calves anyway. Looking forward to next time and going over to Redcloud too! 
8 2
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2022-01-23, By: morgansperry
Info: Not a ton of snow, in the beginning. Some of our group wore snowshoes for part of the first mile just because it was so steep and there was a dusting of snow. I put snowshoes on after 1 mile, then they were required. We did switch to crampons to gain the ridge and all the way to the summit. Going to Redcloud, most of the way wasn't super snowy, but there was a section going to the bottom of the saddle away from Sunshine, where we postholed up to our waist, but the section was short. It was a grueling but beautiful day, it took us about 10.5 hi ours to do both peaks. 
3
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-12-23, By: Eagle Eye
Info: I summited Sunshine Peak from Mill Creek TH on the East Ridge yesterday. There is a lot of postholing to be done here, currently. What I thought (at a glance from the road) was recent travel at the start of the trail was elk tracks and I saw no sign (low anyway) of travel through snow up the route. The lower, about 3/4 of the trail is very well cairn marked switchback and then above that I just made my way out of the trees to the ridge. I stuck with supportive hard crust and blown clear places when possible above tree line and when visible, sections of the blown clear summer trail on the upper east ridge. ! ! seasons greetings ! ! Mike Via 
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