Named for the reddish iron ore rocks that are common in this part of the San Juan Mountains, 14,034-foot Redcloud Peak is usually climbed in conjunction with its neighbor, Sunshine Peak. This is one of the most enjoyable twofer 14er hikes in Colorado, located in the heart of these rugged mountains, though with 12 miles and 4,800 feet of climbing it’s a very long day, especially because one must re-climb several hundred feet of Redcloud to return to the trailhead.
- You’ll find camping and a bathroom at the trailhead, though decent backcountry camping can be found farther up the trail.
- Continuing on from the summit of Redcloud to Sunshine Peak is a serious commitment. Make sure the weather and your energy levels are where they need to be before attempting.
- Tack on an extra day to your visit to the San Juans and climb Handies Peak. The Grizzly Gulch route up that mountain is directly across the road.
Recommended season(s): Summer to early fall.
—R. Scott Rappold