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Mt. Belford
Southwest Slopes
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Difficulty:
 Class 2 
Risk Factors:Exposure: Low
Rockfall Potential: Low  
Route-Finding: Low  
Commitment: Moderate  
 
Trailhead:Missouri Gulch
Start:9,650 feet
Summit:14,197 feet
Total Gain:4,500 feet
RT Length:11.00 miles
Author:BillMiddlebrook
Updated:7/2021
Weather:NOAA Forecast
Conditions:253 reports
Cell Signal:18 reports
Sheriff:Chaffee: 719-539-2596
Forest:San Isabel
Wilderness:Collegiate Peaks
Quad. Maps:Log In to View
Camping:On Google Maps
Eats:On Google Maps
Downloads:Log In to Download
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Trailhead

From Leadville: Drive 20 miles south on U.S. 24 and turn right on the Chaffee County 390 road.
From Buena Vista: Drive 14.5 miles north on U.S. 24 and turn left on the Chaffee County 390 road.
On the 390 road, drive 7.5 miles to a sign for the Missouri Gulch trailhead. Turn left and drive down into the large parking area. There are restrooms here.

Route

Start down the Missouri Gulch Trail, cross the bridge over Clear Creek and continue into the forest. Hike over 1/4 mile and climb a bunch of switchbacks through the steep forest. Leave the switchbacks at 10,400' and continue south along Missouri Gulch creek. At 10,800', turn left and locate a log bridge where the trail crosses the creek - 1. Continue through bushes, turn right follow the excellent trail through an avalanche path clearing ( 2) to reach the remnants of an old shack, near 11,200' - 3. Exit the forest and continue into Missouri Gulch on the excellent trail - 4. At 11,600', stay right at the Mt. Belford trail junction ( 5) and continue south ( 6) for another 1.5 miles to reach the Missouri Mountain trail junction, near 12,600' - 7. Stay left and walk another 3/4 mile to reach Elkhead Pass - 8, 9 and 10.

Belford's summit is over 1 mile away from the pass. Turn left to find a less-used trail heading east - 11. Follow this trail ( 12) for over 0.3 mile before it begins to swing left (north) - 13. Continue toward the ridge, south of Belford's summit - 14, and 15. When you reach the ridge crest, at 14,100', intersect the standard trail between Belford and Oxford - 16. Turn left and walk over to Belford's summit - 17 and 18.

Notes

IMPORTANT: This route enters the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness area. Wilderness areas have special regulations and restrictions for party size, dispersed camping, campfires, etc. Also, dog owners should read the wilderness information carefully because some wilderness areas prohibit dogs to be off-leash and/or limit how close dogs can be to lakes and streams. If you have questions about the wilderness area, please contact a U.S. Forest Service office for the National Forest(s) listed above.
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