Taking a Hike Up to Sunshine Peak
It was a good weekend to get out in the mountains. The monsoon flow shut off and the flowers were out in force.
We hiked to the summit of Sunshine Peak via the East ridge on Saturday. A non-technical hike but without any established trail so a bit of navigation is required.
We turned off the highway just S of the Ophir turn and drove down the high clearance but good condition road that heads W above the mine tailings stabilization work and ends up above Ames by the Lake Fork and Galloping Goose trail. Parked at switchback with the nice bridge with the big metal rails and GG trail marker. Walked across the bridge up the trail a short distance before leaving the GG trail and going uphill on old road/trail at a green gate. followed old road uphill until it ended in a meadow. We set a waypoint there and it was helpful on the return. It’s a dense forest with multiple minor gullies and features so hard to see any landmarks etc.
Travel for a couple of hours uphill thru aspen/spruce forest with deadfall and occasional meadow/clearings in steep terrain. Avoid any South or North facing fall line directions and try to keep going up and generally west.
Nearing treeline the East ridge you are on becomes more defined and the way is obvious. Follow the East ridge to the summit. Total car to car time for us was approximately 6 hours. Some celebrity entries in the summit register including this one.
View Sunshine Peak.kml in a larger map