Winter Hike Flattop Mountain

8.6 miles 2850 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Eric Schuette

Watch the sunrise from above treeline with great views below and to the south. This is my favorite place to view the sunrise is from just above the emerald lake overlook. The Bear Lake area is very crowded, but an early morning ascent of flattop mountain will provide ample opportunities for solitude!

To catch the sunrise, begin at the Bear Lake trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park. From the trailhead, veer right around bear lake and continue along the Odessa Lake/Flattop Mountain trail. This will begin to ascend on your right.

After approximately 1 mile, the Flattop Mountain Trail will split off the main trail on the left. Caution, in the winter the sign can be almost buried in snow, so keep a sharp eye out. After the split, stay on the Flattop Mountain Trail and follow as it meanders along the east side of Flattop Mountain. There is ski and snowshoe traffic the length of the trail, but beware of drifting. This can obscure the trail in places.

Once above treeline, you can choose the location you want to watch the show! I prefer a little above the Emerald Lake overlook as the snow will often obscure the sunrise from closer to the summit.

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Tags

Snowboarding
Photography
Skiing
Snowshoeing
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic

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🥇Top Contributor

3 months ago

Crisp day

Being above treeline in the winter on a clear day is the best. This was beautiful in December

One of my favourite trails close to the Beaver Meadows entrance to RMNP! It's a pretty easy hike up to the top although when covered in snow sometimes the trail can be easy to lose while still below the treeline. Arrive early to avoid the mass amounts of fellow explorers if you want to secure a parking spot at the trail head!

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