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Halfmoon Gulch

1 Review
Location Leadville, CO
Rating Moderate,
Length 25mi
Time 6hrs

Vehicle Types


Possible deep water crossings on way to huge mill.

Located between Mount Massive and Mount Elbert, this trail climbs to one of the largest and bestpreserved mill structures in Colorado. Incredible views above timberline on way to Iron Mike Mine. Terrain is exciting and challenging after Waypoint 02. Water crossings are fun. Area before Waypoint 02 sees heavy traffic by hikers. Two famous fourteener hiking trails leave from established campgrounds.


Trail Ratings Defined

One obstacle on 110.J is very difficult. Other obstacles are marginally difficult, but most of trail is moderate. In the spring, water crossings may be too deep to safely cross. Highclearance stock SUVs can drive F.S. 110, but probably not F.S. 110.J.






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Current Conditions

(719) 486-0749San Isabel N.F., Leadville R.D.

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Trail Updates

Submitted by Mark
Ran this yesterday in a 2011 Rubicon on 35’s. Unlocked, swaybar connected. The trail is easy (3-4/10) with a couple short moderate (5/10) sections. Passable by any stock 4WD with a modicum of care. AWD vehicles should stay on the pavement as their designers intended. If you take the Iron Mike spur it’s moderate (5/10) up till the one real obstacle (8/10). You drive through a creek to wet your tires, which then makes traction fun climbing the rocks on the other side. There is a permanent winch point available. Use it if you need. There is a bypass to the right. Don’t use it. The Forest Service currently has a tree blocking it. If people keep going off the trail to avoid this gatekeeper obstacle, the entire trail will be closed. Once past this obstacle, the trail reverts to moderate (4-5/10).
The scenery in the area is lovely, the wildlife very good. The Champion Mill buildings are in excellent condition, all things considered.

Submitted by Andy
I rode Half Moon Rd out to the champion mine in my Jeep Gladiator on September 8, 2022. It was a great ride and the scenery is equal to anywhere in Colorado. The road is rough and steep in spots. I stayed in low range and moved over the obstacles at slow speed. Water levels were low. The last time I rode the trail I judged the creek to be too high to cross on my motorcycle (a foot higher and running fast).

Submitted by Jon
I drove up 110J last week. It is really rocky and rutted. I had a hard time with a stock FJ Cruiser. I kept bottoming out. This road is very narrow and there is no place to turn around until you get to the obstacle, which is a big boulder across the road on the other side of the creek. There is one switchback that you must make in one pass. There is no room to back up and it is really steep. It is probably not bad with a lifted 4X4. The problem is that if you encounter another vehicle, you are going to have a bad time.

Submitted by Randy Jarman
Avalanche trees blocking trail approximately 1/4 mile after the 2nd water crossing.

Submitted by Funtreks
F.S 110.J is closed 1.1 miles after Waypoint 02. You can still cross the creek and drive the obstacle, however, the trail is officially closed after this.


Rate this trail on a scale of 1 to 5.


Bill says

8-6-2023 we drove the trail up to the Champion Mill. The trail is narrow through the trees and a little bit rough. There is a lot of dispersed camping along the trail, particularly near the bottom where there are also a couple of national forest campgrounds. There is some dispersed camping on up the trail to and shortly beyond the last hiking trailhead. There is a lot of demand for these campsites probably because of the trailheads so they will be busy on a weekend. There are places on the road that really need high clearance but there aren't any big obstacles until you get beyond the last trailhead. There are a lot of passenger vehicles along this road that probably suffer a bit to get to the campsites and trailheads but with careful driving they seem to make it. There is a creek crossing beyond the last trailhead, you have to go into the creek follow the creek a short distance to the right, then turn and go out of the creek, you can't just go straight across the creek. It wasn't deep in August. The gate before the mill was closed so we walked that last several hundred yards to it. The mill building itself is very impressive. If you continue to the left to go higher up to the mine you will need a more capable vehicle.
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