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Mount Massive via Halfmoon Lakes, CO

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Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CO > South Central
Rated
4
4 of 5 by 1
 
1
Statistics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 10,538 feet
Elevation Gain 3,904 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,032 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4+ hours
Kokopelli Seeds 26.41
Interest Perennial Creek & Peak
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
25  2017-07-17 rvcarter
17  2010-09-06 imike
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Jun, Sep → Early
Seasons   Summer to Early Autumn
Sun  6:44am - 4:55pm
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Official Route
 
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Water
Nearby Area Water
North Halfmoon Lakes Trail #1485
same trailhead
2.6 mi
1,570 ft
Mount Massive - Standard Route
Mount Massive - Standard Route
2.4 mi away
13.3 mi
4,602 ft
Halfmoon Creek to Clear Creek Road - CT #11
2.4 mi away
21.5 mi
Mount Elbert NE Ridge - Standard Route
Mount Elbert NE Ridge - Standard Route
2.7 mi away
9.0 mi
4,700 ft
Mount Massive Trail #1487
2.8 mi away
3.7 mi
3,374 ft
Fryingpan Lakes
4.1 mi away
14.0 mi
2,490 ft
South Willow Creek Trail #1486
4.3 mi away
2.0 mi
702 ft
North Fork Lake Creek Trail #1483
4.4 mi away
3.0 mi
1,568 ft
Mount Elbert South Trail
5.0 mi away
4.3 mi
3,940 ft
Rock Creek Trail - Leadville
5.6 mi away
1.9 mi
514 ft
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Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Harder but Nicer
by imike

This route to the third highest peak in the lower 48 states takes the direct approach, and provides the shortest mileage route to the peak. From the lower trailhead to Mount Massive you continue driving up a rough, high clearance vehicle road for another 2+ miles to the well developed trailhead for Halfmoon Lakes. At this point you need to fill out a free permit registration to access the Wilderness Area. The hike starts out on the Halfmoon Lakes trail for about 1.5 miles, where you will then turn right on to the signed trial ascending to Mt. Massive. At this point the more moderate grade gives over to climbing. This short mileage approach is accomplished by simply having a route that runs overly steeply up the side of the mountain. Follow this route until you intersect the main trail up on the ridge, proceeding then on to the peak.


You may want to consider descending on the main trail, creating a loop hike of longer mileages but much gentler walking.

Mt. Massive is composed of a ridge system containing a number of sub peaks over 14,000'...and was once held out to be the better choice for Colorado's highest mountain. There were attempts to pile rocks up to augment the total height, hoping to beat out Mt. Elbert, but that up/down process finally ended with the concession that Mt. Elbert's 14,440' was the top of the state.

This is not an easy hike, but for any well conditioned hiker it is very doable. To avoid the overly steep class 2 climbing, simply hike to the peak using the lower trailhead. Both routes are very popular.

This hike is subject to the usual issues related to high elevations, and summer thunderstorms. Start early and enjoy the efforts.

imike
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    Information is listed below


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    From Leadville, follow 24 south to Rd 300, turning right and following for a bit over a mile, then turning left on Rd 11 (Halfmoon Lake Rd). Follow this road to the lower Mt Massive trailhead (past Halfmoon Lake/ Emerald Lake campgrounds)... then, proceed on up the posted high clearance vehicle road another 2+ miles to the well marked trailhead area for Halfmoon Lakes trail. Sign up for the free permit at the trailhead.
    page created by imike on Sep 06 2010 6:51 am
    help comment issue

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