ElevationAscent: 3,825' 1,166 m
Descent: -814' -248 m
High: 6,840' 2,085 m
Low: 3,652' 1,113 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 45% (24°)
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“Start in the forest, through an old burn, then up onto wonderful, open alpine meadows with views.”— Jake Bramante
From there, the level trail travels through a nice, airy forest with tall growth such as thimbleberry. The trail enters an old burn as the Granite Park - Flattop Mountain Connector breaks off to the right. From here, filtered views of Heavens Peak and Flattop Mountain keep you company as you make your way through the stands of silver trees. The trail gently goes up and down and veers away from McDonald Creek.
Eventually, the trail crosses over Mineral Creek on a swinging bridge, then begins to switchback up Flattop Mountain, loosely following Flattop Creek. Keep an eye out on the cliffs on the other side of the creek for mountain goats. This portion heading up through the south face of the mountain is part of the old burn and offers little protection from the sun, so expect it to be hotter in the afternoon.
The trail comes near a waterfall, but not super close, before coming alongside the creek and paralleling it up the mountain as the terrain levels off. The trail then passes a campground and crosses through stands of burned trees and wonderful open meadows filled with a variety of birds as it gradually climbs. Mountains are now visible in all directions as this mountain is really an old meadow between the Lewis and Livingston ranges. The views are great as you reach the top of your climb, then drop down a bit and follow the Continental Divide, then work your way across meadows an up to the Fifty Mountain campground and join up with the Waterton Valley Trail and the Highline Trail.
This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visit hike734.com for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to hike.
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Land Manager: NPS - Glacier National Park