North Halfmoon Lakes

HARD 54 reviews
#4 of 16 trails in

North Halfmoon Lakes is a 5.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Twin Lakes, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and fishing and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 5.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,564 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

fishing

hiking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

The road to the trailhead can be difficult for 2WD vehicles. If you have 4WD with good ground clearance you can make it to the trailhead. If you're driving a 2WD vehicle, it is better to park at the Mount Massive Trailhead and walk to this trailhead.

hiking
washed out
5 months ago

Haha! We tried... avalanche seems to have done a lot of clearing. Lost the trail about 20 minutes pass the fork that splits to Massive peak. Turned around and also just climbed that until we got tired for a warm up hike. Beautiful still and lovely smells as usual around here.

hiking
snow
6 months ago

Lots of downed trees at about four avalanche paths. Still some snow to cross. Got to about 12000 feet and couldn't cross unnamed creek just prior to North Halfmoon creek. Perhaps could bushwack down to confluence with North Halfmoon and wade across there.

hiking
scramble
snow
washed out
6 months ago

Gorgeous views but a HEAP of avalanche debris across the trail from the clearing to the split to the Mt. Massive trail. Making it past the 3rd debris field I found the Halfmoon trail past the snow only to find it socked in by even more snow and debris. Turned around and just went up the Mt Massive Trail until I got tired. Regardless, gorgeous views across the clearing and up the Massive trail.

hiking
scramble
snow
washed out
6 months ago

Half Moon Trail was awesome but only half the trail was present haha. We attempted the hike June 9th and there was snow everywhere after about the first half mile passed the trailhead. Snow was anywhere from 2-4 ft deep and the trail was completely unmarked. After maybe 1.5 miles, we ran in to an avalanche field that wiped out close to a mile of trail and everything really. At this point we just followed our compass and scrambled up in the general direction of North Half Moon Lakes. Unfortunately, after 3.5 hours of hiking, scrambling, and climbing through snow and up cliff sides, we found ourselves on the edge of a waterfall and running out of daylight. We made it about half a mile from the Lakes. All in all, this was a great adventure, but pretty difficult with the snow and unmarked trail.

backpacking
7 months ago

I come here at least once a year what an awesome place snuggled up in the big dogs of the Colorado Rockies. Love the trail usually backpacking and camping for multiple days.

7 months ago

Sweet hike

hiking
Tue Sep 18 2018

We really enjoyed this hike today! Quite a workout for us with the elevation gain but was worth it. We did have a 4wd vehicle so we were able to get almost all the way to the trailhead. If not it would take a lot of the enjoyment out. We only saw two other couples all day. One couple was on their way down from the summit of Massive. Yes there is a trail to the summit that breaks off about halfway up and has a sign. Saw a few mountain goats and deer and the scenery at the 1st Lake is enjoyable.

hiking
Tue Sep 04 2018

This was a good alternative to Mount Massive, which weather was bad for on Sunday. Seemed longer than 5.4 miles from the trailhead. Did enjoy the great views and scenery along the way, the trail can get a bit confusing when you enter the tree line on Northside of open field. Download the all trails map so you follow off line. no cell phone coverage avail. Also never found the second lake. Still very enjoyable!!!

hiking
Wed Aug 08 2018

The road to the trailhead is very rough, you definitely need high clearance and 4WD to get all the way. There were no cars parked at the trail head. Cars could probably make it a bit past the Mt Massive trailhead, to within about 1 mile of the trailhead, where there are some campsites to park at. But depending on your vehicle, it may be safest to not try. The hike itself offered beautiful views of many surrounding mountains and was generally easy to follow. It is very steep at times, and you definitely want to be fully acclimated before attempting. Before you reach the first lake, the trail forks, and could be easy to miss. To the right is a path up to a waterfall, and to the left is the lake(s). The AllTrails map doesn't include hiking up to the second lake, though there's definitely a faint trail going there and it's not a bad quick addition if you still have the energy at the top. We only saw one other set of hikers the whole time we were on the trail.

hiking
Fri Aug 03 2018

Without an ATV or FWD better park at the Mt Massive trailhead. From there the hike along the dirt road to the trailhead is over one hour. Halfway up the trail, it gets extremely confusing where the trail supposedly goes. There are no clear signs. I spent over 2 hours hours up there circling around trying to find my way and never made it to any lakes(s), turning back in frustration as it was getting later and later and hiked the 3 hours plus back to the car. Re. lady with her toddlers below, I am positive you must have been at another lake. The 'trail' gets pretty steep in areas climbing over boulders while you're holding onto tree limbs.

Tue Jul 31 2018

Lakes, wildflowers, marmots and stunning views. Awesome hike!

Thu Jul 19 2018

This is one of the prettiest bikes that I have done in Colorado. It is a long drive back in and it a 1 lane road when you get back closer to trailhead. I would recommend a 4wd once you past the first trailhead parking for Mt. Massive. Our GPS reading showed that it was 6 miles not 5.4. Well worth the drive.

Sat Jul 07 2018

Amazing hike!! Took the 3 and 4 year olds so it took a while but the views were amazing!!! Had to park about .3miles away from the trailhead. Long hike for the kids but they loved the lake!!

Fri Jul 06 2018

One of the most stunning hikes I've done in Colorado. They're were so many wild flowers! The lakes are gorgeous! I can't say enough good things!

hiking
Thu Mar 08 2018

One of the most beautiful places in the world. I spent a season building the Mt. Massive trail that fork from this one and consider this valley a second home. It can get kinda crazy with peak baggers on summer weekends but once you get past the summit fork you might as well be alone in the world. A wonderful place to clear your mind and enjoy the wilderness.

Sun Sep 17 2017

Little bit of everything in this trail - forests, meadows with lots of wildflowers (even in September), a couple rock scrambles, and nice lake at the end. We missed the side trail to the lower lake at first (the lake is well hidden) but then saw it once we climbed up a bit further.

Tue Aug 29 2017

hiking
Mon Aug 14 2017

I hiked this trail on Saturday 8/12/17. Parked at the official Mt. Massive TH and hiked the 2+ miles to the North Halfmoon TH. Nice forest trail until close to the junction of North Halfmoon and Mt. Massive SW trails. From there, trail moves through forest and meadows. While the avalanche debris noted in earlier comments has been cleaned up (Thanks USFS & volunteers!), the trail is difficult to follow at times and there is a social trail towards Mt. Oklahoma that one can easily take unintentionally if not paying close attention. There is also some confusion after breaking treeline and getting close to the lakes. The main travel travels Northeast of the lakes and the lakes are well-hidden. To reach the lower lake most efficiently, look for the small cairns at left of the trail near where the creek is very wide and shallow. Taking that social trail brings you directly West to the lower lake. There is no distinct trail to the upper lake, though I was able to bushwack up a steep slope to a sizable rock prominence above the upper lake. From here, the view of both lakes was stellar. I would recommend bringing a topo map (caltopo.com images on my phone worked great) if you are interested in seeing both lakes.

Sat Aug 12 2017

I hiked this trail on Saturday 8/12/17. Outstanding hike for the short distance, with varied terrain, minimal crowds and two very nice alpine lakes. Parked at the official Mt. Massive TH and hiked the 2+ miles to the North Halfmoon TH. Nice forest trail until close to the junction of North Halfmoon and Mt. Massive SW trails. From there, trail moves through forest and meadows. While the avalanche debris from winter '17 has been cleaned up (Thanks USFS & volunteers!), the trail is difficult to follow at times and there is a social trail towards Mt. Oklahoma that one can easily take unintentionally if not paying close attention. There is also some confusion after breaking treeline and getting close to the lakes. The main travel travels Northeast of the lakes and the lakes are well-hidden. To reach the lower lake most efficiently, look for the small cairns at left of the trail near where the creek is very wide and shallow. Taking that social trail brings you directly West to the lower lake. There is no distinct trail to the upper lake, though I was able to bushwack up a steep slope to a sizable rock prominence above the upper lake. From here, the view of both lakes was stellar. I would recommend bringing a topo map (caltopo.com images on my phone worked great) if you are interested in seeing both lakes.

hiking
Fri Jul 14 2017

Great Hike. We parked at the junction of CR11 and Halfmoon Rd and hiked up to the trailhead. Just after the Mt. Massive trail intersection the avalanche damage made locating the trail a bit difficult but stick to the warn path through the fallen trees and you'll find a large rock outcrop on the left. The trail is just beyond it. The lake is well hidden by a terminal moraine. As you approach the lake the trail continues up to the north but we noticed a few cairns that guided us directly to the lake west of the trail.

hiking
Mon Jun 12 2017

Still snow covering the trail in places above 11k ft. and lost the trail at about 11.5k ft so stopped short of the lake at the big stream crossing. Didn't seem to be any good crossing opportunities. Avalanche damage apparent. Streams and falls were full as you would expect this time of year. Didn't see much wild life with all of the meadow area but there were abundant wild flowers. One thing to note: I wouldn't take a 2wd vehicle past the Mt. Massive trailhead. The road gets very rough and high clearance is really needed. Also, there a stream crossing just past the Halfmoon trailhead that's best left to 4wd experts. You're not getting across in your Subaru. Plenty of parking space at Halfmoon trailhead.

hiking
Wed Aug 17 2016

Great scenery, great hike. Don't hesitate to see some side trails, they're worth it.

hiking
Fri Jul 22 2016

Beautiful trail all the way up to the summit. Steep with all types of terrain. Beautiful wild flowers. We saw many marmots including an albino marmot!

hiking
Mon Jul 04 2016

easy start then steep. gain approx 3300 ft in final 2.5 miles. trailhead accessible to hi clearance 4wd. little trail traffic. amazing wildflower variety up to the summit. saw at least 30 yellow bellied marmots! dry conditions for us. would not recommend in rainy conditions due to lengthy, steep Boulder fields

Sun Jun 19 2016

We were slightly disappointed, because we weren't able to make it to the lakes. The trail was tough to follow the last mile or so and perhaps the snow played a part. Nonetheless, great workout, beautiful views, and quiet.

Thu Sep 10 2015

Steep trail. Difficult to navigate in the dark. Do not attempt in adverse conditions.

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