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Camping around Missouri Mountain?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Camping around Missouri Mountain?

Postby dajocko » Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:57 pm

Group,

Myself and two friends are planning on camping at Missouri Mountain next Saturday and then summiting in the morning. Can anyone recommend a good place to camp on or near the trail? We would like to camp at 10,000ft+ if possible since we are coming from the East Coast and will need the extra acclimatization. Are there many spots to make camp or are they limited? What about the water situation... It looks like there is plenty in the area. Thanks for any beta.

Dave

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Re: Camping around Missouri Mountain?

Postby dehrlich101 » Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:06 pm

There is plenty of dispersed camping spots on the way up.. once you leave the trees there are a lot of places to camp too. A recent conditions report said that there is still water flowing in the stream.
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Re: Camping around Missouri Mountain?

Postby desertdog » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:59 am

I did Missouri several weeks ago also Belford / Oxford earlier in the summer (See my trip report For Missouri on 9/21). You will have no problem with camping. I think the best spots are past the cabin mentioned in the14ers Route guide. I climbed on a Weds. and there was no one camped in the basin. Have fun. Richard

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Re: Camping around Missouri Mountain?

Postby Vellum_and_Ink » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:50 pm

Im looking for some advice over pretty much this same thing. Hopefully you guys can help me out. I have a trip planned for the beginning of August in this area. My plans are to start at the Missouri Gulch TH, hike in relatively near Elkhead Pass and set up camp. From there I plan on climbing Missouri, Belford, and Oxford. I plan on doing those on separate days as I live in Indiana and Ill be taking some first-timers with me. I was intending to set up camp somewhere between Elkhead Pass and the Pine Creek Trail Junction. I was planning on setting up below tree line closer to the Pine Creek junction, but when I was discussing this with my dad he pointed out that the first time we went through here we passed a family with two younger children camping near the lake just below Elkhead Pass. I am thinking of changing my plans to do this, but (especially after seeing some photos of this area) am wondering about the prudence of doing so. Being so far away I cant effectively scout the area, and dont want to arrive with a plan thats bound to fail. Can you guys offer any suggestions as to where the spot "closest" to Elkhead Pass is at which we could safely camp for a couple nights? I would appreciate it. Thanks

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Re: Camping around Missouri Mountain?

Postby MtHurd » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:16 pm

You will want to do Belford and Oxford on the same day. Doing those two on seperate days doesn't make any sense as you will have to summit Belford (almost) to get to Oxford. Do your backpack up to Missouri Gulch from the trailhead in the morning and then rest up the rest of the day. Belford and Oxford the next day shouldn't be too stenuous.

There should be plenty of camping in Missouri Gulch. I haven't been up towards Elkhead Pass, but there really isn't a need to camp too close to it unless you want to haul your backpack all the way up there. Camp in Missouri Gulch near the turnoff to Belford. On your Missouri climb day it will be a quick dayhike up to the Missouri Mountain turn before you get to Elkhead Pass.

Edit: I would assume since you mentioned Pine Creek that you want to backpack over Elkhead Pass and camp on the other side of Elkhead Pass from Missouri Gulch? If that is the case I would assume you are considering Missouri from over there? Probably not a good idea for newbies from that side.

As a reminder, August is monsoon season. Bring raingear and get early morning starts.

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Re: Camping around Missouri Mountain?

Postby Wish I lived in CO » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:32 pm

How odd, I JUST seconds ago reset my screen saver (I change it weekly) as the cabin on the way up to BelOxMiss. As I recall there's great camping spot at the creek crossing below the cabin, also decent right near the cabin though the creek is a bit below you, and decent camping just above that. You could really camp almost anywhere though. As for winter or recent conditions I can't say much on that.

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Creek Crossing Camping.JPG
Creek Crossing Camping.JPG (171.61 KiB) Viewed 699 times


Camping Anywhere.JPG
Camping Anywhere.JPG (139.48 KiB) Viewed 700 times
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Re: Camping around Missouri Mountain?

Postby Vellum_and_Ink » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:41 pm

Sorry Barry, I wasnt very clear. Belford and Oxford one day, Missouri another. And yes I was planning on hiking over the pass and camping on the other side. The reason I was planning this way is that my plan involves a thru-hike to Pine Creek TH, and then driving back around to pick up the second vehicle at Missouri Gulch TH, and a "base camp" on that side of the pass would mean less camp moving for the trip (also want to get over to Silver King Lake on one of the off days). And as far as climbing Missouri from the route you mentioned, no I wasnt planning on that one, I actually hadnt even read about it until browsing the forums today. My plan for summitting Missouri would be to climb back over Elkhead Pass and hit the trail junction to take the standard route back up, but thank you very much for the warning. I know it rains a considerable bit this time of year (my last trip we camped near Littlejohn's and had about an hour of rain / snow / hail every day). I just want to make sure I dont put us in an over exposed spot that close to the pass, but Id like the closer proximity to the summits and Silver King Lake from that location if it wouldnt be too exposed.

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Re: Camping around Missouri Mountain?

Postby Vellum_and_Ink » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:52 pm

My first trip to Colorado was 1999, my dad and I had organized several backpacking trips in the Appalachian Mtns for years and, as this was my senior year, figured we would try for something "bigger". Dad worked with a guy who had been out in the Collegiate Peaks area and suggested it to us, but didnt give us much more knowledge than that. We hiked in from Pine Creek TH and arrived near the tree line just under Missouri Basin a couple nights later. We decided to try and summit Belford, and not knowing better left a little before noon. I think we hit the summit around 4:30, with a thunderstorm chasing us up the mountain. We didnt realize our real danger til we got socked in on the summit with severe wind, rain, and hail. Needless to say a first experience where we descended in lowered visibility, painful hail, a quickly icing over trail, and seeing lightening strike within ten feet of my dad (and several times within 50 ft) left me with GREAT respect for the might of these mountains and a "no seriously, dont screw with bad weather" attitude. We more than pushed our luck that trip through our ignorance, Ill do everything I can not to make that mistake again.

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Re: Camping around Missouri Mountain?

Postby jet » Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:28 pm

There are some good camping sites just as you enter the trees descending from Elkhead Pass towards the Pine Creek Junction trail. There are remnants of an old cabin near the trail. There are nice camping sites with good access to water. We had planned on doing about the same thing you are planning but with some bad weather we ended up camping at Little Johns. We did Oxford and Belford from there and ended up skipping Missouri. Our route for Missouri would have been to go to the saddle between Iowa and Emerald and take the ridge over to Missouri.
The trail up to Silver King lake can get a little hard to follow at times. We did a different approach to that area by starting at Cottonwood pass and climbing over the ridge near Silver King, than went out to the Pine Creek trailhead.

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Re: Camping around Missouri Mountain?

Postby peter303 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:05 am

The important thing the next couple weeks is the avalanche situation. We've had a good 2-3 recent snows on top of 6 weeks of crappy minimal snow. That is a perfect avalanche setup scenario as four fatalities last week show. The Belford west side of the north approach valley steep enough for avy sheets. The middle part toward Missouri is not as steep until you get closer to the ridge. The CAIC wind roses show northside danger today in this area. But that changes on a daily basis.

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Re: Camping around Missouri Mountain?

Postby d_baker » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:15 am

peter303 wrote:The important thing the next couple weeks is the avalanche situation. We've had a good 2-3 recent snows on top of 6 weeks of crappy minimal snow. That is a perfect avalanche setup scenario as four fatalities last week show. The Belford west side of the north approach valley steep enough for avy sheets. The middle part toward Missouri is not as steep until you get closer to the ridge. The CAIC wind roses show northside danger today in this area. But that changes on a daily basis.

Since this thread was revived from an October post, with the new post looking for the same info for their August trip, they shouldn't have to worry about avalanches...

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