IntroThe Northwest ridge from Elkhead basin is one of the longer routes of Missouri Mountain and in some ways one of the harder routes. This route is usually used for climbing Mount Belford and Oxford. But is also used for Missouri. Expect at least a 8 hour to 12 hour day depending on your fitness.
Getting ThereFirst get to Leadville then drive 20 miles south on U.S. 24 and turn right on the Chaffee County 390 road or from Buena Vista drive 14.5 miles north on U.S. 24 and turn left on the Chaffee County 390 road. On the 390 road, drive 7.5 miles to a sign for the Missouri Gulch trailhead. Turn left and drive down into the large parking area.
Route DescriptionThe trail starts at 9,640 ft. and includes 4,427 ft. in elevation gain. Its around 9 miles roundtrip but keep in mind there is not much rest from the steepness. Expect a long day to complete this.
Leave Vicksburg Trailhead where your parked untill you get to Elkhead Basin which starts at treeline. This part is all uphill and switchbacks. There is not much even ground at the beginning of this route.
When you get to the basin it's a little easier ground. Keep heading up and you will soon get to the flank of Missouri's northwest ridge.
Once you get on the ridge head south to the summit for about a mile. Towards the end there is a little exposure and a little steep downclimbing.