Hike up Flattop Mountain

Alaska Glen Alps Trailhead

Added by Dwayne Parton

Flattop Mountain is one of the most popular hikes in Anchorage, Alaska and it's easy to see why. This recognizable landmark offers a 360 degree view of the Chugach Mountains, Cook Inlet, Anchorage, and Alaska Range making it a prime spot to watch the sunset and enjoy Alaska's scenery.

This moderate to difficult climb starts at 2200 feet and gets progressively difficult as you get closer to the top. It will cost $5(cash or card) to park at the Glen Alps Trailhead where you will find a set of well maintained trails accessing different parts of the valley including O'mally Peak.

Flattop Mountain Trail is a climb but there are plenty of places to stop, rest, and enjoy views of Mt. Denali, the Sleeping Lady, and Anchorage as the trail traverses along the mountain. Even if you don't have time to summit it's worth the short drive out of town to catch the view just few hundred yards from the trailhead.

The saddle is a great place to assess your comfort level as the trail near the summit becomes steep, requiring some rock scrambling. The summit is a football field sized area with plenty of places to sit, picnic, or even camp. Camping is allowed 1/2 mile from the trailhead and does not require a fee for groups less than 12. Depending on the time of year, Flattop is also a popular place to view the Northern Lights, ski, and paraglide.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Day Pack, Snacks, Water
  • Headlamp
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Crampons (if icy)
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Activities:

Camping, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

3.4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1300 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic

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How to Get There

20 days ago

A Big Slide

Can't beat the views at the top! Fun hike up and an even more fun slide/hike down. This was recommended by all the locals. The response we got from people after the hike was "Awesome! Did you slide down on your butt??" We responded, "Yes!". Sliding probably cut out 1/4 mile of hiking. We hiked to the Flattop at the end of March were it was a little icy on the trail. Micro spikes would have been helpful as I would have felt a lot safer on the way up.

20 days ago

7 months ago

Amazing views of Anchorage and Surrounding Area

I did this hike with the family a couple summers ago, I really enjoyed the hike. We got there in the early morning, and some what beat the crowds. It is one of the closest hikes to Anchorage, thus a lot of traffic. Still worth fighting the crowds for the views.

7 months ago

8 months ago

Nice Views But Crowded And Under-maintained

My wife and I hiked this route on a sunny day at the beginning of September. The parking lot was full with a lot of people on the trail. Although we enjoyed the hike we found it overcrowded. There were lots of families which is great but then the trail is not well maintained and can be dangerously slippy and scrambly in places, particularly near the top. It would be really easy to get hurt here, especially on the way down. Wooden steps that would once have been safe have been eroded and now have gaping holes between them. Wooden slats slope away and are covered in gravel. It's an accident waiting to happen. There were lots of dogs on the trail and so lots of dog poop - not many owners seemed interested in cleaning up their animals' droppings. I wouldn't recommend this trail to anyone - hike another one close by for similar views in a nicer, safer setting.

8 months ago

8 months ago

Fresh views, Fresh blues

Went in mid August and saw a moose, picked a bag full of blueberries, and took some patriotic pictures with a flag that someone placed at the summit. The work: reward ratio is definitely worth it!

8 months ago

about 1 year ago

Serenity on the ridge past the summit :)

As mentioned, this is a crowded/popular trail... Continuing along the ridge-line beyond the summit adds to a nice out and back itinerary, and you often have the entire thing to yourself. The views from "Peak 2" and "Peak 3" are fantastic!

about 1 year ago

Added by Dwayne Parton

Travel. Outdoors. Lifestyle. 
 I completed a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2014. I loved the lifestyle it afforded. Now I live in a van with my dog Bobby traveling across the country. Life's a journey, so let's participate.

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