Halfmoon Creek Trailhead


Range: Sawatch Range
Coordinates: 39.15029, -106.45568
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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 4WD to the trailhead.

Driving Directions

From U.S. 24 just south of Leadville, turn onto Colorado 300 and cross the railroad tracks. Drive 0.7 mile and turn left onto County Road 11 toward the Halfmoon Creek. After another 1.2 miles, turn right on the dirt road to Halfmoon Creek. Drive on the good dirt road (except for the usual washboard and potholes) for 5.3 miles to the Mt. Massive parking area on the right. Drive another 2 miles on the now 4WD road to a small junction. Turn left on Forest Road 110J and down into the unmarked TH, before the creek crossing. If you have high-clearance 4WD, you can cross the creek and drive up to 1 mile farther.

Winter Access

Usually closed just a short distance up from where the road changes to dirt - many miles below the TH.
Status Updates 
Posted By: BirdMan
Info: Info: Road to TH is closed per USFS order until September 30th now for construction.

Posted By: CaptCO
Info: Made this road fine last year, drove to the crux and reversed 1/2mi due to parking traffic. Didnt want to risk my low-ish clearance F150 to bottom out and Oklahoma isnt a long hike anyways. Didnt see anyone on Oklahoma even though there was 100 cars on the road. Also saw oil along after the crux, feel bad for that person. That dodge had way better clearance than me btw. Reminds me of the 20 SCL crux near rainbow, without a line around the rock
Posted By: TheOtherIndian
Info: Subarable road to lower trailhead. Just slow going after Massive TH. There were high clearance vehicles higher up on 110J road. Lots of people dispersed camping in the area, upwards of 300.
Posted By: mjflynn74
Info: City driver with an AWD crossover made it to the trailhead just fine, taking it slow after the Massive TH.
Posted By: tauma
Info: Precisely 3km from the lower stream crossing the 4WD road becomes utterly impassable. This makes for a peaceful valley but you will have to hump up the road to the Iron Mike mine.

There is very little prospect of the road opening anytime soon. The avalanche debris is immense and at least 100 yards long.
Posted By: 9patrickmurphy
Info: Free of snow all the way to (and presumably past) the creek crossing, but the water is raging right now. I wouldn’t attempt it with a souped-up Jeep and definitely wouldn’t try on foot. I’ll come back in a month or two for French&Casco.
Posted By: Jorts
Info: Road is snow free for only about 2 miles past the winter TH.
Posted By: generic_username
Info: Very crowded, even at 440am. All roads open.
Posted By: daway8
Info: Crazy crowded trailhead - some people parking 1/2 mile down along the road since lot was full. Arrived Friday afternoon, left Saturday afternoon. Packed the entire time. Not even a holiday weekend. Long bumpy dirt road 2WD drive, narrow in spots. Any vehicle can get there - if you can find room!
Posted By: kayleenann8
Info: Road and TH are in summer conditions. Saw a few aspen with fall leaves on the drive out!
Posted By: dpfeiff12
Info: 4WD is clear up to the first creek crossing. Road has significant snow just past the first creek crossing. If that doesn’t stop you (and soon enough I think you’ll be able to make it through), then the massive avalanche debris near the switchbacks likely will. Be prepared to move some down mature timber if you’re hoping to drive to the switchback and around it.
Posted By: michaelgrundy
Info: Drove a stock F-150 FX4 four door up to the second creek crossing. Was able to make it but I wouldn’t recommend it. Luckily, the truck has skid plates and AT tires, so that helped. The majority of the road isnt too bad but it is very narrow and there is only one good place to pull over (near the only switchback). This kind of makes it nerve-wracking on the way out because you are just hoping that no one else is coming up. Other than that, there is really only 2 rough spots. The first is just after the creek crossing and the second is about 100 yards from the second creek crossing.

Do yourself a favor and just walk the 2 miles RT if you have a vehicle with a long wheelbase.
Posted By: dixonallred
Info: From the 110J cutoff snow was up to 6-8 inches deep. I was able to reach the 2nd creek crossing at 10,800 but the rocks were too slick with snow to proceed further. The alternate route mentioned below has a tight turn to the right and then left, to tight of a turn for my JKU in the slick snow. Most stock 4x4s should be able to make it up to the 2nd creek crossing
Posted By: JQDivide
Info: Halfmoon Creek, both creek crossings have low water. The road between the creeks is typical Sawatch 4x4 road with gaining elevation, only one switchback. The road after the second creek crossing is the crux and is not as bad as it used to be... the boulder is not the only option. Turn right immediately after the creek to ’S’ curve around the boulder. (I think you need a modified 4x4 to get over the boulder and the next 30 feet now.) If you go right, drive up some rocks then it‘s mostly dirt with a few rock. The next 50-60 yards there are 5 to 6 rock obstacles that most 4x4s can maneuver over. There are two parking spaces right before the creek, it would be worth you time to park and walk up the road to see if your SUV can make it. After that the road levels out and is in great shape, a car could drive most of it all the way into the basin passed the cabin remains.

Photo 1: the boulder
Photo 2: The way up, the right turn before the boulder & after the creek. Not as steep as it looks. Right tire up the rocks.
Photo 3: Boulder and the right turn
Photo 4: The road just after the right turn, just a few rocks to drive over/around.
Posted By: Lyssah
Info: Road is dry and easily accessible all the way to the trailhead. A few washouts and road problems, but should be ok for most vehicles.
Posted By: wildlobo71
Info: Halfmoon Creek is still flowing fairly rapidly (morning depth was 12-15" +/-, while afternoon depth was 18"-20") at the turnoff for 4WD access. Jeep Rubicon made it through here no problem, and made it up to the nasty South Halfmoon Creek crossing at 10,800‘ where she was parked for the entirety of this climbing day.
Posted By: BobbyFinn
Info: Mostly dry. Some puddles that are avoidable. The puddles had ice over the water, but they weren‘t deep.
Posted By: polarpop
Info: Dry with patches of ice puddles, I moved a downed tree blocking road so vehicles can pass...
Posted By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: In my 4WD pickup, we crossed the creek and slowly drove the muddy, rutted road 0.1 mile and parked on the other side of the creek for an easier start to the hike. We did not drive any higher up the road.

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