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)
Here is another trail map variation for you:
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
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
Sunny, with a high near 33. West southwest wind around 15 mph.
Patchy blowing snow after midnight. Mostly clear, with a low around 16. Wind chill values as low as -4. West southwest wind 15 to 35 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph.
Patchy blowing snow. Sunny, with a high near 25. Wind chill values as low as -5. West southwest wind around 30 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph.
Patchy blowing snow before 8pm, then a slight chance of snow showers between 11pm and 5am, then snow showers likely and patchy blowing snow. Partly cloudy, with a low around 13. Wind chill values as low as -5. West southwest wind 25 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Snow showers and patchy blowing snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 14. West wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 7 to 11 inches possible.
Snow showers and patchy blowing snow before 5am, then patchy blowing snow and a slight chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around -2. Northwest wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
Patchy blowing snow and a slight chance of snow showers before 11am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 6. West northwest wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
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.
Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about