Missouri Mtn
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Missouri Mountain - Sawatch Range

S - summit of Missouri  RW - spot to gain ridge and start ridge walk - by the way it's a long way up the Gulch before you hit the trail to the ridge

Looking back down Missouri Gulch and the approx route up to the ridge

Another look at the approx route up to the ridge

The start of the ridge walk

A look back at the first part of the ridge walk

Looking at the last part of the ridge walk with the down climb, then the summit in view

A look at the down climb only about 20 feet

Last stretch after the down climb to the summit

Voila! On the summit with Belford and Oxford in the background

Missouri Mountain - Sawatch Range

Scramble: Class 2 – Steep Hiking

Altitude: 14,067 ft

Elevation Gain: 4,500 ft, 10.5 miles return

Start Time: 5am to 8am to be on your way down by noon and avoid potential lightning storms

Ascent Time: Around 4 ˝ hours


This scramble has a long approach up Missouri gulch but once up on the ridge it is an enjoyable ridge walk with one small down climb just before the summit. Views of Belford Oxford and Huron Peak.

Getting There

From Leadville drive south for 20 miles on US highway 24 and turn right on Chaffee County road 390. From Buena Vista drive 14.5 miles north on US highway 24 and turn left on Chaffee County road 390. Once on 390 drive around 7.5 miles on this washboard bumpy dirt road to the Missouri Gulch trailhead and parking area. There is a restroom at the trailhead. This is the trailhead for Missouri Mountain, Mt Belford and Mt Oxford.

Updated trailhead info available here




There is dispersed camping along county road 390. Most just sleep in their vehicles at the trailhead to get an early start. Some backpack up the trail to the remains of an old cabin at 11,200 ft and start their attempts the next morning.

Route Description

Head up the Missouri Gulch trail as it switchbacks up through the forest. You have to cross the creek coming down the Gulch on a wobbly set of logs. Just before tree line you will see the remains of an old log cabin. Tree line is at 11,300 ft and the Gulch opens up with Belford off in the distance to the left. Continue on the trail to a junction at 11,600 ft. The trail to the left takes you to the switchbacks up Belford’s NW shoulder. The trail to the right continues up the Gulch to access a climb of Missouri mountain or all the way to Elk Pass. Continue straight up the Gulch for a considerable way and take the trail heading right that switch backs up the slopes of Missouri Mountain to the ridge crest. From here you still have a quite long (3/4 mile) but enjoyable ridge walk to the summit of Missouri Mountain.