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Camping: Colorado > Pike and San Isabel National Forests > Leadville Ranger District

Quick Facts

Emerald Lake Family Picnic Ground

Elevation: 10,047 Feet (3131.9 Meters)
Number of Sites: 10
Other Maps: Trails Illustrated 127 Aspen, Independence
Reservation Status: Not Accepted
Vehicle Accessibility: Passenger Vehicle

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The Halfmoon drainage provides access to three campgrounds, two trailheads and one picnic ground. Users can also enjoy the Mt. Massive Wilderness from this site. The Colorado trail and North Mt. Elbert trail are popular attractions that bring people to this drainage. The Emerald Lake Picnic Ground is a day use area located on the south side of Halfmoon Road. Picnic season begins in May and continues to October. The grounds are equipped with tables, toilets, fireplaces and trash collection. Camping is prohibited in these areas. They are restricted to day-use only. All picnic grounds close at 10:00 p.m.

Directions from Leadville: From Leadville, travel 3.9 miles west on US Highway 24. Take Colorado 300 west 3/4 of a mile to Lake County 11. Turn left on to 11 and travel 1.25 miles. Turn right on to Forest Road 110 then follow signs to Elbert Creek Campground. Approximately .75 miles before you reach the campground you will see a road to the left. This is the Emerald Lake Picnic Ground.

Seasonal Information:
Normal Services Available: June through September (NOTE: Opening and closing dates may change depending on weather conditions.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cold Water Fishing Halfmoon Creek
ICON Four-Wheel Driving Halfmoon Road, South Halfmoon Road
ICON Hiking & Walking Willow Creek Trail, Colorado Trail, Mt. Massive Trail, Mt. Elbert Trail (North), North Halfmoon Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Willow Creek Trail, Colorado Trail, North Halfmoon Trail, Halfmoon Road, South Halfmoon Road
ICON Bird Identification Halfmoon General Forest Area - various trails
ICON Pine Cone Gathering Halfmoon General Forest Area - various trails
ICON Plant Identification Halfmoon General Forest Area - various trails
ICON Wildflower Identification Halfmoon General Forest Area - various trails
ICON Mountain Biking Halfmoon Road, South Halfmoon Road, Mt. Elbert Creek - One Way, Mt. Elbert Creek/Pipeline Loop
ICON ATV Riding Halfmoon Road
ICON Motorcycle Riding Halfmoon Road, South Halfmoon Road
ICON Picnicking Emerald Lake Picnic Ground
ICON Backpacking Colorado Trail, Continental Divide Trail

Related Activities
Colorado Trail (Halfmoon to Twin Lakes) - This segment of the Colorado Trail begins in the Halfmoon Drainage and continues for approximately 6 miles to the Lakeview Campground above Twin Lakes.

Colorado Trail (Turquoise Lake to Halfmoon Creek) - This section of the Colorado Trail is known as #10. It begins west of Turquoise Lake and ends 11.5 miles later in the Halfmoon Creek drainage.

Elbert Creek Campground - All campsites in the Halfmoon Drainage are first come, first serve. The Elbert Creek Campground has 17 sites available, and an allowance for trailers 16' and smaller.

Halfmoon Campground - All campsites in the Halfmoon Drainage are first come, first serve. Twenty-four sites are available in the Halfmoon East & West Campgrounds with the maximum RV length of sixteen feet.

Halfmoon Road - Halfmoon Road begins on Fish Hatchery Road (#300) and continue to the Champion Mine. The first 7 miles are accessible to 2 WD vehicles.

Mt. Elbert - Mt. Elbert at 14,433 ft elevation is the highest point in Colorado. It is the second highest mountain in the adjacent 48 states.

Mt. Massive - Mount Massive is the second highest peak in Colorado and is appropriately named, with seven summits over 14,000 feet. Elevation of the highest peak is 14,421 feet.

North Halfmoon Trail - This trail leads the hiker to a high alpine lake. North Halfmoon Lakes are located almost 3 miles from the trailhead on Halfmoon Road.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Leadville Ranger District, U.S. Forest Service, 2015 North Poplar , Leadville, CO, 80461, Phone: 719-486-0749, Fax: 719-486-0928


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