Trail Run Project Logo

Mt. Belford - Missouri Gulch



1.8 mile 2.8 kilometer point to point
38% Runnable


Ascent: 2,481' 756 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 14,145' 4,311 m
Low: 11,663' 3,555 m


Avg Grade: 27% (15°)
Max Grade: 62% (32°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Tyler Prince

A switchbacking stroll up a Sawatch 14er.

Tyler Prince

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.


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.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow runners know what's here.


Rate This Trail

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In


Sep 9, 2018
Kat trail_kat
May 19, 2018
Brianna Coy

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 4 votes


  4.3 from 4 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Trail Rankings


in Colorado


2 Views Last Month
991 Since Apr 1, 2015



View of the Sawatch Range from Mt. Belford's summit.
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
A look at the switchbacks on Mt. Belford's northwest ridge.
Apr 3, 2015 near Buena V…, CO


Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running