Mount Massive, with an elevation of 14,421 feet, is the second highest peak in the state of Colorado (after Mount Elbert, a neighbor just to the north), and was first climbed by Henry Gannett in 1873. Massive's name, which remains despite numerous efforts to change it, is well-deserved: it sports a broad summit crest three miles in length, and five points over 14,000 feet above sea level. The climb of this mountain is considered relatively easy, but very long, and it's recommended to allow two days to complete it.
To reach the standard route to Mount Massive's summit, drive along US 24 south from Leadville for 3.6 miles. Turn right onto CO 300, then turn left onto CR 11 after seven-tenths of a mile. After another mile, turn right onto a road with signs for Halfmoon Creek. Pass the San Isabel National Forest boundary after a few more miles, and continue on to the Mount Massive trailhead parking lot three miles after that.
Be advised that the main trail can take up to an entire day (or even longer, depending on fitness level) to hike up and down it. Follow
the Main Range trail for three miles to the marked Mount Massive trail, which turns left. Follow this second trail all the way to the
summit. Some slight scrambling is involved along the way.
This page last updated 8/15/06