After cramming Oxford/Belford into one looong and painful day in 2012, we elected to complete Missouri Mountain as an overnight backpack trek...and we regret nothing.
From trail head to campsite
Saturday, July 8, 2017 2:31 PM MDT
Distance: 1.7 miles
Duration: 1 hours, 42 minutes, and 8 seconds
Average Speed: 1.0 mph
Minimum Elevation: 9577 feet
Maximum Elevation: 11260 feet
Total climb: 1683 feet
Total descent: 56 feet
From campsite to summit to trailhead
Sunday, July 9, 2017 6:36 AM MDT
Distance: 9.2 miles
Duration: 9 hours, 9 minutes, and 4 seconds
Average Speed: 1.0 mph
Minimum Elevation: 9621 feet
Maximum Elevation: 14040 feet
Total climb: 3547 feet
Total descent: 5229 feet
Missouri, Belford, and Oxford can all be completed from the Missouri Gulch trailhead. After ~2.25 miles from the trailhead the trail splits with Missouri to the right and Belford/Oxford to the left.
There is a great campsite right around 1.75 miles in, before you exit the trees. The campsite has a great snowmelt stream running about a quarter-mile away. This enables a hiker to get a good 1,500+ elevation gain out of the way before attempting either 14er trek...absolutely ideal!
After the steep (but short), uphill trek into camp we enjoyed a relaxing evening in preparation for tomorrow's climb.
The next morning was an early start with amazing weather ahead of us.
The morning warms up fast as we come out of treeline. Even in early July, plenty of snowfields were crossed.
Marley (Andrew's pup) was a trooper, but the rocks seemed to bother his paws near the summit. May not be an ideal hike for puppers who do not have high-altitude experience.
Back down at camp, time to pack-up and pack-out!
All in all, hiking in and camping was far preferred to completing the full hike in one day. Plus, Tyler fair preferred the tolerable 6am wake-up call compared to 3am...but he is a bit of a whiner about mornings.
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