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Mt. Belford - Missouri Gulch

Difficult
 4.2 (5)

A switchbacking stroll up a Sawatch 14er.


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Map Key

1.8

Miles

2.8

KM

38%

Runnable

14,145' 4,311 m

High

11,663' 3,555 m

Low

2,481' 756 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

27%

Avg Grade (15°)

62%

Max Grade (32°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

During the winter, the road is usually closed about 4 miles below Missouri Gulch Trail.

The land manager requests dogs be leashed. This is an excellent route for dogs - minimal exposure, well-maintained switchbacks, and few mountain goats to chase - so few would blame the owner who lets their dog(s) roam free (but beware of the consequences).

Runner Notes

With relatively mellow grades and one of the most well-maintained trails in the Sawatch Range, this trail makes for an awesome run. There are few rocks and even fewer roots to get in your way.

Description

From the Missouri Gulch Trail, pass through some willows around 11,600 ft. Come to a junction with Mt. Belford and turn left.

From here, it's a short jaunt to Mt. Belford's northwest ridge. Hit the ridge at a rocky area (cairned) before attaining an excellent trail...with many switchbacks. You'll spend the next mile on nothing but sharp switchbacks, but will encounter hardly any obstacles. Around 13,800 ft, the switchbacks angle to the left, and a false summit pops into view. Continue along a straight (refreshing) trail. Crest the false summit at 14,100 ft, upon which the summit of Mt. Belford comes into view. It's just another hundred feet and change to the small rock band that is the summit.

From here, turn back, or press on to Mt. Oxford.

Flora & Fauna

There are plenty of marmots and pika...everywhere. Don't leave any food in your tent: these hungry guys will tear right through the fabric. There are plenty of wildflowers throughout, and tons of willows along the creek at the base of this trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tyler Prince

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 5 votes

#9090

Overall
  4.2 from 5 votes
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Trail Rankings

#777

in Colorado

#9,090

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1,328 Since Apr 1, 2015
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Photos

View of the Sawatch Range from Mt. Belford's summit.
Apr 3, 2015 near Buena V…, CO
A look at the switchbacks on Mt. Belford's northwest ridge.
Apr 3, 2015 near Buena V…, CO
Junction. From the trail to the south, turn left for Mt. Belford, right for Mt. Missouri.
Apr 3, 2015 near Buena V…, CO

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Sep 9, 2018
Kat trail_kat
May 19, 2018
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