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Bel/Ox/Miss Question

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Bel/Ox/Miss Question

Postby YooperJonKornely » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:14 am

I'm planning on heading up Missouri Gulch very early Saturday and setting up a camp near the old cabin, then hitting up Belford/Oxford and Missouri over Saturday/Sunday. My questions were: 1) Is camping near the cabin a good spot/allowable? 2) Would you recommend hitting Bel/Ox the first day, or vice versa. I would pack up camp and head out after hiking on Sunday. I did not find any trip reports that quite match this... and I'd rather not do all 3 in a day as I prefer to camp. Just looking for some suggestions. Thanks!

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Re: Bel/Ox/Miss Question

Postby USAKeller » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:33 am

Yes, you can camp near the old cabin - there's some good camp spots around there. And, if it were me I'd stick to Belford/Oxford the first day just because I prefer getting more peaks done first.
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Re: Bel/Ox/Miss Question

Postby SolarAlex » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:44 am

when i did that combo we passed a CFI team that had a pretty good sized camp set up right by the cabin. seemed like a pretty nice place to camp.

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Re: Bel/Ox/Miss Question

Postby CO Native » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:21 pm

Camping by the cabin seems like a decent place. However, that is pretty much the last cover before heading above treeline. You will find little deposits from hikers under every rock and next to every log. Plus the access to the creek is very steep right there. It's best go go on a bit further where you can still get cover from the wind by camping in the willows and the stream will be easier to access (though finding an unfrozen section may be hard, so you may be melting snow anyway).

If it were me, I'd hike my camp up to nearly the end of the basin where the Missouri trail leaves the Elkhead Pass trail. Then I'd do Missouri and return to camp there. From camp the next day I'd hit Belford from the Elkhead Pass route, then go over to Oxford, and return to camp via Elkhead (which would skip resummiting Belford).
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Re: Bel/Ox/Miss Question

Postby ameristrat » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:33 pm

CO Native wrote:Camping by the cabin seems like a decent place. However, that is pretty much the last cover before heading above treeline. You will find little deposits from hikers under every rock and next to every log. Plus the access to the creek is very steep right there. It's best go go on a bit further where you can still get cover from the wind by camping in the willows and the stream will be easier to access (though finding an unfrozen section may be hard, so you may be melting snow anyway).

If it were me, I'd hike my camp up to nearly the end of the basin where the Missouri trail leaves the Elkhead Pass trail. Then I'd do Missouri and return to camp there. From camp the next day I'd hit Belford from the Elkhead Pass route, then go over to Oxford, and return to camp via Elkhead (which would skip resummiting Belford).


This is definitely the best advice in summer, but I wouldn't be surprised if you got the prime spot right by the cabin (the tree cover / protection is better). I'd be surprised if many people were up there camping, especially with snow expected Saturday night. The point about creek access is a good one.
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Re: Bel/Ox/Miss Question

Postby BenfromtheEast » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:48 pm

(Edited slightly after reading CO Native's and ameristrat's posts)

I did these three this past Sunday. There's a perfect spot for a tent to the left of the shack as you approach it, and at least one other good spot. When I arrived, at 7pm Saturday, there were two tents set up and I was thankful to just have my bivvy. But I bet the forecast gives you a good shot at having a spot.

I might very respectfully present an opinion in opposition to USAKeller's; doing Missouri first gives you a slightly shorter day after hauling your gear up to camp.

You could also consider camping another mile or so up the Missouri Gulch Trail, near the trail junction for Missouri/Elkhead Pass. Belford is accessible from the Elkhead Pass trail and following the obvious ridge. Not sure this would get you much more than an interesting variation on the route. The wind and snow in the forecast would probably be the biggest factor. As I remember it, the creek was frozen above the "small hill in the basin" from the route description, but had some large open sections where you could filter water from with good access just above treeline. They could very well freeze over this week, but I'd say there's a decent chance they'll still be open.

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Re: Bel/Ox/Miss Question

Postby YooperJonKornely » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:38 pm

Thanks for all the great suggestions and info! I think this will be a great spot to camp for a night and get some great hiking in.
Last edited by YooperJonKornely on Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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