Missouri Mountain Low Down
Missouri Mountain is a great peak to day trip from Denver. If you’re getting into solo hiking, this is also a very manageable peak to do alone.
The Missouri Gulch Trailhead is about 2.5 hours from Denver.
The road to the trailhead is bumpy, but manageable by most vehicles. I made it in a Subaru Impreza.
Missouri Mountain Northwest Ridge
From the trailhead, go left past the sign and drop down to the bridge that crosses the creek.
Continue uphill—it’s very steep! But will level out around the one mile mark.
As the trail nears the river, continue along it and then cross over on the logs. Be careful if they’re wet—they get very slippery!
Hike up along the left side of the gulch.
At the top of the gulch, pause and turn around for a look at the view!
Then the trail turns left and heads back into the woods.
At the sign for Elkhead Pass, go right.
At this sign for Elkhead Pass, go right
When you reach the open rocky area, keep going straight. You should see a cairn on the other side where the trail picks up again.
Cross the stream via the rocks and logs, then when you get to another big rock field, hug the edge of the water. The water has washed out a lot of the trail, but you should see pieces of it.
The trail turns left and starts to climb. You can see it up on the hill to your left.
At the sign for Elkhead Pass junction, go right for Missouri Mountain.
At this sign for Elkhead Pass, go right for Missouri Mountain
Head up the switchbacks.
When you reach the boulder field, there is a pretty well defined trail. Watch for cairns, sections that look unnaturally flat, and rocks lined up for stairs.
Be on the look out for mountain goats! I saw a group of 18—by far the largest group I’ve seen together!
How many do you count?
Follow the trail as it wraps around the neighboring peak.
There are a couple switchbacks up top so if you lose the trail, look for a sharp turn.
You’ll see a big cairn at the saddle.
From there the trail is pretty well defined.
There is one slightly difficult part where it drops down to the right of the ridgeline. You’ll know it when you see it, just move slow through this section.
Then it’s smooth sailing to the summit from there!