Flattop Mountain Trail

 9 votes

4.2 Miles 6.7 Kilometers

 

69% 

Runnable

Singletrack

2,544' 775 m

Ascent

-83' -25 m

Descent

12,285' 3,744 m

High

9,741' 2,969 m

Low

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

26%

Max Grade (14°)

All Clear

59 days agoUpdate

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

Trail Master

Overview

Features: Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs

Runner Notes

Snowfields and lots of loose rocks.

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

Rate Trail


   Clear

4.3 from 9 votes


Get On-Trail Navigation

Send to Phone
Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

none

Stewarded By


Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 9 votes

#2

in Bear Lake

#171

Overall
  4.3 from 9 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
33%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#2

in Bear Lake

#33

in Colorado

#171

Overall
272 Views Last Month
1,376 Since Jul 15, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
14%
43%
43%
0%

Conditions


All Clear 59 days ago
Muddy, Snowy
Update ConditionsHistory

Getting forecast...

0 Comments

Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running