Mt. Massive Trailhead


Range: Sawatch Range
Coordinates: 39.15177, -106.41918
14ers: Mt. Massive
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Road Difficulty

2WD, easy dirt road 1   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD dirt to the 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.

Winter Access

Usually closed just a short distance up from where the road changes to dirt - approx. 5.3 miles below the TH.
Status Updates 
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: Here about a month later, pretty much the same conditions I posted in early November; some sections of well-packed snow (and minor ice underneath) on the road, especially in the last couple of miles. But the road is still open and so this applies to the Mt Elbert (North) TH on the Halfmoon Creek Road as well. The Mt Massive TH parking area is completely dry.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: 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: greenleaf11
Info: Road still closed. But if you can get up to Mt Massive, it’s lovely because no one is up there!
Posted By: jweber1400
Info: The road to the Mt Massive East Slope and Elbert NE Ridge trail head is closed due to construction. You can park 1 mile short of the Elbert TH, but parking is limited and starts to overflow down the road. No parking is enforced where signs are marked. This makes for a long hike just to the Massive TH, so you may want to pick another mountain/peak. The road work to the Elber TH is done and should hopefully open up soon. I’m told they will move construction barriers back gradually. Honestly, the day we went, the road was great and the parking lot, so not sure why they have not opened it up yet.
Posted By: dbarnes
Info: Road still closed just after the Halfmoon Campgrounds. That is 1.3 miles before the standard Massive TH. Note that the Halfmoon Campgrounds are OPEN. Also lots of free dispersed camping along Halfmoon road leading up to the campgrounds. Parking is a bit of a mess - I highly recommend obeying the many "No Parking" signs immediately ahead of the road closure. It was pretty disappointing to see that there was no equipment or signs of any activity along the closed section of the road so my guess is that it will remain closed for a long time. A campground employee said they are having trouble contracting a crew to clear out the trees?? I measured Total vertical for the East Slopes of Massive at 4503’, so pretty much the same as from the standard TH.
Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: Road to TH is closed per USFS order until August 31st now for construction.
Posted By: bxpaisley
Info: Anybody know the status of the road as of 7/26? Know what authority would know? - Thanks
Posted By: bxpaisley
Info: Anybody know the status of the road as of 7/26? Know what authority would know? - Thanks
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: I’ll get on here to add what I think is key information about the current closure on Halfmoon Creek Road. The closure adds exactly 1.4 miles each way to reaching the Mt Massive TH. (I saw various distances!)
Also from walking it yesterday, what a noticeable great improvement to the now gravel-filled road: wider, level, filled in, side drainage, etc.
It appeared the work was done, at least to the trailhead and I wouldn’t be too surprised if it opened earlier than the stated July 31st date.
Thank you for the previous links/info, dwoodward13!!
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: RWSchaffer
Info: Halfmoon Creek Road is open to the trailhead. Enough patches of snow remain to remind that it is not yet summer. But the road is mostly dry, and my 2WD hatchback had no difficulty reaching the trailhead. Trailhead parking is also free of snow (pictured).

Update (5/24/21): It seems that the road to the trailhead was closed again about a week after it opened. See the 5/21/21 trailhead report for the Mt. Elbert (North) trailhead for more details.
Posted By: CaptCO
Info: Forest Service trucks cutting wood and a couple 4runners
Posted By: jordanthebuff
Info: The road is in good condition. All cars should be able to make it to the trail head with very few exceptions. The road has quite a bit of pot holes, but nothing worse than west Colfax in Denver. If you are driving a low clearance car, just take it a bit slower than all the trucks/SUVs and choose your lines carefully.
Posted By: ejbutler12
Info: North Halfmoon trailhead for SW Slopes approach:
The road into Halfmoon Creek is fantastic! And, besides a few nice campgrounds, the dispersed camping opportunities on this road are the best I’ve ever seen, anywhere! Beautiful! Once you drive past the main Massive trailhead parking, the road becomes true 4WD.....not too bad, but bumpy and slow. At about .3 miles from the Sw Slopes trailhead, there is a really bad spot to get over. On our way out, we noticed several cars parked before this point, it’s easy to walk from there. But our 4runner made it just fine (my husband’s a good driver!). It was more difficult on the way out (downhill), but we didn’t scrape. Parking at the trailhead is plentiful, as not many drive that far!
Posted By: Owen Puffenberger
Info: Halfmoon Road is in the best shape I have ever seen it. Hardly any washboard, potholes, or rocks to speak of. Any vehicle should make it with ease.
Posted By: Bjb9454
Info: Gravel road is impassable for the winter even by 4x4 vehicles for 5 miles before trail head. Must park at parking lot located in grassland 100 yards below the lower tree line. Snow is ~1.5 ft deep on road and has been traveled by snowmobile last week or so.
I was able to hike and stay on top of the crust with plain boots if I stayed in the snow mobile tracks. If I was off to the side, I was post holding.
Allow at least 4 extra hours for the round trip.
Posted By: mtnmike
Info: Road to the trailhead is still open to pretty much any vehicle. The paved section is dry and the first ~2 miles of dirt. Gradually changes to snowpacked, but its a very very thin snowpack -- clearance is not an issue at all!
Posted By: AnnaG22
Info: North Halfmoon Creek road is closed and not plowed 3 miles below the TH. The road up to that point is in good/normal/2WD conditions.
Posted By: cbrobin
Info: Easy drive to the trailhead. No problems. The road to the SW route appeared worse, but I didn’t drive it.
Posted By: screeman57
Info: Halfmoon road is snow-covered but driveable all the way to the trailhead (and beyond, judging from tracks). Had no trouble in my minivan, and several passenger cars were at both elbert and massive THs.
Posted By: Lyssah
Info: Trailhead was dry and accessible by most cars. The road to the trailhead was also dry and accessible by most cars.
Posted By: Ramsey Boys
Info: Trailhead completely dry and accessible by 2wd. It is a regularly dirt road so no excitement driving there. There is not a bathroom at Mt. Massive TH but a quarter mile before you get there stop and use the restroom at another camping ground. There are about 20 parking spots at Mt. Massive TH but there is overflow parking nearby.

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