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One of the harder Sawatch peaks, Missouri is a sister mountain of fellow 14ers Belford and Oxford.

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Out and Back

14,042' 4,280 m


9,650' 2,941 m


4,399' 1,341 m


4,400' 1,341 m



Avg Grade (9°)


Max Grade (35°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Only accessible by snowmobile in winter.


Missouri Mountain is located in the Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains. The standard route is across the Northwest Ridge from the Missouri Gulch Trail. This is a long 11 mile out and back route with incredible scenery.

Need to Know

All hikers attempting to summit MIssouri should be mindful of how quickly the weather changes in the Colorado Rockies. The mountains regularly get afternoon storms with threats of lightning on exposed areas. A typical rule of thumb for hiking any Colorado 14er is to be off the summit by noon. In fact many hikers would suggest being off all high ridges and nearing tree line by noon. To be heading down the mountain at earlier hours means many hikers will need to consider starting their day before the sunrise to allow for adequate time to get down the mountain safely.


After crossing a bridge near the trailhead, the trail quickly reaches steep switchbacks through dense pine forests. At around 10,750 you reach the first of two creek crossings. Once reaching 11,000, the trail passes an old cabin with level ground, a good place to take a break. Continuing on, you reach treeline at around 11,300 and a trail junction to Mt. Belford on the left. Stay to the right as you head into Missouri Gulch.

Near 13,000 you reach a second trail junction, this one heading left to Elkhead Pass. Stay to the right, heading to Missouri Mountains northwest slopes. You enter a talus field with steep switchbacks as you climb to the ridge around 13,700.

Gaining the ridge you are rewarded with beautiful views. Follow the ridge east toward the summit with easier hiking for a while. At around 14,000 you'll come to a notch that drops 25-30 that you must down-climb (Class 2+) on sandy rock with moderate exposure. This sounds worse than it is.

Once at the bottom, the way forward pitches severely on a sandy surface. Handholds can be found by climbing high and using the solid rock as an anchor. This section is about 30 long and once past it, there's a little more steep but easy trail is left to reach the summit.


Shared By:

Mike Langenkamp with improvements by Mark Witte

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 15 votes


in Twin Lakes


  4.2 from 15 votes
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5 Views Last Month
4,815 Since Feb 26, 2015
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Sun coming up near Missouri's summit.
Feb 19, 2024 near St. Elmo, CO
View from Missouri Mountain summit looking SW.
Oct 17, 2019 near St. Elmo, CO
Missouri mountain summit looking across ridgeline
Feb 26, 2015 near Buena V…, CO
Working through the "crux" area on Missouri Mountain. Its steep and full of loose dirt and gravel.
Feb 12, 2020 near St. Elmo, CO
Camp during a BelOxMis weekend.
Apr 3, 2015 near Buena V…, CO
Had my GoPro perched on a rock just before sunset, looking north / northeast at the western base of Mt Belford.
Jun 5, 2016 near Buena V…, CO



Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 10 days ago
Add Your Check-In


Jun 5, 2024
Chris R
Aug 21, 2023
Atsuko Ohtake
Jun 20, 2022
Abe Medina
Long day. Windy on the ridge. Last two miles to car were knee burners from downhill 10.9mi — 7h 00m
Jun 20, 2021
Geok Poh Lim
Sep 27, 2020
Robert Whalen
11mi — 5h 05m
Sep 5, 2020
Jul 26, 2020
Dan Shemon
Belford and Oxford snatched as well with Andrew Lemke, Alex Ramsperger, Nathan Lervold, and Ethan Adams! 5mi — 13h 00m
Jun 29, 2020
Andrew Patterson
Awesome hike today. Beautiful weather, backpacked 2.25 miles in and got the peak before noon. Sat by the river and enjoyed some grub. Ox n Bel next. 8.5mi — 5h 20m

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