Quick Guide to Trails in the Falls Creek Area in Durango, Colorado

We’ve outlined some of our favorite hiking trails in the Falls Creek area to make it easier for you to pick a trail that’s right for you!

Hiking In Sedona: What You Should Know

To get you prepped for your hike in Sedona, we’ve compiled advice into a detailed guide on what to expect when going for a hike in Sedona.

Snowshoeing in Durango: Our 7 Favorite Trails

Snowshoeing in Durango, Colorado this season? Here’s a few of our favorite snowshoeing trails for your next Microadventure in Durango!

Our 10 Favorite Places to Hike in Tucson, AZ

As you’re planning you Tucson, Arizona trip, here are our 10 favorite places to hike with trails around Tucson.

Snowshoeing in Boulder: Our 7 Favorite Trails

Snowshoeing in Boulder, CO this Winter? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite snowshoeing trails to explore in and around the Boulder area.

5 Best Portable Induction Cookers For RVs and Vans

To aid you in your next Microdventure, we have compiled a list of the 5 best portable Induction Cookers for your RV or van.

Our 10 Favorite Family-Friendly Hikes in the Grand Canyon

If you’re considering hiking with your family in the Grand Canyon, here are our 10 favorite family-friendly hiking trails.

What is Car Camping?

Trying to figure out what car camping is and why so many people are doing it? Here we define car camping for you in a simple way.

Car Camping Packing List for Your Microadventure

To aid in getting you set for your next car camping trip, here’s a list of essential and luxury things to pack.

Payson, AZ Free Dispersed Camping Areas

In order to help you narrow down where to camp, here’s a list of our favorite free, dispersed camping spots and areas around Payson, Arizona.

Flagstaff Free Dispersed Camping Map

To help make a decision on where to camp around Flagstaff, AZ, here’s a map of our favorite free, dispersed camping areas and spots.

Our 10 Favorite Hiking Trails in Flagstaff

Looking to go hiking in Flagstaff? Here’s a brief list of our favorite hikes and hiking trails in Flagstaff, Arizona.

A Guide to Camping in Sedona

The famous Red Rock Country city that is Sedona, Arizona. For those who haven’t visited, Sedona is a mecca for Microadventures. With miles of hiking and biking trails, climbing, and towering red sandstone views, you could spend a lifetime exploring Sedona and not see...

Sedona Free Dispersed Camping and Campgrounds Map

Trying to figure out where to camp around Sedona, AZ? We built a map of our favorite established campgrounds and dispersed camping areas.

Our 10 Favorite Hiking Trails in Sedona

With over 200 miles of trails, there’s a lot to choose from in Sedona, Arizona! Here’s a brief list of our favorite hikes in Sedona.

Sunshine Mountain Near Telluride: A Personal Story

For as long as I can remember, traveling throughout the mountain ranges in Colorado, one place, in particular, has called the climber out in me time and time again. Settled near Colorado highways 145, is a range of mountains that has attracted climbers and hikers from all over the world. Known as the San Juan mountains, the range is home to several 14ers including the Wilson group- commonly portrayed on the “Coors Light” can. From a previous journal entry, I’ve made it up and over one of the Wilson group peaks (with more future trips planned) but that wasn’t my mission this weekend. My mission was to climb a shorter but much more prominent mountain that has been calling me since I started traveling to this area. This mountain is called Sunshine Mountain.

While not a technical climb by any means (unlike some of the other mountains nearby), Sunshine Mountain is not an easy climb. The route rises nearly 5,000 vertical feet from the valley floor in just over three miles. Not a walk in the park!

We planned our weekend to coincide with my birthday weekend. I was turning 30 and decided to make it a special trip with a special challenge. A few fellow experienced hikers and a few coworkers decided to all tag along for the weekend. While most of the weekend was dedicated to partying in nearby Telluride, my main focus was set on climbing that mountain.

Located below is a picture of what the mountain looks like from the nearby highway. Sunshine Mountain is the left peak:


We started up the trail around 5am: three headlights, marching in the cold. By the time the sun had risen up over the ridgeline, we had knocked out only a couple hundred feet in elevation. It was a slow, slow climb. We passed aspen grove after aspen grove, as we marched straight up the side of the mountain at a constant 35+ degree slope. Fortunately, the snow was patchy enough to not warrant any avalanche danger.

As we arrived at the saddle of the mountain around 11 am, one of the members of our crew decided to hold back due to what looked like an approaching storm. My friend and I, who were somewhat “summit blind,” decided to carry on mocking the approaching storm. We said things like, “there’s no way that is going to come at us,” and, “it’s heading way too east to hit us. We’ll be fine.” Any experienced mountaineer will tell you that degrading the power and unpredictable nature of weather in the mountains is not good practice. But there we were, climbing for the summit!

We reached the summit of Sunshine Mountain less than an hour later. After some cheering and photos, we turned around only to see a monster storm system heading right at us. It was time to get off the summit as quick as possible. Within minutes of heading down, we were buried in a blanket of fog and were pounded by hail and over 50 MPH winds. Completely exposed and fighting the elements, we trekked of course but managed to regain our bearings after surveying the ridgeline. Less than an hour later, we were back at the saddle to meet the last member of our crew and headed down the remaining few miles back to our car.

The rest of the weekend consisted of celebrating my birthday and our climb in nearby Telluride. It felt great to gorge on pizza, share stories, and be grateful for another successful climbing trip!

Nick The Rambling Man

Nick The Rambling Man

Nick is the owner and regular content writer for Southwest Microadventures. When he’s not writing, you can find him rock climbing, peak bagging, mountain biking, backpacking, or drinking strong coffee.




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