Iron Mike  
Maps:      
USGS 7.5' Map: Mount Massive
Statistics:
Difficulty: Number: Miles: Altitude: Obstacles: Time:
Moderate 7 FR 110.J 1.05 10,240 to 10,880 ft. Rock - 1 1 hour
County: Lake
Adopted by:      
Managed by: Pike - San Isabel National Forest,
Leadville Ranger District
810 Front Street
Leadville, CO 80461
(719)486-0749
Summary: Iron Mike 4WD road is a short dead end road that leaves Halfmoon Road (Champion Mine) and follows South Halfmoon Creek to just past the roads first crossing of the creek. Past the creek crossing is a challenging obstacle, followed by the end of the road.
Attractions: 4WD Challenge
Seasonal
Closure:
Natural - Closed by heavy snow.
Best Time: June - North facing so may still be snowed in.
July - Best.
August - Best.
September - Best.
October - Possible early snows.
Trail Heads
Accessed:
 
Camping: Camping spots exist at the start of Iron Mike.
Base Camp: This would be good area to base camp along Halfmoon Creek. There are few 4WD roads, but there is access to many hiking trails.
Fall Colors: Poor - The forest around the Iron Mike 4WD road is pine.
Navigation: From Leadville, CO. head south on Harrison Ave. toward East 8th Street for 0.5 miles. Continue onto Silver Drive for 0.3 miles. Continue onto US-24 East/Front Street for 3.3 miles. Turn right onto Colorado 300 West and go 0.8 miles. Take the second left onto County Road 11/Halfmoon Road and go 1.3 miles. Turn right to stay on County Road 11/Halfmoon Road and go 7.5 miles. Turn left onto Forest Road 110J the Iron Mike 4WD road.
History: Note: You can no longer access the mine due to a lawsuit and new Forest Service Travel Planning.

Jason Hicks page on the Iron Mike Mine site has some present photos.

The Iron Mike Mine is on a patented mining claim know as the Susquehanna Claim. It dates from around 1904 and is shown on the USGS Topographical maps of the area. The 4WD road was built as a supply road for the mine connecting it to the Halfmoon Creek road that went between the Champion Mill and Leadville.
Description:
Iron Mike is a dead end 4WD road that runs south off of Halfmoon Creek. It starts with a switchback that brings you to the South Halfmoon Creek crossing that contains the main obstacle. There are large rocks on a short incline just after crossing creek.
Adam M on Iron Mike obstacle

photo by:
Karla H

Perry W on Iron Mike obstacle

photo by:
Unknown

Vic W on Iron Mike obstacle

photo by:
Adam Mehlberg

After getting through the obstacle Iron Mike 4WD road runs along the west side of Mount Elbert (14,433 ft.) and works through some large boulders. In this area the road will end due to the environmentalists lawsuit in 2010. Turning around you will head back down the obstacle, retracing your steps.
Richard H on Iron Mike obstacle

photo by:
Karla H

Iron Mike obstacle

photo by:
Christy H


In 2010 a coalition of environmental groups sued the Pike San Isabel National Forest on their MVUM maps route inclusion process. Using a use prescription map from 1984 as reference, they were able to force the Forest Service to close the Iron Mike Mine road where it crossed into a non-motorized prescription on the 1984 map. The 1984 map shows the cherry stem corridor intent for the Iron Mike road, but that seems to have been disregarded.
1984 Forest Service map showing Iron Mike cherry stem corridor. Iron Mike road on this map is in yellow.

1984 Forest Service map overlaying the 2011 MVUM. The Iron Mike road is accurately represented on the MVUM, but still into non-motorized lands.

1984 Forest Service map overlyaying the new 2019 MVUM showing the closure point.


The following description is of the closed section of road driven before the closure in 2018.

As you continue to follow South Halfmoon Creek the road will enter a wider area of the gulch and cross open patches between the trees.
Above Timberline

photo by:
Christy H

Above Timberline

photo by:
Christy H

Just past timberline you will cross South Halfmoon Creek again and climb an outcropping of Casco Peak (13,908 ft.) where you will pass two log building remains that are the Iron Mike Mine. The road will continue up to the mine audits below the saddle between Casco Peak and Frasco Peak (13,876 ft.).
Data updated - March 23, 2022      4WD Road driven - September 17, 2010      Copyright 4X4Explore.com - 2000-2022