Mt. Belford

Southwest Slopes
Difficulty Class 2 
Risk FactorsExposure: Low
Rockfall Potential: Low  
Route-Finding: Low  
Commitment: Moderate  
Start9,650 feet
Summit14,202 feet
Total Gain4,500 feet
RT Length11.00 miles
SheriffChaffee: 719-539-2596
Last Updated10/2022
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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.


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.


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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Caution: The information contained in this route description may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this route description provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the route description author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

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