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Mt. Belford (14,197’) is located in far northern Chaffee County and accessible from Clear Creek Canyon. It was named after James B. Belford, the first Colorado congressman.
The standard route is via the Missouri Gulch Trail, whose trailhead is located across from the Vicksburg ghost town. The trail ascends Clear Creek Canyon in forest, reaches a beautiful meadow at timberline and then continues up a steep and well-marked trail to the summit.
Directions: From Leadville, travel south on Highway 24 (as if traveling to Buena Vista). Turn right (west) on Chaffee County Road 390 at Clear Creek Reservoir and travel 7.5 miles to the trailhead parking lot on the left. This is a dirt road that sometimes has potholes and washboard areas, but it can be driven with an ordinary passenger vehicle.
Not interesting in hiking all the way to Mt. Belford’s summit? Take the trail far enough to get above timberline. Photograph the wildflowers or gaze at the fall foliage (depending on the season), enjoy the sound of Missouri Gulch creek, have a picnic, relax or just enjoy the mountain views.
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