Overlanding Rock Crawling Fishing Hiking Colorado 4x4 Trail With It All! Halfmoon Creek The Best?

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Welcome to one of my absolute favorite trails in Colorado, Halfmoon Creek and after watching this episode (and part 2 following soon) it might be one of your favorites as well. This video is a little bit different for this channel as it has some of everything, but it really showcases what this trail has to offer.

The trail officially kicks off at the staging area for the Mount Massive 14ner hike. I am not into self-torcher, so I will not be hiking that, but it is a perfect place to air down and organize your group. The first section of Halfmoon is rather tame but immediately scenic with prime campsites right next to the creek. If you want to make life easy, taking one of these options is a great way to go, but push on and you will be rewarded. You will twist your way through trees and boulders with ease, although a little tight in sections. Most any vehicle with AWD or 4WD will be able to take on this part, but there is something of a gatekeeper that will certainly separate the crowd. This obstacle isn’t horrible by any means, but with a rock wall on one side, a drop off on the other and loose rock and dirt underneath you, good wheel placement and the right amount of skinny peddle is needed. Now if you have a Dodge Ram 2500 diesel with a lift and 35 inch tires like my brother, you will hardly notice anything, but if you are driving something like me, a stock Nissan Titan Off Road, you might have more of an interesting experience. Take your time and you should be fine, not to mention the roaring waterfall to your left makes it a great spot to get out and really pick the best line.
After making it over that ledge, there is not much else to worry about, at least in this part of the video covering the lower part of Halfmoon Creek. The next obstacle is a creek crossing. Depending on the time of year will dictate how hard the crossing will be. This was filmed in July and the water was at a great level. Although you should not find this much of an issue, it will likely be pretty enjoyable. Right on the other side there is a nice campsite on the water’s edge, but there are plenty more as the trail now starts gaining some altitude quickly. Before long you will be flirting with the tree line and the views become absolutely amazing. Much of the trail at this point will be in the creek, so just be prepared to get a little wet. Although it will be a little chilly at night, camping in this area is certainly worth the vistas.
Unfortunately, the site I had picked out for us was taken…possibly one of the best in Colorado, so we had to backtrack for today. Don’t worry, our luck turns around the next morning and we get that magical campsite, which you will have to watch the next video to see if it really is all that great. Our back up plan worked out just fine, but now we had little time to waste as we scheduled to actual hike up to some alpine lakes for some fishing. The hiking trail is the 2nd option for Mount Massive and the start is close to the large creek crossing. It is only a few miles to the lakes, but there is a lot of elevation gain. Along the way you will be treated to endless views, beds of wild flowers and waterfalls. If you have to hike, this is the way to do it. Eventually you will end up at the first of two lakes. As you can see there was no shortage of trout here as we pull in brookies, rainbows, cutthroat and cutbows. Both fly fishing and spin gear seemed to do the trick just fine. This setting is second to none with the almost fake vivid color of the lake incased in granite cliffs, love or hate hiking, this trip is absolutely worth it.
Once back at camp there is only one way to celebrate a great day and this is with a Trails n’ Cocktails segment where I whip up a Cucumber Rickey. Top that off with some homemade tacos the only thing left for us to do is settle in, enjoy the fire and play a little cornhole.
In the next episode we conquer the rest of Halfmoon Creek Trail, which has us pass some incredible minding ruins and throws one obstacle after another at our Toyota Tacoma TRD. Marty the Tacoma sitting on 33 inch tires handles all the big boulders and shelfs without much drama, but this is more rock crawling and off roading than just sightseeing. The shelf roads give you a little pucker factor but let you see what seems like forever. You can even look down on the road to Independence Pass. The top of this trail is spectacular making it worth all the effort. To make things even better, once we get down, that epic campsite is open just for us!

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Category
Fly Fishing
Tags
overland, overlanding, rock crawling