Missouri Gulch Trail
ElevationAscent: 3,508' 1,069 m
Descent: -1,612' -491 m
High: 13,158' 4,011 m
Low: 9,650' 2,941 m
GradeAvg Grade: 13% (8°)
Max Grade: 77% (38°)
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“A beautiful trail through forest and alpine tundra in the shadow of Missouri Mountain.”— Mike Langenkamp
Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
After crossing a bridge near the trailhead, the trail quickly reaches steep switchbacks through dense pine forests. At around 10,750 you reach the first of two creek crossings. Once reaching 11,000, the trail passes an old cabin with level ground, a good place to take a break. Continuing on, you reach treeline at around 11,300 and a trail junction to Mt. Belford on the left. Stay to the right as you head into Missouri Gulch.
Near 13,000, you reach a second trail junction, this one heading left to Elkhead Pass or right to Missouri Mountain. Stay to the left and continue on to Elkhorn Pass. Elkhorn Pass is a saddle between Missouri Mountain and Mt Belford. The view back into Missouri Gulch from here is fantastic. Once over Elkhorn Pass you begin the decent heading south.
Run south along the eastern side of Emerald Peak. The trail eventually turns east and drops below treeline before ending at the Pine Creek Trail junction.