Peak(s):  Mt. Belford  -  14,197 feet
Mt. Oxford  -  14,153 feet
Date Posted:  07/02/2006
Date Climbed:   07/01/2006
Author:  spaceman
 Belford to Oxford and Down Elkhead Pass  

I got an early start, actually it was too early if I want breakfast in Idaho Springs as they were not even serving breakfast yet.

I hit the trail in the dark at 4:45 and started up the steep switchbacks immediately after leaving the trailhead. About 1/2 an hour in it was light enough to turn off the headlamp with the morning light. The Mt. Belford trail is extremely steep, but a very nice trail and easy to follow. As I passed the remnants of the building I saw several groups of campers getting up and packing up for their day. A little further I passed a couple who were heading up to Missouri.
Those would be the only people I would see until after the summit of Oxford. I continued up the steep trail towards the Belford summit, reaching the summit about 8:15. I had the summit all to myself and spent about 15 minutes resting and grabbing a quick bite to eat.
I then started over the ridge and down to the saddle between Oxford and Belford. I reached the Oxford summit at about 9:15 and relaxed under the clear blue skies for about 30 minutes, again with the summit all to myself. Looking back at Belford I could start to see a crowd forming on the summit.

I decided that it was time to head back toward the TH in case any weather started to move in. It was almost down to the saddle that I past the first of many hikers heading to Oxford. The climb back up to the ridge of Belford is cruel and unusual punishment. By the time I got back to the ridge there were some dark clouds forming over Oxford. I met a gentleman here who was coming up the Elkhead Pass trail and decided that I would descend that way for something different.
By the time I reached the pass, I was already in the shade from the large storm forming between the mountains. By treeline I was starting to hear thunder and about 1/2 mile from the TH I saw a lightning flash that was less than a mile away.
I picked up the pace to close to a jog and finished the hike quickly hitting the car about 12:30.

I checked the register on the way out and about 60 people had signed in after I had in the morning. I hope everybody got off the mountain safely.

I have posted more pictures at

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2017®, 14ers Inc.