Mt. Massive  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-10-17, By: Carl_Healy
Info: Some very isolated patches of snow closer to summit but trail itself dry as a bone. Microspikes definitely not needed. Some felled trees to hop over early on in the forrest. 
6
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-10-14, By: ethanr
Info: Snowy on the way up but it was mostly melted by the time we were coming down. That was on 10/12 so I'd bet that it's pretty much all gone by now. I was the only one in a group of four who used microspikes, I'd bet that they would have been worthless even a day later. This route is way cooler than the normal route up, but you definitely need a 4wd high clearance vehicle to get to the trailhead. But the worst part of the road is pretty close to the trailhead so you can probably make it pretty far without significant offroading capabilities. 
1
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-10-09, By: coopereitel
Info: I started at 7:40, summited at 9:40 then went back down to the junction. Most vehicles can probably make it to within .4miles of the TH. There is a more difficult obstacle there but 4x4s can do it no prob. There were probably ten or so people on this trail total. I had the summit to myself with killer weather. I got to the junction then went right to do Oklahoma (another report for that) so I don't have a RT time for the Southwest Slopes route. Smoke was not an issue either, just off in the distance. It is definitely steeper in spots but the trail is amazing so I would recommend this route. 
4
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-10-04, By: jhills2
Info: Hiked up for a sunset summit. trail is clear and well marked for 95% of trail. There is a small scramble around 2.4 mile mark that will lead you back to switchback (12,900 - 13,30 0 ft area). Peak is bone dry. Had mountain to myself coming down at night. 
1
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-29, By: Troyister
Info: The drive to the Mt Elbert/Mt Massive East Slopes trail head is normal forest service road, past that it becomes rough and is no problem for a 4x4 or Subaru type vehicle. Regular sedan might bottom out in a couple of places. Once you get to the 110/110J junction the road becomes steeper and my stock Ram 1500 4x4 would not of made it. So I parked at the junction which adds about a mile to the trail. Overall my total was 9.2 miles and 4200 feet of elevation gain according to Strava. The hike was excellent. Easy trail to follow, a few places you had to look for cairns but a quick look and no problem. The trail is a slight easy grade to the junction with the half moon lakes trail then turns into a steep slog up to the ridge. Once on the ridge it becomes and easy slight grade/scramble to the peak. The views were excellent. It was 16 degrees when I left the trail head and the peak was cold and breezy but not to bad. Overall a great day and challenging trail especially the approx. 2 miles of steep climb and descent. 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-18, By: Eli Watson
Info: Mt Massive SW Slopes > "Massive Green" > "N Massive" > "North North Massive" > Mt Oklahoma from 10,200' on Halfmoon Rd Nothing new to report on Massive SW Slopes. Other users have done a good job of detailing the conditions recently. No secret that it's one of the few dry routes in the Sawatch by now. Ridge to "Massive Green" > "N Massive" > "North North Massive" has less trivial snow to cross. Felt comfortable without traction 12:30 - 1:30 PM in my Mutants but be careful. Ridge direct to Oklahoma is nothing short of spectacular. Seriously so much fun. Choose-your-own-adventure on the down climbs from "North North Massive" to the saddle low point. Can traverse around on the right if you want to avoid some committed down climbs. Nothing over class 4 in my book but debating climbing grades is all the rage right now. Can get as spicy as you please, but the ridge really lends itself to staying on the ridge crest on stable rocks. Climbing Oklahoma's summit ridge is a buffet of 'choose-your-own-adventure'. Either hang down to the right to avoid real scrambling to ascend snow-pocked class 2 scree and talus, hang left from the saddle low point to keep it class 3 and sneak around to Oklahoma's easier ridge, but true scramblers will feast on the ridge proper. Oklahoma's standard route descent was the loosest rock I experienced all day. Alpine tundra is prime time red right now, but the willows are still green even at 12,000'. An excellent Trip Report for this route can be read here: https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=20539 Will upload photos when I get to a full computer. 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-17, By: jobrien4
Info: Trail was in great condition all the way to the summit. Almost no snow except for a few small patches that were easy to walk through. No traction needed. Also I lost my Fitbit Charge 3 between the trailhead and the initial trail junction at 11,200'. It should be close to that junction. If anyone finds it let me know! 
2
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-16, By: chrislwillers
Info: Basically summer conditions. There are four or so snowfields that it's easiest to cross rather than try to avoid, none on a slope. There is a good amount of snow on the back (north) side of the false summit, but you can avoid it completely by sticking to the rocks on the left hand side if you're ascending (east side). My buddy and I had the summit to ourselves for about 20 minutes on a "smoky bluebird" day. 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-15, By: mindfolded
Info: There are a couple small, slushy snowfields to cross, though they are easily avoidable if desired. Otherwise the trail is in excellent condition all the way to the top. Spotted a white marmot at ~12,400 feet, keep your eyes peeled on a sunny day for this rare sight. 
1
 
Route: Viewed from Red Peak in the Gores
Posted On: 2020-09-14, By: jfm3
Info: I was on Red Peak on September 13 and got a good look at Holy Cross, Elbert & Massive from the summit. Reports for Elbert & Holy Cross are current since the snow, but there hasn't been one yet for Massive, so hopefully this helps. The entire upper mountain looked to be covered in snow. Hard to tell how deep- judge from reports of peaks in the area. Photos 1, 2, 4: Elbert & Massive are on the far right side of the horizon. Photo 3: Massive & Elbert are on the left. This is the best photo I got of Massive. 
4 2
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-08-16, By: chuckstriker
Info: Overall trail was pretty easy to follow. Lots of cairns needed attention though so we took it slow going down and restacked lots of rocks. 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-07-27, By: Btuperkwh
Info: Parked 0.25 miles from the N. Half Moon Creek trailhead. Easy hike up the road to the start of the trail and easy hike through the forest. Well defined trail up the southwest slopes - first section of rock steps reminds me of the new Columbia trail. Trail turns to a "dirt" trail that works its way up the mountain. It is easy to get off the trail about halfway up and climb a steep scree/dirt section instead. The established trail kind of gets lost in the dirt and goes to the left - look for it. If you end up climbing the scree/dirt section, keep angling left to meet up with the trail again. Well defined trail up and over the ridge to meet up with the standard route. The trail is steep but not lengthy - again reminded me of Columbia's (new) west slopes. Great climb! Now one of my favorites. 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-07-21, By: Z slice
Info: be very careful of afternoon storms. I started at 8:30am without a cloud in the sky. Summit around 11am and clouds were building fast. Before I got 500ft down from the summit there was a lighting strike on Mt. Elbert across the valley. Luckily nothing built up over Massive, but I'm sure Mt. Elbert had some people up there based on how many cars were in the area. Off the summit by noon, no exception. 
1
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-07-08, By: jordanthebuff
Info: Great trail! Everything up to the Massive/S Massive saddle around 14,000 ft is class 1 and easy to follow. The first three or four miles go by super quick (less than two hours, easy). This was the longest 14er I've done so I was somewhat nervous about the distance, but honestly think it was easier than Quandary if you don't mind being on your feet for 7 or 8 hours+. The ridge was a little more technical for sure, but not too steep and lots of fun. I thought the toughest part was switchbacking up to 12,000 ft and then just below the ridge. 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-06-30, By: wolfgangstiller
Info: Trail is clear of snow except for one 15 foot section above 14,000 ft but it's easy to get around the snow. The road to N. Half Moon TH has one rough section where a true high clearance 4wd is needed. My stock Xterra had no problems. This is now my favorite way up Mt. Massive. I have done the standard route (east/SE slopes) at least 10 times. 
3 1
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-07-01, By: ballardwf04
Info: We climbed Mt. Massive on June 28, and conditions were amazing. Winds got pretty heavy near the summit, but overall this was a great trek to prepare for a future camp. I hiked with my father and 6 others, and we summited in about 3 hours with significant breaks. We decided to take the 4WD North Half Moon trailhead due to the difference in distance from the standard route and time constraints. Our total hike distance was ~8 miles. The road to the trailhead, as stated before, does get pretty risky about half a mile before the trailhead. There is a large rock on top of a hill that requires high clearance, and can scrape the bottom of your car. Past that, it's smooth sailing. The only other notable thing about this hike is the number of false summits. The route we took had about 4, and the last quarter mile or so is along an exposed ridge. Besides that, this was an quick albeit steep hike, and a great trainer for future 14ers. 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-06-29, By: allabouttheviews
Info: Summitted 6/27/20, left TH at 3:30am. SUMMER IS HERE. Summer conditions -- There is that tiny snow pile, but it's easily avoidable. Man halfmoon rd. is an absolute shit show. Don't remember it being this bad a few years back when I did Elbert. Lots of loud ATV groups ignoring fire bans and shooting off guns. Absolute disaster trying to get back down the road towards Leadville. Only downside of being in the area. 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-06-22, By: markschneller
Info: Loop trip: Parked and camped in between the Southwest slope and East slope. 1.2 miles to TH. Went up with my son via the Southwest slope. Trail was clear other than the one small patch of snow 3/4 of the way up. It seemed some folks got lost like in other reports but they saw the majority of many folks going up the trail and eventually traversed over to the trail. Summit trail had just a touch of snow, which could be easily detoured. Summer weekend crowd but not too bad. Beautiful views of mountains with snow on them and the upper lakes being still frozen. Descent via East slope required crossing only 1 snow field. Post-holed only once crossing it. Walk down was nice with only a spit of rain for a couple of minutes. Left my pack with my son and jogged back over to our camp. Packed up everything and headed back to NM for Fathers Day with the rest of the family. FYI, this was a small but fun end to a bucket list item of doing the three highest peaks in the contiguous USA (Whitney in CA, Elbert, and Massive). Enjoying life at 56 and appreciative of all the great folks I've encountered in my hiking travels. 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-06-22, By: Michael Underwood
Info: No significant snow on the route. Didn't need traction. Running water present for filtration up to at least 12,400 ft: hardly carried any. Watch for white marmots. We saw several mid-mountain. 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-06-20, By: chromajack
Info: 4:20 start, parked in the 110J lot since that last half mile of road is heinous. No snow on the ground from the 6/19 storm, beautiful trail. A few folks got turned around over the one brief snowfield left, even though I'm not quite sure how; I didn't have to touch snow at all. 
4 1

Return to the main Peak Conditions page



© 2020 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.