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Flattop Mountain Trail

 4.5 (21)

Length


4.2 Miles 6.7 Kilometers


2,544' 775 m

Ascent

-83' -25 m

Descent

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

26%

Max Grade (14°)

12,285' 3,744 m

High

9,741' 2,969 m

Low

Shared By Trail Master

Conditions


All Clear 6 days ago
Dry History

Getting forecast...

Popular trail reaching the long saddle on the Continental Divide between Hallett Pk. & Ptarmigan Pt.

Trail Master

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

To reach the Flattop Mountain Trail, first ascend above Bear Lake heading north through young aspen to where the-the Bear Lake TH to Fern Lake TH trail splits from the Bear Lake - Mill Creek Trail. From here, the Flattop Mountain Trail itself begins, leaving to the west along a ridgeline. Soon the Fern - Odessa Lake Trail branches off to the right (northwest) but instead, continue left on the Flattop Mountain Trail, switchbacking steeply uphill. Surmount the forested eastern flank of Flattop pausing for views of Dream Lake, Longs Peak, Emerald Lake and Tyndall Glacier. Tyndall is one of only five active glaciers in the Park and is responsible for carving the valley below.

After treeline, the grades moderate and the switchbacks end. Follow the well-defined path into open tundra, using cairns for guidance over snowfields. The trail reaches a hitching post affording good views of Hallett Peak across the gorge. Next, scale a permanent snowfield and cover level ground on the final approach up to Flattop Mountain. No sign marks the summit, but the Flattop Mountain Trail - Tonohutu Creek Trail junction is generally recognized as your final destination.

This wide flat saddle along the Continental Divide offers a rare opportunity to explore the tundra. See if you can identify landmarks such as Hallett Peak, Otis Peak, Taylor Peak, Longs Peak, Notchtop Mountain, Ptarmigan Point and portions of the Mummy Range, Never Summer Range and Grand Lake.

Note: Bear Lake is a heavily used trailhead with limited parking. Arrive early to get a spot. About half of this trail goes above treeline and is very exposed. Expect strong sun, wind, cool temperatures, and rapidly changing weather conditions. Get an early start to avoid afternoon thunderstorms.

Flora & Fauna

Pika, ptarmigan, elk, bighorn sheep and mountain goat. Spruce, fir, wildflowers.

Contacts

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Aug 10, 2018
Sally Gibson
Aug 10, 2018
Jason Boak
Aug 7, 2018
Clark Maness
4.2mi
Aug 4, 2018
Sara Bularzik
clear skies and windy. steep but doable. with the Boston crew! 8.4mi
Aug 4, 2018
Filipe Miranda
Jul 31, 2018
Jake Swisher
Jul 29, 2018
Paul Ahnn
10mi
Jul 21, 2018
Gabrielle Grund

Stewarded By


Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 21 votes

#3

in Bear Lake

#55

Overall
  4.5 from 21 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
19%
3 Star
14%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#3

in Bear Lake

#16

in Colorado

#55

Overall
415 Views Last Month
4,390 Since Jul 15, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
6%
22%
56%
17%
0%

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