N. Halfmoon Creek Trailhead


Range: Sawatch Range
Coordinates: 39.15341, -106.46353
14ers: Mt. Massive

Road Difficulty

Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD easy dirt road to 10,100' at the main Mt. Massive TH. Then, narrow Easy 4WD to 10,500' at the N. Halfmoon Creek TH.

Driving Directions

From U.S. 24 just south of Leadville, turn onto Colorado 300. Drive 0.7 mile, turn left onto County Road 11 and continue another 1.2 miles before turning right onto the Halfmoon Creek road. Reset your trip odometer and follow the Halfmoon Creek dirt road for 5.3 miles to reach the Mt. Massive parking area on the right. The road above this point becomes more difficult so low-clearance or 2WD vehicles should definitely park at the Mt. Massive trailhead. Continue to 7.3 miles and keep straight at a junction. Now the road gets more difficult, requiring 4WD with good clearance. Overcome the last 0.5 mile to reach the small, marked trailhead on the right. There's parking for about 8-10 vehicles at or near the trailhead.

Winter Access

Usually closed just a short distance up from where the road changes to dirt - over 8 miles below the TH.
Status Updates 
Posted By: angry
Info: Mostly dry. Parked 0.34 below the th.
Posted By: Cameron Derwin
Info: Road is open and well packed snow to the main Massive/Elbert trailheads (any car should be able to get this far right now). Past that it is still packed, but with a rut of snow in the middle. It becomes increasingly icy closer to the TH and I turned around about a third of a mile from the trailhead, where it gets steep since my mud+snow tires started slipping around. I think medium/high clearance and studded tires would easily get to the trailhead, but I would be careful even with non-studded snow tires, I was slipping all over the place on the way down.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: Despite the previous USFS message(s), I found the road was wide open Monday 11/8. A friend that lives in Buena Vista had told me the same thing (road is wide open) back in late October. The road leading to the trailhead on 11/8 was in great shape although it has some sections of hard packed snow or ice on it. No snow or ice at all in the actual Mt Massive TH parking area.
Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: Road to TH is closed per USFS order until November 31st now for construction.

Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: Road to TH is closed per USFS order until September 30th now for construction.

Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: Road to TH is closed per USFS order until August 31st now for construction.

Posted By: gluckhikes
Info: Road still closed just after the Halfmoon East/West Campgrounds.
Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: Road to TH is closed per USFS order until July 31st now for construction.

Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: Road to TH is closed until June 30th for road work per USFS

Posted By: mtgoatmike
Info: Road was passable for most vehicles up to the 110J split, plenty of parking. I was able to drive my 2012 Tacoma 5ft bed up to the upper trail head. The crux of the road was easily passable with the assistance of some well placed rocks. Some snowy spots on the road, but its compacted, just a little slick in the shady spots.

(this is probably going to change with the forecasted snow storm rolling through this weekend)
Posted By: MtnHigh
Info: Road is mixed dry, wet, some snow. Logging activity on either side of the road a half mile before the Elbert trailhead.
Posted By: lb124
Info: Took our Tesla Model 3 up to the junction at 110J. As others have said, anything past point that will need much higher clearance and 4wd. And I definitely wouldn’t recommend anything any lower to the ground than a Model 3. We scraped (gently) about 4-5 times both up and down the trail and it was slow going but overall wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it might be. Only two trucks parked at the actual trailhead and no one else at the junction so a quiet day on the mountain (other than the wind!).
Posted By: brodiecr11
Info: Didn’t know how this road would turn out in my 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe (8.1" of clearance) when I first looked at the reviews. Decided to see how far I could get once I was up there. I drove the road completely in the dark, which actually was better than sunlight because I got to shine my headlights on the road. The road was completely dry, had minor ruts and rocks and wasn’t steep at all. Ended up stopping just above the 110 road junction (0.4 miles from the TH?), which I soon learned was a wise choice given the steeper road with bigger ruts and rocks, including one that was best left for a wrangler/4runner/etc. But then again, there was a Volvo along with a couple of wranglers after we hiked to the trailhead, so you never know. I can’t imagine that he didn’t have a tough time with the last bit.
Posted By: jubbuh
Info: As others say, all the way up to the 110 junction, the road is bumpy but doable. afterward, on the last .5 miles there are 2 obstacles that require a high clearance vehicle. Jeep Wrangler made it, no issues at all. Note, at the TH there were only 3 Jeeps... at the 110 junction, there were like 20 vehicles, including 4runners and f150’s

honestly, they could have made it...
Posted By: jhills2
Info: Drove my Audi SQ5 (~ 8 inches of clearance WITH summer lower profile tires still on) almost to the 110 split off where users say to stop. I would agree, as going up the hill there will be a climb that only a jeep/4runner/truck could crawl over. Everything before then, any CUV/SUV/subaru could easily get over (albeit slowly for me). Plenty of pull off areas to park around the 110 split off.
Posted By: jessminco
Posted By: jessminco
Posted By: rorymurtagh
Info: The last little section is doable in a standard 4-Runner if you go carefully and to the far right going up. Well it was! BUT on our way back someone (meanwhile) had obviously seriously scraped and rolled some big rocks and left some fluid leaking. We put the rocks back in the hole. I would not recommend the final section with 8" clearance and not much skill; there is parking just before it and it’s a small price to pay walking.
Posted By: GordoByrn
Info: Here’s a pic of the ’crux’ => I was surprised to see a Prius just below at the junction of 110J.
This section seems worse than last year when I made it up with a Yukon XL.
Posted By: dcruz654
Info: Okay but bumpy till the 110j split.
Road gets a lot worse from there. I made it up no issues in a 4runner w/ 2" lift. I wouldnt recommend driving past the 110j split without about as much clearance. There are a few parking spots very close and it’s not really worth the effort unless you really need to park at the th. Pics of the worst spot attached
Edit: my pics came out terrible. It’s a lot worse than it looks in the pictures. It’s steep with multiple fairly deep holes and rocks to contend with.
Posted By: chuckstriker
Info: Was able to drive our Chevy Colorado all the way to the southwest slope trailhead. One big rock and hole to navigate at the worst spot.
Posted By: NelsonTrading
Info: Rough after Elbert/Massive TH. Not too bad from all the recent rains. Hiked on 7/27/20. I drove up from Texas in a rented Jeep Wrangler. Was nervous about the last 4x4 section as I have very little off road experience. Studied the photos and thankful for user feedback. Stayed right until up the slope then cut left in low 4H gear no problems. Five high clearance vehicles at the TH. No big deal if you cannot overcome the obstacle as many have pointed out numerous places to park below.
Posted By: Btuperkwh
Info: Took my Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk to the big rock/hole obstacle about .25 miles from the trailhead. Decided not go over - glad I didn’t as the area got very muddy and slick after morning of mist and rain. The down drive would have scraped the bottom of my car for sure. Plenty of pullover and parking spots around the area for a 5-10 min hike to trailhead. Several high clearance trucks, forerunners and 1 outback at the trailhead.
Posted By: tdurty
Info: Got within about 0.4 miles of upper TH in a stock Crosstrek. Picture of the spot that stopped me - need high clearance and 4WD. Only saw 4Runner at upper TH.
Posted By: Z slice
Info: Easy dirt road for most of it, then very rough 2wd (awd recommended) road for 2 miles. I saw a small 2wd car make it to just before the really rough 4x4 section. An outback could make it to within 0.5 miles of the trailhead with no problem. The final 0.5 miles is a true 4x4. Stock 4x4 should make it. Only my Taco, a Land Cruiser, and a Jeep were up at the TH. Plenty of parking for 20+ cars available.

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