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Mt. Belford - Missouri Gulch

Difficult
 4.2 (5)

A switchbacking stroll up a Sawatch 14er.


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Map Key

1.8

Miles

2.8

KM

Point to Point

14,145' 4,311 m

High

11,663' 3,555 m

Low

2,481' 756 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

27%

Avg Grade (15°)

62%

Max Grade (32°)

Dogs Leashed

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

During the winter, the road is usually closed about 4 miles below Missouri Gulch Trail.

The land manager requests dogs be leashed. This is an excellent route for dogs - minimal exposure, well-maintained switchbacks, and few mountain goats to chase - so few would blame the owner who lets their dog(s) roam free (but beware of the consequences).

Description

From the Missouri Gulch Trail, pass through some willows around 11,600 ft. Come to a junction with Mt. Belford and turn left.

From here, it's a short jaunt to Mt. Belford's northwest ridge. Hit the ridge at a rocky area (cairned) before attaining an excellent trail...with many switchbacks. You'll spend the next mile on nothing but sharp switchbacks, but will encounter hardly any obstacles. Around 13,800 ft, the switchbacks angle to the left, and a false summit pops into view. Continue along a straight (refreshing) trail. Crest the false summit at 14,100 ft, upon which the summit of Mt. Belford comes into view. It's just another hundred feet and change to the small rock band that is the summit.

From here, turn back, or press on to Mt. Oxford.

Flora & Fauna

There are plenty of marmots and pika...everywhere. Don't leave any food in your tent: these hungry guys will tear right through the fabric. There are plenty of wildflowers throughout, and tons of willows along the creek at the base of this trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tyler Prince

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 5 votes

#9862

Overall
  4.2 from 5 votes
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Trail Rankings

#841

in Colorado

#9,862

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1,447 Since Apr 1, 2015
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Photos

A look at the switchbacks on Mt. Belford's northwest ridge.
Apr 3, 2015 near Buena V…, CO
Junction. From the trail to the south, turn left for Mt. Belford, right for Mt. Missouri.
Apr 3, 2015 near Buena V…, CO
View of the Sawatch Range from Mt. Belford's summit.
Apr 3, 2015 near Buena V…, CO

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Check-Ins

Sep 6, 2020
MtnDanAz
May 31, 2020
Josh B
Jul 29, 2019
Lynn Lester
Missouri Gultch Trail to Elkhead Pass to Mt Belford. Ascent down to Missouri Gultch 10.1mi — 5h 50m
Jul 6, 2019
Robert Lee
Jul 28, 2018
Emily H
Jun 7, 2018
Nancy Stanley
Jun 6, 2018
Paul Hanyzewski