From the town of Leadville, drive about 3 miles WSW on US24 to where the highway makes a sharp tunr to the south. At the intersection here, turn west onto CO300, cross the railroad tracks and drive .8 mile west to another intersection. Turn left (south) onto CR11 and drive 1.3 miles to another intersection where you will bear right, remaining on CR11 which in time will become FR110. Continue SW on the graded, gravel road for another 5 miles eventually passing the Half Moon East and West Campground and the Elbert Creek CG. About .3 mile west of the Elbert Creek CG is the trailhead for Mt. Massive, appx. 7 miles in from US24. (N 39° 09' 05.87" W 106° 25' 09.77") The Mt. Elbert TH is located just south of the entrance for the Elbert Creek CG. (N 39° 09' 08.40" W 106° 24' 43.25") If you do not have a vehicle with better clearance, you'll need to park at the trailhead. Otherwise, FR110 continues west for another 2.1 miles to the intersection for FR110J (aka" 1103A). While this last two miles is rated 4WD, having that capability is not as important as having better clearance.

Drive south on FR110J (aka: 1103A) dropping down to Halfmoon Creek. Before crossing the creek, there's an unofficial trailhead. Our hiking route description begins from here. If you have a short wheel base, high clearance 4WD, it's possible to drive a little over a mile up FR110J to where it crosses South Halfmoon Ck. This crossing has for years stopped any number of 4WD vehicles - especially longer base ones. In 2004, our son-in-law tore the bumper off his Jeep Cherokee attempting to cross the creek here. If you have the skills and the vehicle and can get across, the remainder of the road up into the basin is not too terribly bad and you can save some significant mileage. Otherwise, you will have to park at the creek crossing and there's precious little room for doing that and it's not easy to turn around either. Best advise, park back down on either side of Halfmoon Creek and walk the road.


There are three Forest Service campgrounds along Halfmoon Creek. They are Half Moon East, Half Moon West and Elbert Creek. Information about these campgrounds can be found at this link: These campgrounds usually max out on summer weekends. All three are listed as "first-come, first-served," so no reservations accepted. Driving west on FR110 past the Mt. Massive TH on the 4WD road will offer some additional at-large camp spots as you continue up valley. There is a sizable area for at-large camping where FR110J (1103A) turns off for South Halfmoon Creek.

Campsite Locations

Elbert Creek › N 39° 09' 09.16", W 106° 24' 48.74"
10,075 ft.
Half Moon West › N 39° 09' 27.30", W 106° 23' 52.32"
9,950 ft.
Half Moon East › N 39° 09' 32.36", W 106° 23' 48.64"
9,935 ft.
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