Hiking Mount Oxford – Sawatch Range, Colorado

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Article Categories: Hiking

Mount Oxford is a 14,153 foot peak in the Sawatch Range of Colorado. Oxford is almost always combined with the adjacent Mount Belford, and often combined with another 14er, Missouri Mountain.

Distance – 10.8 miles round trip (17.38 km)
Height – 14,153 feet (4313.83 m)
Elevation gain – 5,360 feet (1633.73 m)
Duration – 6 to 8 hours (book time)
Difficulty – Strenuous
Class: Class 2 Hike
Seasons – This hike can be completed in all seasons, but winter is especially difficult, and dangerous.
Trailhead Location – Missouri Gulch Trailhead – 9,650 feet (directions below)

Trail Maps

Mount Belford & Mount Oxford Loop Trail Map

Mount Belford & Mount Oxford Loop Trail Map

Here is another trail map variation for you:

Mount Belford And Oxford Trail Map

Mount Belford And Oxford Trail Map

Missouri Gulch And Mount Belford Trail – 10.8 Miles – 5,360 Feet Elevation Gain

This is the only common route taken towards Mount Oxford and Mount Belford. The trail begins by crossing over clear creek with a well maintained foot bridge. The trail remains relatively level for about .5 miles before hikers begin the first set of switchbacks.

1.2 miles in, hikers will reach a log bridge crossing the creek. The trail continues to ascend along the creek before reaching the junction towards either Mount Belford, or Missouri Mountain. All around this junction are various backcountry camping sites.

Hikers will bear left towards Mount Belford and Mount Oxford at this junction. The next 1.7 miles to the summit of Mount raise from 11,640 feet to 14,197 feet, making this section quite steep.

Once hitting the summit of Mount Belford, Mount Oxford is very clearly in site, and the trail can be seen that descends into the saddle between the two summits. Hikers drop off the rocky summit of Mount Belford and follow the trail down to the saddle towards Mount Oxford.

.7 miles later hikers reach the saddle between the two peaks which drops to 13,530 feet. Here hikers begin ascending back to towards the summit of Belford, .8 miles later, and 623 feet higher.

Hikers retrace their steps back over to Mount Belford where they have the option to go back the same way, or head towards Elkhead pass, and descend in a loop.

Mount Oxford Via Elkhead Pass – 6.8 Miles To Summit – 5,074 Feet Elevation Gain

This route is an awesome route that is slightly more mileage, but a more gradual last gain to the summit. Hikers begin at the same location but bear right at the junction heading towards Missouri Mountain. Hikers will reach a sign that points towards Elkhead Pass 3.8 miles in. Hikers reach the top of Elkhead Pass 4.6 miles in, and then bear left towards the summit of Mount Belford, reaching it 5.4 miles in.

Elkhead Pass & Mount Belford Trail Loop – 11.6 Miles Total Loop – 5,906 Feet Elevation Gain

This route simply combines both routes and this is our recommended best way to summit both of these peaks.

Mount Belford, Oxford & Missouri Combined

For more information on hiking all three peaks, read here

Elevation Profile Map

Mount Belford & Oxford Elevation Profile Map

Mount Belford & Oxford Elevation Profile Map

 

Hiking Mount Oxford In Winter

As with any 14er, this hike is significantly more dangerous in winter. These summits are doable in winter months via the same route.

Camping For Mount Oxford

There is no camping allowed at the trailhead for Mount Belford, Oxford & Missouri, however all along the road leading to the trailhead, there are various dispersed campsites that are first come first serve, free, and require no reservations.

The dispersed backcountry sites are also available at various points along the hike, most of which at the junction between the three summits. More information can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/cs/generalinfo

Current Weather Conditions:

Here is the detailed weather forecast for the next few days. We highly recommend you check out the mountain forecast for this peak the morning of your hike.

Twin Lakes, CO

This Afternoon
Mostly sunny, with a high near 25. West wind around 15 mph.

Tonight
A chance of snow showers after 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 9. Wind chill values as low as -7. West wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Wednesday
A chance of snow showers before noon, then a chance of snow showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms. Cloudy, with a high near 18. Wind chill values as low as -5. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of around one inch possible.

Wednesday Night
A chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 7. Wind chill values as low as -12. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

Thursday
A chance of snow showers before noon, then a chance of snow showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 27. West wind around 20 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Thursday Night
A chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 16. West wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

Friday
A chance of snow showers before noon, then snow showers likely and a slight chance of thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 26. West northwest wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than half an inch possible.

Directions & Parking

The trailhead is accessible to all types of vehicles. The road leading to Missouri Gulch Trailhead is dirt, but two wheel drive vehicles won’t have issues.

 

Additional Pictures

Mount Oxford summit views

Mount Oxford summit views

Views heading up Mount Belford, Colorado

Views heading up Mount Belford, Colorado

Max DesMarais
Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and sharing experiences with others. Max is a published author for various outdoor websites and digital marketing websites. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about