Peak(s):  Mt. Belford  -  14,197 feet
Mt. Oxford  -  14,153 feet
Date Posted:  07/22/2008
Date Climbed:   07/21/2008
Author:  haybo01
 Belford - Oxford Standard Route  

See Keith K‘s recent trip report for excellent photos. I did not take my camera. Some miscellaneous observations for those of you planning to do this hike.

I hit the trail at 6:00 a.m., made the top of Belford at 9:20. I just walked past the Belford summit, sat down for 10 minutes to eat a sandwich, then made it to the Oxford summit at 10:40. I move at a steady (not fast) pace, with very short breaks to catch my breath. I left the Belford summit the second time at Noon, returning on the standard route (big mistake). I was back in my car at 2:20.

I would not recommend attempting the descent on the main trail. Use the alternate route others have suggested down Elkhead pass, as it is not as steep and is prettier. I fell twice on the descent and roughed up my right arm pretty good. Even with trekking poles it is very tough and tiring. There are places with loose rock and it is so steep that it is very difficult to maintain safe footing.

This is a long, tough hike. I would not recomment attempting it unless you are in excellent physical condition. As someone else said, "this is not a walk in the park". 11+ miles, almost 6000 feet up and down will wear you out! However, if you are very fit, this is a beautiful and rewarding hike to make and bag 2 14ers.

 Comments or Questions

Sorry I missed you!
07/30/2008 17:59
Glad to see you made it. I completed this hike on the following day. I followed the advice and took the Elkhead pass up and down. On the way up I did lose the trail at the creek for about a mile or so. I met up with the trail at the bottom of the pass. It saved me some time, but it negated some of the ease I was going for. Of course coming down the trail it was obvious where I made my mistake (funny how that happens!!). The way down was nice and I was able to stop and smell the flowers so to speak. But after coming back up Belford from Oxford I was pretty beat, the Elkhead pass trail helped.

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