Peak(s):  Mt. Belford  -  14,197 feet
Mt. Oxford  -  14,153 feet
Date Posted:  08/05/2007
Date Climbed:   08/05/2007
Author:  mgh54
 Belford, Oxford - Missouri Gulch Trailhead  

I saw some trip reports on here from this weekend, but djrunner and Sourdough sound like the folks who are on their way down when I'm still a long way from the top, so I figured I'd post a report for some of the more inexperienced folks out there (like myself).

Camping: There are a ton of dispersed campsites along CR 390, so we just camped there. Clear Creek had some good noise to it, which helped drown out my buddies when I called it an early night, and vice versa when I was up well before them (they are a lot faster than me so they got a later start).

Getting there: I had no problem getting to the trailhead with my low clearance 2WD car. The parking lot was practically full when I got there at 5:15.

Trail: Excellent trail that is very easy to follow (I'm surprised it is labeled as Class 2 and not 1). Even though it was still a little dark out when we started the trail wasn't hard to follow at all.

The 2,300 foot gain up the ridge to Belford was a total bear, but it paled in comparison to the climb back to Belford from Oxford. Don't underestimate how long it takes to get to Oxford and back. It took us 2 hours and we really rushed it. If you leave your pack at Belford for the roundtrip to Oxford be sure to have a bottle of water and something to're going to want the fuel for the trek back up to Belford.

Overall: I wouldn't recommend this for a first 14er. All the other ones I have done to date have been a good bit easier. However, after you've gotten a couple under your belt it is great challenge and very rewarding. Just get an early start. I wish we had started at 4:30 instead of 5:30 because we got rushed off the summit due to clouds moving in.

My hike:
Start: 5:30 am
Summit Belford: 9:30 am
Summit Oxford: 10:30 am
Back to Belford: 11:30 am
Back to car: 2:30 pm
Total hike: 9 hours

 Comments or Questions

Very helpful
11/30/2010 17:20
I know lots of people will benefit from your description. The trail is listed as Class 2, and not 1, because it's steep!

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