The Missouri Gulch Trail begins at the large parking area south of Clear Creek Road (Chaffee County Road 390) across the road from the old town of Vicksburg. This trail ends at its junction with the Pine Creek Trail in Missouri Basin. The first 3.5 miles is strenuous, with an elevation gain of 3,740 feet. The next 3.3 miles has an elevation loss of 1,670 feet.
Follow the Missouri Gulch Trail into upper Missouri Gulch (approx. 2.5 miles). As the trail ascends to 12,600 feet, it turns abruptly east to climb up to Elkhead Pass. A cairn marks the turn off here for the ascent of Missouri Mountain. Turn west and climb the grassy slopes and a loose talus slope toward the low point on Missouri's northwest ridge.
Please stay on established trails as much as possible, particularly on the descent. From the ridge, hike southeast to Missouri's summit. When descending, please avoid the scree slopes, as rare plants tenuously exist there.
This area is extremely popular with climbers accessing Mount Belford, Mount Oxford, and Missouri Mountain within the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area. Plan your trip on a weekday if you hope to obtain solitude.
This hike is one of Leadville Ranger District's Suggested Day Hikes.
At a Glance
||Vicksburg, Leadville, and Buena Vista, Colorado
||For more information on Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics, go to http://lnt.org or for more information on Colorado's fourteeners, go to www.14ers.org
From Leadville, travel south on U.S. Hwy 24 to Clear Creek Reservoir. then travel west on County Road 390. At eight miles, look for a sign "Missouri Gulch Trailhead" on the south side of the road and park.