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North Elbert Trailhead
Added by BillMiddlebrook

Location:  Sawatch Range
14ers Served:  Mt. Elbert
Road Type:  2WD, easy dirt road 1   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD easy dirt road all the way to the TH
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 miles to the Mt. Elbert trailhead on the left. There is a large parking area with restrooms.
Winter Access:  Usually closed just a short distance up from where the road changes to dirt - approx. 5 miles below the TH.
14er Trailheads on Google Maps
Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2014-09-11 Road 11 to the TH is well maintained and easy for passenger cars; just beware of the potholes. Signage is adequate; I didn‘t miss it and it was early am twilight. No snow as of 9/11/14, and only one area of standing water 1‘ deep covering half the road. Restrooms are in good shape as is the info board. Abustu         
2014-07-20 Trailhead road is very passable, no issues expected for any type of vehicle. Weekend parking in Elbert lot is a challenge. I arrived a little late at 7am, found easy parking a few hundred feet up the road in the Mt. Massive overflow lot. Lots of great camping opportunities near trailhead if you‘re interested in making it a multi-day trip. LaramieCowboy         
2014-06-24 North Elbert and Mt. Massive T.H.‘s looking great. So easy to get to, I guess that‘s why I saw 30+ people all on the summit at once. I‘m glad I made the Class 1 walk up and down, but the amount of people make a simple mountain deadly. Loose Rock and I even saw a young girl hurling rocks off the summit towards the trail. Not everyone is smart, wear a helmet and have a blast at this leg burner from the North Elbert Trail Head. It has 2 nice bathrooms, and room to camp if needed. Enjoy the trek. The trail is very easy to follow. Dunston540  4       
2014-06-19 5 mile dirt road to trailhead about 50% washboarded, but even low clearance 2WD passenger cars can easily make it albeit slowly to North Elbert parking area. Summer conditions people, get some! Jonpulliaminc         
2014-05-17 The road is totally dry up to about a mile before the trailhead. Past that point, the last mile or so is still mostly dry but has about a dozen small snow drifts on the road. There have been plenty of vehicles that have bashed their way through the drifts, thus leveling the snow and making it accessible for most any 2WD vehicle. These small drifts are melting fast and they will probably be totally gone before the coming weekend. vailmtnman_26    1      
2013-11-02 Inch or so of snow on the road, packed down well by other traffic. Road is in great shape with a few avoidable potholes, and one or two spots of washboarding. Dirt road is actually smoother than the "paved" section just before it. Took a 2WD VW Beetle up there. Traction control didn‘t kick in. I think 4WD would be needed if the hills became icey, and good ground clearance if the snow was too deep. jaykup         
2013-06-08 Perfect conditions for a road to a trailhead. No snow. Very little washboarding. phlakin         
2013-05-19 No issues getting to the TH even with a 2WD. Very little snow. Rain fell overnight, but there were hardly any puddles. samoarob  1  1      
2012-12-30 Open to a Subaru or better. sgladbach         
2012-05-22 County Road 11 Dry all the way to the trailhead. manitouscott         
2012-05-12 Completely dry all the way up to the TH. Any Passanger vehicle should be able to make it. zoriloco         
2012-05-05 Dry as a bone all the way up Mtn Izz         
2012-04-29 No snow on trail. Dirt road in great shape. Even a shopping cart can make it up to the trail head  MissH         
2012-04-28 Dry all the way. mike_kadow         
2012-03-13 The 5 mile dirt road leading to the trail head is clear of snow for the first mile. After that, the snow is 3 feet deep and too soft to pass unless you have a serious lift on your 4WD vehicle. Got stuck 2 miles in (3 miles to go before the trail head) with a Jeep Liberty 4WD. USAFAGrad02         
2012-01-02 Made it in a 2 door Accord. Covered in snow, but pretty well packed. Keep it slow - I did lose control a couple times but managed to get it back in the middle of the road. But that was because I was going faster than I should have been. FWD should be able to make it fine if you‘re careful, 4WD will have no problem. eskermo         
2011-12-18 made it easily all the way to Elbert Northeast TH parking lot in a Wrangler, more snow towards the end of road dillonsarnelli  1       
2011-08-12 East Elbert TH 4WD road better than last year this time. The small creek you lass through was lower as well. Toyota 4runner went up trail fine. Would not go unless you have 4WD! kucrew         
2011-07-31 Easy dirt road the entire way. Any car can make it. The directions say to turn right onto an easy dirt road, but the road is actually paved for the first half mile before it turns to easy dirt. Trailhead is well marked by signs. tmccormack  2       
2011-05-15 Halfmoon road is slushy but subaru-able to the Halfmoon West campground. elchivoloco         
2010-11-20 Lots of snow on the road. We made it within .25 mile of the TH, but got a little too close to the left side of the road and ended up getting stuck. Fortunately, we were able to winch ourselves out, back up, and found a dry spot .9 mile from the TH (I don‘t tempt fate twice). One other person made it to the TH and others still were going further past it, but I‘m unsure how far up they went. (I think they were hunters). tmathews         
2010-11-06 There was snow on the road after getting into the trees. It was never more than a few inches deep and was packed down from being driven on. It was frozen the night of Nov 5 and slushy in spots the afternoon of Nov 6. I used 4 wheel to make sure I didn't slide on the hills. MountainHiker         
2010-05-15 Road is passable and almost completely clear of snow to the trailhead. Kevin8020         
2010-05-15 Road is passable and almost completely clear of snow to the trailhead. Kevin8020         
2010-04-28 I was able to get a 4WD to the Emerald Lake Picnic area. This is about 1/2 mile from Elbert TH. Probably be clear after a week‘s worth of hot days. A Toyota Mini-Van made it a mile behind me. seekanddestroy99         

The entrance to the Elbert (North) trailhead (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-06-30)Parking area, restrooms, and the start of the trail (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-06-30)

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