Halfmoon Creek

Leadville, Colorado (Lake County)

Last Updated: 05/26/2020
4.6 / 5 ( 9 reviews )
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: 04/15 - 09/04
Length: 10.91 miles
Highest Elevation: 12900 feet
Duration: About 3 hours
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Leadville
Nearest Town w/ Services: Leadville
Official Road Name: 110, 110J
Management Agency: Leadville
District:
Showing 0 trails within 2 miles

Highlights

Highlight: Halfmoon Creek
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 Trailsoffroad members. 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 other varieties. If you bring a rod, your chances of making a catch are pretty high.

Video

Weather

7 day forecast for Halfmoon Creek

Route Information

Technical Rating:
(MODERATE - DIFFICULT)

Read more about our rating system

Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 mi)
The trailhead begins just after the Halfmoon Creek Campgrounds. Continue strait until you reach an obvious fork in the road.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 39.150773, -106.428522

Starting Point: Denver

From Denver take I-70 west to The Copper Mountain Exit. Take 91 south until it connects with HWY 24. Take 24 south through the town of Leadville. Turn West on CO-300 proceed for approximately 1 mile until you reach Halfmoon Rd. Turn South on Halfmoon Rd. continue 1.25 mi. Turn west (right) on Halfmoon Rd. Continue past Mount Massive trailhead and Mount Elbert trailhead parking. The trail starts at just before the fork at 110 and 110J.

Camping

Dispersed

Land Use Issues

Although the GPS file takes you to the end of the trails, the current MVUM states that 110J ends at Waypoint 4. There are no signs or gates here but continuing on here is not permitted by motorized use. Additionally, the 110 trail ends at waypoint 9. There is a locked gate at this waypoint owned by Outward Bound. You can hike beyond these areas but as of 2016, they are not designated for OHV travel. Leadville MVUM

Trail Reviews (14)

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Stayed on 110 up to the closed gate at Champion Mill. No difficulty in stock '97 4Runner. Less than 12" of water at both crossings. The rest was dry except for an occasional puddle. Scenic & fun road - watch for waterfalls along creek. Seems like open willows areas along creek would be good moose territory but saw none.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Nothing blocking the trail all the way to the mill. One of the most beautiful basins/valleys i have seen. The mill is awesome as well. Agree with the difficulty rating on the site. A couple river crossings. The deepest was probably between 1 - 2 feet. Very bumpy but no 'extreme' obstacles. Clearance and 4wd low extremely suggested/necessary.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
The trail to the Champion Mine is still blocked by snow just before way point 11 Off camber section. Looking up at this obstacle it certainly looks interesting and I will be back to try it at a later date. We only did the Champion Mine route but thought this to be one of the most beautiful trails we have been on in some time. Rugged mountains, awe inspiring views, wild flowers, many creeks, this trail has it all.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
As of June 27, the main trail was clear to the locked gate to Champion Mill. The trail to Champion Mine was blocked by a snowdrift shortly before waypoint 11 (pictured). The trail to Iron Mike was clear to the Iron Mike Obstacle. I briefly attempted the bypass to the right but it proved more challenging than I expected, with a 90 degree turn to the left right after a steep ledge, that was hard to do without getting hung up on a rock right where I needed to turn. It was late and I was alone so I didn't feel comfortable attempting that further and turned around. I found a nice campsite a little ways below the obstacle which was nice and secluded away from the crowds camped along the main Halfmoon trail. I definitely need to go back and finish both prongs of this trail with a group next year, when hopefully it is fully reopened when the new travel plan is done.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
The gate to champion mill is closed (not the green one), so you can cross the stream to the left but you wont get far after that as there's a snow drift, 8-10' tall that will likely be there for a few more weeks. The water crossing (waypoint 7) a few miles down hill had some real good flow. 2-3' at the deepest part so just take it slow and you'll be fine. A stock 4Runner and a bunch of lifted Colorado's made it just fine.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Impassable
Offroaded on:
Big snow drift between waypoints 7 and 8 make the trail impassable

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Avalanche debris is cleared and road is open. In my opinion the road seems harder than compared to last year. Some of the larger rocks looked like they had been washed out and exposed a little more adding to the difficulty of the trail. Creek crossing was a solid foot deep.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
From the FS today: ALERT: Visitors to the Halfmoon Road (FSR 110) on the #LeadvilleRD are advised that Road Maintenance will begin tomorrow, July 23, and is expected to continue for most of the week. The road will not be closed at this time, but visitors to the area may experience delays. Please travel carefully and be aware that large machinery may be sharing the road. Further reports on the Halfmoon road are that a large avalanche has crossed the road past the North Halfmoon Lakes Trailhead blocking vehicle access further west on the road. Creek crossings are preventing heavy machinery access to this area at this time. Visitors are welcome to travel the road on foot, but are encouraged to be cautious around avalanche debris and stream crossings. Please enjoy your time on the National Forest, and recreate safely!

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Excellent trail with wonderful views, I took 110j to way point 4 before deciding that it was to much for my Xterra on a 2 lift and 265 tires. on your way up you get to see far into the valley due to the avalanche clearing on the trail. I ran into no snow on my way up and only stopped because of the serious rocks after the second water crossing. That said I had to give this trail four stars because of two things, one there were almost no turn around or passing points, and two the water was SERIOUSLY deep and fast moving. the first crossing at 110j came over the hood and also moved my truck down river a few inches. the crossing at 110 did not move my vehicle however was deep enough that it caused my electronics to cut out halfway through the crossing. Due to this I stopped fairly quick after the crossing because I didn't want to risk my engine dying on the trail. the crossing in the video is of 110 however both crossings are equally as deep, all photos were taken on 110j.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
We ran both spurs of the trail (110 and 110J) on the week of July 4th. Both of the trails are blocked by avalanche debris. On 110 going to Champion Mine the blockage is right at timberline, just after the upper creek crossing. You can see where someone has driven around it. Please don't do this! This is why they close trails! On 110 J the blockage is after the creek crossing/obstacle, but before timberline. This is a significant trail blockage as a large avalanche laid many large trees over the road for about 100 yards. All of the creek crossings were very deep.

Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Background: we have a 2018 Tacoma TRD OR, with 3" lift, stock GoodYear tires. We attempted trail 110 toward the mill on June 8th. We made it through the first water crossing relatively easy, but the water was pretty high and flowing fast. Water came over the hood briefly, but was probably an average depth of 2-3ft. Soon after the water crossing the snow drifts began. We didn't make it too far before burying the truck to the door frames in snow. 30 minutes later, after digging out, using maxtrax and Crawl Control, we were turned around and heading back the way we came. We were probably the only ones to attempt this far, this season. I think the river crossing was intimidating, but the snow was the real issue. As of June 9th, this trail was not passable and there is a good amount of snow melt to come so the river crossings will probably get harder for the next month or so. Overall, we loved this trail and all of the dispersed camping options! Definitely excited to come back, make it to the mill, and do some more camping.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trail was mostly clear until waypoint 7 when it became consistently snow packed and icy. There is a short hill climb in this area that had me sliding around enough that I chose not to continue. Hiked the rest of the way and found the road to be drive able from waypoints 8 to 10. I started earlier in the morning when the trail also had lots of ice on it, but by the early afternoon it had warmed up enough that ice wasnt too much of a concern anymore and the road was drive able with good tires. Interestingly the first creek crossing was a good 6" deep from the recent melting snow fall. Also note that the Champion Mill is off limits now and appears to be getting restored.

Author:
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Trail was quite scenic with more camping opportunities than I could have imagined. I drove only the Champion side. The green gate has been torn down presumably by vandals. There is however a small Trail sign indicating no motorized vehicles allowed. This late in the season the water crossings were only ankle-deep.

Author: Official Crew
Status: Partially Open
Offroaded on:
Right Side of the Trail was open all the way up to the Mill. The gate to the Mill was unlocked and open. 1 Large water crossing about 2-3' deep right at the Mount Massive Trail Head. Once you got through the water you had the entire area to yourself. I did not take the left side but have heard it is not passable as of yet.

Questions & Answers (3)

Q: anyone been up this year?
–Alan rogers (08/01/2020)
–Ryan Boudreau (08/04/2020)
Q: Is this road close during winter time?
–Charles (11/19/2017)
–Todd (11/21/2017)
Q: Any recent updates? Can we still drive up to waypoint 9? Can we go beyond 9 and drive up to 12? Thanks! :)
–Shawna (06/16/2017)
–Chris Shaw (06/16/2017)

Writer Information

Chris Shaw

Mapping Crew - Colorado

Chris is stationed out of his home office in Denver, CO with his fiancée and two dogs. Two of his biggest motivations in life are off-roading and graphic design. How fortunate to be able to combine both interests while working for Trailsoffroad. When he is not on the trail or at the computer, you can find him enjoying all the local music or breweries Colorado has to offer.
For individual use only, not to be shared.