N. Halfmoon Creek Trailhead


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: mtn_clmbr
Info: As of 11-10 still able to make it to the TH in a stock 4wd Xterra W/o chains. One hill approaching the end of the road requires 4 low. Things likely to change after the next storm.
Posted By: 4x4more
Info: The road has packed snow all the way to the trailhead. I made it all the way in my Rubicon. If you got 4 wheel drive with good tires you should be able to make it.
Posted By: djj2504
Info: The 4wd road does get pretty narrow but is easily passable in any Subaru or crossover.

As mentioned previously there is a rutted out hill about .3 miles from the trailhead that poses the only significant challenge.

With my buddy spotting for me I made it up in a stock Subaru Forester without incident. Should be pretty easily passable in something with more clearance and true 4x4. On the way down a low range would be preferable but it is doable as long as you take the right line. As others have mentioned though, it’s largely unnecessary as you are already very near the trailhead.
Posted By: Herbert
Info: I drove up the narrow 4WD road to the Massive SW Slopes TH without incident on 9-2. I cleared the rough patch about .3 mi below the TH cleanly in a stock 2015 2-door Wrangler with 32" tires. I talked to a couple of other hikers who elected to park below the rough patch. I took a line along the right side but not too close to the boulder on the right. There was a 4 Runner, a 4x4 pickup and a Jeep Cherokee in the parking area along with my Wrangler. I saw a 4x4 Silverado coming up as I was going down. I took a picture of the patch in the afternoon, looking uphill. I was shooting into the afternoon sun so it is not a great picture but gives an idea of the layout.
Posted By: XPLSV
Info: Drove up to the N. Halfmoon Creek Trailhead. Conditions were great. As mentioned, the one dicey spot is .3 miles from the end. The Subarus were backing up at this point and looking for a place to park. If you don’t have high clearance on your 4WD, don’t risk the bottom of your vehicle for .3 miles...there are quite a few places to park off the side. If you do have high clearance on a 4WD, there are quite a few nice areas to camp up there!
Posted By: th3jamin
Info: Easy going until after about .3 miles from the N. Halfmoon TH. The only real "difficult" spot is about .3 miles from the TH where a good 4x4 is recommended. I had a stock Jeep Wrangler and had no problems in 4H, but I would definitely have stopped at this point if I was in my Subaru Forester. The road is rutted pretty good with a few larger rocks and I think a stock SUV might scrape if you choose a poor line.
Posted By: E_A_Marcus_949
Info: Stock Subaru Forester make it to 0.3mi of the actual TH. There is one part that my car may have made it over, but I was not savvy enough to do it nor did I want to risk it. Pictures below (first is looking down on the obstacle, next two are looking up - makes it look not as bad as it was in person). Trucks and jeeps were at the TH. Otherwise, the road past the regular Mt. Massive TH was fine and uneventful.
Posted By: askwjs
Info: First 5 miles of road has nothing considerable to report. Road get a bit rough and narrow after that, definitely need good clearance. About 1/4 mile from the TH, there was a rather large rut that is very difficult to pass. On our return, there were only 4 cars that had passed it and I don’t know how. Most people decided to find a spot on the road below it and walked the extra distance. I would recommend pulling in a campsite or roadside pull off before this (maybe .5-1 mile down) and just walk it unless you have considerable clearance with 4WD.
Posted By: Tisch
Info: Road is clear and basically dry all the way to the TH. The river is raging right now, and a small portion of water has started to funnel onto the road. It’s nothing that will stop you, just more of an fyi.
Posted By: mtnmike
Info: Plenty of snow once the pavement ends but navigable with a 4WD. Many of us packed it down good today...should be in great shape until the next big snow!
Posted By: WildWanderer
Info: I was pleasantly surprised to find the road clear of snow and mud all the way to the top of the 4WD TH.
Posted By: LetsGoMets
Info: We parked at the 110.J turnoff based on the last report for the TH. It’s certainly drivable, but it does indeed have some serious potholes in it from the recent weather on steep grades. Anything lower than your normal high clearance 4x4’s is probably asking for some scraping. It literally takes 10 min to hike from the 110.J turnoff to the TH.

Easy 4x4/AWD to the 110.J turn.
Posted By: CSprings5
Info: Recent rains have left the single track more difficult. If you are in a 2WD, I strongly recommend you stop at least 0.5 miles from the trailhead. Beware of the condition of the pull offs. Several of the higher ones are a mushy mess.
Posted By: pbarn
Info: Reasonably straight forward trip to trailhead. Made it all the way with a stock Liberty, 7.9inch and AT tires. Only 2 spots that we had to put it in 4Lo and pick a line, and both these spots were 0.3miles from the TH. Otherwise, a bumpy a fairly navigable dirt road.
Posted By: dwoodward13
Info: I’d agree with the previous poster. In my Camry I was able to comfortably make it about a half mile short of the 110J junction. I stopped mainly due to finding a sweet campsite and I didn’t know if the road was about to get worse and if there would be good turn around points. Coming back down to the car after hiking, I realized I could have easily made to the 110J junction, if not a bit beyond. The comparison to the Shav/Tab road I think is a good one, the only difference is this road is narrower so if you meet someone, you might have to backup to a pull out. Go slow and you will be fine to the 110J in a Camry-like sedan!
Posted By: Owen Puffenberger
Posted By: ahabel23
Info: I made all the way in a 4WD Rav4 with no scrapes so it’s it should be accessible for Subaru’s as well. Slow going and careful driving will get you there, especially the last .5 miles.
Posted By: juliecausa
Info: Made it just below the culvert in my Subaru Forester with no problems. Attempted to ascend the culvert, but it was just a little too steep for what I was ready to face at 5AM.
Posted By: msammas
Info: I left my backpack there this morning... If you’re heading up tomorrow and see a blue/white pack by the trailhead, please stash it behind the toilets. Thanks!

As for the trail: road is in great shape just about any 2wd will make it. Trail is in PERFECT summer condition.
Posted By: Fishscale
Info: If you have a vehicle that can get up the road you can make it to the trailhead. The worst snow still remaining is right at the trailhead, so you might have to park at one of the campsites just before it. Even that should be fine in the next day or two.
Posted By: csprang
Info: North Halfmoon Creek has a few small passable snowbanks and one large mud puddle up until Mt Massive East Slopes TH. Any 4x4 should get to that TH no problem. Less than 1/4 mile past Mt Massive TH there are still some larger impassable snowbanks. I witnessed one 4x4 pickup stuck. Would not expect anyone to get to N Halfmoon TH until more snow has melted.
Posted By: AnnaG22
Info: Occasional patches of snow and ice, but still subaruable.
Posted By: Kcmartinez22
Info: Clear and dry all the way to the 4WD TH.

* I drove my 2WD Buick Encore to a 1/4 mile below the 4WD TH. To clarify, I drove the entire 2 miles past the Massive TH, AND 1/4 mile past the fork for 110J with no problems. Did not scrape once. With close attention and good maneuvering it is not difficult. The final hill to the TH is entirely washed out and would have been trickier, though I think it could be done. Since I was solo I did not risk it.
Posted By: drchele
Info: Open all the way to the 4WD TH and navigable with high clearance 4WD vehicle.
Posted By: moeller_erin8
Info: Trailhead is still clear all the way, some standing water from recent snowfall. Something to note which I haven’t found mentioned - there are no bathrooms at this trail head. Additionally, most of the bathrooms along Halfmoon Creek at the various pick nick sites were locked.

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