From CO 145 (the highway up the canyon to Telluride from Sawpit), turn south on South Fork Road (FR 625). This turn is 100 yards west of mile marker 71. Follow this road 2.2 miles as it heads east, then south into a valley to the townsite of Ilium.
Look for a sign for Sunshine Mesa (FR 623) and turn right to cross the South Fork of the San Miguel River. Climb south up this maintained dirt road for approximately 2.5 miles before encountering a series of switchbacks through the aspen forest that wind you through numerous parcels of private land. After the 5th switchback, the road will fork with a sign indicating Sunshine Mesa to the left. Follow this fork and the easily identifiable road until arriving at the trailhead 7.7 miles from the turnoff at CO 145. Immediately before the trailhead, you will emerge into a large meadow with several old mining buildings. Bear left into a grove of trees where ample parking and several campsites exist.
There are a few "at-large" spots available for camping near the trailhead. There is a great deal of private property around this area, so be sure to adhere to any no trespassing signs and respect any marked boundaries.