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: colin j
Info: Just adding a pic of the obstacle about 0.25 mile from the trailhead. Trucks and Jeeps seem to be making it by with proper line choice; though some trucks and a 4runner parked below.
Posted By: Spoke537
Info: The TH is 8.0 miles from the turn onto Halfmoon Creek Road. The route description is incorrect saying 7.3 miles, so just keep going. When you get to the creek crossing the TH in on the right. Any car can make it to .3 before the TH and there’s maybe 6 or 7 spots you can park and walk from there. I was able to get over the rock obstacle at .3 to go in a stock 4X4 Silverado and made it all the way to the TH.
Posted By: ochres
Info: Dry and in great condition. A bit of a gnarly obstacle to the actual TH but made it pretty easily in a stock 4runner with AT tires with minor scraping. Might be nice to have a spotter. Only needed 4WD for that obstacle otherwise was in 2WD. Surprisingly a couple lower clearance crossover/SUVs made it (would not recommend) but mostly full size trucks and Wranglers at the top. If you’ve done Nellie Creek in the past year, you’ll be fine.
Posted By: BirdMan
Info: Road is open and in good shape. All the way to the 4WD TH is snow free and clear.
Posted By: SRV724
Info: Road is clear with summer conditions until a fallen tree blocks the road right before the 1st lots for Elbert/Massive. Should be cleared relatively soon
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: The Winter closure is in effect. The Halfmoon Creek Road is closed 1.2 miles from the turn onto it, off of CR11. There is a built up snowbank blocking the road. There is a small parking area near the closure and much more space cleared to back off the road about .1 mile before the closure.
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 Oct 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.
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