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: 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.
Posted By: dcruz654
Info: Okay but bumpy till the 110j split.
Road gets a lot worse from there. I made it up no issues in a 4runner w/ 2" lift. I wouldnt recommend driving past the 110j split without about as much clearance. There are a few parking spots very close and it’s not really worth the effort unless you really need to park at the th. Pics of the worst spot attached
Edit: my pics came out terrible. It’s a lot worse than it looks in the pictures. It’s steep with multiple fairly deep holes and rocks to contend with.
Posted By: chuckstriker
Info: Was able to drive our Chevy Colorado all the way to the southwest slope trailhead. One big rock and hole to navigate at the worst spot.
Posted By: NelsonTrading
Info: Rough after Elbert/Massive TH. Not too bad from all the recent rains. Hiked on 7/27/20. I drove up from Texas in a rented Jeep Wrangler. Was nervous about the last 4x4 section as I have very little off road experience. Studied the photos and thankful for user feedback. Stayed right until up the slope then cut left in low 4H gear no problems. Five high clearance vehicles at the TH. No big deal if you cannot overcome the obstacle as many have pointed out numerous places to park below.
Posted By: Btuperkwh
Info: Took my Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk to the big rock/hole obstacle about .25 miles from the trailhead. Decided not go over - glad I didn’t as the area got very muddy and slick after morning of mist and rain. The down drive would have scraped the bottom of my car for sure. Plenty of pullover and parking spots around the area for a 5-10 min hike to trailhead. Several high clearance trucks, forerunners and 1 outback at the trailhead.
Posted By: tdurty
Info: Got within about 0.4 miles of upper TH in a stock Crosstrek. Picture of the spot that stopped me - need high clearance and 4WD. Only saw 4Runner at upper TH.
Posted By: Z slice
Info: Easy dirt road for most of it, then very rough 2wd (awd recommended) road for 2 miles. I saw a small 2wd car make it to just before the really rough 4x4 section. An outback could make it to within 0.5 miles of the trailhead with no problem. The final 0.5 miles is a true 4x4. Stock 4x4 should make it. Only my Taco, a Land Cruiser, and a Jeep were up at the TH. Plenty of parking for 20+ cars available.
Posted By: CoHi591
Info: Got a Subaru outback to a pullout about a 10 mile walk to the TH. There was one spot I didn’t want to try my hand at, probably could’ve made it but wasn’t worth it given how short a walk it was.
Tons and tons of nice dispersed camping all over that area.
Posted By: wolfgangstiller
Info: The road has one rough section where a true high clearance 4wd is needed. This is about .2 miles before the TH. I saw some Subarus that made it up to that point but I personally wouldn’t drive my Suby that far. The last half mile is pretty rough. My stock Xterra had no problems driving to the TH.
Posted By: supranihilest
Info: I was able to drive my Civic within half a mile of the trailhead. I had to go slow the last couple of miles but it was totally fine. The last half mile is pretty rough. There’s oodles of dispersed camping along the way.
Posted By: Thevirtualsherpa
Info: Summer conditions on the road, made it to about .3 miles from the upper TH in a legacy when this small section of rocks stopped me. Its by far the worst section and only 1/2 moves but Im not trying to ruin my car for .3 miles. If you have a 4x4 with decent clearance you should be fine. Pic below as this section isnt going anywhere.
Posted By: joemcglinchy
Info: Road dry all the way up. Feature 1/4 mile from TH may provide some difficulty to non-4x4 vehicles, but ample places to pull off nearby if needed.
Posted By: Cadorade4403
Info: Made it to 1/4 mile from the TH and there were a lot of people stopped near us. A 4runner made it all the way to the TH. Road was was dry all the way up.
Posted By: phaas34
Info: Parked 3/4mile down from the upper TH. A group got within 1/4mile. Snow is melting fast.
Posted By: rangercarl
Info: We tried to rally a sled to the North Halfmoon TH this morning. We were able to drive within a .5 mile of the north elbert TH in a 4wd truck, and then it was patchy snow drifts as far as we could see. There was only a surface freeze at that elevation last night with wet snow underneath, so the sled didn’t really work out. Road looks to be melting out fast.
Posted By: angry
Info: Made it 2.3 miles below the th, snow gets considerably deeper beyond that point.
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.

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