Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
4,567.00 ft (1,392.02 m)
Trail type
14.00 mi (22.53 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Mount Massive Loop is a 13-mile route around Mount Massive. Mount Massive is located within the Mount Massive Wilderness southwest of Leadville, Colorado, and is part of the Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains. Beginning at the Mount Massive Trailhead, this route completes the loop clockwise heading west along the North Halfmoon Creek Trail to Mount Massive's southwest slope. Going clockwise, you will ascend the steepest slope and descend the slightly more moderate east slope. Whichever way you complete the loop, it will be a challenging and strenuous day filled with incredible panoramic mountain views amidst beautiful alpine scenery.This route is recommended for experienced hikers who are comfortable navigating across steep, rocky, and loose terrain. 

At 14,421 feet, Mount Massive is the second highest peak in Colorado and the third highest in the contiguous United States. It sits on a 3-mile long summit ridge that features five additional summits that are all above 14,000 feet!

North Halfmoon Trail follows Halfmoon Creek through a lush forested area as it traverses west. On the Southwest Slopes Trail, you'll leave the treeline and enter an exposed, rocky, and steep terrain. You’ll cross several false summits before reaching the actual peak of Mount Massive. 

From the top, you’ll briefly retrace your steps across a ridgeline and look for a junction where the East Slopes Route and Southwest Slopes Trail split. You'll descend the east side through switchbacks and meadows. 

Follow the Colorado Trail (CT) south to get back to the trailhead.  


The Mount Massive Trailhead features a small parking area. This trailhead fills up fast so it is best to arrive early and avoid weekends if possible. 


Dispersed camping is permitted within the Mount Massive Wilderness as long as visitors abide by the Wilderness Regulations


At the trailhead, Halfmoon East Campground and Elbert Creek Campground are available for a fee on a first-come, first-served basis.


  • Weather on the mountain can change quickly and it is always a good idea to check current conditions before heading out. For current conditions in the Mount Massive Wilderness contact Pike & San Isabel National Forest at 719-486-0749.

  • This route takes place at a high elevation and visitors may need time to acclimatize.

  • It is a very popular hike that is frequented by many visitors. In order to minimize the impact on the environment, please stay on established trails and avoid cutting switchbacks. 

  • Watch out for 4x4 cars on the rugged Halfmoon Creek Trail / Road. 


USFS - Mount Massive

North Halfmoon Trail

Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Meadows. Scenic mountain views. Peak bagging.


Trailhead can get crowded. Parking is limited.

Trailhead Elevation

100,054.00 ft (30,496.46 m)

Highest point

14,421.00 ft (4,395.52 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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