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Mt Belford from Missouri Gulch
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Mt Belford from Missouri GulchSouth Central, CO
South Central, CO
Hiking avatar Sep 18 2014
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Hiking10.10 Miles 4,525 AEG
Hiking10.10 Miles   9 Hrs   20 Mns   1.82 mph
4,525 ft AEG   3 Hrs   47 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
The described pieces of this hike don't quite capture the route I took, which is one of the most popular: a sort of lollipop starting at the Missouri Gulch TH, going up to Belford, then down via Elkhead Pass and around the cirque past the trail for Missouri Mtn before reconnecting at the cabin for the descent. GPS track is now posted. Overall AEG is about 4500 feet. After only a day and a half at altitude, I wasn't up for the extra 2,000 feet for the side trip to Oxford.

This is an outstanding hike, with breathtaking views not only from the summit, but also from the pass and within the cirque. There are many connecting trails that provide numerous backpacking options. A great way to approach this is to base camp at the cabin and dayhike to Belford and Oxford or to Missouri. Longer hikes are possible from other trailheads. I'm definitely coming back for another look.

I started right at sunrise after eating breakfast in the dark at the TH. Midweek farther from Denver, there were only about eight other people in the whole valley that day.
Fauna
Fauna
Mule Deer
Named place
Named place
Mount Belford
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
There were a few flowers left, including a lone Colorado Columbine above 13k feet. There was a great mix of yellow Aspens among the green, and the willows were green, yellow and orange. Grass was getting pretty washed out.
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