Mt. Massive Trailhead


Road Difficulty

2WD, easy dirt road 1   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
2WD dirt to the 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.

Winter Access

Usually closed just a short distance up from where the road changes to dirt - approx. 5.3 miles below the TH.
Status Updates 
Posted By: CaptCO
Info: Forest Service trucks cutting wood and a couple 4runners
Posted By: jordanthebuff
Info: The road is in good condition. All cars should be able to make it to the trail head with very few exceptions. The road has quite a bit of pot holes, but nothing worse than west Colfax in Denver. If you are driving a low clearance car, just take it a bit slower than all the trucks/SUVs and choose your lines carefully.
Posted By: ejbutler12
Info: North Halfmoon trailhead for SW Slopes approach:
The road into Halfmoon Creek is fantastic! And, besides a few nice campgrounds, the dispersed camping opportunities on this road are the best I’ve ever seen, anywhere! Beautiful! Once you drive past the main Massive trailhead parking, the road becomes true 4WD.....not too bad, but bumpy and slow. At about .3 miles from the Sw Slopes trailhead, there is a really bad spot to get over. On our way out, we noticed several cars parked before this point, it’s easy to walk from there. But our 4runner made it just fine (my husband’s a good driver!). It was more difficult on the way out (downhill), but we didn’t scrape. Parking at the trailhead is plentiful, as not many drive that far!
Posted By: Owen Puffenberger
Info: Halfmoon Road is in the best shape I have ever seen it. Hardly any washboard, potholes, or rocks to speak of. Any vehicle should make it with ease.
Posted By: Bjb9454
Info: Gravel road is impassable for the winter even by 4x4 vehicles for 5 miles before trail head. Must park at parking lot located in grassland 100 yards below the lower tree line. Snow is ~1.5 ft deep on road and has been traveled by snowmobile last week or so.
I was able to hike and stay on top of the crust with plain boots if I stayed in the snow mobile tracks. If I was off to the side, I was post holding.
Allow at least 4 extra hours for the round trip.
Posted By: mtnmike
Info: Road to the trailhead is still open to pretty much any vehicle. The paved section is dry and the first ~2 miles of dirt. Gradually changes to snowpacked, but its a very very thin snowpack -- clearance is not an issue at all!
Posted By: AnnaG22
Info: North Halfmoon Creek road is closed and not plowed 3 miles below the TH. The road up to that point is in good/normal/2WD conditions.
Posted By: cbrobin
Info: Easy drive to the trailhead. No problems. The road to the SW route appeared worse, but I didn’t drive it.
Posted By: screeman57
Info: Halfmoon road is snow-covered but driveable all the way to the trailhead (and beyond, judging from tracks). Had no trouble in my minivan, and several passenger cars were at both elbert and massive THs.
Posted By: Lyssah
Info: Trailhead was dry and accessible by most cars. The road to the trailhead was also dry and accessible by most cars.
Posted By: Ramsey Boys
Info: Trailhead completely dry and accessible by 2wd. It is a regularly dirt road so no excitement driving there. There is not a bathroom at Mt. Massive TH but a quarter mile before you get there stop and use the restroom at another camping ground. There are about 20 parking spots at Mt. Massive TH but there is overflow parking nearby.
Posted By: vailmtnman_26
Info: The road is accessible to the North Mt. Elbert trailhead. There are a few small snow drifts getting to that point but they have been driven over plenty of times so they are manageable with a 2WD vehicle. You can drive past the North Mt. Elbert trailhead a short bit until you reach a large snow drift about 150 yards before the Mt. Massive trailhead. Evidence shows there have been a few unsuccessful attempts at bashing through this drift. My Tacoma with a 4 inch lift and 34 inch tires was unsuccessful as well. IF you can make it through the drift, the road is dry again to the Mt. Massive trailhead.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: "Typical" winter closure exists on the road now, just past the lower parking lot where the road turns to dirt. A large Road Closed sign in the road can be detoured around, but a huge drift is within .1 mile.
Posted By: thePhoenix
Info: Patches on snow on the dirt road (minimal and packed). The Elbert and Massive trailheads were accessible by 2WD vehicles without difficulty.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: Drove up Halfmoon Rd ~ 4 miles from the 2wd parking, to the Emerald Lake Picnic Area. This is within about 1.3 miles of the Mt Massive TH. The road still has many sections of deep snow & ruts in drifts.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: Early section of the road has been well drifted over, has a hard crust layer & I only drove only a little further than the 2wd parking lot/reflector signs in a high clearance 4wd. I hesitated to pull into the 2wd parking lot, it sits slightly lower than the road and looked to be filled in deep with drifts.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: Road is passable, drove to the N. Halfmoon Campground. A well-known section at the start of the road has deep ruts in it, high clearance is necessary.
Posted By: Eagle Eye
Info: Road closure is just past the lower parking lot where the Halfmoon Rd turns to dirt. Two large reflector signs block the road, they can be gone around but the road is drifted over & has not been recently traveled.
Posted By: mike_kadow
Info: Washboard road has little to no snow and TH is snow-free.
Posted By: bhess86
Info: I made it to the Main Massive TH just fine in my front wheel drive Camry. Most of the dirt road is snow-packed, no ice yet.
Posted By: craigjhn
Info: Not sure what this new storm will do, but on Nov 8, the road was clear and dry. Got 2WD Accord up within a mile of the North Halfmoon Creek TH.
Posted By: Sugar Madison
Info: Totally clear and dry. 2wd accessible w/o any problems.
Posted By: Marmot72
Info: The parking lot for this TH was dry. We had patches of snow on the road to get here, but nothing too serious for my RAV 4 and it was really melting in the hot afternoon sun on our way out. Deep ruts in the snow from a real SUV made the passage easy for any car with decent clearance.
Posted By: RockyMtn22
Info: I didn‘t get to the trailhead because of the snow. I got to somewhere near the Gaging Station. I never saw the campground. Perhaps the Outback could have made it, but I don‘t have chains, so I didn‘t try. I ended up turning around and parking near a sign that said, "Halfmoon Drainage" and hiking almost due-west to Mt. Massive. (If you‘re hiking up Massive, expect to do a lot of post holing. Willow Creek has running water at 11,000.)
Posted By: Dancesatmoonrise
Info: Note this is for the Highline trail approach. Plowed road to the fish hatchery with ample plowed parking. Trail cut along Highline, to the meadow at 11,200, and to the NE ridge on North Massive.

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