Mt. Belford

Northwest Slopes

Stoke Meter


8.1 Miles

Highest Elevation


Lowest Elevation



4,500 ft.


Class 2


While climbing this easily-accessible mountain, don’t forget to look behind you to catch the sunrise coming up over Leadville in the distance, and illuminating miles of rolling ridgelines 270 degrees around you. You’ll have breathtaking views of remote lakes beyond Elkhead Pass and two other 14ers within reach if you are feeling ambitious.
Brandon Yonke, Kaitlyn Yonke

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Trail Directions

From the Missouri Gulch Trailhead on SR390, cross the bridge that is just after the informational signs. The trail will take you through dense forest complete with aspen and pine trees. The trail becomes steep enough where even top runners will be reduced to a hike.

There is a stream and an avalanche chute near 10,800ft, about mile 1.1. Cross a crude bridge made of plenty of large, fallen trees and continue to rise. Colorado Fourteeners Initiative has done extensive work on this area including restoring the trail, installing steps, and mitigating erosion. Thank them if you see them!

There are remains of an old cabin near 11,000ft. Not long after this the trail forks. Ultimately, this is a loop. To get directly to Belford, take the fork on the left. The trail will become increasing steep after the sign as you leave the valley and hit the face of Belford. Switchbacks abound, and Leadville will come in to view miles behind you as you gain.

Near mile 3.75/13,800ft the trail flattens out and gives astounding views of Elkhead Pass, Harvard, Columbia, and the rest of the Range. Make a short, comparatively flatter trip to the summit about a few hundred yards farther.

To continue to Oxford 1.2 miles away, drop off the summit to the southeast. You’ll be able to see Mt. Oxford and the saddle. Turn left/east about 100 yards from the summit. The ridge drops about 600ft in elevation and is straightforward to follow, though, footing can be sandy and loose. Rise about 600ft to Oxford on a gradual slope. Return back the way you came.
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Training Plans for This Adventure

  • Trail running training plan 14er/mountain

    Mountain/14er Training Plan – Beginner

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