Flattop Mountain Trail
ElevationAscent: 2,533' 772 m
Descent: -183' -56 m
High: 12,295' 3,747 m
Low: 9,762' 2,975 m
GradeAvg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 42% (23°)
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“Popular trail reaching the long saddle on the Continental Divide between Hallett Pk. & Ptarmigan Pt.”— Trail Master
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.
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Land Manager: National Park Service - Rocky Mountain National Park