Sunlight Peak

Featured photo of Sunlight Peak

Sunlight Peak is one of three fourteeners in the remote Needle Mountains. The best approach is from Chicago Basin, which is most commonly reached by riding The Durango & Silverton Narrow Guage Railroad to the Needleton Trailhead. The standard route climbs to the beautiful Twin Lakes, to the top of a red couloir, then along the ridge to the summit. The actual summit is an exposed rock, which requires a Class 4 move to reach.

Elevation (feet): 14,059
Elevation (meters): 4,285
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: San Juan Mountains
State: Colorado
Latitude: 37.6272
Longitude: -107.595
Difficulty: Scramble
Best months for climbing: Jul, Aug, Sep
Nearest major airport: Durango
Convenient Center: Durango

Thanks to Kirk Mallory for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 13 trip reports for Sunlight Peak.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #21406 - by Patrick L. Lilly on Aug 30, 2008
    Standard red gully/SW fact route from Chicago Basin. A mostly cloudy day, but mild temperatures. Accompanied by daughter Trish. 14er #37 for me, #35 for her.
  • Log #11637 - by Cody Dalpra on Sep 13, 2004
    Great hike! Did all three in a day. It was pretty easy going until the summit block which is about 5.4. I climbed with Shane Brown and Kevin Kell who both used rope but I didn't see it necessary to...
  • Log #11638 - by paul enns on July 17, 2004
    i stood on the summit block, it was cool, but a storm hit right as we summitted so we had to get down fast, the climb was pretty strenuous
  • Log #11639 - by Joe Kinnon on Nov 26, 2003
    Did Sunlight, Arrow and Vestal all over a week vacation. Great time camping. A lot of fun.
  • Log #11640 - by Bryan J on Nov 12, 2003
    The move onto the summit block was tricky. The hardest move is just after the register where you climb a 45 deg. slab up 10 ft. But it's a lot easier if you get some momentum and grab the top edge.
  • Log #11641 - by Alex on Oct 03, 2003
    Pretty easy climb until the last boulder which is somewhat difficult. Nice climb.
  • Log #11642 - by Derrick on Sep 02, 2003
    Summitted Eolus, Sunlight and Windom in that order from camp at 11,200. I recommend doing Eolus first since it's farther away. We got from Sunlight to Windom in exactly 1 hour since we were trying to...
  • Log #11643 - by Michael Jake on July 07, 2003
    From high camp in Chicago Basin, climbed Windom and Sunlight.
  • Log #11644 - by Dennis Whitehead on Aug 22, 2001
    The best part of climbing Sunlight was getting the 11-year-old granddaughter of a friend to the sub peak where the USGS marker is. Second best was my surprise at being able to see over to the east to...
  • Log #11645 - by Mason C. on Aug 08, 2001
    Pfff... The summit block wasn't that bad. You just need to remain composure and go for it, hell, even stand up on it. We took the west ridge rout which offered some incredible class 4 climbes, we did...
  • Log #11646 - by Jerry Woolverton on Jan 12, 2001
    Planned Windom, but in valley near twin lakes met 2 climbers from Denver who were very experienced. Hooked up with them and was glad I did...was able to summit my most difficult 14'er to date.
  • Log #11647 - by Matt Kirk on Nov 03, 2000
    Greetings 14er climbers and enthusiasts. I just wanted to let everyone know that there should be a 14ers forum coming soon at If you have the time, please come by and...
  • Log #11648 - by Kirk Mallory on Sep 23, 1999
    My second day of climbing in the Chicago Basin area, and my 51st fourteener. The scree on the couloir is a pain, but the scrambling on the ridge was fun. The move onto the final summit block was the...