Mt. Oxford  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2020-10-18, By: seayachter
Info: Bone dry trail minus one small avoidable section on Belford. Quite windy (cold) once out of the drainage. Clear skies! 
 
Route: Elkhead Pass
Posted On: 2020-10-04, By: swesleyc7
Info: The trail along Elkwood Pass, through Missouri Gulch, is as clean as a whistle. You do have to cross 2 streams, but the water level is very low and won't get you wet. The trail, saddle, and both Belford and Oxford summits are clear of snow. There is no snow to worry about - no traction needed at all! I wore lightweight trail runners without any issue. Recommendation: I highly recommend the Elkhead Pass / Missouri Gulch route to the saddle, west of Belford, as opposed to the traditional Northwest Ridge route that goes to Belford first. Alltrails will show you the Elkhead Pass route. I have summited Belford a few years ago (had to give up crossing to Oxford due to winter weather) and I can attest to the trail differences. Elkhead Pass adds ~1 mi to the trip (13 mi RT), however the grade is far, far more palatable and easier on the legs and allows bagging Missouri. The avg. gain per mile is ~750 ft. whereas on the NW Ridge route the 3rd mile itself gains ~1,200 ft. Frankly, Elkhead Pass should be the traditional route to Belford/Oxford. 
2
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2020-09-19, By: thebeave7
Info: The descent from Belford has some very annoying sections of snow that block the trail. Most can be bypassed on loose terrain. Snow was frozen solid overnight. The Oxford side of the traverse is pretty much dry. 
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2020-09-14, By: ellenmseb
Info: The route between Belford and Oxford is mostly dry. See my conditions report for Belford; it's packed snow. You'll be fine with microspikes! Everyone without traction looked miserable and some turned back without summitting; everyone with traction looked happy. 
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2020-08-12, By: marcusmartin
Info: Arrived at the Missouri Gulch TH around 6 pm Tuesday evening (08/11/2020). Camped at a great spot about 1/4 mile on down 390 on the right (north) side of 390. Got to the Missouri Gulch TH at 4:30 am. Approximately 10 cars were already there. Despite this, there were very few people on the trail and summits of Mt. Belford (we were there alone around 8 am) and Mt. Oxford (probably 5 people total). Conditions were excellent. Be careful on the descents (from Mt. Belford to Mt. Oxford and back to Mt. Belford; and down from Mt. Belford to the junction to Missouri Mountain). I used poles and was very glad I had them. 
6
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2020-07-19, By: taylorharris50
Info: Perfect conditions and the trail is in great shape. Regaining Belford turned out to be easier than expected. 
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2020-07-12, By: Mitsugi
Info: Summer Conditions. Pretty much nothing needed but good shoes. When you descend, think twice about ElkHead Pass. It is more gradual but on an already nasty hike, it adds many additional miles and we felt every bit of them on the way back. If I went again, I might have descended Belford the way we came. 
3
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2020-07-12, By: PJ88
Info: Full summer conditions. Trailhead parking lot full by 5AM but only had to park a few cars down along the road. If you love switchbacks, this route is for you. Next time I would definitely use Elkhead Pass on the way down. Plenty of dispersed camping sites along the road and along the approach but no camping at trailhead. 
5 2
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2020-07-04, By: fmv093042
Info: Great route! Much steeper and more challenging than expected to be honest. Watch the weather! When we left Mt. Belford initially, the weather was perfect. By the time we arrived to Mt. Oxford clouds began to roll in. Hail, thunder and rain began upon reaching Mt. Belford for the 2nd time on the descent. Was fairly mild, but moral of the story, it occurred 4 hours before weather stations projected and VERY quickly. Great route and beautiful views. 
1
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2020-06-23, By: waelouf
Info: The whole trail was in perfect summer conditions, few snow patches if you take "Elkhead Pass" easy to avoid or walk through, no traction needed 
3
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2020-06-12, By: Ericsheffey
Info: Definitely summer conditions. No extra gear needed, only one very small snowpatch had to be crossed. Parking lot pretty busy when I arrived at 3:45am 😮. 
9
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2020-06-05, By: kbenoit5
Info: What very little snow remains is of no significance 
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2020-06-02, By: clincoln15
Info: Got to the trail-head at about 7am and it was full. Word is out that these are able to be climbed so they are pretty busy already. Incredible conditions on both summits. There were a few snowfields in the gulch that could be avoided and we did as they were pretty slushy on the descent. As other users have said, snow starts as packed in the morning but gets very soft and wet on the way back down. 
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2020-05-29, By: Toobaboy
Info: A little muddy/slushy coming down from Belford, but no traction needed. 
1
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2020-01-21, By: RWSchaffer
Info: The Belford end of the Belford-Oxford ridge is draped in snow fields (picture 1). Sometimes the snow compacts well giving good footing. But there are enough hard and slick sections to make traction mandatory (spikes worked well for me) and an ice axe advisable. The Oxford end of the ridge is almost devoid of snow (picture 2). 
2 2
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2019-12-04, By: CaptainSuburbia
Info: Nice trench to treeline left by CaptCO and SAR. Didn't need snowshoes. After cabin we stayed high and left of standard route to avoid deep snow. Used spikes up Belford and over to Oxford. Returned the way we came. From cabin to parking lot the trench had softened up quite a bit. Kept thinking about putting snowshoes on but never did. Back to vehicle by 4. 
8 8
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2019-10-13, By: daway8
Info: From the back side of Belford there was a fair amount of snow starting to form some small wind slabs. Not enough yet to need snowshoes but microspikes are not a bad idea. Most people were turning back because the wind was freezing them. Be sure to bring layers to deal with the wind. This is a longer and more tiring route than mere mileage suggests. See also recent Belford conditions report. 
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2019-10-07, By: majormajortom
Info: No trail condition change from previous reports. Beautiful October day, windy morning, warm and dry afternoon. 
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2019-09-22, By: Mzapo
Info: Trail in great condition. Did not at any point need to route find. I don't believe there are pics of the avalanche debris in the route description but it's easy to follow, great trail work done here. Unrelentingly elevation gain and switch backs up Belford. From Belford to Oxford is straight forward with a gradual incline up Oxford after navigating down Belford's ridge, however the 500 ft re-ascent to Belford from Oxford was a bit tough and will definitly test willpower. Try to plan for a day with minimal wind (howling at 30 mph the entire time today, cut straight through both jackets i had on), if you choose to do both you'll spend plenty of time above treeline with little cover. 
 
Route: Via Mt. Belford
Posted On: 2019-09-12, By: Trailposse17
Info: Was able to summit both peaks today with excellent conditions! Just a few spots of snow. Started at 9:30 and a few mentioned it was much colder earlier. 
1

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