REI Community
Sunshine Dome

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
French Curve T 
Heart of Darkness T 
Narrow Escape  T 
Shining Path T 
Six Cowgirls for Breakfast T 
Sunrise Ridge  T 
Sunshine Route  T 
Tree Route  T 

Sunshine Dome Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Page Views: 5,207
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: slim on Oct 3, 2005


54° | 40°

55° | 42°

56° | 42°

60° | 44°

66° | 46°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Know the location? Show us! We need it for cool new features!


Sunshine Dome is a huge, immaculate chunk of granite in the interior portion of the South Platte. Standing face to face with this beast is very pleasing.

Getting There 

Approximately 3 miles north of Deckers on Hwy 126 there is a turnoff to the west that is marked for Cheesman Reservoir, etc. this is Road 211. Take this road approximately 5 miles until you reach the (closed) Goose Creek Campground. The Goose Creek Campground is just a little ways past the Molly Gulch Campground. Find a spot to park.

Hike down into the campground and follow the stream downstream, eventually crossing onto its north side. The first rock you get to on the left is Rainy Day Rock. Keep heading to the east, kind of following the creek. There is a good trail that climbs up and over a little hill and drops down into a pleasant valley. Go across this valley (crossing the creek again in the process), doing your best to avoid private property. Once across the valley, keep heading east, steeply uphill to the top of a ridge. You will be able to see Lake Wobegone Dome, the Infidel, Couch Potatoes, Flagship, Renaissance Slab, and Sunshine Dome (from left to right).

My directions from here differ than those that somebody else might give you. Many people suggest hiking down to the northeast, and then up between the Infidel and Couch Potatoes and then dropping down to meet the left side of Sunshine Dome. My recommendation is to head down to the east or maybe southeast along a little ridge of sorts. This little ridge is kind of across the valley to the south from the rock formations. This ridge is easy hiking through a burn area and allows you to see your objective the entire time. Keep descending through this broad ridge until you are below Sunshine Dome and then head straight across to it.

A really helpful idea is to check out the Google Maps webpage which gives overhead satellite photos of excellent resolution. this will allow you to see the general layout of the land. Keep in mind that the photos were taken before the Hayman Fire.

The approach takes longer than it looks/sounds. You might want a fairly early start.

Climbing Season

For the Goose Creek/Molly Gulch Campground area.

Weather station 3.4 miles from here

8 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Sunshine Dome

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Sunshine Dome:
Shining Path   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 4 pitches   
Heart of Darkness   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Trad, 3 pitches   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Sunshine Dome

Featured Route For Sunshine Dome
Rock Climbing Photo: Drilling on pitch one.  Photo by Kirk Miller.

Shining Path 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  Colorado : South Platte : ... : Sunshine Dome
500 feet to the right of Heart of Darkness is a line of bolts leading up to a left-facing flake. Belay near the top of the flake. Face climb up and right through the crux to another left-facing corner. Belay halfway up the corner. Continue up, switching cracks when they run out. Belay next to a big roof then climb past the bolt and up the dihedral to the top. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Sunshine Dome Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The gate with Sunshine Dome in the background.
The gate with Sunshine Dome in the background.

Comments on Sunshine Dome Add Comment
Show which comments
By Allen Hill
From: FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Apr 6, 2007
I think these are some of the best routes anywhere in the state. I've done four of the routes and all of them were four star climbs. Trout's "Shinning Path" is in my opinion the best climb in the Platte. Noel's "Heart of Darkness" is also an exceptional route. The solitude is just fantastic on this remote dome.
By Monty
From: Golden, CO
Jan 22, 2013
Awesome dome in the heart of the Platte.

If you enjoy wandering aimlessly through thorns and bushwhacking, read no further, but if you want some approach beta and enjoy bushwhacking and thorns, here's some more info.

Once on FS 211, follow it past the Goose Creek Campground. Continue along 211 until you are past sunshine dome by a little ways and you see an old Forest Service road (actually 211) that has a locked gate and room for one car to park on the east side of the road. If you have come to a larger pull out turn around and go back 2 mins, that is the parking for Big Rock.

Walk the road for 30 mins (?) until it takes an obvious turn left towards the ranch and a horse trail leads straight out of this turn. Follow this horse trail to the top of the ridge, then bear slightly left and downhill. Follow another ridge, periodically picking up and loosing horse trails, while aiming for a gully that is above the cliffs (couch potatoes?), that are below sunshine dome. This gully will deposit you at the saddle on the left side of sunshine dome and conveniently where you walk off. Leave your packs and have an adventure.

Total approach time 1.5 hrs.

Rock Climbing Photo: Approach beta.
Approach beta.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About