Halfmoon Creek

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4.8/5 (37 reviews)
Leadville, Colorado (Lake County)
Last Updated: 12/13/2023
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Trail Information

Highlights

Tucked between two goliath fourteeners, Mount Massive & Mount Elbert, here the views are jaw-dropping. There are so many things to explore on this trail it could take an entire week. Halfmoon Creek is a favorite of many. There is a mix of both easy and difficult terrain, a few water crossings, and plenty of spots with fire rings for dispersed camping. It is common for the trailhead to be very congested with hikers attempting to summit Elbert and Massive, but as you cross the creeks, you get the feeling you might be the only one out there. This trail is perfect for a one or two-night camping trip, giving you enough time to see all the old structures and take a long hike. A hike to North Halfmoon Lakes can be done in less than a day. The lakes are stocked with cutthroat trout as well as other varieties. If you bring a rod, your chances of making a catch are pretty high.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Check out our Weston Pass (12.63 mi away) trail guide for an All-Access Preview!

Trail Reviews

4.8/5 (37)
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Official Crew
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150250
Impassable
Visited: 12/01/2023

Snow has closed the road to wheeled vehicles for the winter season.
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4000
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/14/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

This was an awesome trail, with incredibly beautiful views throughout the trail. The lower part of the trail before the gate wasn't too difficult but did have some nice challenges. The streams were not real deep. There was a fair amount of snow on the trail that got deeper the higher we climbed. There were also a lot of campers out in various camping area. We headed up through the gate toward Champion Mill, but did not reach the mill due to the deep snow and steeper climbs. The last climb attempted was a very narrow shelf section with about a foot or so of snow and about a 15 - 20 degree climb. It was a pretty tough climb with a group of boulders at the top that were a real challenge. We stopped at the top of this section as the snow was closer to 18 inches deep. This put us about a mile or so from the Mill. The views were breathtaking. Going back down this section was pretty much a controlled slide. With little steering control even with front and rear locker on and in crawl mode. On our way back out we ran across an Toyota Tundra blocking the trail because the drivers wheel came off the "A" frame mount and the trucks fender was resting on the wheel. After a couple of hours and help from our group we were able to reattach the wheel and the couple was able to drive their Tundra back out of the trail. This is a trail I definitely want to do again, but without the snow. With the heavy snow on the trail it made it much more difficult in some areas.
Trail Review: Halfmoon Creek - PBenn
Trail Review: Halfmoon Creek - PBenn
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Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/02/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Absolutely beautiful trail. We only did the Champion Mill run but above tree line it provided plenty of challenges, especially waypoint 11. Six rating is accurate especially because there was a large boulder in the middle of the trail at waypoint 11 which required us to go way off more camber than I would've preferred. On the way down my tires pushed the boulder a little out of the way for the next person. Beautiful greenish rocks above the tree line, contrasted with the red and orange ground cover made this the most scenic trail I've done all year.
Trail Review: Halfmoon Creek - Jason Lewis
Trail Review: Halfmoon Creek - Jason Lewis
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Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/02/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Beautiful trail. Rocks and stones above tree line were a beautiful greenish color. Contrasted with all the red and orange fall ground cover, this was the best trail I've done all year. The view at the top is definitely worth it but you absolutely need a modified vehicle to get passed waypoint 11. There was a large boulder in the middle of the trail and so we had to go a lot more off camber than I would've preferred. On the way down my front tire moved it a little bit out-of-the-way for the next person
Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 08/17/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Fun trail, only went to Champion Mill, set up a camping site before then. Never had to use 4WD up to that point, played around going a little further but decided to turn around.

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