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If you've got the fitness, this is a fantastic way to snag three 14ers in a day!


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Map Key

15.4

Miles

24.8

KM

Loop

14,147' 4,312 m

High

9,662' 2,945 m

Low

7,066' 2,154 m

Up

7,068' 2,154 m

Down

17%

Avg Grade (10°)

64%

Max Grade (33°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

Many people do one or two of these peaks in the same trip, but doing all three takes a certain level of tenacity. The ups and downs of rocky or meadowy miles makes this trail one that you'll not soon forget.

This route is challenging and gets you up three incredible peaks in the Sawatch Range. Start early from the trailhead and head to Missouri first. Know before you go: this route is between 15-20 miles depending on your exact route and over 7,000ft of elevation gain. The best way to know if you are ready for this is to think about what the day will hold: ~16 miles and over 7,000 ft of gain, does that sound fun to you? Does it sound achievable based on your pace and stamina from previous hikes at similar elevation? If it does, then go for it; you know what you are capable of better than any measurement or test can.

Description

Doing this loop counterclockwise means you hike to Missouri (14,067 feet) first, so you get in a lot of miles quickly before heading to the other two which are closer together. After summiting Missouri (which is a great spot to watch the sunrise) then you'll backtrack a ways until you feel confident cutting across to where the next two peaks are. There is a more difficult trail that cuts across near the ridge, or you can drop lower into the valley, keeping the terrain simpler but making the elevation gain and loss a bit more.

Once you cut across, Oxford is it's own out-and-back over relatively easy hiking with meadows and some Class 2 rocky sections. The Oxford summit is at 14,153 feet and once you reach it, congratulate yourself on a job well done for your second 14er summit of the day, replenish your body with food and water, and turn back to the saddle, retracing your footsteps until you reach the ridge where Belford resides.

Hike along the ridge to Belford (14,197 feet), marveling at the spacious views around you. To your left, you can look way out and see Missouri Mountain, where you started that morning. It looks so far away! Find your way to the summit and all the people. After enjoying your surroundings, begin the long haul back to the car. It starts with plenty of switchbacks among the wildflowers and after dropping into the basin, you'll see where you had split from the trail early that morning.

Continue down through the boulder fields, meadows, and eventually forest. You might rejoice when you reach your rig! But congratulate yourself on an awesome adventure.

Flora & Fauna

wildflowers

Shared By:

Ashley Peterson

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#4

in Twin Lakes

#2163

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#4

in Twin Lakes

#343

in Colorado

#2,163

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Photos

Camp during a BelOxMis weekend.
Apr 3, 2015 near Buena V…, CO
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
Walking towards Oxford.
Feb 19, 2024 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

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