“A steep trail up the south side of Mt. Massive.”
— Tyler Prince
Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The trailhead to North Halfmoon Lakes Trail
, which provides lower access to this trail, is generally closed in the winter, with the closest parking 8 miles below.
Note: Even though land management says dogs are to be leashed, you'll see many dogs and few leashes.
While the trail is largely free of rocks and routes, this trail's steep grade makes running quite a challenge. Not for the faint-of-heart. Fast trail runners should expect 1 hr up this trail.
To access this trail, Turn right off of North Halfmoon Lakes Trail
about 1.5 miles past the trailhead and run up some steep rocks and out of the trees at 11,300 ft.
Walk to the right through the boulder field and continue up a steep but excellent dirt trail, coming to a second boulder field around 11,700 ft. The trail here becomes harder to follow. Again, stay to the right, this time exiting at about 12,000 ft. Turn left around a large rock pile at 12,300, continuing up excellent trail. At 12,900 ft the grade becomes extremely steep as you continue along a set of switchbacks.
From here the trail becomes rocky as well. Stay to the left to avoid climbing one of Massive's offshoot summits instead of its highest point. Come to a notch at 14,000 ft, staying just to the right of the rocks making up the summit ridge. Continue up Mt. Massive Trail
along the rocky ridge, traversing the various points and false summits of the massif. You'll come to Mt. Massive Trail
on your right as the grade flattens. Turn left on this trail to reach the Mt. Massive
Flora & Fauna
Upon breaking through coniferous forest, you'll find yourself among wildflowers, pikas, and overly friendly marmots.