Southwest Slopes

Page Type: Route
Lat/Lon: 39.18720°N / 106.4747°W
Route Type: Hiking
Time Required: Half a day
Difficulty: Class 2
Grade: II


The Southwest Slopes Route of Mount Massive provide a shorter--albeit steeper--alternative to the typical East Slopes, which is the easiest and most common route.

This route rewards you with an almost constant view of Mount Elbert to the south.

Due to its sustained angle of ascent, I would recommend this route for steep terrain training.

Getting There

North Halfmoon Creek Trailhead is where the Southwest Slopes Trail begins.

It is 2.5 miles past the Mount Massive Trailhead, and will require a high-clearance vehicle, or you will most likely be missing parts of your vehicle when you leave.

Route Description

The first 1.3 miles of this route are on the North Halfmoon Creek Trail, which is an easy Class 1 walk. At the end of this stretch there is a large meadow where the turnoff is marked by a large cairn.

Turn right (north) at the cairn, and the fun begins, as the trail gets considerably steeper. Shortly after the turn, there are some cliffs that are easily navigated through via the apparent trail. The trail then makes its way to the northeast to the saddle between Mount Massive and South Massive, where the trail joins the Mount Massive . From the saddle, it's a short climb north to the summit on a Class 2 trail.

The CFI did a great job on this trail, making it very easy to follow end-to-end. Thank you CFI!

Essential Gear

During the Summer, nothing special is required; the standard 10 essentials will suffice.

I have never climbed this in Winter, but unless otherwise corrected, I would assume that snowshoes and an ice axe would be helpful. However, I doubt that the road to the trailhead is plowed during Winter.Add External Links text here.