Mount Massive Southwest Slopes Trail is a 7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Twin Lakes, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,897 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Fairly strenuous hike, but definitely worth it if you want to shave a few miles off from the East Slope trail. Views at the top are incredible...might even be better than Mount Elbert because you don't have any mountains blocking the view north.

hiking
3 months ago

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!!!!

hiking
4 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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

4 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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

hiking
5 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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

5 months ago

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.

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.

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3 months ago

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3 months ago

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3 months ago

recorded Mt. Mammoth Summit

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4 months ago

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