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: sooshee
Info: Able to drive to trailhead in 2017 Subaru Forester XT and a 2009 Subaru Outback with careful maneuvering. Trailhead had a variety of vehicles parked at it, including Subarus, small SUVs, and longer wheel based trucks.
Posted By: aprockies
Info: Easily passable in even a moderately elevated vehicle. I drove a stock Wrangler with no issues. At the trailhead there was an Exterra, a couple small pickups, a stock Honda CRV. Its bumpy, there are rocks, but its pretty doable.
Posted By: DoriMer
Info: I parked my AWD sedan at the Mt. Massive trailhead and hiked in. There were a number of Subaru Outbacks and Forresters parked off the road between the Mt. Massive and North Halfmoon trailheads. The vehicles at the 4WD trailhead were all pickups, Jeeps and large SUVs with one exception. Someone made it up there with a rented minivan with probably less clearance than my sedan. How, I can’t imagine!
Posted By: davidcampos24
Info: I drove in my lifted Jeep Wrangler, and I had no issues!
The last 0.5 miles, the road got ugly. There’s two small sections that where really rough; 1.) A rock you have to get over 2.) and a big puddle, both you can’t avoid. You really do need a moderate/high clearance vehicle in order to get through those sections. If not, just walk the remaining 0.5 miles.
Posted By: marc9595
Info: The road is clear all the way to the Massive SW route trailhead. Anyone in a truck or SUV should be able to make it no problem. For timing purposes, it takes about 20 minutes to go those last 2.5 miles from the Elbert/Massive trailheads to the Massive SW trailhead at N. Halfmoon Creek.
Posted By: RJ_Greenhorn24
Info: Halfmoon Creek Road dry all the way to Elbert and Massive Trailheads. Typical washboards but nothing too rough (My low clearance Honda Accord had no problem) Happy Hiking!
Posted By: mtn_girl
Info: Road is blocked by a fallen tree and large snow drift, about 0.2 miles from the start of the 4WD road.
Posted By: ZenZin
Info: Bone dry the entire way ...might not be tomorrow though.
Posted By: ahrendse
Info: Still clear and dry as of 11/1/16. Made it easily in a Rav4.
Posted By: SolarAlex
Info: Dry all the way. just about any stock SUV should be able to get to the 4x4 trailhead.
Posted By: mrickers
Info: Dry and clear all the way.
Posted By: merrion13
Info: Road was in good shape all the way to the South Massive TH. Made it fine in our stock ’08 Pathfinder; also saw a Forester and a Crosstrek at the parking area. Go slow and you won’t need much clearance but for one small, steeper section.
Posted By: KristineL
Info: The directions to get to this trailhead are great and perfect with the mileage. We did miss the initial turn off highway 24 onto CR 11 (said was 0.7 miles, but seemed to come faster than expected). There are lots of turn-offs just off the road if you are looking to camp near the trailhead. We were able to camp just 0.1 miles below the main parking lot in a great location near the creek. We have a 2001 Jeep Cherokee, standard stock, and didn’t need 4-WD the entire way up, but the clearance was nice to have and we took it slow. No bad culverts or ditches that couldn’t be avoided. The road is narrow, so luckily we didn’t run into anyone coming the opposite direction.
Posted By: Yalegirl09
Info: The culvert mentioned in previous reports has been covered up and dirt packed around it. The trailhead should now be easily accessible with any 4x4. I got my Impreza up to .4 miles below the main TH just past the 110J junction.
Posted By: sibyllec
Info: We drove this today. The last 0.5 miles, especially at the culvert mentioned before, is as difficult as, or more difficult than, anything on Nellie Creek or Matterhorn Creek in the San Juans. Saw various cars parked below the culvert.
Posted By: jmark
Info: Made it all the way in a stock Wrangler with no problems. On way in had to put in 4WD Low at the spot mentioned previously.
Posted By: ajlavigne
Info: There is a fair amount of erosion on the downhill side of the culvert for the small creek crossing at 10,400‘, just after the 110/110J junction. The culvert is a bit exposed (think speed bump) and sits above two bowl-shaped pot-holes. There is a high-line through the middle of these holes and another along the up-hill edge that can be used, you might just get a few scrapes from the bushes/trees. I tried to take a picture that showed the shape/depth, but the sun wasn‘t cooperating. If you slid a back wheel into the bottom of either in a non-lifted vehicle, you‘d have a hell of a time trying to get un-stuck.

The only other tricky spot is about 100 ft further up the road where some rock is exposed, but if you get past the culvert, it‘s doable.

I would recommend parking just before the culvert and hiking up the last ~.3 miles unless you have a fair amount of clearance and/or decent 4wd experience with a spotter for these two spots. As a ballpark - cars like CRVs or Rav4s are probably going high-center or bottom-out; there was a highlander at the TH when I came down, but there was also a 4-runner parked off the side of the road below the culvert.
Posted By: ReenaLynne
Info: Easy 4WD road to 0.5 miles before the trailhead. Saw several sedans well up the road. There are a few rougher sections in the last half mile and then larger 4WD only at the TH parking lot.
Posted By: Belov
Info: Road is passable to 4WD vehicles all the way to the Mt Massive SW Slopes trailhead, although at the rate the snow is melting, by next weekend, the only obstacles will be the normal ruts.
Posted By: RyGuy
Info: The trailhead is still inaccessible by most vehicles due to snow drifts. A very beefy vehicle with recovery gear and a skilled driver could probably make it, but I wouldn’t recommend trying. My group ended up digging a young girl out who tried to take her Jeep Liberty through one of the drifts and got stuck about 1/2 mile past the standard Mount Massive TH. I’d bet the road will be totally clear in 2 weeks at the current melting rate.
Posted By: dixonallred
Info: Road clear to at least the 110J cutoff and looked to be clear further up.
Posted By: sky_high
Info: Just got back from running up the trailhead. The drive up to South Elbert TH is easy enough for any 2wd with an inch or two of clearance, just mind the odd rock or two sitting the road. At the end of Elbert you hit the 4wd trail, which is heavily rutted, but not so deep as to be an issue for any real suv (outbacks, cherokees, and the like should all be fine). There are some spots on it I would hesitate to take a short 2wd. The very last section is in similar shape, except for 3 areas that have been pretty washed out and require climbing across very uneven ruts. My Freelander, a 4wd suv with about 6" of clearance, managed to make it without a scrape up and down, but if you don‘t get out and look for your line before going through these spots you‘re asking for at least a ding. Significantly worse than Grays & Torreys; more like the road to the upper trailhead at Humboldt & Crestones. I only saw a lifted truck and a Grand Cherokee at the top.
Posted By: zhowell79
Info: The 4WD road to trailhead is a bit rough, we saw a Kia Sonata (sedan) stop before the rut mentioned in earlier posts. I think with a low speed and patience getting up to that point is fine, though I think a 2WD car would have a real hard time getting over the washouts.

For reference the road is much worse than the Grays/Torreys TH road
Posted By: jblyth
Info: Trail has a major washout rut about .3 mile from trailhead. Unless you have high clearance, you‘ll need to park a bit lower.
Posted By: JQDivide
Info: Just after the road splits about .5 mile from the TH the road goes up and the spot in question looks much worse than it really is. The culvert is exposed on the left. The large "pothole" is on the right. Any SUV should be able to straddle the pothole without even noticing its there. There was a Nissan Maxima at the TH if that tells you anything. Rest of the road is fine, typical 4wd.

Saw a large 4Wheeler cross the creek at the TH. Deep hole, two others didn‘t try it.

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