• Sundog
  • 4094 m.
  • Primary factor 101 m.
  • 300 in Colorado
  • Location: North 37:55.92, West 107:26.30
  • Climbed July 6, 2001


How to get there: Lake City is the natural reference location. Go south on Hwy. 149 approximately 3.5 km, then turn right onto the road to Lake San Cristobal. Drive around the lake and continue up the valley on a good dirt road. A little more than 19 km from Hwy. 149, the road forks and there are signs saying Silverton, Cinnamon Pass, etc. This is the right fork that heads uphill. Continue about 6.5 km on this road. The Silver Creek trailhead will be obvious, there is a separate parking area on the right hand side of the road as well as an outhouse (on the left hand side). The trail to Redcloud, Sunshine and Sundog starts on the left hand (east) side of the road and heads up the valley (east).
Route description: This description starts at the summit of Sunshine Peak and ends at the Silver Creek trailhead. This is the way we hiked, see the description under Sunshine Peak for more information.
Head back down the standard trail from the summit of Sunshine Peak towards Redcloud Peak. At the first small col, find a faint trail that traverses down to the ridge leading to Sundog. The valley heading north on the west side of the Redcloud-Sunshine ridge is often used to return from Sunshine, do not descend too far down in that direction. This slope is full of loose (small) rocks and can be a bit uncomfortable to cross. Once on the connecting (north) ridge the terrain is nice as one descends to the lowest point on the ridge. From here, scramble up the ridge, staying slightly to the left (west) of the ridge crest in the beginning (Easy 2+). The route is pretty obvious and one can regain the ridge proper quite soon. From this point on, the route is an easy walk on a nice ridge with good views both west and east. The summit of Sundog is a good place for a short rest. Then continue along the ridge now descending, the ridge splits into two, we took the right branch, however, the left branch did also look quite feasible. Quite a bit further down the ridge splits again, this time we followed the left branch. Eventually, the slope steepens and one can see the main trail in the valley below. At this point it may be best to traverse right into the gully where further descent is steep, but comfortable on a grass slope. Even further down there are many small trees and the best route is to go right among the older, large trees. A short, steep descent gets you to the creek and the main trail is just a few meters up the slope on the opposite side. A short hike on the main Redcloud trail brings you back to Silver Creek trailhead.
Comments: One should note that the name "sundog" is unofficial. One member of our party thought the name "reddog" more appropriate due to the red color of the rock. I did this hike with Pål Jørgen, age 12. Two hikers that we caught up with on Sunshine Peak also wanted to go with us, thus a party of four stayed together on this hike. This hike naturally completes what might be called "Un grand tour de Sunshine". It took us one hour from Sunshine to Sundog, then 45 minutes from Sundog back to the trailhead. The total tour lasted 5 hours and 45 minutes. This alternative can be highly recommended.