Photo
Mt. Massive
standard East Slopes
print
Difficulty:
 Class 2 
Risk Factors:Exposure: Moderate
Rockfall Potential: Moderate  
Route-Finding: Moderate  
Commitment: Moderate  
 
Trailhead:Mt. Massive
Start:10,080 feet
Summit:14,421 feet
Total Gain:4,500 feet
RT Length:14.50 miles
Duration:User Climb Times
Author:BillMiddlebrook
Updated:6/2019
Weather:NOAA Forecast
Conditions:290 reports
Cell Signal:18 reports
Sheriff:Lake: 719-486-1249
Forest:San Isabel
Wilderness:Mount Massive
Quad. Maps:Log In to View
Camping:On Google Maps
Eats:On Google Maps
Downloads:Log In to Download
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Trailhead

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.

Route

Leave the parking area and begin hiking up the Colorado/Mt. Massive trail - 1. Cross South Willow Creek after 2 miles ( 2) and continue another mile before crossing Willow Creek - 3. Continue northwest up a hill and to reach a trail junction at 11,300' and turn left onto the Mt. Massive Trail - 4. Hike approx. 1/4 mile up a hill and through some small clearings where the terrain flattens out and you can finally see Massive ahead - 5.

Continue to 11,800', zigzag through willows and ascend Point 12,466' - 6. Reach easier ground near 12,400' where most of the remaining route is now in view - 7. With 2 miles remaining, the summit is still a long way off. Your next goal is to reach the saddle between "South Massive" and the Massive's summit ridge. Continue on the excellent trail ( 8) to reach the 13,900-foot saddle - 9.

Turn right at the saddle and follow the trail toward the summit ridge - 10 and 11. Near 14,250', reach a notch at the Southwest Slopes Route trail junction - 12. Past the junction, stay right of the ridge crest and weave up through the rocks ( 13 and 14) to reach easier terrain on the ridge crest near 14,300' - 15. Pass over a false summit and continue to the top - 16 and 17.

Notes

This is the "standard" route on Massive, but the alternate Southwest Slopes Route has increased in popularity recently because it's shorter and the trail was greatly improved in 2007. IMPORTANT: This route enters the Mount Massive Wilderness area. Wilderness areas have special regulations and restrictions for party size, dispersed camping, campfires, etc. Also, dog owners should read the wilderness information carefully because some wilderness areas prohibit dogs to be off-leash and/or limit how close dogs can be to lakes and streams. If you have questions about the wilderness area, please contact a U.S. Forest Service office for the National Forest(s) listed above.
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