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Flat Top

Length: 3 miles round trip Time: 1.5 - 3 hours Best season: May - September
Trail Image 1 Trail Image 2 Trail Image 3 Trail Image 4 Trail Image 5 Trail Image 6
First trail image

View from the parking lot. The trail begins at these set of stairs.

Second trail image

Flat Top. The path along the mountain's left is an alternative route, which is far more loose and steep. I recommend using the main, more obvious route.

Third trail image

The trail to Flat Top is very well maintained. Up ahead, the left and right trails join before the real climb up begins.

Fourth trail image

Steps are built right into the path along much of the trail.

Fifth trail image

My friend Souane almost at the top. The trail gradually becomes more rocky and steep. Watch your footing; this last section is a bit more difficult.

Sixth trail image

After reaching the summit, the landscape changes abruptly to a flat expanse of loose rock, about the size of a football field.

Trail description:

Flat Top is the most frequently hiked peak in Alaska, likely due to it's convinient location just outside of Anchorage. The name 'Flat Top' comes from its broad flat summit; created by the grinding action of ancient glaciers. The trail starts from a wooden stairway in the parking area. The path makes its way through scattered trees, and isn't very steep to begin with. Not far in, the path splits into left and right trails. It's not important which one you take; both are short and rejoin once the base of the mountain is reached. The trail will then head uphill over several switchbacks and man-made steps. A little over halfway up is a saddle that briefly offers a break from the uphill march. From here it gets steeper and more challenging. The final section is the hardest part, and requires a little vertical agility. The top is an abrupt, dramatic change - a large, flat expanse of loose rocks about the size of a football field. There are a few man-made rock structures up here which also serve as wind barriers.


The trail is nearly all uphill, yet provides switchbacks for most of the way. Put simply, it's a climb, although a relatively short one. The last small section of the hike also involves scaling some rocky sections, though nothing overly dangerous as long as you're careful.


Head towards South Anchorage on the New Seward Highway. Take the O'malley exit and head towards the mountains. Follow O'malley for a few miles and turn right onto Hillside Drive. Turn onto Upper Huffman on your left shortly afterwards. This road T's-off; turn right onto Toilsome Hill Drive. This eventually becomes Glen Alps Road, which winds it's way up to the Glen Alps parking lot, where the trail begins. A shuttle service is also available.

Additional Information:

The parking lot requires a $5.00 daily parking fee or a seasonal parking pass.