Peak(s):  Mt. Belford  -  14,197 feet
Mt. Oxford  -  14,153 feet
Date Posted:  08/19/2013
Date Climbed:   08/18/2013
Author:  ajpete

 BelfOx and down Missouri Gulch  

1.5 miles from trailhead to cabin (Full Packs): 1.5 hrs
Cabin to Belford: 2 hrs 45 min
Belford to Oxford: 1 hr
Oxford to Cabin 5.3 miles via mytracks (with 4 switchback start on Missouri before I changed my mind due to clouds and time) via Elkhead/Missouri Gulch: 2 hrs 45 min
Cabin to Trailhead (Full Packs): 45 min

There isn't much flat camping around the cabin so may need to take the spot right before you cross the stream well before the cabin or some of the spots in the willow bogs just past the cabin (I put my 1 person in the cabin)

We started Saturday night around 1730 from the Missouri Gulch trailhead. Can someone tell me why I passed ~75 cars on the dirt road 390? As others had to say you really don't get too much of a warm up before you are headed up so steep switchbacks. Woke at 0400 and were ready around 0430 but waited until 0515 for someone that was going to join but ended up not being able to make it (found that out on top of Belford when I got service). Headlamps until half way up Belford, all reports are right this is a steep trail! Plenty of breaks before we got to the top. It wasn't a packed trail but there were about 8 people up top by the time we left for Oxford. Portion downhill to saddle is steep and you need to be sure footed or take your time, portion up Oxford wasn't too bad in my opinion. I will agree with others about back up Belford but I was feeling great and put some music in and motored up because I had blue skies and decided I wanted to try Missouri as well. Elkhead pass is great and I jogged pretty much the entire thing to Missouri Mt. I looked up and realized I had my work cut out for me. After 4 switchbacks there were some thunderheads forming and I changed my mind and came down and met my hiking partner. We packed our bags and headed down the switchbacks to the car. With full packs this is kind of a knee destroyer. Got to the car with only a few sprinkles and two more 14ers to add to the list. The views from these two are great! I recommend going down Missouri Gulch trail from Elkhead pass. It is more distance but the terrain is way more manageable and it was nice to have a little change in scenery with the willows and a couple stream crossings. Didn't see much in the way of flowers but it probably is too late to expect that. Wildlife was pretty much Pika with a few chipmunks and a couple marmots. I will be back to do Missouri as I thought this was a fun area to hike and I felt really lucky to have blue skies and friendly people on the mts Sunday.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Leadville 100...
08/19/2013 22:36
...was this past weekend. That would explain all the cars. They ran over hope pass to 390, up to Winfield and then back.


08/20/2013 03:36
I was hoping someone would have an explanation! I think I saw more cars on 390 than on 24!

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