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

Quick Facts

Mt. Massive

Average Time: 4 - 6 Hours to reach summit
Beginning Elevation: 10,100 Feet (3148.4 Meters) Mt. Massive Trailhead
Difficulty: Moderate to More Difficult
Elevation: 10,100 Feet (3148.4 Meters)
Elevation Gain: 4,314 Feet (1344.8 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 14,421 Feet (4495.3 Meters) summit Mt. Massive
Length, One-way: 5.5 Miles (9.17 Kilometers) Mt. Massive Trail
Other Maps: Trails Illustrated 127 Aspen, Independence Pass
Trail Number: 1487 Mt. Massive Trail
USGS Map: Mt. Massive

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Mount Massive
Copyright: Marshall Hall - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Mount 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. This is a moderate to strenuous hike with an elevation gain of 4,314 feet. This peak takes an average hiker 4 to 6 hours to the top. The Mount Massive area is a designated wilderness area, please leave your bikes at the trailhead and be aware of wilderness practices. For additional information see information for Mt. Massive Wilderness.

On the descent, unless snow affords an appropriate glissade southeast to the trail, return all the way to the saddle before descending. Many people have shortcut this section of trail; consequently, the slopes here are heavily eroded. Please stay on the established route. The western approaches to Mount Massive via North Halfmoon Creek should be avoided until a secure route has been determined because of the severe environmental impacts caused by climbers

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. The trailhead is just east of this campground. Hike north for 3 miles to the trail junction at 11,250 feet. The trail climbs steeply west to timberline; then continues west through willows and rolling tundra into the cirque between Massive's main summit and 14,132 foot South Massive. Follow the trail to the prominent saddle, and the ridge north to the summit.

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Horseback Riding Mt. Massive Trail
ICON Mountain Climbing Mt. Massive

Related Activities
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.

Emerald Lake Family Picnic Ground - Emerald Lake Family Picnic Ground is located on Halfmoon Road west of Leadville. Visitors to this site will enjoy access to hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, four-wheel driving and fishing.

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.

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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