Features: Fall Colors — Views
If running on the portions of the trail below the radio tower, be aware that it becomes fairly technical with multiple outcroppings of rocks jutting onto the trail.
The Sunnyside trailhead is directly off of McLain Flats Road, with a 10± vehicle parking lot on the opposite side of the road.
Starting with a relatively low grade, the trail grows steeper soon after the beginning and is then a long, steady zig-zag climb toward the top of the mountain, with the exception of a flat traverse of about a quarter mile. Obvious directional signage is present along the entire trail.
The beginning of the trail has slight Aspen tree coverage, transitioning into low brush. Eventually, the trail passes a small radio tower, which sits among a quiet Aspen grove at the top of the major switchbacks on Red Mountain. The most difficult portion of the trail, in terms of elevation gain and steepness, exists from the trailhead to this point at the radio tower.
Moving further along the trail, signs appear for the Shadyside Trail
and in order to stay on the Sunnyside Trail, keep to the right. The Sunnyside Trail traverses across the face of the Red Mountain before reaching another intersection with the Shadyside Trail
, at which point one should once again stay to the right. The trail continues along through dense forest before concluding at its intersection with Repeater Road. At this point, it is possible to follow Repeater Road as a connector to other trail systems in the area.
From the trail, particularly below the radio tower, there are sweeping views from Independence Pass to all four of the Aspen/Snowmass ski mountains and the high peaks in between. Be sure to bring your camera along so that you can make all of your friends jealous.