Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Mount Massive Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

off road driving
1 month ago

Fun, fairly easy off-road trail with nice views and excellent camping opportunities. The weather in late September got cold at night but the daytime sun made low 40's during the day feel like 60. This road branches off quite a lot further up. If you can swing it, highly recommend exploring further and making a long day out of it. For hiking, I bet this would be good too. Over the course of 48 hours, I saw two jeeps, a hunter, and a hiker. I think the hunter got something as I heard a shot echo way up the valley at dusk.

I would highly recommend this trail! The scenery is amazing and the obstacles aren’t difficult unless you go the 110J which there was a spot I would not attempt with my lifted Tacoma unless I had rock sliders. There are tons of camping spots from large areas for big groups to small single camp sites near the stream.

Ok, well start with the drive to trail head. You do need a 4wd or AWD. My Subaru Forester made it fine with the low gear XT. There are a few tough areas but if you have some experience it is fine . The trail is tough but worth it. I hiked without seeing anyone all day except on top where the other trailheads meet up at the top. Going up took 4 hrs. 3.5 hrs to what looks like the top.... sorry there are 5+ false summits . Keep going another 30 min and you’ll reach the summit . Going down is no fun and took about 2.5 hrs; however I had poles . Without poles add another hour and some bandaids for the falls !!!
Beautiful , not well travelled trail but remember it’s almost 4000 vertical feet in a short distance !!!
Have fun!!!!

Gorgeous hike. Lots of good wildflowers. Not too hard and lots of short flats to break up the steep uphills. Very lightly trafficked. Nice if you want to stay away from the crowds. Would recommend. Parking lot was pretty small so maybe get an early start.

My family, husband, son (21) and daughter (19) decided to hike this steeper ascent trail as my knees are great going up but kill me on downhills. We parked at the southeast Massive trailhead and hiked the road the 2 miles to the sw trailhead.
This sw hike is no joke, very steep and while nothing hurt on me, it was just hard. You reach the saddle where the sw and se trails meet then you go up the last .3 to the summit. It's a fairly easy ridge but you're scrambling some. The views are amazing!
We descended down the 6+ mile se trail which still bothered my bad knee but the sw trail was not doable at all for me which is why we parked where we did and made it a loop. The mileage is about the same if you do it that way vs the out and back on the se trail.
I'd say if you have good knees and a very steep descent doesn't bother you then the sw trail shaves off about 5+ miles.

Nice lake but nothing spectacular--consider it an average Colorado hike. We actually did this hike on July 21 from a different TH, which you can get to by taking the FR107 (high-clearance 4WD road) north of Lake County Rd 9. My review is for that TH. By going from that TH, it cut the total distance of the hike in half to about 3 miles RT with about 400 feet elevation gain--this was the perfect distance for our 3-year old. But going this way, you do have to hike uphill on the way back, which is not ideal for young children. The trail goes by the Continental Divide Trail and you hike mostly on the Colorado Trail. We had to climb through a few rock fields and over some boulders to get around to part of the lake, but nothing unmanageable or scary. We saw chipmunks, squirrels, wildflowers, and only a handful of people, most of which came up from the Timberline Lake TH. Mosquitoes were around a little bit throughout the trail and were the worst at the TH. With our leisurely pace and lunch break at the lake, it took us about 3 1/2 hours total. The TH isn't too far from the Leadville Fish Hatchery, so that was a big after-hike hit with our boys.

Backpacked in a few miles Thursday night and woke up at 330 Friday to hike Mt. Columbia. The trail is being worked on and I wouldn't recommend using this route until the new trail is finished. Hiking up and down the gulley at the bottom of the mountain was definitely dangerous and very slippery, steep and filled with loose rocks and dirt. The summit was beautiful and the views were amazing!

Road to the trailhead is rough. There’s a spot 1/3 mile from the trailhead my 4x4 Jeep couldn’t make it over. Must have good clearance and good driving skills to make it to this trail head

Wow! My 1st 14er! Diverse trail, rock stairway to the heavens, mountain goats and an incredible 360 degree view!

Great camping along the road to the trailhead, both free dispersed and pay sites w bathrooms. You must have good clearance probably 4WD to get to the trailhead undamaged. A few Subarus were up there but I guarantee they bottomed out on a few spots. There is a gnarly drainage/culvert about 1/4 of a mile before the trailhead. Some butt was parked right before it when i was leaving and only left a crappy line down in my 3in lifted FJ that I still bottomed out.
Hike is awesome, pretty easy for a fourteener. Lots of rocks, hard on the feet, ankles and knees coming down. 2 or 3 false summits, be prepared. I went through 5L of water, applied sunscreen twice and definitely bring bug spray for the first part.
Lots of really cool views both of the Elk Range and of Leadville and the surrounding lakes and scenery. Spectacular views of the Halfmoon lakes and valley on your way up.

Beautiful trail. Not boring but not extremely difficult either.

Spectacular place!! If you go up far enough, the views are amazing. Also found a small creek waterfall with a pool at the bottom for swimming. Water was chilly. Not necessarily a 4WD, SUV’s can handle it unless you guy up high. Definitely recommend going up Peek A Boo Gulch and taking a sunset drive.

We packed our kayaks and went to Twin Lakes one day. About 30 min drive from camp to lakes. Had a cocktail in town and headed back to camp.


Went Friday-Sunday (July 13-15) and it was busy. All campsites were full... maybe 1 or 2 ones open. That was the only downside. The sites are very spread out so it’s still very private.

Make sure you have a good level of fitness for this one.

Great Hike! Have to earn it right from the beginning by making the drive up to the trail head. Need AWD/
4 wheel drive and good clearance. The trail holds Beautiful views, Excellent trails and very few hikers.

off road driving
4 months ago

Very nice, scenic area. Drove my stock Silverado and didn’t have any clearance issues. Nice and secluded, saw one other vehicle the 2 nights that I stayed. Went last week of July and it got really cold at night, like freeze your dogs water cold.

off road driving
4 months ago

Awesome scenery but terribly rough if not in a designated offroad vehicle. Was worth it once but would not do it again without trailering a vehicle so I didn’t have to worry about mine making it home. Any decent SUV could make it clearance wise as long as you stay on county road 11 rather than veering left where it splits. Stay right and road stays passable in an average vehicle and leads to the mine site. I didn’t go left due to not exceeding 3mph due to how rough it was took me 4 hours to get to the mine and back. I took a crew cab f150 with a 8” lift and 36” tires and trail never got too tight. Overall great trail just alittle rough for a daily driver that has to get you home as well unless it’s built.

Fantastic hike. Less crowded than the other trails!!!!

Hard to get to the trailhead, and you can't unless you have high clearance. There are places to turn off along the way tho that will just make your hike a bit longer.

As for the hike, it is really pretty through the forest and along the creek in the beginning. When you turn to go up Massive, it is very steep the entire rest of the way. Be sure to pace yourself.

The views at the top are beyond worth it. Just top-tier summit views. Awesome.

great trail with lots of technical rock climbs and water crossings. Still snow on trail as of yesterday

Gorgeous hike! Great with kids

I couldn’t find the trail head that these directions lead you to.. it took me up a private road with no forest access. I found another trailhead off my atlas, it starts on ranch property and they ask you pay a few $$ to get in ($1 per human, $2 per dog). It was a nice shaded trail with access to the creek in places, my dog loved that. Good incline, not many people out there.

off road driving
6 months ago

5/6/2018 - Got to do this trail yesterday! One of my favorite trails. There is still some snow but I made it past the major river crossing. Water is still on the low side. Maybe a foot deep. I’m running 37s on a 3.5” lift on a JKU. I went by myself. Few people hiking but I was the only vehicle. Snow should be melted in a couple weeks. Amazing views. Minimal rock crawling. Stock Jeeps can easily do the trail. Must have higher clearance to go past the river crossing.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Very difficult and steep climb the last 2 miles or so through rock patches, difficult to discern where the trail is at times but part of the adventure in climbing a 14er. Almost turned around but glad we made it. After you get over the ridge, there's a traverse along the ridge to the top that is breathtaking.

backpacking
Monday, June 12, 2017

We started at the pine creek trailhead right off of 24, the trail head is on private property so we had to pay to park. From the trail head there is a long relatively flat pine forest, followed by a moderate series of uphills which follow the creek. The trail itself is covered in loose rocks up until the point where it intersects the Colorado Trail, then the trail turns into a grassy meadow which follows the creek. The trail becomes really amazing at this point, in early June the meadow was pretty marshy and wet. We were only able to make it up to about 11,300ft before the snow become too much to deal with.

Great hike but confusing to find the trail head. Drive in on 388 (off of hwy 24 13 miles N of Buena Vista) about 1 mile and then park when you see the 388 marker (see photo). Then walk south from that marker to the trail head. Do not continue to drive east on the dirt road.

In the first week of June there were some areas of the trail snow covered and icy about 1/4 mile before you reach the intersection with the Colorado trail - we had to scramble above these areas on a tough slope that is about 100 feet above the roaring Pine Creek - so you'll want to be careful if hiking the trail in early June.

one of my all time favorites. as a flatlander this trail is great, it offers great views and Is lightly traveled. can't recommend this trail enough.

A beautiful hike into a lovely area. After about mile 6 however, campsites were hard to find due to a lack of flat areas.

camping
Friday, November 20, 2015

Hiked this trail in Early October 2015 with my girlfriend who is very new to backpacking. The ins and outs have been covered here as far as the fee for crossing private property etc. but one thing I must add to the previous reviews is how varied the little "forest villages" are as you progress up the trail. While you may be on this trail to get to the 14ers , I implore you to take your time and notice how the ecosystems change literally from one large swale to the next. As you gain elevation, you will begin to anticipate the large leveled valley ahead which affords expansive views of some cool mountains, Mount Emerald being my personal fave. Lot of campsites, and plenty of water for your filtering pleasure.

A great place to explore and the trail winds all the way to the Missouri Basin, past an old cabin, and several waterfalls, meadows, vistas. Take your time, be nice, and leave no trace. And if you see some litter, go ahead and grab it, it's good karma.

hiking
Sunday, July 26, 2015

Great hike that goes through about three different types of terrain/biome. 3rd weekend of July in 2015 I counted 14 different species of plants that were flowering. The creek was vigorous, but not high, though it looked like it had been at flood stages the week before. The trail was not crowded (and only 9 cars at the trailhead on a Saturday). The first half mile crosses private property and they ask for $1 per person or $2 per dog or horse to be left in an envelope at the trailhead. The trail starts out on an old road with drier soil, scrub brush, and conifers probably about 20 years old. A little over a mile and half the road becomes a narrower trail and the forest thickens and is probably between 80-100 years old. Eventually the trail enters the wilderness and meets up with and crosses the Colorado trail. There are many camp spots here, (although you can find spots all along the trail, so there is no concern about finding a good place). Past this point the trail follows the creek through wide meadows with beaver dams (there are definitely fish too). There are some old cabins in places. Overall an enjoyable trail with wildflowers, views, some wildlife, and not a lot of people. I will probably do this trail again in the future. Look at the map for the road to the trailhead. It is County Road 288 and is right off of HWY 24, which is different from the directions in the listing. If it's important to you, you can get a cell signal at the high point about 3 miles in (N38 58.128', W106 14.903') for ATT or TMo and there are places to camp nearby. After this, no cell signal for the rest of the trail.

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