14,059 ft / 4,285 m


399 ft / 122 m


24 summits

Top climbing months

July   41%

September  16%

August   16%

Most climbed route

South Slopes

Class 4


  • Sunlight Peak is a Colorado 14er within the Weminuche Wilderness in the Needle Mountains, a subrange of the San Juan Mountains.
  • One of 3 fourteeners in the Needle Mountains; the other two are Mount Eolus and Windom Peak.
  • Windom and Sunlight lie on the east side of Twin Lakes, in upper Chicago Basin, while Eolus lies on the west side.
  • All three peaks are relatively remote by Colorado standards, and have a strong wilderness character; however they can be popular in summer.
  • The standard route up Sunlight Peak is from the south, known as the "Red Couloir". It's a non-technical scramble, but achieving the top of the famed summit block requires an exposed rock climbing move considered by many to be the hardest move of any standard route up a Colorado 14er.
"Hiked from Purgatory Flats TH. Began hike of Sunlight Peak on July 3 at 7am from base camp in Chicago Basin, peaked at 11:45am (did not actually touch summit block this time around). Unable to hike Windom because of bad weather (lightning, snow, rain). Ended back at base camp at 3:40pm. CO 14er #30!" - Globetrotter87, Jul 3, 2014
"The summit block. After taking the Silverton train, backpacking in to the idyllic Chicago Basin, and climbing through tough terrain to above the 14,000 foot mark, you face what you knew you would have to face all along, and it's mentally not any easier. The famous summit block on Sunlight requires an awkward "leap of faith" move across a gap to a tiny perch of dizzying exposure. While some may have done headstands here in the past, I only managed to hug the rock for a moment before willing myself down." - scott, Aug 27, 2006
"Late season gives you nice solitude in this popular basin. We did a link up from Eolus that gave us some good route finding. There was also some snow from a fall storm. It kept things interesting. " - ChrisMeloche, Oct 12, 2002



Nearest peaks