Mt. Belford  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-21, By: Shiloh
Info: Did a quick run of Belford and Oxford this past weekend. As of Saturday 10/17 trail is clear of snow with the exception of one area near the top of the ridge, which can be easily avoided. High winds and cool temperatures above treeline, but that's the norm for October hiking in Colorado. Slight smell of smoke in the air, but hardly noticeable with the amount of wind. 
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-01, By: Troyister
Info: Road to trail is bumpy but any vehicle can make it if you take your time. Trail is a steady uphill climb all the way to Belford summit. Strava had it at 4.1 miles. I then went to Oxford and that was a total of 5.5 miles. On the way down I turned left just before Belford and took the trail to Elkhead Pass, and followed it all the way to the trail head. It added 1.3 miles to the trip but the different views and easier down hike on the knees were well worth it. The trail is in great condition and stream crossings were all easy and dry feet. Not a cloud in the sky all day. Fall colors are good but on the back side and will get less each day. Total trip was 12.4 miles with 5700 feet of elevation gain. Didn't have the legs to add 3-3.5 miles and 1500-1600 feet of elevation gain to get Mt. Missouri also. 
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-27, By: calenning
Info: Standard route is dry with very few patches of snow. Trail is in great shape. 
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-19, By: thebeave7
Info: Snow still holding on the upper switchbacks causing trail rerouting and some traversing of steep snow (kicked steps across). Snow was hard and frozen overnight, but didn't need traction to get through, some people might like it though. Steam coming off the north face has running water. 
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-14, By: ellenmseb
Info: Packed snow on north-facing sections, No snow on south-facing sections. Easy climb with microspikes! Snow was frozen except for noon-4pm (forecasted high was 47F) Road is rougher than in July, but trailhead is still accessible by 2wd. 
5 3
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-13, By: lasallecrew2
Info: Slick, muddy, slushy trail below the tree line due to snow last week. Snow and snowdrifts up to 2-3ft deep cover most of the trail above the tree line. Hikers have blazed a trail to the top, but many are direct paths using steeper lines vs the less steep switchback path. At minimum, recommend microspikes for the entirety of the hike. Snowshoes are unnecessary but could help in some short sections of deeper snow if willing to carry the extra weight. 
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-25, By: NickOutside
Info: Summer conditions the entire way. A few stray spots of snow in the gullies, but none on the trail. Hit the trail at 5:50. 2.5 hours to Belford, 2 hours to make it to Oxford and back, and 1 hr 45 min down to the trail head from Belford. 6:15 in total. Saw 20-30 people on the trail despite it being a Thursday. Slept in the car and the lot was full by 5:30 am. 
3
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-20, By: coopereitel
Info: We started at 3:50AM and went up Belford from the TH. It took us 6:13 to do Belford and Oxford. We passed tons of people on the way down and the parking was packed. We didn't end up doing Missouri just because we weren't feeling it. The only snow was the fresh stuff that covered parts of the trail and were not a problem. Later in the day there was a bit of mud but not enough to be worried about. It was pretty chilly and windy up top. The photo is from Oxford looking at Belford. 
1
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-14, By: Murphyomc
Info: Summer conditions and gorgeous day with low wind on the summit. Still a fair amount of cars at the trailhead at 6:30 am on Friday morning. 
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-11, By: bryanonfilm
Info: Summer conditions even after the snow dump. Couple tiny snow fields. All good to Oxford as well. 
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-15, By: Melinda27
Info: Couldn't believe the trail conditions! Went up and down the steep switchback trail. Creek has good logs to cross on. A few snow patches on the trail but did not bring traction and did not need! 
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-05-30, By: Misi197
Info: Same as report below, only adding that Oxford is similarly in summer conditions. The small sections of snow descending Bel heading to Ox are easy to navigate without traction. No need for spikes. 
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-05-27, By: TheAmateur
Info: SUMMER CONDITIONS. Couple small snowfields on the way up, otherwise its completely dry. Did it in sneakers. Oxford is ready, and summited by others but bring spikes just in case! Its completely dry except for one section! Went down Elkhead pass, that has some snow fields that I was easily able to navigate with careful route finding near the end. 
3 4
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-05-20, By: Vaunts_Grit
Info: Summer conditions. Two small snow fields before the Missouri/Belford Junction. After that it's all rocks. Trainers and shorts the whole way, puffy at the summit due to harsh winds. 
4
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-05-19, By: gregpeak
Info: Near summer conditions. The snow that remains is easy to cross without traction or flotation. 
1
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-05-17, By: langecorya
Info: On Sunday (May 17th) we hiked Belford and Oxford. Great weather and the snow was melting fast. The trail was almost completely open to the top of the peaks besides a few small snow patches. Did not need any crampons or snowshoes. 
2
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-05-13, By: Eagle Eye
Info: Monday I reached the summit of Mt Belford. The snow is melting fast there, I didnt have any trouble with deep rotten snow until the upper part of the avalanche debris area. This is near the cabin ruins, before tree line. After the cabin but before the Belford/Elkhead Pass trailfork there are deep, sloping snowfields the trail runs straight through, I found these (both going up and coming down) to be almost entirely supportive of my probably 225 lbs. This was a bad weather day and very much as forecast, with either rain (low) snow (higher up) or a painful freezing rain on the upper mountain. It added a couple inches of snow on the mountain. I liked having micro spikes on for better traction on the upper switchbacks and icy summit area. The summer trail is visible and usable the whole way. By mid afternoon the sun was appearing when I was on the lower, last (muddy) half of the route. Only one other car at the TH when I got back, none when I left at about 6 am. I saw nobody on the route and from mud tracks nobody came up the trail. I will attach 3 pictures: 1) Missouri Mt from the summit, 2) upper NW ridge from the summit, 3) low 13er Pecks Peak from the summit. Edit 5/16 added last 5 pictures taken near the tail end of NW Gully ski line near the junction of NW Ridge trail. 
8 2
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-05-04, By: HelpImL0st
Info: As mentioned below, the trailhead was very easy to get to even for 2 wheel drive vehicles. Spikes were useful in the morning hours before the sun hits the snow and it's still frozen. We found snowshoes useless because when floatation was needed you'll posthole right through to your waist, regardless. That is true for the section right after the makeshift tree bridge, and even further until right after tree-line. In the frozen morning though, I made it through these sections with ease (120 lbs w a 20 lb pack) but my husband kept breaking though (155 lb w a 30 lb pack). Careful here as we heard several large avalanche “cracks”. It was a beautiful day with just two layers needed until about 12,500 where the wind really kicked up. We had to turn around at 13,500 due to 30mph gusts. So close!! We didn't see a single soul all day until two skiers passed us on the way down around 12,000. They said the snow was great for skiing but wind was brutal at the summit! Will give another go in a few weeks. Also, watch for the herd of bighorn sheep we saw on the Eastern slope! 
3 1
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-04-29, By: wildschut
Info: Trailhead parking was fine. No snow at all. Started at 6:40am. Wore spikes the first 3/4 mile due to remnants of snow that was icy. I was shocked how much I was post holing and falling up to my waste at the section after the creek crossing. This area was brutal. Allow time for it. Climbed Belford with no problems. Lost the trail a few times. Stashed my snowshoes at the base near the last sign and turnoff. They were not needed going up. Decided to hit Oxford as well. Wind was around 5-10mph. Climbing back up Belford was tough and I was exhausted. Did not see another soul. However, the toughest part of coming back was the avalanche section at the bottom. Imagine walking through a swimming pool 7 feet deep with the consistency of a Slurpee. section was probably 500-600 yards. That small section took an hour and it was painful. Snowshoes barely helped and had to actually crawl. Completly sinking and falling almost every step. If it wasn't for my friend it might have been a long night. It will probably be melted in a few days. 
1
 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2020-04-26, By: stauffgj
Info: Went up Mt. Belford from the Missouri Gulch trailhead today (Saturday, 4/25/20). The country road 390 is clear all the way to the parking lot which was ideal and the parking lot was empty except one vehicle. I ended up seeing those two guys skinning up to Missouri Mtn. They helped identify the trail for which was huge. About a mile in, when it opens into the gully, I was post-holing really badly (about three feet deep). Took me twenty minutes to push through that section but glad I did. Made it to the peak with just microspikes and water proof boots. Got fortunate with the weather. But an intrepid hiker could go do it. Just expect some post holing and bring solid microspikes. Got windy up top so I had a couple long sleeve layers on. Trailhead and parking lot and county road leading to--all good to go! 
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